Traffic safety's new dynamics
during "stay at home" order

There have been a lot of changes over the last few weeks since the coronavirus reached Idaho. Many Idahoans are answering the Governor’s call to stay home and avoid non-essential travel. Our homes have become our offices and our living rooms have become our new schools.

But a few things haven't changed. Just because we’re seeing less traffic, it doesn’t mean we can let our guard down when it comes to our safety while we’re out and about. Here are a few ideas to help our neighborhoods safe during quarantine.

Be an engaged driver.
If your neighborhood is anything like mine, you’ve probably noticed more people out walking and riding bicycles. This is a great way to stay active and relieve a little bit of the stress that we’ve all been experiencing.

While those of us who need to drive may not have to worry about other cars and trucks as much as normal, we need to look out for other road users. We spend a lot of time talking to people about walking and bicycling safely and being visible, but a lot of their safety also depends on drivers being engaged and making safe choices.

Be a patient driver.
Let’s face it, if you’re driving these days, you are probably doing something essential. What you are doing is important, but so is being a safe driver and observing traffic laws — especially speed limits.

Going a few miles per hour over the posted speed may not seem like a big deal to you, but it could be for those extra people out walking and riding their bicycles. Higher speeds increase the probability of a serious or fatal injury in the event of a crash.

Also remember to be patient at intersections and keep an eye out for people - not just cars. There is no need to roll across a stop line and into the crosswalk. Less cars on the roads means you will have plenty of time to get where you are going even if you take a few extra seconds at each intersection.

Besides, what’s the rush to get back into your house?

Be a sober driver.
We're all a little stressed, but there is never an excuse to drink and drive – quarantine or not. Besides, Idaho has a lot of great breweries and many of them are making home deliveries now.

The pandemic is scary. There are a lot of things we don’t know right now. But we do know it will end and we know that we will make it through together.

Remember, the most essential thing you can do is keep yourself, your family, and everyone else around you safe…. and don’t forget to wash your hands.

Published 04-10-20