Dear Friends in Safety,
After meeting Michelle Davis at the Towards Zero Deaths Conference in Minnesota in October, I received this reflection from her.
"Just after lunch on August 14, 2008, my husband, 29-year-old James L. Davis, was rear-ended and killed on his motorcycle in St. Paul, Minnesota. Traffic on Interstate 94 came to a halt; James was able to stop in time, but the driver behind him was not. Driving an SUV under a revoked license, this young woman was not paying attention and following James' motorcycle too close. The impact was so strong that James' full-face helmet flew off his head, and his body was dragged under the SUV along with his motorcycle. He died instantly.
James and I wed on Lake Superior and were married for 13 months. We were the best friend each had waited our entire lives for; we shared all passions and activities together to preserve our closeness and continually grow in our relationship; we expressed our feelings through original poems and music; and we learned what being "alive" really meant. In mid-September, James and I planned on closing and moving into our first house, where we hoped to raise four children. We were so excited and happy! James spent his days in his dream job as a supercomputer software engineer, and at night engaged in photography, car mechanics, movies, classic novels, running, and as he told me regularly: "finding ways to show you how much I love you." James also left behind both parents, four siblings, and many nephews and nieces who looked up to him.
I cannot believe I lost the love of my life to THIS. There is no reason; the simple truth is that every choice we make has consequences."
Michelle’s story moved us to act on an idea that had been germinating for a couple of years. Thus, in memory of James,KEEP KIDS ALIVE DRIVE 25® announces our newest Road Safety Campaign.
Why “It’s Not A Race! Create Space®?”
The facts speak for themselves. In 2006 1.8 million rear-end collisions occurred on America’s roadways. These accounted for 29% of all injury incidents due to motor vehicle crashes. Injuries themselves are life-altering, but the deaths that result are devastating to all who loved the victims of these incidents. These could easily be avoided if we as drivers would simply learn and practice space management skills whenever we are behind the wheel.
We welcome over-the-raod motor carriers to join the campaign, as has FCC Trucking of Fremont, NE, which attached It’s Not A Race! Create Space® decals to the backs of their trailers. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 402-334-1391 for more information.
An excellent tutorial can be found at Ford Motor Company Fund’s Driving Skills for Life site (Select Unit 4).
KEEP KIDS ALIVE DRIVE 25® invites your organization, local/state/federal agency, business, or school to partner with us in educating drivers to learn and practice space management skills on all roadways. Contact us at email@example.com or call 402-334-1391 to get involved.
And as we remember James Davis, we are reminded, “Don’t Let the 2 Minutes You ‘Save’ Be the Last 2 Minutes of Someone’s Life.” Adapted from David Townsend (Tia’s father)
And, from Smart Motorist.com comes these helpful directions to help manage space wisely while driving.
Good Weather - During daylight with good, dry roads and low traffic volume, you can ensure you're a safe distance from the car ahead of you by following the "three-second rule." The distance changes at different speeds. To determine the right following distance, first select a fixed object on the road ahead such as a sign, tree or overpass. When the vehicle ahead of you passes the object, slowly count "one one thousand, two one thousand, three one thousand." If you reach the object before completing the count, you're following too closely. Making sure there are three seconds between you and the car ahead gives you time and distance to respond to problems in the lane ahead of you.
Inclement Weather, Heavy Traffic, or Night-Time Driving - In heavy traffic, at night, or when weather conditions are not ideal (eg. light rain, light fog, light snow), double the three second rule to six seconds, for added safety.
Poor Weather - If the weather conditions are very poor, eg. heavy rain, heavy fog, or heavy snow, start by tripling the three second rule to nine seconds to determine a safe following distance.
Tailgating - Following a vehicle too closely is called 'tailgating'. Tailgating is an aggressive driving behavior that is easily mistaken for road rage. Use the three-second rule to avoid tailgating. Most rear end collisions are caused by the vehicle in back following too closely. If someone is tailgating you, move to another lane or turn off the road as soon as possible and allow the tailgating vehicle to pass.
We encourage you to browse our site for helpful information. Discover how easy it is to begin a KEEP KIDS ALIVE DRIVE 25® campaign in your own community! It’s easy, it’s informative and a great place to share ideas. Connect with local contacts in your state, click here to view all State Contacts.