Autumn Driving Safety Tips

There’s nothing more beautiful than an evening drive during the fall season, but this season brings more hazards for drivers than you may think. Being aware of the potential dangers while on the road can help keep you safe and prevent accidents.

The changing colors and falling leaves are what autumn is all about. However, as leaves begin to fall they litter the roads, making streets slick while obscuring your vision. Traffic lines, street signs, and other pavement markings become hard to see. Be aware of limitations in your visibility and slow down if you can’t see well.

With the days getting shorter and more storms approaching, you could find yourself commuting to or from work in the dark. This makes it more difficult to see children playing or pedestrians walking and biking. Using dimmed headlights in bad weather or low visibility is a good way to stay seen while on the roads.  Children also love to play in piles of leaves, so use extra caution whenever you see leaves piled at curbside.

Together, we are all responsible – as drivers and pedestrians, to make sharing the roads safe and efficient.

Share the Road. Share the Responsibility

Drivers and pedestrians share the responsibility of keeping themselves and others on the roads safe. Pedestrians should follow certain safety practices to help ensure their own safety when sharing the roadways. Here are some useful tips and guidelines to follow as a pedestrian:

Be Visible. You can do this by wearing bright-colored clothing during the day and reflective colored clothing at night. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 32% of pedestrian-auto accident fatalities occur between 8 pm and 11:59 pm. The use of flashlights and reflective stickers can help make you visible during these late hours.

Avoid Distractions. It’s time to put down your phone and other electronic devices. The use of electronics is a daily part of life, but they distract your attention. When you decide to walk and text or listen to music through headphones, your attention focuses on that instead of the possible street signs and vehicles surrounding you. As a pedestrian, your eyes and ears are your best way to keep safe.

Use Caution. Before crossing the street always look left, then right, and left again. Make sure traffic has come to a complete stop before proceeding. You should cross only at intersections or street corners with crosswalks. By doing this, motorists should see you coming well in advance.

Remember, you as a pedestrian have a job to be seen and be alert at all times!

Old Man Winter Safety Tips

Now that the winter has arrived, temperatures will be dropping and snow will be falling. Whether you’re walking or driving during the winter months, its best to be prepared so you stay safe.

Walk Smart. As a pedestrian, it’s your job to be aware of your surroundings at all times. If you know that snow is headed your way make sure to plan ahead. Before you walk out the door, make sure that you wear the proper footwear. Sneakers or snow boot are the best type of shoe for the winter weather. Be sure to take your time and don’t rush and look up when navigating the sidewalk. This method allows you to anticipate ice or an uneven surface. Along with taking your time, you should occasionally scan from left to right to ensure that you aren’t in the way of vehicles or other hazards.

Drive Smart. Injuries during the winter aren’t always from slipping on ice, but can also result from car crashes. The snow and ice do more than we think. Not being visible, black ice is the most dangerous of all to drivers. Always leave extra time to get to your destination. By taking your time and doing the speed limit can help ensure your safety and the safety of others on the road. And be extra cautious in parking lots.  They are difficult to clear and the snow piles take long to melt. Always be aware of pedestrians, snow piles, and cars that may slide or skid on ice.

If you are a home or business owner, make sure sidewalks, walkways and driveways are cleared of any snow, ice or other slippery materials that could get in the way of the pedestrian and drivers.

No matter how well the snow and ice are removed or melted from parking lots, sidewalks and the roads, it’s imperative to walk and drive smart. Together, we are all responsible for our safety and the safety of others this winter season.

Holiday Driving Safety Tips

Tis the season…Christmas and New Years is a time where many people gather to enjoy the holiday season with their loved ones and friends. Gatherings and celebrations are filled with grand meals complete with turkey and all the fixings, ugly sweater parties, mistletoe, and eggnog.

Unfortunately, this time of year can also be one of the deadliest due to impaired driving. One of the deadliest and most often committed crimes is drunk driving. It is a serious safety epidemic in our country and across the world. During the holiday season, the number of drunk drivers on the road grows rapidly and more fatalities occur during this time.  Let’s change that this year.

