Inclement Weather Safety

Traffic accidents increase during bad weather. Following the inclement weather safety tips below can reduce traffic-related crashes, injuries, and fatalities on our roadways. These traffic safety graphics and safe driving tips can be shared with your organization and community.

inclement weather safety
inclement weather safety

Today’s Forecast Calls for a Safe Drive

Sometimes we have the privilege of preparedness; other times Mother Nature mounts a sneak attack and we encounter a bad storm. Remember the saying “Expect the unexpected?” Knowing how to handle your vehicle in dangerous weather will prevent panic when you are forced into driving in a storm. Become weather-wise by following these simple guidelines:

  • Turn on your lights. Keep windshield wipers on and make sure they are in good working condition.
  • Slow down, but keep moving. Don’t stop unless you can get completely off the road.
  • Minimize lane changing.
  • Stay further behind the car in front of you.
  • Be careful of large puddles, they can make your brakes less effective.
  • On wet roads, apply brakes smoothly and evenly to avoid hydroplaning. If you do lose control, take your foot off the gas and do not apply the brakes suddenly.
  • Never drive through flood water more than six inches deep. If you encounter a flooded area, turn around. If your car stalls, abandon it immediately and climb to higher ground.

Northeast Florida experiences many challenging weather conditions that make it a hazard while driving. Thunderstorms and heavy fog are frequent occurrences. Hurricanes are also a significant concern. High winds, wet roads, and low visibility increase the crash risk. Plan ahead and be prepared for predicted storms and hurricanes. Please drive safe and stay off the road during inclement weather unless it’s an emergency.

Links to Safe Travel Information

Traffic Safety School Days

There are several traffic safety school days and weeks throughout the year. Walk to School Day is coming up this October 5th. And National School Bus Safety Week is October 17-21, 2022. This is a great time to promote traffic safety with the kiddos.

Free Content for Traffic Safety School Days and Events

These special awareness events are an opportunity for community outreach and education. Learning good traffic safety behaviors at a young age can lead to safer, more competent road users. The Northeast Florida Community Traffic Safety Program has excellent resources for everyone to share… schools, teachers, parents, daycare centers, community groups, etc.

National Walk to School Day Resources

Please share these safe walking tips with children in your local community. Below are a video, a color sheet, and two activity pages. These are perfect for showing before and on National Walk to School Day.

Video: Walk to School Safely
Traffic Safety School Days
Printable Coloring Sheet: Walk Safe to School PDF
Walking Rules Activity Page: Tips for Preteen Pedestrians
Activity Sheet for Elementary Age Children: Walk Safe!

National School Bus Safety Week Resources

Available materials for National School Bus Safety Week include a video, a color sheet, and two activity pages. Please share these school bus safety tips for children.

Video: Bus to School Safely
Printable Coloring Sheet: School Bus Stop Safety Rules PDF
Bus+ATV Safe Activity Page: Tips for Preteens
Activity Sheet for Elementary Age Children: Bus Safe!

Walking and School Bus Safety Rules for Children and Drivers

Two of our safety bookmarks distributed to community public libraries in Northeast Florida include school bus and walking safety education. The graphics below can be printed and handed out as a flyer. You could also fold it in half and use it as a bookmark! One half has a crossword puzzle to keep kids engaged while learning (or refreshing) up on safety rules. The other half has safe driving reminders for motorists. These would be great pieces for kids to do at school and take home to share with their parents and caregivers.

traffic safety school days
traffic safety school days

Additional Traffic Safety Pedestrian and School Bus Information

Find even more resources on these pages listed below. Check out “Safety Town” – traffic safety for children at home, school, and around the neighborhood. We made our activity books easy to download and print as activity sheets on our “Safety for Kids.” Our “National School Bus Safety Week” blog post and “School Bus Safety” page have safety reminders for drivers and students.

W.H.A.L.E. Check Program

We Have A Little Emergency – W.H.A.L.E. CHECK Child Passenger Safety Program

The W.H.A.L.E. Check program was first introduced in May of 2002 in Jacksonville, Florida by Northeast FDOT District Two’s CTSP. This is a child passenger safety education and identification program for parents and caregivers in Florida. In the event of an automobile crash, children are often too young to identify themselves or provide helpful information.

Parents and guardians are encouraged to complete the sticker and place it on the back of the child’s car seat to provide vital contact information to emergency personnel. We suggest users stick the two smaller labels on each side of the car seat. These alert rescuers that the occupant is participating in W.H.A.L.E. Check.

