Rick Smith, Chief of Police
1 Union St.
Wakefield, MA 01880
For Immediate Release
Friday, May 29, 2015
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Wakefield Police Department Provide Safe Driving Tips
WAKEFIELD – Police Chief Rick Smith is encouraging drivers to always be responsible and respectful of other operators when they’re behind the wheel, especially this summer as more residents hit the road.
“The number of drivers on the road always increases in the warmer months, which also raises the probability of motorists getting into accidents,” Chief Smith said. “It is imperative that drivers be cautious and respectful of each other so we can avoid as many accidents and traffic violations as possible.”
Chief Smith offers the following tips to stay safe while behind the wheel
- Don’t text and drive. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 25 percent of teens respond to a text message once or more every time they drive. Additionally, NHTSA reports that the average text takes your eyes off the road for five seconds. While traveling at 55 miles per hour, that is enough time to cover the length of a football field blindfolded
- If you can, keep your phone off while behind the wheel. This will help to ensure the driver’s 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 crashing threefold.
- Never get behind the wheel if you have been drinking, and never get into a vehicle with an impaired driver. The Center for Disease Control reports that 10,076 people were killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes in 2013, accounting for nearly one-third (31 percent) of all traffic-related deaths in the United States.
- Obey the speed limit. Speeding is a major cause of motor vehicle accidents and fatal car crashes. Don’t feel pressured to speed in order to keep up with traffic or friends on the road. Speeding tickets can be pricey and will result in an increase on your car insurance premium.
- Be a defensive driver. Always remain cognizant of traffic ahead, behind, and next to your vehicle at all times. Stay at least one car length behind the car in front of you, especially in areas where the speed limit is slower. Remember to share the road with bikers on side roads, even if sharrows are not marked.
- Turn your headlights on to increase visibility. A new Massachusetts law now requires drivers to put their headlights on when windshield wipers are in motion.