Now that football season is here, you will probably head out to a few Broncos games. This is a huge part of Denver culture, and it is important for you to have fun at a big game. However, after every game, there is always that heavy traffic you dread.
Driving in bumper-to-bumper traffic can be dangerous, especially because you never know if other drivers are drunk, distracted or aggravated after the game. Here are three tips for you to drive safely.
1. Plan ahead
Remember that traffic is part of the package deal; give yourself extra time to get to your next destination. Having a few extra minutes to get home will help you from feeling rushed and stressed. You should also check what the weather conditions will be so you know what to expect on your drive.
2. Keep your distance
It might feel natural to pack closely together with other cars, but avoid this instinctive behavior. According to WikiHow, one of the most important things you can do to stay safe in heavy traffic is allowing a three-second distance between yourself and the car in front of you. This will prevent a massive pileup from happening if you get rear-ended by a negligent driver.
3. Drive defensively
You should always practice defensive driving, especially in heavy traffic conditions. Make sure you regularly scan road conditions and traffic ahead of you and check your mirrors. Be ready to react to drivers who unexpectedly turn or change lanes. Keep an eye out for impaired, aggressive and distracted drivers.
Football season is a great time to head to the game and enjoy yourself, but it often requires driving in a lot of traffic. If the game went badly, other fans might be angry and prone to road rage. Drivers may also be intoxicated. But if you follow these tips, you can reduce your chances of getting into a collision after the game.
Parents often feel both excited and anxious when their teens first start driving, and for good reason. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, teenagers are nearly three times as likely to end up in a car accident as adults. Every year on Colorado roadways, teens end up getting hurt or worse while driving.
Before a teenager can drive on his or her own, the parents need to sit down with their child and talk about the importance of driving safely. It is vital for parents to state what they expect. Any parents having trouble figuring out how to sit down with their youngsters should follow these guidelines.
Lay down some rules
You need to establish your expectations right from the start. Make it clear where in town your teen can drive to and how late he or she can stay out. You should also go over information about always wearing a seat belt and not texting while driving. You should also make it clear what the punishments will be if the teen breaks any of the rules. If you want, then you can write up an informal contract laying everything out, so there are no misunderstandings.
Stress the need for a teen to put the phone away
Many teenagers do not see the harm in quickly responding to a text while driving. However, taking your eyes off the road for even a couple seconds can lead to disaster. These days, there are many apps parents can download onto their teens’ phones. The app will disable the phone when it is going over a certain speed limit.
Lead by example
If you want your teenager to be a safe driver, then you should be a safe driver yourself. You need to lead by example and always wear your seat belt. You should also never use your phone. Teenagers need to see their parents practice what they preach.
Sleep apnea is a prevalent condition that prevents people from getting a good night’s sleep. In the middle of the night, people’s breathing will temporarily stop, causing them to wake up momentarily only to fall right back to sleep. Some people with sleep apnea wake up dozens of times throughout the night without even realizing it. While only about one to two percent of the American population suffers from sleep apnea, it can be found in nearly a third of commercial truck drivers.
The reason this is so problematic is that people with sleep apnea often fall asleep during the day because they are so exhausted from the previous night. President Trump recently rejected legislation that would have required truck drivers to take sleeping exams before getting a truck driver job. Falling asleep at the wheel increases the risk of a truck accident, so it is the responsibility of drivers and companies to remain vigilant.
Why are truckers more prone to developing sleep apnea?
It is confusing to think about how many truckers have sleep apnea when comparing those numbers to that of the general population. However, it helps to understand the various risk factors that can increase the likelihood of someone having the condition.
- Male gender
- Oversized uvula, tongue or tonsils
- Over 40 years old
- Large neck circumference
Driving commercial trucks is a largely sedentary job. Many truckers also eat on the road, meaning their diets are higher in salt and fat. While every case is different, these could be important factors in pinpointing the root cause of the problem.
Why is more not being done?
While federal regulations are currently up in the air, many trucking companies are not paying the medical costs associated with screening truckers for sleep disorders. A single sleep test is expensive, especially if a trucker has to pay out of pocket. A lot more good would be possible if more truckers were aware they suffered from sleep apnea.
Distracted driving is a much larger issue than most people realize. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that every day, over 1,000 people suffer injuries as a result of distracted driving. Approximately nine people die every day as a result.
One of the biggest causes for distraction is smartphones. Some drivers do not see the harm in quickly responding to a text or looking something up. However, taking your eyes off the road for a few seconds can still lead to an accident. If you do not know if you can trust yourself to not look at your phone, then consider downloading one of the following apps to prevent you from becoming tempted.
All you have to do is turn this app on before you start driving and you will not receive any texts or calls until you turn it back off. In the event someone texts you while the app is on, he or she will receive an automatic message stating you cannot respond because you are behind the wheel.
