Thursday, December 31, 2015

Drive Safe in 2016

Rimer Pond Road, Can You See the Hazard Pulling Out?
The NMS team would like to wish you a safe and car filled 2016! We had the entire team together for Christmas last week, and we've enjoyed a lot of things about 2015, but it's time to say so long and look forward to a new year. Let's make safe driving an important part of the next 365 days.

You are probably very familiar with safe driving tips, winter driving tips, and have heard "don't drink and drive" about 10 bazillion times. Does that make you a safe driver? Not by itself, so today I went looking for some new ways of looking at driving safety. A little search on turned up some initiatives to improve driver safety and save lives, not just in the USA but around the world.

First off, the Pulitzer Center folks have this website Roads Kill Map LINK   that is chock full of information on the "Roads Kill" initiative and road safety statistics. For starters, there are over 1 million traffic fatalities in the world every year. Deaths in the US have been declining for decades, but it's still something like 30,000 per year. In New York City, over half of the traffic deaths are pedestrians. That fact should make us look both ways when crossing streets in NYC, but it's even worse in Liberia, where 66% of the traffic fatalities are pedestrians. Also, did you know that Sweden has the least traffic fatalities?

Life in the 21st Century is drastically changing around the world, with many countries continuing to increase the number of vehicles on the roads, whether it's two wheeled motorcycles, or multi axle large trucks. In many countries this has also increased traffic accidents and brought about increased focus on safety. From more helmet laws to increased regulations on driving impaired, as well as safer design of roads and intersections, the issue of traffic safety is much broader than just "don't drink and drive" or "wear your seat belt".

One of my pet peeves about bad drivers (in addition to not turning on lights in the rain, not using turn signals, etc) is the slow-driver-in-the-left-lane guy/gal. Here's an article that points out that every state has laws about using the left lane, and that several states are issuing more tickets for slow drivers that stay in the left lane. Left Lane Article LINK

We wish you a prosperous and safe 2016, Happy New Year, and if you have to drive fast, we recommend you follow the advise of singer-guitarist Junior Brown. In his song "Highway Patrol" he sings "If you want to race then get on a race track".

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