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!

Sharing the Road ~Together

Drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians – We all use the roads and we’d each prefer to do so without the other in the way.

Sometimes our own actions or the actions of others around us can put us in danger, especially when it comes to sharing the road. Although it is often unintentional, forgetting basic road etiquette can cause yourself or another harm and injury. Here are some safety tips that every motorist should know about sharing the roads:

  1. Drivers look for pedestrians when making turns, right? So why not take a couple extra seconds to look for a cyclist? The cyclist has the right of way if they are going straight and the driver is turning right.
  2. Pedestrians have responsibilities too. They should always avoid walking distracted.  Keep earbud volume low enough to hear oncoming traffic and do not text and walk.
  3. If you are a driver approaching pedestrians and/or cyclists, wait to pass them until you have a clear view ahead and are sure there’s no oncoming traffic. A little bit of patience could save your life.
  4. Signal your turns and do it in plenty of time. Using turn signals is not only a law for drivers but for cyclists as well. By using hand signals to determine which way you are turning, this can alert drivers, other cyclists, and pedestrians when they see you coming.

When you’re behind the wheel of a vehicle, riding a bike or motorcycle, driving safely should always be your top concern. It’s crucial to know the basics of safe driving and practice them every time you’re on the road.  This will ensure that everyone can travel and stay safe together.

Red, White, and Blue ~ Happy 4th of July!

Fourth of July festivities are celebrated in so many ways, here in New Jersey.  Some mark the holiday by hosting a  barbecue, taking a trip to the beach or lake, seeing a firework show, or taking in a parade.  No matter how or where you celebrate, keep these safety tips in mind.

Hosting a barbecue? Remember to always keep an eye on the grill – before, during, and after grilling.  Keep the grill out in the open, away from the house, tree branches, or anything that could potentially catch fire.

Maybe the Jersey shore or west Jersey Lake is scheduled for the 4th?  Apply sunscreen prior to being exposed to the sun and be sure to stay hydrated.  Reapply after several hours in or out of the water.  Whether in the ocean or lake, obey all warnings and safety messages – especially rip current warnings at the shore!

If fireworks are a part of your Fourth of July tradition, remember to park or stand in designated areas.  If you are tailgating and the venue allows alcohol, please drink responsibly and designate a driver.  Remind children to be aware of their surroundings too. And most importantly, steer clear of any fireworks that may have misfired.

No matter what you do or where you go this 4th of July, remember that most roads may see more traffic. Be mindful of others on the road, watch your speed, don’t use your cell phone while driving and most importantly, do not drink and drive.  If you are taking mass transit, remember that some trains and buses run on holiday schedules so be sure to check before you leave.

Enjoy the Fourth of July, have fun, stay safe and celebrate America’s birthday!

Stop! Before you go!

Doesn’t it seem that everyone on the road is in a rush to get somewhere?  Some are in such a hurry that they even disobey stop sign laws!

Recently, we have been noticing (and commuters have shared with us) that drivers are not completing full stops when approaching stop signs.  Many drivers tend to approach a stop sign, slow down, and then round off the turn without completely stopping. This is illegal and extremely dangerous!   Stop signs are put in place for everyone’s safety. Not only for the safety of the driver but for the safety of pedestrians, cyclist, and all others as well. Driving or rolling through a stop sign endangers everyone at the intersection.

Need to brush-up on stop sign laws?  Here is what you need to know:

  1. Come to a complete stop at a stop sign. The law specifies drivers need to stop “within five feet of the nearest crosswalk or stop line marked upon the pavement at the near side of the intersecting street.”
  2. Yield to the person on the right if you both arrive at the intersection at the same time.

It is everyone’s duty at the stop sign to follow the laws set in place.  Reaching your destination, despite how late you are, is not worth an accident.  Come to a complete stop at a stop sign.  For your safety and the safety of others!

Stop. Think. Act.

June is National Safety Month and there is no better time to brush up on your summer safety skills than right now. Temperatures are rising and schools are closing their doors for the summer. So whether you are at home, on the road or at play, safety should always be your first priority.

  1. While driving, you should: Make sure everyone in the car is wearing his or her seatbelt. Never drive under the influence or when drowsy. Never talk on your cell phone or text. Avoid aggressive driving and speeding. Be aware of children at play and other pedestrians.
  2. While riding a bike, you should: Always wear a helmet. Wear sneakers and/or another type of closed toed shoes. Be aware of your surroundings and cars on the road. When at an intersection always walk your bike across the street.
  3. While simply enjoying the outdoors, you should: Be aware of the temperature and heat. Always protect your skin by using sunscreen and wearing a hat. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

There are 92 days in the summer season, here on the northeast.  Make the most of each day – safe and smart.

Happy Summer, Friends!

PS.  we do not recommend driving with legs out of the car window – only when safely parked enjoying summer sunrises, days, or sunsets 😉