August is National Traffic Awareness Month.
We want you to be aware of ways you can stay safe in traffic for a safe commute.
Feel free to share this with your family and any employees operating vehicles for work purposes.
Before we share how you can stay safe in traffic, check out these traffic statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:
- “Pedestrian fatalities in crashes increased 44 percent in the last decade (2010 to 2019), with the pedestrians’ share of traffic fatalities increasing 32 percent, from 13 to 17 percent.”
- In 2019, Wayne County ranked in the highest 25 counties with annual pedestrian fatalities with 33 deaths reported that year.
- “In 2019 there were an estimated 205,000 young drivers injured in traffic crashes.”
- “On average, 3 children were killed, and an estimated 502 children were injured every day in traffic crashes in 2019.”
Wear Your Seatbelt
Wearing your seatbelt is one of the safest things you can do while driving. Encouraging your passengers to wear their seatbelt is also best for them as well.
Michigan has a seat belt law. You can view the full seat belt law here, but Michigan requires passengers and drivers to buckle up. You can be ticketed if an officer catches you and your passengers without one.
According to Michigan State Police and Michigan.gov, passengers who are aged 8-15 must “buckle up in all seating positions.” This also goes for drivers and front seat passengers. They too are required to wear a seat belt.
Watch Out for Pedestrians
According to Michigan.gov, “In Michigan, more than 100 pedestrians die each year. Most of these deaths occur between 6 p.m. and midnight, with many fatalities occurring when pedestrians cross the roadway somewhere other than at an intersection or when a driver fails to yield.”
As a driver, here are some steps you should take to help keep yourself and pedestrians safe:
- Yield to pedestrians
- Give yourself enough room to stop way behind crosswalks, so that other drivers can see pedestrians crossing the street.
- Don’t pass vehicles stopped at a crosswalk. A pedestrian you can’t see could easily step out in front of your vehicle.
- Always follow the speed limit. Use extra caution when approaching crosswalks and driving through residential areas. Be careful in school zones too.
- Drive carefully and safely in bad weather conditions. Make sure you can see and don’t assume pedestrians will see you.
- Be aware before backing up vehicles. Pedestrians can walk behind your car if you’re not paying attention.
Stay Focused and Remove Distractions
There’s a reason so many states have banned the use of cell phones while driving.
It’s estimated that 1 out of every 4 car accidents in the U.S. is due to texting while driving.
Studies also show that talking on a cell phone while driving — even by using a hands-free device — can increase your odds of having an accident.
Stay focused on the road and make sure you’re paying attention to your surroundings. Never allow distractions while you’re driving.
You will need to be alert and focused in case traffic suddenly slows down, you get rerouted, or if you need to address any other issue that could come up while driving.
Please encourage your family and your employees to practice safe driving habits. It is our hope that no one will have to file a claim, but should you need to, we are here to help.
We hope you all continue to stay safe on the road! Be sure to contact us if you have any questions about your personal or commercial auto policy and coverage.