Category Archive: Distracted Driving

top ten most annoying things that drivers do

Annoying Drivers Top Ten List

You probably have your own list but, according to the Click and Clack brothers at Car Talk, here are the top ten most annoying things that drivers do. Read more: Top 10 Most Annoying Things Other Drivers Do

distracted driving

Center For Disease Control Provide Shocking New Figures On Distracted Driving

The Center For Disease Control CDC released new figures on distracted driving and they are high! At least nine people a day are killed and more than a thousand are injured in distracted driving crashes but the figures don’t tell the whole story. Read more:

The BOLT Driven to Distraction Infographic

The BOLT Driven to Distraction Infographic explains through images the dangers of distractions while you are driving. Every time you get behind the wheel, you are faced with many potential distractions from the radio, to your passengers, your cellphone, to your fast food. All of these distractions can add up to disaster in a split second. In 2009, from driver distractions nearly 5,500 people were killed, and another 448,000 were injured. Presented as an infographic (created for BOLT by Infographic World) to help you more easily visualize and retain this important information on the dangers and risks of driving while distracted!

Driven to Distraction Infographic

Via: Bolt Insurance

Driving drowsy Maggie's Law

Maggie’s Law: New Jersey Drivers Aren’t Drowsy

Maggie’s Law is a unique law that exists only in the state of New Jersey. It is a law that drivers must not knowingly operate a vehicle while impaired by lack of sleep. Should they cause a fatality, drivers who lack ample rest may be prosecuted for vehicular homicide. Other states like New York, Illinois and Kentucky are considering similar laws.

Having been passed in 2003, the National Sleep Foundation says, “This is the first law of its kind in the U.S.” With reports about drowsy driving, it’s easy to point out that it could be as bad, or even worse than driving under the influence, yet there aren’t too many laws like Maggie’s law that make it illegal.

A couple of weeks ago, New Jersey was identified as one of the states that had the lowest number of teen fatalities. A strict Graduated Driver’s Licensing program and legislation like Maggie’s law may be pointed out as a reason for this. While there isn’t a test yet that will be able to prove if a driver was indeed impaired by lack of sleep, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave a $1 million dollar contract to the University of Iowa for the development of such a device, but it’s a safe assumption that it would take years until that becomes a reality.

While drowsy driving,” isn’t quite outlawed yet in all parts of the country, agencies like the National Sleep Foundation, NHTSA and AAA are giving out advice in order to overcome rest-deprived fatigue:

  • Get plenty of rest the night before. At least 6 hours of sleep.
  • For longer trips, schedule a break every two hours, or every 100 miles.
  • Drive during the times when the driver is normally awake, and choose to sleep in overnight instead of powering on through the night, driving.
  • Stop driving when a driver feels that he is sleepy, or exhibiting signs of fatigue.
  • Take turns driving with a designated driver (for when you are sleep-deprived).
  • If taking medication: take note of the side effects of medicine. Some medications have side effects that include drowsiness.

Rest Areas are Closing

The summer is approaching! Are you planning to get into your car or RV and see the sights America has to offer? Will you go north, south, east or west?

It does not seem to matter in which direction you go because many states are having financial problems causing budget deficits and in order to save money, have decided to close rest areas on some of the highways.

It now becomes important to check the states you plan to visit and see if the rest areas are going to be available. You do not want to be surprised if suddenly there is a sign on the road “Rest Area Closed.”

Why are rest areas important? They allow you as a traveler to pull off the roadway, use the restrooms, stretch your legs, walk your dog, if they travel with you, water horses, if that is why you are on the road, eliminate any drowsiness, give your eyes a rest, get a drink, pick up a tourist pamphlet, look at a map and get back on the road. They also are well lit, so it is a safer place to pull off if you need to shut your eyes and nap for a few minutes, especially if you are traveling at night, in rain, or in sun glare.

With less rest areas available there can be more highway crashes because people may just pull over to the side of the road. This can also impact nearby gas stations, convenience stores and restaurants who are concerned about travelers and truckers that have to pull off the roadway and take up parking spaces when they stop only to sleep and use their facilities.

We are always taught to be sure to use well lit areas when stopping. If there is no place to stop it can be dangerous and hazardous for drowsy and distracted drivers to just park along the side of the road.

Although, there has been closing of rest areas in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, Vermont, Colorado, and South Carolina, Virginia has reopened most of the ones that they had closed , there are other states that might just be cutting back on staff, hours and services. In spite of this, Iowa and Texas are using some stimulus money to replace older rest areas with new ones. Texas is also adding internet kiosks and wi-fi access. The Florida Turnpike is not planning any closures at present, they have 8 service areas that are placed at intervals of approximately 45 minutes apart that provide food, fuel, car repair and towing service to the turnpike customers. They allow drivers to rest on long distance trips to avoid fatigue, this helps to keep this roadway as one of the safest.

If your plans take you to either Alaska or Hawaii, be aware that they have no rest areas at all.

Your mottos for any travel – “Be Prepared” and “Plan Ahead” – seem to be important this year so that you can be safe while on the roads.