Month: November 2016

How Graduated Licensing Programs Help Reduce Driving Fatalities

For the last twenty years or so, public policy around driving privileges and the ways they are licensed has been the center of an active and ongoing debate. One of the key topics when it comes to licensing drivers and regulating their safety has been the country's methods of training and licensing drivers. Many states have responded to pressures from public safety advocates and parents' groups by instituting graduated licensing programs. They claim these programs increase oversight and help teens learn to be more responsible on the road, pointing to the multi-stage process of earning various levels of driving privilege as evidence of a more adaptive learning curve when these laws are put into place. As of 2011, all 50 states now have some form of graduated license program, and the evidence about their effectiveness has started to come in the form of studies designed to look at the impact…

Stay Safe on the Drive Home From Your Thanksgiving Holiday

At this moment, thousands of people throughout Georgia are busy relaxing after what has likely proven to be an exceptionally busy Thanksgiving week complete with cooking a huge dinner, visiting with seemingly innumerable relatives and, of course, making a long car trip. Indeed, AAA has estimated that as many as 1.2 million people here in the Peach State will travel 50-plus miles away from home from Wednesday through Sunday, a considerably larger number than in recent years owing in large part to lower gas prices. While the first part of the trip is now in the books, traffic experts are warning motorists that there is still the return voyage to consider and, by extension, that there is still the matter of safe driving to consider. In case you remain unconvinced, consider that the National Safety Council has estimated that as many as 50,300 people will be seriously injured and another 437 will…

FMCSA: Marijuana remains prohibited for all truckers

In a post last week, our blog discussed how the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has introduced a rule calling for the creation of a database listing the names of licensed truckers who have either refused drug tests or failed drug tests. Curiously enough, this issue perhaps took on added significance after last week's elections, which saw voters in four states -- California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada -- legalize marijuana for recreational purposes and voters in three states -- Arkansas, Florida and North Dakota -- legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes. Indeed, statistics show that as many as 80 million people currently live in states where recreational marijuana is now legal in some form, while over half the states permit medical marijuana. Given this dramatic expansion of pro-pot laws, it naturally raises the question as to what, if anything, the FMCSA has recently had to say about use of the drug…

Eye-opening study finds abundant dangers in school zones

Now that we are a few months into the school year, kids and parents alike are starting to become accustomed to their new routine, including homework, extracurriculars and, of course, start times and dismissal times. Regardless of the chosen method of getting to and from school, there's a very good chance that kids will at some point have to cross a street, a parking lot or a dedicated one-way drop-off/pick-up lane. In light of this reality, both students and parents alike will likely want to take note of some rather sobering figures on pedestrian accidents from the child advocacy organization Safe Kids Worldwide. According to Safe Kids Worldwide: 284 teens ranging in age from 12 to 19 were killed in pedestrian accidents in the U.S. in 2015, which averaged out to roughly five fatalities per week and a 13 percent increase from 2013. Teens ranging in age from 15 to…

Publication of rule calling for trucker drug testing database imminent

The next time you find yourself traveling down the highway in the proximity of a semi, take a moment to glance at just how big it is and just how fast it is moving. Indeed, chances are good that you'll have forgotten just how unnerving the prospect of being so close to a vehicle weighing 40 tons and traveling upwards of 70 miles-per-hour really is. As unnerving as this is, consider how it can become even more so when you add the possibility that the person at the wheel of this mechanical behemoth is not paying attention to the road, violating traffic laws or even driving despite a record of failed drug tests. Interestingly enough, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration introduced a rule back in 2014 that would create what is known as the Commercial Driver’s License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse, which would essentially be a database listing licensed truckers who…

Why some safety experts are pushing for perpetual Daylight Saving Time

At this moment, workers across Georgia and around the nation all have one eye on the clock, eagerly counting down the hours until they are released to enjoy the weekend. In fact, this coming Saturday and Sunday are perhaps even more anticipated than normal given that Daylight Saving Time will officially come to an end. What this means is that the majority of the nation will "fall back," such that they will not only have to reset their clocks, but will also gain an extra hour of sleep on Sunday morning. What it also means is that the sun will start rising earlier in the morning and setting earlier in the evening. While this shift in sunrises and sunsets might not seem like much, if any, cause for concern, research suggests that the first few weeks after the end of Daylight Saving Time present a heightened safety risk to pedestrians.…

Understanding the Major Sources of Driver Distraction

It is a well-known fact that distracted driving is incredibly risky, yet it still causes many of the accidents on the road today. This is partially because of the nature of driving - any task that requires constant attention and vigilance is also going to have operator distraction as a weak point, because the human attention span is finite. At the same time, there are a few key ways you can minimize distraction to add to your personal safety. Types of distraction The first step is to understand the main types of driver distraction. They are: Cognitive Visual Manual Most people are fairly used to handling visual distractions, and vehicles are typically designed to minimize them. It's why many people stream music or podcasts in the car, but very few attempt to watch a movie while they are in the driver's seat. Most visual distractions come from roadside spectacles, including landmarks,…

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