stay safe


Sledding Safety Tips

sledding

Sledding is a favorite winter pastime, but if you’re not careful what begins as a day filled with fun, can turn into a trip to the doctors office.  Keep these tips in mind next time you go sledding and stay safe!

  • The first step to staying safe while sledding is to dress for the part.  If you’re outside in freezing temperatures, you could be at risk for hypothermia or frost bite.  Bundle up for the weather with hats, mittens, snow pants, a winter jacket, and snow boots.  Avoid wearing scarves as they can get caught and lead to strangulation.
  • Wear a helmet.  There are ones that are specifically designed for winter sports, or if you don’t have one of those, wear a bike helmet to protect yourself against collisions.
  • Choose the right hill.  Not all hills are safe for sledding, and choosing the wrong one can lead to big problems.  There are a few things you want to avoid on hills, mainly things you could potentially collide with.  You definitely want to avoid hills that end near trees, fences, utility poles, ponds, or other bodies of water.
  • You also want to avoid sledding on a hill that ends near a parking lot or street, cars are often not expecting someone on a sled to come speeding by them, and sledding near any moving vehicle could prove to be a recipe for disaster.
  • Avoid hills with jumps or other obstacles, sledding can be dangerous enough without subjecting yourself to these hazards.  It’s also better to go sledding during daylight so that such obstacles are visible.
  • Find a hill that is covered in snow rather than ice, while you may go faster down a hill slick with ice, if you fall off your sled, the landing will be much more painful.
  • The best hill to sled on is one that is covered in snow and has a long, flat area at the bottom that will allow you to coast to a stop.
  • Find a sled that can be steered by the rider or has a brake on it, they are much safer than typical saucers and toboggans and don’t cost much more.
  • Always have an adult on hand that can bring injured sledders to the emergency room, if need be.
  • Only one person per sled
  • The only exception to the previous rule is adults accompanying children ages 5 and under on their sled.
  • Always sit face-front while sledding.  Standing, going down backwards, or face first can lead to serious injury.
  • Go down one rider at a time, once you reach the bottom, walk back up the side of the hill, and leave the middle of the hill open for other sledders.
  • If you find yourself unable to stop while going down the hill, roll off the sled.
  • Do not allow children to ride on a sled being pulled by a car, snowmobile, ATV, or any other moving vehicle.

Sledding is supposed to be fun, and we want it to stay that way!  These tips will not only keep you safe and warm, they will ensure that fun is had by all!

Photo By: Scott

Stay Safe In Parking Lots

parking lot

How often do you find yourself in a crowded parking lot?  Probably more often than you’d like, which is why it’s so important to take safety precautions that you may not normally think of.  Believe it or not, parking lots can be extremely dangerous and are often patrolled by criminals.  Follow these tips to keep your valuables, and more importantly, yourself safe.

  • Don’t make your car an easy target.  Always lock the doors and hide all valuables, especially new purchases or GPS devices.  Thieves look for items such as these so do not leave them in sight.  Purchases should go in the trunk and make sure to not only remove the GPS device itself but also the cord, and if your GPS is mounted to the window, try and remove the suction marks.  If thieves see these marks, they may assume that you’re hiding your GPS in the center console or glove compartment and break in anyway.  It’s best to leave no trace of any valuables whatsoever.
  • Be strategic when picking a parking spot.  We know that it can be tough to do this, but try and avoid parking in dark, desolate locations.  If you can park in a crowded, well-lit area that’s your best bet.  Criminals are not likely to target vehicles or people in these areas, as they are more likely to be identified.
  • Remain alert.  This is an extremely important tip, and unfortunately there are endless distractions between music, emails, and phone calls but it’s important to put those things on hold until you’re home.  Watching your surroundings is your best defense against becoming a victim or getting hit by a car.
  • Don’t stall when walking to your car.  Walk briskly and don’t appear as though you’re lost, even if you can’t find your car.  If possible, go shopping with a friend and use the buddy system, that will significantly reduce your chance of becoming a target.  If you are by yourself and are nervous to walk to your car, don’t hesitate to ask a security guard to walk you to your car.  All malls have security guards and that’s what they are there for, it’s better to be safe than sorry!
  • Carry your keys in your hand, not only can they act as a weapon if necessary, but it’s also better to be ready to unlock your car right away.  Once you’re in the car, don’t sit there picking a song or making a call, lock the doors right away and drive.
  • If you do feel as though you’re being followed out of a parking lot, drive to a well-lit area such as a gas station and call the police.  Having a car charger is also a good idea should you find yourself in an emergency situation such as this, you don’t want to have a dead cell phone and no way to call for help.

Keep these tips in mind next time you find yourself in a crowded parking lot.  Knowledge is your best defense against becoming a victim, so observe your surroundings, avoid distractions, and stay safe!

Photo By: Benson Kua

Do The Safety Bounce!

Do you do the Safety Bounce?  This new video from the MBTA urges all riders to practice safe behavior including looking both ways before you step off the curb, standing behind the yellow line at T stations, holding on to railings, and being alert to stay as safe as possible!  This unique and funny video is a great way to spread the word and remind all public transit riders to not let the little things get to them, and to use caution in their daily commute.  Be sure to share this fun, and catchy video with friends, family, co-workers, and anyone you know that takes public transit, just try not getting it stuck in your head!

Staying Safe In Construction Zones

construction zone

Whether you’re on the highway or a street in your neighborhood, road construction is a way of life for all drivers.  During the summer there is more construction going on than ever and not only can construction zones be dangerous for drivers, they can also pose a danger to the workers as well.  Keep these safety tips in mind next time you end up driving through a construction zone.

  • The best piece of advice we can give when it comes to construction zones is to avoid them.   Not only do they cause traffic, the more cars there are the more potential there is for an accident.  511 is know as America’s Traveler Information Telephone Number and can provide you with the best and safest routes available, even if you’re just commuting to work.  You can find information about various coverage areas from 5:30 a.m. until 9 p.m. Monday-Friday, and from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. on weekends and holidays. You can visit their website to get real-time traffic updates and create customized alerts! Another great tool we love?  The Waze traffic app that is updated in real time by other users on the road and provides the best and most updated routes taking traffic into consideration.
  • If you do find yourself approaching one of those bright orange signs reading “construction ahead” and don’t have time to take an alternate route, make sure you obey the posted speed limit.  Speeding is one of the biggest hazards for both drivers and construction workers.  If you’re speeding 10 miles over the limit and suddenly need to change lanes, you could potentially cause a major accident if you’re not able to get over in time.  You will also face big fines if you’re caught speeding in a construction zone, typically they are doubled and police officers do not take enforcement lightly.
  • When it comes to merging, the biggest risk factors are merging too late or at a high speed.  Both can result in deadly collisions and even if an accident does not occur, no one likes that person that waits until the last possible second to merge in an attempt to beat just a few more cars.  Get over as soon as possible and make sure you are going at a speed that is safe for yourself and your fellow drivers.
  • Be aware!  You need to be totally focused on your surroundings, not only the other cars, construction signs, and detours, but also the workers and their vehicles.  Construction vehicles may be working closely to the highway and it’s important to make sure they are able to see you as many have bad blind spots.  Some of them may even move onto the highway and come extremely close to oncoming traffic, and are slow to maneuver if an emergency ever did arise.  Workers are often located on the shoulders of highways so keep an eye out for them as well.

As always, safety is the top priority when it comes to driving.  Even though construction zones can be painful to sit through and delay your commute, they are unavoidable and it’s important to be as safe as possible when you find yourself in one.

Photo By: Bill Selak

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