Ask the Library Safety on the Road

Ask the Library Archive: Safety on the Road

​Do you have a question for the NSC Library? Contact us at (630) 775-2199 or [email protected]

  • During the fall season, crashes involving deer and other wildlife are a problem in my area. What should I keep in mind while driving in an area with active wildlife?

    The Highway Safety Research Center has some tips on avoiding crashes with deer, and another perspective is offered by the Defenders of Wildlife.

    What is the safest color for cars or fleets?

    The National Safety Council Motor Fleet Safety Manual recommends fleet vehicles be a light color for visibility. A company logo in a contrasting color is suggested for additional visibility.

    There are no new studies, but the latest available confirm that lighter-color vehicles are easier to see on the road in most circumstances. A study from Monash University in Australia investigated the relationship between vehicle color and crash risk. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety published a white paper on car color and safety.

    What should I do to get my car and myself ready for winter driving?

    The NSC offers lots of tips on safe winter driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, through its site, offers winter driving safety tips with an interactive tool and downloadable material.

    The youngest and oldest drivers are overrepresented in traffic crashes.How do I determine when my aging relative should start thinking about giving up the keys, and how do I have that conversation?

    The AAA Foundation has resources for families concerned with the older drivers in their lives, such as when to have the talk and guides for the older drivers themselves. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also offers resources and a video.

    I'm concerned that my child's bus stop is not in the best location. Who decides where the school bus stops and where can I get more information?

    School bus stops are subject to state and local authorities. The National Center for Safe Routes to School offers a guide on selecting safe locations for school bus stops and keeping kids safe on their way to and from the stop. Parents can locate their state's school transportation coordinator using the Center's directory.

    Some medications and driving don't mix. Can my allergy medication affect my driving? What other products might make it risky to drive?

    The Food and Drug Administration provides guidance on products that require caution, possible reactions and alternatives to driving yourself.

    How do I know what the construction work zone laws are in my state? Also, do you have any general safety tips when traveling through work zones?

    The Governor's Highway Safety Association provides state-by-state traffic laws for construction zones so you know what to expect in your area. And, the American Driver & Traffic Education Association offers drivers safety guidelines for navigating through construction areas.

    What are the restrictions of riding in the cargo area of a pickup truck?

    The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has a chart that shows the laws for each state. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children riding in the cargo area are particularly at high risk for injury and death.

    There are signs posted at gas station pumps telling me to not use my cell phone when fueling my vehicle. Can talking on my cell phone start a fire?

    According to the Petroleum Equipment Institute, cell phones have not caused fires during fueling, but the PEI does advise against using any electronic device that might distract the motorist during the fueling process. The Federal Communications Commission also refutes rumors of actual fires but gives a word of caution. For a more technical perspective, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers cites studies.

    I know that trucks have blind spots, but what should I beware of when driving on the highway?

    Trucks have large blind spots on both sides and often cannot see you. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration offers "share the road" information and "no zone" awareness when driving near trucks or large buses on the road. Road Safe America also offers tips.

    We often need to haul cargo. How do we safely protect against shifting and falling materials?

    The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration provides cargo securement rules as well as a handbook for drivers.

    During the fall season, deer and other wildlife often cross our paths. What should I keep in mind while driving in an area of active wildlife?

    The Highway Safety Research Center and the Insurance Information Institute have some tips on avoiding crashes with deer.

    Melting snow and springtime rain can result in flooded roadways. What should I know to minimize my risk while driving?

    An NSC fact sheet discusses the types of floods that occur in different parts of the country and offers links to additional information.

    During warm weather, more motorcyclists take to the road. What should we know to prevent traffic accidents?

    An NSC fact sheet discusses tips for staying safe on the road, whether you're riding the motorcycle or sharing the road as a vehicle driver. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation has information on courses and other tips for motorcyclists. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has tips on sharing the road with motorcycles.

    More and more of my co-workers are bicycling to work. Do you have tips for being a safe cyclist?

    The NSC has a fact sheet on safe cycling. The League of American Bicyclists offers a primer for safe bike commuting, covering topics such as sharing the road, selecting equipment and bicycle maintenance. The Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute has information on selecting the right helmet and wearing it properly.

    Does changing to and from daylight saving time have any effect on traffic crashes?

    Interestingly, the results of studies are mixed. Some have found little difference in crashes despite concerns about drivers losing an hour of sleep in spring or driving in the dark in fall. Other studies estimate that lives could be saved by using daylight saving time year-round. For copies of selected studies, please contact the Library at [email protected] or 630-775-2199.

Contact Information

For additional information, supporting articles and/or documents related to any topic here, or if you have a question on another topic, please contact the library.

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