SHELTON, Conn. – In an effort to ensure a safe Thanksgiving for all Shelton residents, Interim Police Chief Shawn Sequeira on Wednesday issued several tips for drivers during the upcoming holiday weekend.
“The Thanksgiving holiday is a good opportunity to remind all drivers, especially the newly licensed, of the risks associated with our roadways” Sequeira said. “We want everyone to enjoy the long weekend, but do not want anyone to risk becoming a statistic.”
Sequeira's suggestions include:
- Don’t text and drive. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a quarter of teens respond to at least one text message while driving, taking their eyes from the road for an average of five seconds each time. While traveling at 55 miles per hour, that’s enough time to cover the length of a football field blindfolded.
- If you can, while behind the wheel, keep your phone off. This will help ensure drivers’ focus remains solely on the road. According to the NHTSA, engaging in tasks like reaching for your phone, dialing and texting increases the risk of getting into a crash threefold.
- Never get behind the wheel if you’ve been drinking and don’t get in a vehicle with an impaired driver. According to the Center for Disease Control, 9,967 people were killed in alcohol-impaired car crashes in 2015, accounting for 31 percent of all traffic-related deaths in the United States.
- Obey the speed limit. Speeding is a major contributor to motor vehicle accidents and fatal car crashes. Don’t feel pressured to keep up with traffic or friends on the road. Also, speeding tickets are often pricey and will result in higher insurance premiums.
- Be a defensive driver. Remain cognizant of the traffic ahead, behind, and next to you at all times. Stay at least one car length behind the car in front of you, especially in areas where the speed limit is lower. Remember to share the road with bikers on side streets, even if arrows are not marked. Turn your headlights on to increase visibility.