CONTRIBUTED: As more and more Americans hit the road and return to traveling for the holidays, concerns around road safety are top of mind.
Nearly half of Americans (47%) plan to travel in the next six months, including 51% with plans to travel for Christmas, according to a survey by 3M. A majority (76%) plan to travel by car, but more than a third of travelers are as concerned about road safety as they are about contracting COVID-19.
“Especially after spending an extended period closer to home, many people are likely to have some trepidation about getting back out on the road,” said automotive expert Lauren Fix, “The Car Coach” and 3M spokesperson.
“Being conscious of issues like visibility and distracted driving are important ways to protect yourself and your passengers.”
Consider these tips to enhance the safety of your holiday travel.
Before You Go
Check your tire pressure and the condition of your tread. Properly inflated and adequate tires can keep you safe on the road, especially in slick conditions.
Visibility is important so you can see the road and other drivers. Make sure you have properly functioning wiper blades and carry extra washer fluid.
Check your headlights to ensure they both work and your lenses aren’t hazy.
Use your GPS to help you plan the best time to leave for your road trip, avoiding the major rush hours.
Make sure your car has an emergency kit and replenish any items you have used in the past. Include a first aid kit, blanket, drinking water, flashlight, reflective triangles and a reflective vest to keep you visible to other vehicles if you are working on your car on the side of the road or need to walk to get help.
While On the Road
Keep your focus on the road and stay off your phone. Also be aware of the other vehicles and drivers around you.
Use GPS to re-route around construction or congestion. If you do come across construction, be sure to keep a close eye on the roadway signage and markings as they can help you navigate the complex roadways safely.
If you find yourself driving in bad weather and visibility is an issue, pay attention to road markings to keep yourself oriented to the roadway. If you have no visibility, pull over.
Recognize Road Safety Markings
Reflective signage and high-visibility pavement markings, along with innovative systems and services, help make roadways and other vehicles more visible to drivers. You can count on safer travel this holiday season with road safety solutions such as:
Traffic signs: Studies have found that where highly visible signs are installed, crash numbers have fallen up to 46% within 3-6 years. Reflective sign sheeting, ink and overlays increase visibility and driver recognition of these signals.
In foggy and wintery weather, fluorescent yellow street signs have also been found to be more easily visible.
Pavement markings: Pavement markings help guide drivers and keep roads safe. In dark and wet conditions, standard reflective pavement markings can disappear.
Reflective technology like the options from 3M make road markings visible from longer distances and in wet conditions.
Traffic delineators: Navigating complex or changing roadways can be confusing and dangerous for drivers. Specialized delineation systems are used for construction projects, median barriers and guardrails, putting roadway information directly in sight of drivers and making it easier to navigate roadway complexities.
License plates: License plates need to remain visible on any roadway and in all conditions, ensuring law enforcement can quickly and effectively identify vehicles.
By providing vehicle registration solutions and advanced license plate manufacturing equipment, 3M partners with motor vehicle agencies and manufacturers around the world.
Vehicle markings: Government regulations call for conspicuity tape on certain types of large vehicles and trailers in the United States to increase visibility and help prevent traffic collisions, injuries and deaths.