This year the first week in August has been designated the National Stop on Red Week by The National Coalition for Safer Roads (NCSR). This designation is intended to remind every driver to obey the traffic safety rules, especially to be extra cautious when approaching intersections during this week and beyond.
Here are some safety tips to remember:
- When making a right turn on red lights (when allowed) make a full stop and ensure it is safe to continue before completing the turn.
- When stopped at a red light that has just turned green give it a second or two before proceeding to ensure there are no hazards such as other drivers attempting to beat the red light.
- When approaching a crosswalk, give the pedestrians the right of way. Don’t pass stopped traffic at a crosswalk; there may be a pedestrian crossing that you cannot see.
- Pay close attention to the traffic signal in your lane. Remember that other lanes, to your left or right, may have different signals such as turn arrows.
- Remember to keep the car’s wheels straight when stopped and preparing to make a left turn. If your car is rear ended you don’t want your car pushed into oncoming traffic.
- If the traffic light is not working properly due to a malfunction, treat this intersection as a 4-way stop sign.
- Remember, U-turns are often illegal. Even when legal to perform, U-turns pose challenges due to limited visibility, the speed of oncoming traffic, other turning vehicles, and often other drivers are not expecting a vehicle to make a U-turn. So do this carefully and with plenty of space and visibility. The safer alternative would be to perform a legal turn into a side street or parking lot, and then reverse direction from there.
Over 30,000 people are killed and millions injured each year in traffic accidents in this country. Take your time, respect all drivers, passengers, pedestrians, motorcycle riders, and cyclists on the road. Let’s make the first week of August the safest week of the year so far.