Cheers to the end of summer! resqme, Inc. wishes you a happy holiday weekend this Labor Day. We also remind you to stay safe on one of the busiest weekends on highways and roads this year. According to the National Safety Council, Labor Day Weekend is one of the deadliest times for traffic fatalities. This year, the NSC “estimates 394 traffic fatalities and another 42,200 medically consulted injuries may occur over the traditional end-of-summer weekend from motor vehicle collisions.”
Below we offer some tips for safe driving on the road compiled from some of the best sources on highway safety. Again, enjoy the last days of summer and stay safe with your family and those who share the road.
To ensure a safe Labor Day holiday weekend, NSC recommends drivers:
- Establish and enforce a distraction-free zone, especially in cars equipped with electronic devices including cell phones, global positioning systems and other in-vehicle technology
- Make sure all passengers are buckled up and children are in safety seats appropriate for their age and size
- Allow plenty of travel time to avoid frustration and diminish the impulse to speed
- Drive defensively and exercise caution, especially during inclement weather
- Designate a non-drinking driver or plan for alternative transportation, such as a taxi
- If you are drinking, do not drive
- Young drivers are at particular risk to be involved in alcohol-related crashes (If there is a young driver in your family, strictly enforce a zero tolerance policy with alcohol – all states have a zero tolerance law where drivers under the age of 21 cannot have any alcohol in their systems)
- Your best defense against a drunk driver is wearing your safety belt, so buckle up
* Compiled from both 2012/2013 lists.
Getting Your Car in Shape
Avoiding the Madness
The most important thing you can do is leave early. Take on the highways early Saturday morning or before rush hour on Friday. If you’re driving on Labor Day, follow the same rules. Most people will brave their return home in the early evening or late afternoon. Try getting to the highways before 4 p.m. or after 10 p.m. and you should be in much better shape. Another important thing you can do to prepare for Labor Day driving is to plan your route well. Look for alternate routes, program your GPS or use a map to get you where you need to go as fast and efficiently as possible. You also can check online to see if the road you’re planning to take is undergoing repairs or has scheduled lane changes, so you can search for alternatives or plan for additional driving time.
- Perform a pre-trip inspection – Check your tire pressure, wipers and fluids. Simple maintenance can prevent many of the problems that strand motorists on the side of the road before you leave your home.
- Plan your trip – Know where you are going and be prepared to exit. Indecisive driving is a major cause of traffic problems.
- Check the weather forecast and conditions – Weather conditions can change very quickly. Be sure to check the forecast often. Do not attempt to drive through standing water. Watch for road closures and detours.
- Large Trucks Have Blindspots – If you can’t see the truck driver in his or her mirrors, then the truck driver can’t see you.
- Do not cut in front of large trucks – Remember that trucks are heavier and take longer to make a complete stop, so avoid cutting quickly in front of them. A fully loaded tractor trailer takes a football field and both end zones to come to a complete stop when driving at highway speeds.
- Pay Attention – Distracted driving is a leading cause of crashes. Looking away for even two seconds doubles the chances of an accident. Turn cell phones and PDAs off.
- Allow a Safety Cushion – Look 1/4 mile ahead for a safe path. Leave yourself an out.
- Slow Down – Chances of a crash nearly triples when driving faster than surrounding traffic.
- Keep extra water in your vehicle – Just as you keep a winter driving kit in your vehicle, it is important to be prepared when driving during the summer months. Keep plenty of extra water, sunscreen and non-perishable snacks in your car in case you are stranded.
- Buckle Up – Safety belts are not a fashion statement – they save lives.
- Abide by Traffic Rules – Follow traffic signs and signals – paying special attention to work zones is important during this high construction season.
- Be Careful Backing Up – One in four preventable collisions involve backing up. Be sure to look before backing up; walk around your car prior to departure.
Sources: National Safety Council, Loudoun County Traffic: Labor Day Driving Safety Tips via USA Today, and The American Trucking Associations
Have Fun and Stay Safe!
-The resqme team
This year’s Governors Highway Safety Association conference was held in San Diego, California. resqme, Inc. wanted to share valuable information about our 4 Lifesaving Steps as well as how the resqme tool can save lives in an auto emergency “when seconds count…”
resqme, Inc. Founder and President, Laurent Colasse, attended the annual meeting to man the resqme booth, meet other organizations dedicated to increased safety on the road, and hear the latest on efforts and initiatives in the highway safety community. This year’s GHSA meeting theme focused on technology and “looking at how technology presents both challenges and opportunities.”