Here are 5 tips to share with young drivers, family members, and friends before going out to celebrate the holidays:

  1. Be responsible. If you know that someone is drinking, do not let that person get into a car and drive away.
  2. Have a designated driver. A good way to figure this out is to decide who’s going to be doing the driving before you go out. Also, make sure that person doesn’t drink any alcoholic beverages.
  3. Call a taxi or Uber as a backup. Sometimes you cannot rely on all designated drivers.
  4. Take the keys. You shouldn’t be afraid to take someone’s car keys if you know that they have been drinking and that you are going to save their life.
  5. If you know that you have had too much to drink, stay put, and sober up.

Do your part this holiday season by staying aware, staying sober, and staying safe.  Happy and Safe Holidays to you and yours!

Tis the Season… Safety Tips for Holiday Shopping

Now that the holiday season is in full swing,  many of us will be checking our lists and heading out to the malls and town centers for holiday shopping. To help you shop safely, we’ve put together some Holiday Shopping tips.

  1. Before heading out to the big sales, map out the stores you plan to visit by trip chaining.  This not only saves on fuel, but it is also a most effective use of time.
  2. Something a lot of people forget when shopping is their own health. Have plenty of water and snacks with you in case your shopping takes longer than expected. Bring hand warmers for long outdoor lines.
  3. Parking lots are where most of the danger occurs during the holiday season. Don’t park between large vehicles. This might obscure your vision when you pull out and shoppers may not see you. Wear reflective clothing to make you visible in busy parking lots.
  4. Leave your car at home and take mass transitNJ TRANSIT serves many of the malls in Middlesex County and provides frequent stops.  Leave the driving to them and enjoy your shopping.

Wishing all of our friends a safe and joyous holiday season.

Halloween Safety Tips

Halloween is here! Along with all the costumes, preparation, and candy, we need to keep safety on our top list of priorities.  During this time of year, parents need to go over safety rules with their children before trick-or-treating begins and drivers need to be more aware than ever.

Here are some safety precautions for children, parents, and driver to follow to make this year’s Halloween a successful one.

  1. Always walk on sidewalks or paths and cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and the designated crosswalks. Look both ways when crossing and make sure your electronic devices are away so they do not take your eyes off of the road.
  2. Teach children to watch for cars that are turning or backing up, and to never dart out into the street or cross between parked cars.
  3. Younger children should not be alone at night without adult supervision. Create a parent group to go out trick-or-treating so you become a part of all the fun.
  4. Drivers need to slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods.
  5. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways, so as a driver it’s your responsibility to see them. Take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians, and on curbs.

Halloween is an exciting time of year for everyone. Together, we are all responsible- as pedestrians and drivers to make this year’s Halloween a safe and successful one.

Teen Driver Safety Week

National Teen Driver Safety Week is dedicated to raising awareness and seeking solutions to prevent teen injuries and deaths on the road. Designated by Congress to raise awareness of teen driver safety topics, encourage safe driving, and passenger behavior when driving on the road, the program is now in its 11th year!

Teens (driving or not) understand that they are vulnerable and they are well aware of the many risks that affect safety both on and off the roads. It’s our job to make sure that they understand the importance of keeping their eyes on the road at all times and that following the law is a must when it comes to driving.

Focusing on positive actions that teens can take to be safe and to keep their passengers safe, can be powerful messages for teens. In fact, it is the best way to change their behavior over time. With using a seat belt safety check or having them take a safe driving pledge, many are now using National Teen Driver Safety Week as a platform to create positive change.

This program has brought millions of people together to tackle the number one cause of death for teens in the U.S. – car crashes. Taking place this October 21-27, make sure you get involved in National Teen Driver Safety Week by spreading the word about driving safety and other tips to help teens become more aware of the risks they can face on and off the roads.

Interested in having KMM present at your local school?  Reach out to us today and schedule your Teen Distracted Driving Safety Presentation!

