Archives: October 2016
October 31, 2016
Since Oct. 31, 2010, thousands of Americans have tuned in to watch AMC’s The Walking Dead. In this post-apocalyptic world, zombies (commonly referred to as “walkers”) have overtaken the planet and terrorize various groups of human survivors.
This Halloween, many of our kids will be out and about, maybe dressed as “walkers,” princesses, or superheroes. As a driver, it’s your responsibility to be extra cautious around pedestrians, especially on Halloween.
1. Stay off your phone and give all your attention to the task of driving.
2. Drive sober.
3. Slow down and never pass slower vehicles on a city street.
4. Costumes may not provide good visibility for those wearing them – masks and dark clothing make it tough to see or been seen. Watch carefully for trick-or-treaters darting out into the road.
October 27, 2016
October 24, 2016
What comes to mind when you see the word “tailgate?” Is it someone driving aggressively and getting too close or maybe someone who is celebrating a sporting event that could include alcohol? Neither of these behaviors leads to safe driving. Combing the two can be even more deadly.
Drunk, high, aggressive or all of the above – the results can be horrific - http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/horrific-footage-moment-dad-sees-7452975
The fatality count of 304 is an increase of nine from last Monday. To see statistics published daily by the Office of Driver Services, go to http://www.iowadot.gov/mvd/stats/daily.pdf
October 18, 2016
October 17, 2016
Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show aggressive behaviors behind the wheel causes at least to 50 percent of the nation’s fatality crashes every year. Here’s the best way to handle yourself if an aggressive driver is menacing:
- Let them pass.
- Stay relaxed and focus on your own driving.
- Avoid eye contact or making any gestures that might escalate the situation.
- In extreme cases, pull over to a safe place and notify the police.
October 12, 2016
It can be more than a little intimidating. You’re traveling down the interstate and there is a large truck in the lane beside you, another truck in front of you, and a third truck coming up behind you. If things go wrong or one driver isn’t paying attention, the result could be disastrous.
How do you know these trucks, their drivers, or the carriers they are hauling for are safe? You don’t. That is the job of the Iowa Department of Transportation’s Motor Vehicle Enforcement officers. For decades these dedicated men and women have been identifying potential safety problems, both with the mechanical workings of the large vehicles and with the drivers behind the wheel. Along the way they continue to improve their processes to increase the safety of everyone on Iowa’s roads.
One major improvement has recently changed the way the officers screen vehicles at the weight scale facilities in Dallas and Jasper counties. The 360SmartView system electronically screens vehicles entering the weigh station and almost instantaneously flags each truck that may require extra attention from law enforcement.
October 10, 2016
With winter quickly approaching, it’s important to know what tools are available to help you stay safe before driving Iowa’s roads. The Iowa Department of Transportation’s recent Iowa 511 mobile app update and 511 full featured website enhancements can do just that.
Hands on the wheel, eyes on the road
The Iowa 511 mobile app update will more easily inform drivers of Iowa’s road conditions without having to look at their smartphones. Included in the update is the "Tell Me" feature. This feature allows people to get hands-free, eyes-free audio notifications of traffic events while driving. Previously, users had to interact with the app in order to view details about traffic impacts they might encounter on their journey. “Traveler safety is our top priority, and the audio notifications will allow drivers behind the wheel to pay attention to the road and not become distracted by their devices,” said Sinclair Stolle, traveler information program engineer at the Iowa DOT. The feature also has an “I’m a driver” or “I’m not a driver” option so passengers can opt to take charge of the device or allow drivers to check on their drive before they leave.
October 10, 2016
In fourteen-hundred-and-ninety-two Columbus sailed the ocean blue. Do you want smooth sailing for your commute? Use your turn signal to let the drivers around you know the move you’re planning to make.
It seems like a simple gesture, but many people simply don’t make the effort. Seriously, it’s easy. Here are the directions: To move into the right lane, push your turn signal lever up. To move into the left lane, push your turn signal lever down. Activate the turn signal at least five seconds before you wish to change lanes.
The fine mentioned in this video is from California, but you actually can be fined in Iowa, too. FYI – the video was shot from a camera mounted in the car. https://youtu.be/SHgkH1ouK7I
The fatality count of 285 is an increase of six from last Monday. To see statistics published daily by the Office of Driver Services, go to http://www.iowadot.gov/mvd/stats/daily.pdf
October 7, 2016
That’s what we’re often told when something we are anticipating takes time to materialize. If the saying is true, the Iowa Department of Transportation’s e-Construction process just broke the tape on its 26.219-mile journey to eliminate the need for paper documentation from initial design through construction of our roadways.
Over the past few years, pieces of a paperless process have been added to the Iowa DOT’s standard procedures. Designing our transportation system electronically, providing specifications online, and conducting online project bidding have been used for several years. Over the last two years, documenting the actual construction process has been done electronically. The lone holdout in the electronic documentation stream was the contracts to hire contractors to construct our transportation system.
October 5, 2016
You’ve just been asked to join an Iowa Department of Transportation safety committee, but what will that entail exactly? Well, Iowa DOT’s safety committees all follow the Safety Committee Guidebook, which was recently updated at the end of the summer. This guidebook has information about the safety committee’s responsibilities and each member’s role.
When Amy Knight, a training specialist at the Iowa DOT and a safety team lead, took on her role a few years ago, she started working closely with DOTers in the field and quickly realized the Safety Committee Guidebook was outdated and needed clarification in many aspects. In 2015, she created a survey and sent it to all Iowa DOT’s safety committee members to help her better understand what members liked about the guidebook and what areas they believed needed improvement.