Archives: December 2021
December 31, 2021
What are your plans for News Year’s Eve? If you’re hosting a gathering, don’t forget to offer your guests non-alcoholic drink options. If you’re headed out to celebrate, plan ahead and bring your own non-alcoholic options just in case the host hasn’t planned mock-tail versions for the celebration.
If you do plan to drink on New Year’s Eve, plan ahead for a sober ride. Designated drivers, rideshares, and taxis are excellent ways to get home safely. If those are not available where you are, your safest bet is to stay put for the night.
December 30, 2021
December 24, 2021
Any substance, whether that’s drugs or alcohol, that impairs your thinking can impact your ability to safely drive. When you’re “lit,” you’re less able to judge things like distance. Driving impaired will also reduce your response time and concentration. Your vision can be impacted, as can your ability to assess risk.
Some of the same dangers can happen when you’re overly excited behind the wheel. Extreme emotions can diminish your ability to concentrate as well as how well you assess risks. You’re also more likely to drive recklessly.
December 17, 2021
If you’re a driver who doesn’t buckle up, that “quirk” could result in serious consequences for you or your passengers. Especially during the winter driving season, staying securely in the driver’s seat is important. If the vehicle hits a patch of ice or snow and veers suddenly, an unbelted driver could be tossed around in the vehicle. This could cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle and cause a crash.
December 16, 2021
December 10, 2021
Snow is swirling and you’ve been plowing snow for hours. You know you need to pull off and clean off your headlights, but you’re worried about being hit by a passing motorist when you’re out of your truck. Is there something that can help increase your visibility to others on the road?
Our District 5 maintenance staff have found a new tool to increase the visibility of our crews in low light or bad weather. Matt Heuvelmann, who was recently promoted to highway maintenance supervisor in Southeast Iowa, previously worked as a garage operations assistant with a focus on safety training. While in this role, he found and tested a personal lighting device to help our workers be more visible when they are out on the road.
December 10, 2021
Think back to when you took your driver’s education class, did you pay particular attention to the section on mind reading? Wait, you mean that wasn’t an actual part of driver’s training? Since none of us can actually read the minds of those drivers around us, it benefits everyone if you signal your intention to change lanes or turn.
Turn signals first began appearing on vehicles in the early 1900s but weren’t added as standard equipment until Buick released its 1939 models. While there is some dispute about the origin of the turn signal, one thing is certain. Using your turn signal is one of the simplest and most effective safety tools in your vehicle.
December 7, 2021
National research has found that it costs 100 times more to plow snow than to trap it with a snow fence. While installing snow fence does replace plowing snow, it is used in targeted areas that quickly fill back in a few minutes after the plow has cleared the road.
Just like you probably wouldn’t choose a hammer as the most effective tool to cut a piece of wood, we must also choose the right snow fence tool to greatly increase our efficiency and probability of success. At the Iowa DOT, our snow fence tool kit contains an assortment of options that includes temporary wooden or plastic fencing; living snow fence using trees, bushes, or native grasses; standing corn in farm fields; round bale barriers next to the roadside; and permanent fence installed in areas where blowing and drifting snow have historically been an issue.
December 3, 2021
If you’ve seen the classic “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” you’ll know that reindeer games are very serious business at the North Pole. Just like Santa searched for the best and brightest to guide his sleigh, you’ll want to find a safe and sober ride home from your holiday festivities.
December 2, 2021