Attorney General, Division of Highway Traffic Safety Offer Seven Lifesaving Tips for Safe Travels This Summer
As motorists hit the streets of New Jersey this summer, Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and the Division of Highway Traffic Safety (HTS) today shared seven life-saving tips for driving safely through Garden State. The days between Memorial Day and Labor Day – often referred to as 101 days of summer – are one of the busiest, but unfortunately, most dangerous travel times of the year. As the roads become busy with more traffic, it brings more distractions, more vacation hogs, more road building and more young drivers with free time, leading to an increase in accidents and deaths. In New Jersey, an analysis of five-year state police accident data found that fatal, alcohol-related, and young driver accidents occur at higher rates in June, July, and August. “New Jersey is a wonderful summer place for our residents and the thousands of other state visitors we see each year,” said Attorney General Grewal.
“Whether people are on vacation on the shore, a night on the promenade or having a barbecue with friends and family, making sure that everyone reaches their destination safely is a responsibility that we all share. On a summer road trip, think about the lifesaving importance of safe driving behavior. ”According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA), there were 36,096 road deaths nationwide in 2019, more than 27 percent of them in the three-month period June to August. In New Jersey, the statistics are sobering. Of the 558 people who died in traffic accidents this year, more than 40 percent occurred during the three-month summer route. To reduce the risks associated with summer travel, this year HTS will work with its partners in New Jersey’s law enforcement and road safety communities to promote road safety through initiatives that include reinforced road patrols, NHTSA’s annual Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over. Campaign to enforce intoxicated driving and the ongoing “Control Your Destiny” campaign by HTS to raise awareness of distracted driving. “While New Jersey’s highways are still some of the safest in the country, every loss of life reminds us that there is still much to be done,” said Eric Heitmann, director of road safety.
“HTS is committed to doing everything this summer to reduce risk, prevent accidents and save lives on the streets of New Jersey. Today we call on motorists to join us and follow some simple driving tips to make this the 101 safest summer days ever. ”
Seven life-saving tips for safe summer travel
- Buckle up. Fastening a seat belt is the most effective way to avoid death and serious injury in an accident. Make sure that you and your passengers – in both the front and back seats – are buckled up every time you travel. If you are traveling with children, make sure that they are always buckled into age-appropriate, properly installed child seats.
- Pay attention. Distracted driving is a leading cause of fatal accidents. Do not put yourself or others at risk by talking on the phone, texting, eating or turning on the radio behind the wheel. Keep an eye on your driving and always on the road.
- Stay sober. Alcohol and drugs can impair the skills that are critical to safe and responsible driving – including coordination, judgment, awareness, and reaction time. Never sit behind the wheel while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Always have a designated driver, taxi or rideshare service ready.
- Slower. Speed is a major factor in road accidents, especially those that result in serious injury or death. The faster a driver drives, the harder it is to stop. And if an accident occurs at high speeds, there is an increased chance of serious injury or death. Follow all posted speed limits to ensure you and others arrive safely.
- Talk to teenagers. The 101 days of summer are deadliest for drivers aged 15 to 20 and their passengers. Nationwide, teenage deaths were most common in June in 2019, closely followed by July and August. More than half of these deaths occurred over the weekend. Talk to teenage drivers about the increased risks of summer travel and how you can mitigate them. And make sure that the youngsters adhere to the provisions of their diploma driving license.
- Put a brake on rescue workers. Police, fire brigade, rescue services and other emergency services run the risk of being killed or injured by vehicles passing by in an emergency on the side of the road. Help protect these officials by following the New Jersey Move Over Law. If you see an emergency vehicle stopped, slow down and, if possible, take a lane. If traffic or other conditions prevent you from changing lanes, slow down and drive carefully.
- Respect the heat. On a hot day, the temperature in the car can rise to dangerous levels in minutes. Never leave children or pets in a parked car, even in the shade with the windows down. Most cases of heat stroke in children result from a caregiver forgetting the child, but about a quarter of the cases occur because the child enters an unattended vehicle. Always check the front and rear seats before leaving your vehicle and keep your car locked away from inquisitive teenagers.