CLICK IT. DON’T RISK IT!
No matter what type of vehicle you drive, one of the safest choices drivers and passengers can make is to buckle up. Ensure all the vehicle’s occupants are buckled up and children are utilizing a child restraint system.
In 2021, 11,813 passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes were not wearing seat belts. Among the young adults (18 to 34) killed, 59% were unbuckled — one of the highest percentages for all age groups.
Prepare your vehicle. Get your vehicle’s tires, brakes, exterior lights, battery, air filters, wipers and fluid levels checked before you a leave for a trip. Keep an emergency kit available. (Inflated spire tire, first aid kit, jumper cables, phone charger, etc.)
Expect traffic heavier than usual. Adjust travel plans to accommodate busier roadways and leave a bit earlier. Avoid speeding, following vehicles too closely and other dangerous behaviors on roadways.
Remain attentive around large vehicles and semi-trucks. Large vehicles such as semitrucks command a heavy presence on interstates. They have limited maneuverability, longer stopping distances and bigger blind spots.
Don’t follow other vehicles too closely. “Following too close” is one of the leading contributing factors behind crashes. Maintaining situational awareness and operating under a defensive driving posture is critical in avoiding crashes especially during high traffic periods.
Avoid driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If you plan on consuming alcohol pre-plan for a designated driver, call Uber or a cab. Designate a sober driver in advance to get you home safely.
Blood Alcohol Content (BAC)
In Alabama, the BAC limit is set at 0.08% for drivers over 21 years of age and it is set at 0.02% for those under 21 (which is known as “zero tolerance”). For individuals in public service roles, such as school bus drivers, the limit is set at 0.02%. For drivers of commercial motor vehicles, the limit is set at 0.04%.
The Boating Safety Seven
- Wear your life jacket
- Take a boating safety class
- Carry all required safety gear
- Use your engine cut-off switch
- File a float plan
- Be aware of weather and water conditions
- Boat sober, and be considerate of others
PFDs SAVE LIVES
No matter what the activity or style chosen, the most important thing is this: Be responsible and always wear your life jacket while boating.
All life jackets that are U.S. Coast Guard approved have an approval number. Look for it to ensure your life jacket meets the law requirements and is safe.
In Alabama, children younger than age 8 are required to always wear PFDs (unless inside a permanently affixed cabin enclosure). They also should wear PFDs that are the appropriate size.
PADDLE BOAT SAFETY
- Never go out alone. If unfamiliar with the waterway, go out with someone who is knowledgeable about it.
- Never overload the craft. Tie down gear, and distribute weight evenly.
- Make sure the craft is stable before you enter it.
- Maintain a low center of gravity and three points of contact. Keep your weight balanced over the center of the craft.
- Standing up or moving around in a small craft can cause it to capsize—a leading cause of fatalities among paddlers.
- Leaning a shoulder over the edge of the craft also can destabilize it enough to capsize it.
- Stay alert at all times and be aware of your surroundings, including nearby powerboats. Be prepared to react when dangerous situations arise.
- Always check surf and weather conditions beach and observe beach flags.
- Never swim alone. Always stay in groups. Don’t wan- der too far from shore.
- Don’t swim near piers, pilings, and platforms. Exercise caution when swimming in areas between sandbars or near steep drop-offs.
- Do not swim in areas being used by fishermen. Avoid swimming in areas where schools of fish are present. Diving seabirds are good indicators of areas to avoid.
- Use extra caution when water is murky. Avoid being in the water during dusk, nighttime, or twilight hours.
- Rip currents are most prevalent when the waves crash perpendicular to the beach rather than at an angle. Rip currents are also common in areas near sand bars, piers, pilings and jetties.
- One of the easiest ways to spot a rip current is to look for gaps between the waves. A small patch of calm water surrounded by waves is often a rip current.
- Look for discolored water near the shore. Rip currents tend to drag large amounts of sand and sediment back out to sea with them, so many rip currents are easily identified by a noticeable flow of sand extending away from the shore.