Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Traffic Safety Quiz on Twitter / Facebook

Today at 10am @TrafficServices will be doing a traffic safety quiz on Twitter and Facebook.
(Sorry for anyone whose wall gets filled by this, but hey, it's all in the name of public safety.

On Twitter follow the hash tag #trafficsafety.
Please include that hash tag with your response or comments.

Questions will be identified as Q1, Q2, Q3, etc.  answers should be #trafficsafety A1, A2, A3, etc.

At the end of the quiz, I will post resources and links for more information.

This is a 3 part quiz consisting of 15 questions.  It will move fast, but I will try to give everyone time to respond if they wish.

Feel free to ask supplemental questions and I will attempt to answer those as well.

Please ReTweet (RT) any information that you find useful or relevant.

As always, keep the answers clean and respectful.

The goal of this is to raise awareness with education for issues regarding road safety in the drive to reduce collisions, injury and death.

Thanks, have fun and see you there.

This is meant to be fun and educational so enjoy it!!!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Future Wish List for Vehicle Safety

Last week's post was the response to me asking people via Twitter and Facebook what present safety features on vehicles they thought were the most important.  This week, the question was modified slightly:

Once again, there were a lot of comments from you that were great ideas.  They broke down into two basic categories though.
Drivers and Vehicles

And there is no way in the world I can argue with either category or the suggestions made.   Mainly because from a traffic safety stand point, they made sense and they were your opinions.

So lets look at them:
Better Skill
Annual Testing
Better Training
Pay Attention
Emotionally Stable
Common Sense
More Education
Working Brain
Advanced Training

Better Automated Lighting Systems
Winter / Snow Tires in Winter
Ignition Interlock
Radar Warning System for Objects Ahead
Proximity Alarms
Full Harness Seat belts
Roll Cages
Red Light Closing Warning
Cell / Wifi / 3G / 4G Signal Blockers
Speed Alarms (Transponders on speed signs)
Blind Spot Alarms
Pedal Extensions
Foam Stuff from Demolition Man
Emergency Vehicle Warning System
Amber Rear Turn Signals
Infra Red Warning System for Night Time Driving

As you can see, there are a lot of things that can be done from both a driver and vehicle aspect that could make our roads safer.

Some of the vehicle things that I would love to see are the signal jammers which wouldn't allow for cell phone, text, email, video signals to be sent or received in a vehicle.  (Naturally the exception being a 911 outbound call).  Ignition interlocks that would not allow a vehicle to be started if alcohol is detected from the driver. Proximity alarms for blind spots and rear area would be a nice touch also.  I'd also really like to see speed limiters.

My concern with all the technology though is that there is a real distinct possibility that drivers would start to rely too much on the technology convenience and forget the skills that are required for safe operation.  If the technology ever failed, you'd still want a driver that can operate a vehicle safely.

So, onto the driver.

Many of the things mentioned to make drivers better, therefore roads safer are already available.  Advanced driving courses, skill development training and specialized equipment (snow tires, better seat belts) are all things that each individual is capable of doing on their own or making the decisions to have them done.

Sober, attentive, aware, non-distracted drivers have made choices to be that way.  Those are choices available to each and everyone of us.  We would probably rather have everyone make a choice to put their smart phones, lap tops and music players in the glove box or trunk before they head out driving as opposed to a new law saying it has to be that way.

Like I said last time, all the best equipment in the world won't make any vehicle safer until a driver has adopted the proper skills, knowledge and abilities to use that equipment properly and displays the right behviour at all times.  The behaviour that says, "Road safety is every one's responsibility and I'm going to do my part."

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Safety Features on Vehicles

Last Friday I asked for your input on Twitter and Facebook the following question.

In total there were 21 different responses.  That’s amazing.  What is even more amazing is that the vast majority of the safety features that you brought up have been added to vehicle design in the last generation or so.

When I look at the list that you put together it has become clear that the changes to the design of vehicles have come at a heavy price…the multiple deaths of people both inside and outside the vehicle.

It has been because of those deaths that many of the advancements in vehicle design have come to be.

Here is the complete list:
Collision detection radar
Anti lock brakes
Electronic stability control / traction control
Dynamic head restraints
Crumple zones
Energy absorbing materials
Child safety seats
Side impact beams
Back up sensors
Child locks

The number one answer given was seatbelts followed in order by, airbags, brakes, headlights and tires.

I’m going to focus on a few of the items that you are in complete control of.  You can’t do much about crumple zones, side impact beams or energy absorbing materials.  For those, we should thank the manufacturers for placing those items into the design of vehicles

Seatbelts – 1976 it became mandatory for the use of seatbelts.  Since that time deaths have been decreasing. There is no arguing their importance.  Still some people don’t wear them.

Anti-lock brakes / Brakes – These are a given.  But so many people rely on them alone for getting them out of trouble.  Proper following distance will extend the life of your brakes.

Lights / Signals– Daytime running lights were a great addition to the safety features of lighting. Most systems only turn on the headlights though and don’t activate the taillights in inclement weather conditions.  Make sure you flip your entire system on for best visibility.  Signaling (including the horn) is the only way you can communicate with the outside word of what your intentions are.  We get along on the roads so much better when we all know what is going on with each other.

Tires – Most people have no idea how small the area of contact is that attaches your vehicle to the road.  Making sure that your tires are in great condition, at the proper pressure and have adequate tread depth is so important.

Everything in the list that you all added are all great safety features.  Here is the last one that I will talk about…the driver.

A few of you mentioned the driver as a present safety feature.  In my humble opinion, this is the most important safety feature.  It doesn’t matter what safety equipment you have.  How much your car cost or how incredible the features are.

The driver’s attitude, behaviour and ability are truly what makes the difference in terms of road safety.   Great drivers obey the laws, drive within the limits of the road, the vehicle and the equipment.  Great drivers respect other road users.  Give me a great driver with ‘bad’ equipment any day over a bad driver with the best equipment.  Great drivers understand that even with their own great abilities, other drivers don’t share the same skill so they are ready for the errors of others.

Thank you all for your input into this list.  Use all your safety equipment available.  Drive within the limits of conditions (road, weather and ability) and be a great road user.