Laurent met some incredible people at the organization including Melissa Wandall and her daughter, Madison. Melissa started The Mark Wandall Foundation in honor of her husband who was killed in a red-light running collision. The main goals of the foundation are to provide support to children who have experienced loss through a vehicle related collision, maintain scholarship programs and fundraising efforts, and also partner with groups dedicated to safety. To find out more about the foundation, you can visit: www.themarkwandallfoundation.org
Melissa is also President of the National Coalition for Safer Roads whose main agenda is how “red light safety cameras can improve driver behavior.” She helped pass Florida’s Mark Wandall Traffic Safety Act and actively travels the United States advocating and speaking on behalf of driver safety.
Laurent also met the Honorable Deborah Hersman, Chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board. Among many initiatives and high profile investigations, Ms. Hersman’s main focuses include: “distracted driving, child passenger safety, and helping accident victims and their families.”
Laurent found Ms. Hersman’s speech at the 2013 GHSA Annual Meeting to be amazing and congratulated her on her dedication to zero deaths on the road and a shared advocacy for safety. If you would like to see in full text Ms. Hersman’s sppech, you may view it here.
Events like the GHSA Annual Meeting are important for organizations to meet and share information about road safety issues and possible solutions. Advocates for safety can influence policy and enact change to promote safer roads. Together we can save more lives.
h/t: www.ghsa.org, www.themarkwandallfoundation.org, ncsrsafety.org, ntsb.gov
Jim Giebel of Illinois recently put on a flood awareness booth for his Eagle Scout Project with the Boy Scouts of America. We spoke to Jim about his experiencing using the resqme tool at his booth.
Question: How did your Eagle Scout project come about?
Answer: After thinking about my Eagle project I decided that I wanted to help my community with some sort of flood awareness project. I had a hard time finding an idea at first, but then I realized that al ot of the community really lacked in preparedness for any type of flooding. It was in recent years that flooding became prominent in my community.
Q: Who and where did you share this information with in your community?
A: I eventually did research and found a abundance of flood prevention materials and information. I had come up with a presentation to present to the Village of Oakbrook and at the final setup, the Taste of Oakbrook.
Q: What kind of safety information did you share?
A: In the booth that I created I also set up a list of items including the resqme to show the public tools and information you can take with you in a emergency preparedness bag. You can keep this at home, in your car, or office. In addition I handed out my own fliers with information on how to prepare yourself in case a flood were to happen to you. The information included things to pack for a emergency prep bag and flood insurance information. Locations to meet your family if separated, how to make and stack sandbags, and where to find them.
Q: What part did the resqme tool and flyers play?
A: The reqme tool and flyers allowed me to present what you could do if you were stuck In your car in a flood situation or if you needed to help out another car. This was a major part in my booth as it gave the public ideas of how they could be prepared in flash flood situations with such a small tool.
Q: Did you work with your troop on this project?
A: During the taste my troop helped me set up and share the information that I received and had made for my community. They were a major part of my project as there were over 25,000 people at the Taste and I couldn’t have done the project without them.
Q: What did you ultimately learn?
A: This project taught me a lot about flooding and I learned as I taught more and more people it was embedded into my brain so that I could teach and help my community more in the future.
Congratulations to Jim on his Eagle Scout project and we commend him for sharing such valuable safety information with his community. With all the recent flooding across the United States, such awareness about emergency preparation is vital in keeping motorists safe on the road. If you want to learn more about the resqme tool, visit: www.resqme.com
Check out some photos from the event!
-The resqme team
As reported by Marcia Moore of The Daily Item, a memorial fund has been established for 13-year-old Alex Reichner. Reichner’s mother, Melissa Moyer and her friend, Amy Stiner, drowned “when they became disoriented in the fog and darkness and drove off an unmarked boat ramp into the Atlantic Ocean near a Maine state park.”
Stiner, who was seven months pregnant at the time, and Moyer had gotten lost earlier while hiking and had been rescued. They were “returning to Stiner’s home about five miles away where her husband, Gregory, and Moyer’s son were waiting for them.”
In honor of her sister Melissa, Megain Aikey of Sunbury, Pennyslvania “is asking the public to write Moyer’s name on a rock, tree, in the sand, anywhere in the world they travel and send a photograph of it to her at firstname.lastname@example.org as a way of keeping her name alive.”
A memorial fund has also been established with proceeds going to Alex Reichner. If you would like to help, donations may be sent to:
-The resqme team