2. Drive First
Created by Sprint, this app automatically turns itself on once you start traveling at a certain speed. That means you do not have to worry about forgetting to activate it. If you need to use a map while driving, then you can still access one of those apps, but texts do not come through.
Do you feel like earning rewards for safe driving? The SafeDrive app automatically turns itself on once you are moving above a certain speed limit. You then start earning points toward discounts offered by various companies that have partnered with the app.
Focus provides you with gentle reminders throughout your drive to not look at your phone. It activates on its own once you start traveling. To stay on the app’s good side, you will want to make sure you stay off your phone while you are on the road.
Before becoming completely intoxicated, most people have a feeling known as being “buzzed.” This is when a person can slightly feel the sensation of alcohol but is still mostly in charge of his or her motor functions.
In an effort to lower the number of DUI arrests that take place every year in Colorado, it is vital to inform the public of what truly constitutes drunk driving. According to the Colorado Department of Transportation, over 26,000 drivers are arrested every year for driving under the influence. Many assume they are fine to drive if they are only buzzed, but that can be misleading.
Colorado has stricter laws
In Colorado, motorists can be charged if they are caught driving with a blood alcohol content percentage of 0.05. This qualifies as a DWAI, which stands for “driving while ability impaired.” A BAC of 0.08 still constitutes as a DUI. However, this all means that driving with a BAC of 0.05 could still land a person in jail.
It does not take much to reach 0.05
For some people, it may only take one drink to hit 0.05. First, it is important to understand what exactly is considered to be one drink. Most standards hold that one drink equals 12 ounces of beer, five ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of hard liquor, which for these purposes is anything that is 80 proof.
For a woman who weighs 100 pounds, one drink can result in a BAC of 0.05 right off the bat. Men have a slightly different scale since their bodies tend to process alcohol differently. For example, a 100-pound man who had one drink would get a BAC of 0.04. Those interested can consult with the graphs provided by Business Insider.
Another component is how often drinks were consumed. A person who had two drinks in 60 minutes as opposed to one alcoholic beverage would have an even greater BAC. Therefore, even if a person is only feeling buzzed, it is still advisable to not get behind the wheel of a vehicle.
When it comes to automobile accidents, most people assume that drunk or inexperienced drivers cause the most incidents. However, many of these car accident injuries are a result of distracted driving. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that approximately 391,000 people suffered injuries in 2015 as a result of distracted driving.
No matter how skilled people think they are at driving, getting distracted even for a second can be dangerous. Here are the most common types of distractions that result in vehicle collisions in Colorado.
Lost in thought
Sometimes there is no tangible explanation for why a driver ends up in an accident. People occasionally daydream or get lost in thought. While it happens to everyone, it is vital to remain focused on the road when behind the wheel of a vehicle.
Using a cell phone
It is illegal in the state of Colorado to use a cell phone while driving. Current legislation is under consideration that could result in much stiffer penalties for drivers caught texting while driving. The only exceptions for using a phone while driving include:
- Reporting a reckless driver
- Reporting a road hazard
- Reporting a fire
- Reporting a traffic accident
These laws came into effect after several fatalities occurred in the state. They are mainly for young people who may be more inclined to use smartphones while driving, but everyone needs to abide by the law.
It is not uncommon to be driving along and find something eye-catching. Perhaps there is an accident on the side of the road or another driver is doing something strange. Regardless, focusing on something else other than what is directly in front of the driver is dangerous. Drivers should not be engaging in rubbernecking.
There are plenty of other things that can cause a driver to become distracted, such as eating something or adjusting climate controls. However, everyone should be as safe as can be to avoid auto accidents.
Summer means fun road trips, vacations and enjoying the beautiful weather. Unfortunately, it also means traffic and sometimes too much heat. When the Denver roads are full of tourists and the sun is blaring down on you, it can be easy to get agitated and angry. It is all too easy to slip into road rage and get into a dangerous situation during the summer.
Do not let these beautiful months get you up in arms. Continue reading for summer safety tips and how to avoid road rage.
1. Be mindful of the heat
You know it is going to be hot, and hot weather can easily lead to crankiness, so prepare ahead of time. Make sure you take a cold bottle of water or two with you whenever you drive, especially for an extended trip. Crank the air conditioner to keep yourself cool, calm and collected.
2. Roll up the windows
While you might enjoy rolling down the windows and feeling the breeze, it can actually increase the chances of road rage and injuries. Other drivers can easily shout at you when your windows are down and get a reaction out of you. If you get into an accident with the windows down, debris may fly into your vehicle and injure you.
3. Combat the glare
Proper visibility is necessary to drive safely. You must see bicyclists, pedestrians and other cars in order to avoid them. With the sunshine in high gear, the glare can affect your ability to see. Make sure to wear a hat with a visor and sunglasses whenever you drive during the day.
While inclement weather during the winter months contributes to accidents, you need to take precautionary steps during the summer as well. Do not forgo safety tips while you are on the road and having fun. If you get into a collision this summer, enlist the help of a personal injury attorney.