Department Has Seen Increase in Accidents Since Start of July
DRACUT — Acting Chief Stephen D. Chaput reports that the Dracut Police Department has responded to an increased number of motor vehicle accidents over the past month.
Dracut Police have responded to a total of 46 motor vehicle accidents since July 1, including 17 in the past week. These have included accidents with serious personal injury, rollovers and accidents with significant property damage impacting public utilities.
“As people resume normal summer travel and engage in an increasing number of social activities, we’re seeing a drastic increase in accidents on the road,” Chief Chaput said. “We are asking all motor vehicle operators to exercise caution and watch their speed as they resume driving this summer.”
The Dracut Police Department will be increasing its enforcement activity in the community this summer, and offer the following driving safety tips for motorists and motorcyclists.
Driving Safety Tips:
- Watch for pedestrians everywhere, at all times of the day.
- Avoid distracted driving and never use your cell phone or mobile device while driving.
- Yield to bicyclists as you would to a motor vehicle. Do not underestimate their speed, especially when making a turn that crosses their path.
- Be cautious at parking lots, stop signs, when backing up and when parking. Watch for other vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists at these times.
- Be cautious at night and during inclement weather when visibility may be poor.
- Be cautious at crosswalks. Slow down and prepare to stop when turning or nearing a crosswalk. Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks. Stop a safe distance away from the crosswalk to give other vehicles ample time to see the pedestrians that are crossing so that they can also stop. Do not pass vehicles stopped at a crosswalk.
- Follow slower speed limits in neighborhoods with signage that children are present.
- Drivers turning right on red need to look to the right and behind to avoid hitting a bicyclist that may be approaching from the right rear. Stop completely, look left-right-left and behind, and then turn right on red.
- Give cyclists extra space. Do not pass them too closely.
- Bicycles and motorcycles can be difficult to spot because of their smaller profiles and because drivers are conditioned to look for other cars, not cyclists.
- Remember that motorcyclists have the same privileges as other drivers. Be sure to give riders a full lane of travel, and always keep a close watch for motorcyclists — especially at intersections and on highways. Sport utility vehicles, delivery vans, and large trucks may block motorcyclists from your view.
- Anticipate a motorcyclist’s maneuvers. A piece of road debris that poses no threat to a car may be deadly for a motorcyclist. Predict evasive moves a motorcyclist might take by always being aware of your surroundings. Also, don’t follow motorcycles too closely. Allow enough room for the motorcyclist to take evasive actions.
- Drivers must always be aware of their surroundings. Remember: Check twice, save a life.
Motorcycle and Bicycle Safety:
Motorcyclists and bicyclists are also reminded to take safety precautions. These include:
- Making your presence known to drivers by wearing an appropriate helmet and contrasting clothing or reflective gear.
- Avoiding riding in a driver’s blind spot.
- Being cautious of cars entering or exiting driveways, or backing up in a parking lot.
- Using proper turn signals.
- Always following the rules of the road.
As always, the Dracut Police Department hopes everyone has a safe, healthy and happy summertime!