Archives: July 2017
July 31, 2017
Heatstroke kills children. It seems so simple to correct, never leave a baby alone in a car. Yet, every year children die of heatstroke from confinement in a hot vehicle. At least two children in the United States die every week in hot vehicles during the summer months, according to the National Safety Council. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that as of July 12, 19 children have died this year in the United States after being left in hot cars.
July 24, 2017
Something so quick and simple could save hundreds of lives on Iowa’s roadways every year. According to the most recent state seat belt survey, nearly 94 percent of all Iowa drivers and front seat passengers buckle up, which is great.
However, the sad statistic is that at least 126 of the 405 people who died last year in Iowa crashes were unbuckled.
July 21, 2017
July 17, 2017
Most of us want to believe the best about others, but when you’ve been cut off by a driver who didn’t sign the intention to turn or change lanes, those good thoughts can turn ugly pretty quickly.
There’s a reason turn signals are required on every vehicle. It should be obvious, but we’ll put it out there anyway. Using your turn signal can help avoid crashes. When you let other drivers know what you’re planning to do, they can be prepared to move their vehicles accordingly, when you don’t, other drivers can be taken by surprise and not be able to react in time to avoid a crash.
July 13, 2017
Data drives the critical decisions we make every day. The Iowa Department of Transportation has long been a leader in the collection of transportation data, including things like traffic volumes, lane width, and sufficiency ratings. Many custom data systems have been developed by or for us that use the latitude and longitude of the centerlines of every public roadway to give a common linear reference point to tie together many types of data.
These systems, most notably the Geographic Information Management System (GIMS), provided access to a variety of information, but were sometimes complex to use and required a desktop application to access the data.
July 13, 2017
July 12, 2017
Have you heard about companies like Uber or Lyft, but you’re not sure how they work? Are you wondering about the requirements the drivers of these paid rideshare companies have to go through to be qualified to drive you around? Are you interested in driving for a company like Uber or Lyft and wonder what is required of you? The Iowa Department of Transportation has a new webpage that helps explain these and other questions about this growing transportation option.
July 7, 2017
July 7, 2017
What do you see when you look in the rear view mirror? How do you respond when someone cuts you off or tailgates? As your mom may have told you as a kid, two wrongs don’t make a right. You are in complete control of how you respond when someone isn’t as polite as they could be on the road.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, two-thirds of all traffic fatalities involve behaviors commonly associated with aggressive driving. Although speeding is the most common behavior, anything that places other people, vehicles, or property at risk is considered aggressive driving. Most actions connected with aggressive driving are illegal.
July 6, 2017
Iowa has many small bridges in need of significant repair or replacement, but no one wants to see a “road closed” sign on the road ahead. Long-term road closures can be common on traditional bridge projects where an existing bridge is replaced with a new bridge. There is an innovative method that the Iowa Department of Transportation has been using for small bridge replacements which uses culverts constructed inside aging bridges. This method allows traffic to keep moving and eliminates the need for maintenance for decades to come.
Iowa DOT engineers are looking at aging bridges, mostly on rural two-lane roads, to see if they can be replaced with a box culvert that fits under the existing bridge. For bridges that meet the criteria, a concrete culvert is cast in place underneath the existing bridge or the culvert can be precast and slid into position underneath the existing bridge. When possible, precast concrete box culverts are cast at manufacturing facilities and shipped to the construction site, saving some on-site work time for the contractor.