Sunday, September 26, 2021

Vehicle Preparedness for Inclement Weather

September is National Preparedness Month and while we prepare for inclement weather, we also need to prepare for running into bad weather while on the road.

Although these weather conditions are hard to predict at times, being prepared can help.

Here are a few safety measures to put into place prior to facing inclement weather.

  1. Keep windshield wipers updated
  2. Check tire pressure and tread
  3. Check car battery, hoses, belts and fluids before long road trips

 

For more tips on mobility and vehicle safety, follow the Southlake Mobility Facebook page and sign up for our Mobility e-newsletter.

 

 

 

 

Move Over for Emergency Vehicles

We know you have places to be, but it’s important to remember that if you’re driving and an emergency vehicle approaches you with its lights or sirens on, please move to the right if possible. 

Emergency vehicles turn on their lights and sirens to respond to high priority calls, which means it could be a life and death situation. The City of Southlake Police and Fire Departments ask that you expect emergency vehicles to use the left lane.  

Please don’t stop in front of the emergency vehicle or pull to the left. What should you do if an emergency vehicle is behind you with its lights and sirens on? 

  • Never drive distracted. 
  • Use blinkers. 
  • Yield. 
  • Safely move to the right. 

Don’t Drive Distracted

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving claimed 3,142 lives in 2019. Accidents due to distracted driving are preventable.  

Even though you’re itching to read that text message your friend just sent or scroll your email at the red light, using your phone can wait until you’re parked or at your destination. 

What can you do to end distracted driving? Follow our tips below: 

  • Talk to your teen driver about distracted driving and refraining from using their cell phone while operating a vehicle. 
  • Be a good example for those in your vehicle and don’t use your cell phone. 
  • Use a buddy in the vehicle to check message or take phone calls if necessary. 
  • Take the #JustDrive pledge and educate others about distracted driving. 

For more information about distracted driving, visit the NHTSA website. 

Make a New Year’s Resolution to Not Text and Drive

Let’s make the world a better place with a resolution to stop distracted driving.

We’re constantly sending friends and family photos of our dog, memes and links to viral videos through text messages. As much as you would like to respond when you’re driving, DON’T. It can wait.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving claimed the lives of 2,841 individuals in 2018. Similar research by the Texas Department of Transportation in 2019 showed 97,853 crashes were due to distracted driving, inattention or cell phone use.

This year, make it your resolution to stop texting and driving and help create safer roads for everyone.

For more information on the It Can Wait movement, visit www.ItCanWait.com.

Traffic Deaths Climb by Largest Increase in Decades

 

The Southlake Police Department is joining the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in issuing a call to action to reduce the number of traffic deaths on our roads and highways.

Newly released statistics from the NTHSA show 35,092 people lost their lives in auto accidents nationwide in 2015. The numbers are sobering and reflect a 7.2 percent increase over 2014. The last time there was such a large single-year increase was back in 1966, when Lyndon Johnson was president.

The U.S. Department of Transportation reports that nearly 100 people die from vehicle-related accidents every day despite decades of safety improvements, such as air bags and electronic stability control. So what is going on and why are fatality auto accidents on the rise?

According to NHTSA, job growth and low fuel prices were two factors that led to increased driving, including increased leisure driving and teen driving. More cars on the roads can contribute to higher fatality rates. In 2015, vehicle travel increased 3.5% over 2014, the largest increase in nearly 25 years.

Other leading causes include the actions of drivers and occupants in vehicles.

  • Almost half of the deaths occurred when passengers were not wearing seat belts.
  • About 30 percent of fatalities involved a drunk driver or speeding.
  • Distracted driving was a factor in about 10 percent of auto deaths.

What can you do to help reduce deadly vehicle accidents? Join the call to action and remind drivers and passengers to always buckle up, reduce speed, and never drive impaired. And finally, when you’re operating a motor vehicle, make THAT your number one priority – never participate in distracted driving. Distracted driving includes any activity that takes a driver’s eyes and attention off of the road, such as: talking on a cell phone, texting, grooming/putting on makeup, and changing radio stations.

It’s especially important to have a serious talk with your teen drivers about distracted driving. Teens have a 400 percent higher chance of being in a car crash when texting and driving. Here are some more startling statistics:

  • 94 percent of teenagers understand the consequences of texting and driving but 35 percent admitted that they do it anyway.
  • Every day, 11 teenagers die because they were texting while driving.
  • Of all the teenagers involved in fatal accidents every year, 21% were using a cell phone at the time of the accident.
  • Teen drivers report responding to at least one text every time they drive.

Set a good example for your teen drivers and don’t text and drive. And, if you are ever a passenger in a vehicle where the driver starts to text and drive, tell them it can wait and ask them to put the phone down for the safety of everyone in the vehicle.

Let’s all work together to make our roads and our community safer.

 

Distracted Driving Accidents on the Rise

The Southlake Police Department is again urging adults and teens to keep their hands on the wheel and not drive distracted.

This safety reminder is even more important with the release of the popular app, Pokémon Go, which has resulted in serious accidents and injuries across the country. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), accidents involving distracted drivers are on the rise.