Car Seat Inspection Week

Car seats and boosters provide protection for infants and children during a car crash, yet these crashes are a leading cause of death for children all over the world. This is mainly due to the improper placement of car seats and the use of the wrong size. Many parents and guardians have a lack of understanding of what car seat is right for their child.

Follow these important safety steps to choose the right seat, install it correctly, and keep your child safe at all times.

  1. Rear-Facing Car Seat: These are designed for newborns, babies, and young infants. They have a harness and, in a crash, cradles, and moves with your child to reduce the stress on their body.
  2. Forward-Facing Car Seat: Come with a harness and tether that limits your child’s forward movement during a crash. As a child grows, this seat transitions from a forward-facing seat with a harness and tether into a booster.
  3. Booster Seat: Boosts the child’s height so the seat belt fits properly and provides neck and head support. This is ideal for vehicles that don’t have headrests or high seat backs.
  4. All-in-One Seat: This seat can change from a rear-facing seat to a forward-facing seat and to a booster seat as your child grows. Since it is used with children of various sizes, it allows children to stay in the rear-facing position longer.
  5. Seat Belt: Once your child outgrows car seats altogether, seat belts become their protector. The seat belt should lie across the upper thighs, be snug across the shoulder and chest of your child. This way it will properly restrain your child safe during a crash.

Remember, it is the driver’s responsibility to take every precaution necessary to ensure the safety of the passengers in their car- especially when it comes to children. This week, you will have the opportunity to examine your child’s car seat during National Car Seat Inspection Week. It is very important to choose and use the right car seat for your child because after all, they cannot make the decision for themselves.

Shared Safety Tips for the School Year

With back-to-school mode in full swing, you may have noticed more traffic congestion.  And along with traffic congestion, we are sharing the roads with school buses, bicyclists, and parents rushing to drop their kids off at school. Sharing the road and following these simple safety precautions will ensure a safe school year:

  1. Look before you go. More kids are hit by cars/buses near schools than at any other location, according to the National Safe Routes to School Program. Both the parent and student should look for cars, making sure that the area near the school is clear before getting out of the car.
  2. Give the right away. For drivers passing by, make sure you give the pedestrians the right away when crossing the street, whether they are walking or biking. Always come to a complete stop and watch for kids when you are approaching a school zone with flashing pedestrian signs. This means kids are in the area and it’s your job as a driver to be aware.
  3. Be smart. Kids that walk, ride their bikes or take the school bus need to ensure their safety. Those crossing the street, always use a crosswalk and look both ways to see if cars/buses are approaching. Those taking the bus, make sure you are standing away from the curb when a bus is pulling up or driving away, that way you don’t get hit.

Together, we are all responsible – as pedestrians and drivers, to make this year’s back to school a safe return for everyone!

August is National Family Fun Month

August is National Family Fun Month, which means it’s a great opportunity to seize the remainder of summer by spending time with family. Here are some cool activities to help you and your family finish out the summer!

Take a family bike ride. Make sure everyone is wearing properly fitted helmets and all bikes are in good riding condition. Following our A B C Bicycle Safety Checklist is a great way to make sure your bikes are ready to ride.

Going on a last minute family beach trip is not only exciting, but it is the perfect way to spend a hot summer day. Bring plenty of water to stay hydrated and make sure you apply sunscreen to keep your skin protected from the suns UV rays.

Lace up your sneakers and take a walk with the family. Walking in the park, on the beach, or around your neighborhood is a great way to stay active together. Remember that cars do not always see pedestrians walking, so make sure you look both ways before crossing the street and always be aware of your surroundings.

After a long day at work, the thought of going out can be exhausting. To avoid this, consider having a family movie night.  Pick out your favorite family movie, get the popcorn ready, and enjoy the night together.

The month of August doesn’t have to mean back to school shopping and the thought of summer ending. Instead, spending time with your family is a great way to make the most of summer’s last days.  It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you are safe and are having fun with your family!