Drivers Be Aware
School is back in session today and that means increased awareness of school zones and safety measures. Marie dodds with AAA Oregon says its not just about avoiding a hefty traffic ticket
“If a tragedy happens and a car hits a pedestrian or a bicyclist, you’re much more likely to survive that crash if the motorist is traveling at 20 mph or less.”
Dodds says the critical time is 3 to 7 pm, especially as the days begin to get shorter and even the use of hands free devices can engage the brain up to 27 seconds after you use them
“Let’s say that you’re stopped at a red light. You quickly send a hands-free text to somebody, maybe you say, ‘Hey, I’m on my way home, Do we need something from the store?’ You send that text through your hands-free system. It can take your mind a full 27 seconds after that to fully focus on driving.”
Dodds says this is also a great time to review rules with teen drivers and make sure they have plenty of real world driving experiences.
“Instead of just having your kid drive to and from school, or to and from the grocery store, or to and from a friend’s house, take them out on country backroads, take them out in inclement weather. Make sure that they have experience in a wide variety of driving scenarios.”
AAA offers more tips regarding teen drivers at teendriving.aaa.com
Smoke Signals Fire
Smoke continues to billow up from forest fires across Oregon. The Area around Crater Lake is engulfed in fire and the Chetco Bar Fire reported plumes of smoke 23 thousand feet in the air and that has affected air quality across the region and through the Willamette valley. Conditions here in Florence continue to worsen as the recent light winds have not been enough to clear the skies. Air quality experts say that while there is no official DEQ monitoring station here in Florence surrounding areas suggest that air quality has diminished. People with severe breathing problems should avoid prolonged exposure outdoors and strenuous activity.
Gas Prices Still High
Gas prices continue to climb across the state as the national average has jumped 25 cents over the past 10 days. Hurricane Harvey has affected the overall national price of a regular gallon of gas, but here in Oregon it is still the result of the holiday weekend. Prices should begin to see a decrease as the school year begins and travel lightens. Locally gasoline averages $2.69 a gallon which is about 25 cents higher than a month ago.