For the first time in over 50 years, traffic deaths have increased eight percent despite decades of vehicle design improvements and traffic safety advancements. Our youngest and most inexperienced drivers are most at risk, with 16% of all distracted driving crashes involving drivers under the age of 20. Young drivers also make up 27% of distracted drivers involved in fatal crashes across the country.

Parents did you know?

Reckless and distracted driving is the #1 Killer of teens. One quarter of teens say they have responded to text messages at least one or more times while driving. Police Chief James Brandon says, “If it has been awhile since you’ve talked to your teens about distracted driving, now would be a good time to sit down with them again and remind them of the dangers of distracted driving, including playing the popular new game, Pokémon Go, while driving.”

Teens are not the only ones guilty of driving distracted. Adults admit to the behavior as well. According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), distracted driving causes more than 100,000 traffic accidents each year in Texas alone.

While using a cell phone when driving is the most common offense, there are many ways in which a driver can be distracted. Distracted driving is any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving including:

  • Posting to social media
  • Playing Pokémon Go
  • Checking email
  • Eating
  • Grooming
  • Reading
  • Programming a navigation system
  • Watching a video
  • Adjusting a radio, CD player, or MP3 player

Help us reduce accidents and fatalities. Drive now – talk later. The message is simple and it can save lives.

 

Distracted Driving Message From Police Chief James Brandon

James Brandon  Chief of Police

James Brandon
Chief of Police

As you may know, April is distracted driver awareness month, and the police department is focused on keeping all of our drivers safe, but especially our teen drivers.

According to the Texas Department of Transportation, distracted driving causes more than 100,000 traffic accidents each year in Texas.

Teen drivers are even more at risk, so we encourage parents to talk with the teens in your home to ensure that they are as safe as possible on the road.

In addition, the police department will be focusing our attention on Southlake’s school zones.

We want to ensure that our Dragons are able to safely walk to school and that all drivers are obeying the law while in a school zone.

Help us by observing the school zone speed limit, stopping for pedestrians in crosswalks, and keeping your hands on the wheel and off your phones while driving through a school zone. Thank you and drive safely.

 

 

City Teams Up With Southlake Style to Prevent Distracted Driving

textingbanThe City of Southlake and the Southlake Police Department have teamed up with Southlake Style to bring a series of public service announcements called Unsafe Southlake. These ads printed in the Southlake Style focus on safety issues that affect Southlake.

In this month’s Southlake Style you will see an ad focused on distracted driving. Did you know that 78 percent of teens and young adults say they have read an SMS message while driving? Also, 71 percent of teens and young adults say they have sent an SMS message while driving.

The youngest and most inexperienced drivers are most at risk for distracted driving. 16 percent of all distracted driving crashes involve drivers under the age of 20. At any given moment, drivers of all experience levels-in more than 660,000 vehicles- are using cell phones or distracted driving during business hours.

In Southlake, we have a lot going on, construction zones, school zones, bicycle riders, runners, walkers and families making memories. With more than 47,000 vehicles traveling on Southlake Boulevard daily, we need to keep our focus on what lies ahead because it only takes three seconds to change a life forever.

Click here to see the Distracted Driving ad in the July 2014 edition of Southlake Style.

Mock Crash Staged at CHS Puts Teen Tragedies in Spotlight

game over logoThe Southlake Police and Fire Departments will again participate in this year’s Game Over program for driving-age students in Carroll ISD. Organizers say the program puts a real face to the devastating effects of drinking and driving and distracted driving among teenagers.

Drinking and driving was once the main focus of the Game Over program but it has now expanded to include texting and driving due to an increase in driving fatalities and serious injuries among teenagers. Texting and driving now kills more teens than drunk driving according to the Centers for Disease Control. Statistics show that teens who text while driving were five times more likely than those who did not, to also drive impaired.

In 2012, there were more than 90,000 traffic crashes in Texas that involved distracted driving. These crashes resulted in approximately 18,500 serious injuries and more than 450 deaths according to The Texas Department of Transportation. Nearly 1 in 4 crashes involve distracted driving.

Southlake Police and Fire will be participating in a two-day mock exercise with students at Carroll High School on Thursday and Friday, May 23- 24. The Game Over program will begin with a mock crash scene on the morning of May 23 at 9:45 a.m. Careflite will land in the vicinity of Bicentennial Park as part of the mock exercise. According to organizers, the purpose is to allow students to experience a serious fatal crash in real time with living actors to really drive home the message that drinking and driving and texting and driving kills.

Several students will play the role of actors who have been seriously injured or will play dead in the mock exercise while classmates look on. The mock exercise is about as real as it gets for these students, parents and teachers without having to experience a tragedy in real life. Following the mock crash another actor will play the role of the Grim Reaper throughout the day pulling students randomly out of class to demonstrate how many people are killed each year due to distracted driving.

The Game Over program concludes Friday, May 24 with an assembly at the school. After participating in the two-day event police say they hope students who experience the mock fatal crash scene will make the right decision to never text and drive or drink and drive.