With that in mind SDOT is encouraging locals to be safe on the roads during this historically notorious stretch of 100 days that span Independence Day and Labor Day weekend.
According to the Washington Traffic Safety Commission’s 2012 Collision Summary, more collisions occur during these 100 days than at other times of the year. The increase in collisions is due to a number of reasons, including more impaired drivers being on the roads.
The WTSC summary found that men and women ages 25 to 34 are most likely to be involved in collisions during this period.
Although this time period can be rife with collisions, the WTSC reminds motorists that 90 percent of all crashes—involving pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles—can be prevented by practicing safer habits.
SDOT has put together the five tips below for safe summer travel:
1. Plan Ahead if You Plan to Drink
Help keep our streets safe by not driving while under the influence of alcohol, which remains the single biggest contributing factor to traffic fatalities, nor driving while under the influence of marijuana. If your plans include some partying, be sure to make your transportation plans before you have that first summer ale. Take a cab or a bus, choose a designated driver, or sleep it off at a friend’s house. Just don’t get behind the wheel.
2. Focus on the Road
Another no-no is distracted driving. Distractions can include texting and driving, eating, rearranging wind-blown hair or changing the radio station. Distracted driving is the second-leading contributing cause of collisions in Seattle. More than 1,000 crashes are caused by inattention every year—crashes that are completely preventable.
3. Slow Down
Plan your trip and allow enough time to get where you’re going. Speeding—which contributes to nearly 4,000 collisions annually in Seattle—and aggressive driving continually cause trouble on the streets. Slow down and enjoy the sunshine!
4. Stop for Pedestrians
“Did not grant right-of-way” to pedestrians is the most commonly cited factor for pedestrian collisions year after year in Seattle. No one has a super hero’s ability to quickly negate the force of a large, fast-moving vehicle. Please remember to always stop for pedestrians.
5. Pedestrians, Keep a Lookout
As pedestrians, we should never assume that we are safe just because we are crossing the street in a marked crosswalk. In fact, most pedestrian-involved collisions occur in marked crosswalks. Save that phone call for later, look before you cross and keep looking as you cross the street. Wear bright or light-colored clothing or reflective gear in the evening time and early morning so drivers can spot you.
SDOT launched its ”Be Super Safe” campaign to change the way people behave on Seattle streets and in turn reduce driver speeding, distraction and impairment. Click here to learn more.
Let’s work together to keep our neighborhood streets safe this summer!