Driving safety a must in winter weather

Monday, February 7, 2011

Traffic accidents continue to be the number one cause of on-the-job deaths in the United States, especially during severe weather conditions.

During inclement weather, drivers are urged to be even more cautious when driving, not only for their passengers and themselves, but for fellow travelers and the thousands of workers whose vehicles are their office, such as law enforcement personnel, firefighters, emergency responders, post office workers, truck drivers, utility workers and more. Adverse weather conditions reduce roadway safety, capacity and efficiency, and are often the catalyst for triggering congestion.

In the U.S. each year, approximately 7,500 roadway deaths and 450,000 injuries are associated with poor weather-related driving conditions. It is reported that weather plays a role in approximately 30 percent of all crashes and accounts for 20 percent of all roadway fatalities.

In addition to the intangible toll these crashes cause, the economic toll of weather-related deaths, injuries and delays is estimated at $43 billion per year in this country.

Some of the leading causes of fatal roadway crashes are failure to keep in the proper lane or running off the road; driving too fast for conditions or in excess of the posted speed limit; driving under the influence; failure to yield the right of way; distracted driving such as using cell phones or texting; operating in an erratic/reckless manner; and, failure to obey traffic signs and signals.

Motorists, please obey our traffic laws and consider and employ all safety factors before you drive your vehicle anywhere. As they say, the life you save may be your own.