A few traffic safety reminders

Let me take this opportunity to first introduce myself, and then remind you all of some general safety items which will help protect you along the roadways this holiday weekend.

My name is Clay Eberhart.  I was stationed in Vermillion in April, 2011.  I am excited to serve the citizens in the Vermillion area and look forward to meeting you all as a member of the community.

I wanted to remind everyone of a few safety measures that should not be forgotten but often are.  With the holiday weekend approaching, there will be a lot more traffic on the roadways.  With more traffic comes the increased probability of a crash.  It is important that we are mindful of others when traveling.  If you do not have daytime running lamps, turn your headlights on during the day to increase the visibility of your vehicle.  This simple measure can be taken to increase your chances to be seen. 

Another safety measure tying into crashes is remembering to always wear your seatbelt.  The statistics don�t lie, and it will most often save your life to wear a seatbelt when involved in a crash.  Our most common single-vehicle crash in South Dakota is the one-vehicle rollover.  Seatbelts are designed to keep a person inside the passenger compartment during a rollover, decreasing the chances of being ejected.  Being ejected from a vehicle exponentially increases a person�s chances of severe injury or death.  Again, wearing your seatbelt is a good idea not only because it is the law, but it will save your life!

On holiday weekends including Memorial Day and others, guys like me in uniform tend to get a little more on edge about drinking and driving.  The temptation to drink and get behind the wheel seems to be much higher on these special weekends.  Remember this holiday to get a Designated Driver.  I have always maintained that crashes involving alcohol are some of the most preventable crashes.  The crash most likely would not have occurred if alcohol wasn�t involved.  Again, don�t drink and drive and remember that �Buzzed Driving� IS drunk driving.

A final reminder regarding safety measures involves speeding.  Speeding on our roadways is one of the highest contributors to crashes in the state of South Dakota.  It decreases necessary distance available to the driver to process variables on the road and to make timely decisions.  It also can play a role in your vehicle�s performance during driving conditions, as well as its performance level in protecting you in a crash. 

You may see extra law enforcement on the roadways over the weekend.  Be mindful to move over for our amber lights and to slow down as you pass by us!  I�m looking forward to a safe holiday weekend, and a safe summer.  If you remember these items I have reminded you of, you will have no problems being safe out there on the road. 

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