4 ways to stay safe on Ohio roads this St. Patrick’s Day

safe drivingWhether you are planning to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day or not this year, you should be aware that the roads may be more dangerous than usual. Besides the ever-present threat of distracted and reckless drivers, authorities expect there to be an increase in drunk drivers.

Holidays and weekends are times when there is already an increased risk of drunk driving accidents. Since St. Patrick’s Day falls on a weekend this year, this means the risk of being injured in an accident with a drunk driver is especially high. Below are four ways Ohio motorists can stay safer on the road this weekend.

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6 tips to keep your teen driver safe on the road

Getting a driver’s license is an important milestone in the life of a teenager. It’s also a time when many parents’ stress levels skyrocket.

Driving can be dangerous and young people can make poor decisions.

As a parent, how can you allow your teen to enjoy this newfound freedom while at the same time keeping him or her safe? According to experts, teens whose parents discuss driving expectations with them in advance are less likely to take unnecessary risks.

Continue reading “6 tips to keep your teen driver safe on the road”

How safe are infotainment systems in cars?

In today’s technology-driven world, many people can’t go an hour without checking their emails, text messages or otherwise using their phones.

Perhaps the most important time of the day to be free from these distractions is when operating a motor vehicle. Distracted driving caused 3,477 deaths and 391,000 injuries in 2015 alone.

Continue reading “How safe are infotainment systems in cars?”

How safe is GPS use while driving?

GPSWhen you think of distracted driving, what comes to mind?

Most people think of talking on a cell phone or sending a text message while driving. But there are many other forms of distracted driving that can be just as dangerous. Continue reading “How safe is GPS use while driving?”

Ohio Lawmakers Taking Steps To Reduce Distracted Driving Accidents

distracted drivingDistracted driving is a threat to all motorists. In Ohio, distracted driving caused or contributed to 14,000 accidents in 2016. But despite the known dangers, many people continue to use a phone and otherwise multitask while they are driving.

Continue reading “Ohio Lawmakers Taking Steps To Reduce Distracted Driving Accidents”

What You Need To Know About “Do Not Disturb While Driving” On iPhone

distracted drivingThe new iOS 11 update on the Apple iPhone contains a safety feature that could prevent accidents and save lives.

The Do Not Disturb While Driving feature has been added to the latest update. It works by blocking text messages and phone calls while the device’s owner is driving. Continue reading “What You Need To Know About “Do Not Disturb While Driving” On iPhone”

Staying Safe On The Roads This Labor Day Weekend

Labor DayLabor Day is just around the corner. For many individuals and families, it means planning one last summer outing. Many motorists will be hitting the road, enjoying the last 3-day weekend of the summer.

In 2016, Labor Day was September 6th. According to the Ohio Department Of Public Safety, there were more injuries and deaths due to car accidents in Ohio in September than in any other month.  Continue reading “Staying Safe On The Roads This Labor Day Weekend”

100 Deadliest Days: 5 Dangers to Discuss with Your Teen Driver

Did you know we are in the middle of the “100 deadliest days” for teen drivers?

Over the past five years more than 1,600 people were killed in crashes involving teen drivers between Memorial Day and Labor Day and in recent weeks, tragic accidents have claimed the lives of several Ohio teens. Continue reading “100 Deadliest Days: 5 Dangers to Discuss with Your Teen Driver”

Top Holiday Driving Hazards

Driving when you’re impaired or distracted is always dangerous – but add low visibility, the potential for ice and snow and the pressures that come with the holiday season, and December just might be one of the most dangerous months to be on the road. This year, avoid the four most dangerous holiday driving hazards.

winter driving

Read before you go: What to do if you get stuck in the snow

The four most dangerous holiday driving hazards 

1. Distracted Driving

Driving while using cell phones for both talking and texting holiday messages can put you and other drivers at risk. Pull over when using your smart phone to check out store hours and locations.

2. Drunk Driving

Holiday dinners and celebrations frequently include alcohol, and sometimes, even drugs. In 2014, 12,480 OVI-related crashes occurred on Ohio roadways. These resulted in 340 deaths and more than 7,000 injuries, according to the Department of Public Safety[1]. December was among the top months, with 1,104 impaired driving crashes. “This holiday season, give yourself the gift of a designated driver,” urges Elk & Elk Managing Partner Arthur M. Elk. “If you plan on consuming alcohol, take a cab, designate a sober driver or use a ridesharing app like Uber or Lyft to help get you home safely.”

“This holiday season, give yourself the gift of a designated driver.”

 – Arthur M. Elk

3. Emotional Driving

Stress brought on by the holidays can be overwhelming and those emotions have a serious effect on our driving. If you are worried, upset, frightened, depressed or even feeling extremely happy, your driving skills can be as diminished as they would be if you were texting or intoxicated. Drivers often react to these pressures by driving too fast for conditions, making aggressive lane changes, failing to yield right-of-way and generally disregarding the needs and safety of others using the road.

4. Drowsy Driving

Busy schedules during the winter holidays can lead to insufficient sleep, warns Elk. “Drowsy driving can decrease your reaction time, impair your vision or judgment and can increase your chances of getting into a car crash.”

Even if you take steps to avoid common holiday driving hazards, bad weather or the actions of other drivers may cause a traffic crash to occur. Make sure you have these essential winter items in your car at all times.

 

 


 

[1] Ohio Department of Public Safety. Ohio Traffic Crash Facts 2014. Columbus, 2015. http://www.publicsafety.ohio.gov/links/2014CrashFacts.pdf

Prom and Graduation: Safe Driving

Prom and graduation season is exciting, but unfortunately, the months of April, May, and June are also the most dangerous times for high school students. Car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens. One out of three teen crashes is alcohol related and distracted driving results in thousands of deaths.

To help reduce teen deaths and injuries and encourage safe driving, each spring, Elk & Elk sponsors None 4 Under 21 and Choices Beyond. This community-based event encourages high school students to make safe driving choices and demonstrates the serious consequences of drunk and distracted driving.

While drunk driving is a serious problem, distracted driving has emerged as a dangerous epidemic on America’s roadways. That’s why we feel it is important to go beyond the message of drinking and driving and talk about the message of distractions.

Distracted driving is any non-driving activity a person engages in that has the potential to distract them from the primary task of driving and increase the risk of crashing. Distractions include, talking or texting on a cell phone, grooming, eating or drinking, changing radio stations, or talking to passengers.

Distracted Driving: Alarming Teen Statistics

  • In 2013, 3,154 people were killed, and an estimated 424,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver.
  • A recent analysis of crash videos revealed distraction was a factor in nearly 6 out of 10 moderate-to-severe teen crashes, which is four times higher than previous official estimates.
  • Sending or receiving a text takes a driver’s eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds—the equivalent of driving blind at 55-mph for the length of an entire football field.
  • If you text and drive, you’re 23 times more likely to be in a car accident.

Take the Pledgeth-pledge

We know talking to young adults about drunk and distracted driving can be difficult. To help start the conversation, we encourage you to join Elk & Elk’s effort to promote safe driving by downloading our free Parent-Teen Pledge. It is designed to help families set ground rules for both teen drivers and adults. After you sign it, hang the Pledge by the car keys or near the front door as a reminder to drive responsibly. Don’t just sign the Pledge, take it to heart. It just might save a life.

 

Sources:

AAA: Distracted driving a huge factor in teen driver crashes” by Wyatt Andrews, CBS News, March 25, 2015