Every day throughout Wisconsin there are serious and even fatal motor vehicle crashes. Many times, these crashes can be avoided by paying extra attention and following simple rules of the road. Vehicle crashes frequently occur in and around intersections. In accordance with state law, drivers must stop for all red traffic signals and must also stop for all yellow traffic signals, as long as it is safe to do so.
Furthermore, drivers need to pay more attention while driving in order to prevent collisions. Inattentive driving related crashes, including those caused by cell phone usage, can result in serious injury, large fines, and even jail sentences. Keep yourself and other drivers safe by practicing these safe driving strategies:
· Minimize distractions in your vehicle so the driver can focus on driving.
· If you must use a cell phone, pull over in a safe location, out of traffic.
· When following other vehicles, leave extra space. A good rule of thumb is a "two second distance." For example; if you are traveling 40 mph, a two second distance is the equivalent of approximately 120 feet. This distance will help ensure that you have enough time to perceive a hazard, respond to the hazard, and safely stop your vehicle.
· Be alert for vehicles that are not easily seen, such as motorcycles. Considering motorcycles can turn more sharply and stop quicker than automobiles, drivers must leave additional space when around them. Remember, motorcycle operators do not have the structural protection that automobiles do. Recently, the State of Wisconsin passed additional penalties that will be levied against drivers who cause motorcycle crashes.
It is each individual driver's responsibility to drive safely and obey traffic laws. By paying attention, obeying the rules of the road, and providing additional space between vehicles, we can all work together to reduce the number of injuries and fatalities that occur on Wisconsin's roads. And please, if you observe reckless, dangerous, or possibly intoxicated driving, call 911 immediately.