Archives: February 2016
February 29, 2016
Here’s a little leap year math for you. Feb. 29 is a date that occurs in most years that are divisible by 4, such as 2008, 2012, 2016, 2020, and 2024. Years that are divisible by 100, but not by 400, do not contain a leap day. Now that you’ve had your math lesson, let’s move on to physics. Newton’s First Law of Motion says an object (your body) in motion will continue in motion unless a force (seat belt) is there to prevent it.
Math and science hypotheses can be proven true or false, but what about this statement? “I don’t wear my seat belt because if I crash it is safer to be thrown clear of the car than to stay buckled in.”
February 23, 2016
What could be more fun than sifting through decades of old asphalt specifications? Since the task really doesn’t sound all that appealing to most people, it took a special group of Iowa Department of Transportation and our industry partners to tackle the job.
Scott Schram, the Iowa DOT’s bituminous engineer, said, “For years, more and more specifications were added to our system without ever removing the ones that no longer applied. It was getting very difficult for our industry partners, especially new ones, to look at our specifications and understand which ones they were supposed to use.”
He continued, “Cities and counties are now using our specifications. The complexity of the system we had in place was starting to have a negative impact and it didn’t need to be that way. Some of the specifications were written in such technical language you would need an advanced engineering degree to understand them. Even our employees were overwhelmed with some of the specifications and that lead to asking a million questions. We needed to do better.”
February 22, 2016
Officially, we have less than a month of winter left. For the “glass-half-full” people, that means we’re on the downhill slide to spring. For the “glass-half-empty” folks…. well, you see more cold, gloomy days ahead.
While the days are getting longer, it still seems like you’re either leaving in the morning or returning home in the afternoon in the dark. Here a couple of tips from the National Sleep Foundation on how to stay alert behind the wheel.
February 19, 2016
February 15, 2016
One trip down Interstate 80 in Iowa and you’ll quickly notice how much large truck traffic traverses our state. With the anticipated increase in the amount of freight shipped over the road, the need to better communicate information critical to driver success is driving a regional study on development of a truck parking information management system.
A recent $25 million federal grant is helping eight Midwest states develop a regional truck parking information and management system. The states of Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin are working together to find a solution that gets parking information to truckers in a timely and useful way.
February 15, 2016
What’s in a hug? According to Wikipedia, “Depending on culture, context and relationship, a hug can indicate familiarity, love, affection, friendship, brotherhood, or sympathy. A hug can show support, comfort, and consolation, particularly where words are insufficient.”
There are no words to console the family members of someone who has died in a vehicle crash. However, there is a hug that can help keep your loved one alive. That hug doesn’t come from a human, but from a seat belt.
Buckling up is the single most effective way to survive in the event of a vehicle crash.
Not convinced that a seat belt can hug you? Check this out https://youtu.be/h-8PBx7isoM
February 12, 2016
Safety is first on the list of the Iowa Department of Transportation’s core values. When it comes to putting those values into practice, the agency is one of our country’s leading transportation groups. Just ask the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Standing Committee on Highway Traffic Safety. That group recently presented the Iowa DOT with the 2015 AASHTO Safety Leadership Award, citing the success shown by a continued decline in the state's traffic fatalities. The award announcement said the Iowa DOT "demonstrates its leadership in safety through its commitment to pilot new programs and strategies, continue supporting successful activities, and communicating the safety message throughout the state and the DOT.” And continued with, "Strong leadership throughout the DOT has been key to its safety success, seen in the continued decline in fatalities in Iowa."
Eleven state DOTs submitted applications for this year's competition. The annual award recognizes a state that has made significant improvements in safety by showing leadership in safety, strong safety partnerships and strategic planning, and innovation in safety. Committee Chairman Rudy Malfabon, secretary of Nevada DOT, presented the award at the annual meeting in Chicago to Iowa DOT Director Paul Trombino.
February 8, 2016
The “DD” or designated driver is the most valuable player on the Zero Fatalities team. Just like in a big game, when it’s third down and you need to keep the drive alive, who do you go to? Of course you turn to the MVP, the star player, the team member that you can count on when the game’s on the line.
It’s no different when you are out with friends. When your life is on the line, the goal is much more important than a ring or a trophy. The goal is- getting you home safely.
Just like in the pros, anyone can be an MVP, you just have to be the team player that is on top of their game that day. Success takes teamwork. If one of your friends is the designated driver (MVP) one night, volunteer to carry the team next time you go out.
Here’s an oldie, but a goodie from 2005 https://youtu.be/S6ENFM6QdLs
The fatality count of 27 is an increase of 6 from last Monday. To see statistics published daily by the Office of Driver Services, go to http://bit.ly/1QFbcyj.
February 5, 2016
February 2, 2016
At the end of the day, we all have the same goal: To make it home safely. At the Iowa Department of Transportation, safety is all around us. It is one of our core values and we ask every employee to put safety first in everything we do.
So how do we help employees talk about and live out safety every day? One way is the safety calendar, which is produced annually by the Office of Employee Services. The calendar is loaded with information on various safety and wellness topics that employees can explore.