RISMEDIA, May 19, 2009-Nearly forty million drivers are expected to fill highways and byways this coming holiday weekend according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. Memorial Day weekend is the third most perilous holiday for vehicular traffic. Thanksgiving holds the number one spot, with Independence Day at number two. Labor Day and New Year’s Eve round out the top five.
Radarsign, one of the leading manufacturers and retailers of driver feedback signs, released ten tips to road safety as vacationers get read to hit the streets.
1. Don’t drive drowsy. According to the National Sleep Foundation’s Report on Drowsy Driving, 100,000 reported crashes, 71,000 injuries and 1,550 deaths every year are attributed to drivers falling asleep at the wheel. Add to that heavy holiday traffic and you have a recipe for disaster. If you are feeling drowsy, get off the road.
2. Wear your seat belt. The Department of Transportations (DOT) reports 50% of all vehicular deaths could have been prevented with seat belts.
3. Signal your intentions. Every move you make on the road impacts the decisions and actions of others. By signaling your intention to turn or change lanes, you ensure others are alert to your movements.
4. Do not tailgate. Leave a distance equal to one car’s length for every ten miles per hour. For example, if you are traveling fifty miles an hour, you should fall back a distance equal to five car lengths from the vehicle in front of you.
5. Move away from tailgaters. Many drivers attempt to “teach” a lesson to tailgaters by tapping their brakes telling the other driver to back off. Tailgaters typically exercise poor judgment and endanger themselves and others – especially when challenged. The best thing to do is move out of the way and let the tailgater safely pass you.
6. Avoid standing water. If you must drive through water, do so slowly and avoid sudden use of your brakes, turning too sharply or excessive acceleration. If you do hydroplane (an instance where the tread cannot channel the rainwater from under your tires), do not hit the brakes. Reduce your speed by taking your foot off the accelerator and turning the wheel in the direction you want to travel.
7. Know pedestrian rights. Always be aware of pedestrians at intersections and remember pedestrians have the right of way.
8. Turn on your headlights when visibility is low. The sobering statistic is that while only 25% of the miles we drive are at night, about 50% of the fatalities occur in the darkness-25,000 people each year.
9. Obey the speed limit. A difference of only five miles an hour can be the difference between life and death.
10. Stay alert. Talking on a cell phone, texting, reading maps – even listening to voice-directed GPS systems – can distract you from the road and lead to accidents.
For more information, visit www.radarsign.com.