Safer Streets Together: How Slowing Down Can Make All the Difference
Updated: Sep 17, 2022
Over the next few weeks, Carlsbad Commuter will curate a series of resources, programs, and information to help equip all commuters with additional ways to contribute to Safer Streets Together.
If there is one thing we can all agree on, we want our community to be safe. Humans have an instinct to protect themselves and those around them. This predisposition greatly influences many of our daily choices and behaviors. Which should include the commute! This is why, as Carlsbad Commuters, we must —literally and proverbially—slow down. Let's take a moment to remember how small transportation choices play a big part in fostering safety for everyone.
Safety is always a top priority for the City of Carlsbad. While the city continues to tackle long-term roadway safety programs and create infrastructure that supports livability, you can help by focusing on your commuting behaviors today. Here are just a few reasons the next few months are vital for us to slow down.
Supply + Demand = Stress
For the past two years, most daily commuters stopped measuring their commute to the office in miles and minutes. Instead, they counted steps to their home office and measured Wi-Fi speeds throughout the day. Today many have begun heading back to our worksites at similar times of day—even if just a few days a week. Many are driving, stressed by traffic delays, distracted by smartphones, and frazzled about gas prices. And scientists have proven stress and fatigue clearly have direct, negative effects on your driving performance!
Just as offices are filling back up, our schools welcome back our kids to the exhilaration of a new school year. A milestone that interestingly yet directly impacts our transportation system. In fact, 20 to 30 percent of the morning traffic in America is generated by parents dropping their kids off at school. Many of these parents then rush off to work, resulting in compounded stressors and distractions on the roads.
Halloween is on a Monday
Did you know Halloween is the third deadliest day on our roads for pedestrians and the number one deadliest for children? Kids 4 to 8 years old are 10 times more likely to be fatally struck that night. Even worse, Halloween is a more deadly night when it falls on a weekday. A lethal mix of parents rushing home from work, distracted drivers, darkness, and children heading out into their neighborhoods. We need to do our part to make sure kids can safely enjoy their neighborhoods and get back to the fun part of this spooky holiday.
While Daylight Savings Time (DST) may be a thing of the past by this time next year, it is still here now. On Nov. 6, 2022, clocks roll back an hour, and most commuters will go from getting home in the daylight one day to darkness the next. There is no better time for us all to be extra vigilant on our roads and prepared for such a major shift. According to a study in Accident Analysis and Prevention, adding an hour of daylight in the evening year-round would save the lives of more than 170 pedestrians each year.
There is a lot of work to be done to improve safety on our roadways. Together we can make a real contribution to that mission by simply slowing down. When we watch our speed on the roads, whether we're commuting in Carlsbad or in our own communities, we take care of ourselves, our kids, our neighbors and each other.