Our popular and nationally recognized W.H.A.L.E. Check campaign remains highly requested and distributed material with important child occupant protection education and information. Almost 300,000 printed W.H.A.L.E. Checks have been distributed in Northeast Florida since being launched. Over 1,656 digital versions have been viewed or downloaded from this website. The site has received over 10,000 social media W.H.A.L.E. Check impressions just in the last several years. Watch the video above to learn more about how the program works.

Free Resources: Printable Flyer and Social Media Graphic

WHALE Check art

Available statewide as a digital download courtesy of FDOT District Two: Click here to download the W.H.A.L.E. Check as a one-page, printable PDF flyer. This can be distributed at car seat checks, traffic safety events, daycare centers, pediatrician offices, government agencies, and hospitals.

w.h.a.l.e. check program

Click here to download this CPS social media image to help promote the W.H.A.L.E. Check program. Don’t forget to tag us!
@trafficsafetyteam on Facebook and Instagram 
@trafficsafetyfl on Twitter and Pinterest

District Two Community Traffic Safety Teams may click here to order printed W.H.A.L.E. Check flyers online now.


The W.H.A.L.E. Check informational flyer also includes child safety seat advice and guidelines. Here are five safety tips to help prevent injuries in case of a car crash:

  1. WEAR YOUR SAFETY BELT: Studies show that if you wear your seat belt, your kids will too.
  2. Follow manufacturer’s instructions: Always check the manual for both your
    car and the child safety seat for proper installation guidelines.
  3. Seat strapped in tight: You should not be able to move the car seat more than one inch
    in any direction at the belt path, and always use the top tether when forward facing.
  4. Chest clip at armpit level & harness snug: Straps should be tight enough
    so that you cannot pinch the fabric of the harness at the shoulders.
  5. Back seat is safest: Children age 13 and under should ride in the back seat.
    Older children no longer need a special seat if their legs bend comfortably at the
    seat’s edge with their back resting flat against the back of the seat.

We follow these American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations and want all children safeguarded in the right car seat:

  • Birth – 12 Months: Babies under age 1 should always ride in a rear-facing car seat. There are different types of rear-facing car seats: Infant-only seats can only be used rear-facing. Convertible and 3-in-1 car seats typically have higher height and weight limits for the rear-facing position, allowing you to keep your child rear-facing for a longer period of time.
  • 1 – 3 Years: Toddlers should ride in a rear-facing car seat with a harness as long as possible – until they reach the top height or weight limit of the seat, typically around 35 to 45 pounds.
  • 4 – 7 Years: Young children should ride in a forward-facing car seat with a harness until they reach the top height or weight limit of the seat – typically between 40 and 60 pounds.
  • 8 – 12 Years: Children should ride in a belt-positioning booster seat until they are at least 4 feet 9 inches tall. Seat belts fit properly when the lap belt lies snugly across the upper thighs, not the stomach, and the shoulder belt lies snug across the shoulder and chest, not over the neck or face.

Defensive Driving Tools for Safety

Defensive Driving Tools for Safety was written and presented by Jeff Hohlstein, a Community Traffic Safety Team member in Clay County, Florida. This educational driving and traffic safety video is geared towards aging road users. However, these are essential tips and reminders for all drivers.

Watch the Defensive Driving Video Presentation:

Learn about setting side view mirrors for blind spots. Understand the importance of keeping a safe following distance and obeying the speed limit. The “three-second rule” is a good idea for all drivers to keep in mind. While this rule is flexible and isn’t always appropriate in every driving situation, it can foster good driving habits that reduce the risk of rear-end collisions and similar accidents.

Gain an understanding of observing a vehicle’s front wheels, approaching intersections safely, and scanning through a signalized intersection. Learn how to use the OODA Loop while driving. OODA is an acronym for Observe, Orient, Decide, Act. When you do it again and again, it becomes a constant decision loop. Retired Colonel John Boyd, USAF, developed this rapid decision-making tool. Today, OODA is used by many Armed Forces and Police agencies and can be used as a defensive driving tool for motorists.

Flip through the Defensive Driving Tools for Safety Presentation:

Most people set their side view mirrors straight back and miss their blind spot completely. The video covers how to set your side view mirrors to cover your blind spot.

This video discusses how to use OODA to stay safe while driving. Defensive driving is much about managing space around your vehicle. The most controllable area you have is your safe following distance. OODA will help you do that right. OODA will also help you develop scan patterns for navigating intersections and avoiding a collision when someone unsafely enters your right-of-way.  

Uses of OODA in defensive driving:

  • Observe > Following distance, traffic patterns; intersections of all kinds; vehicles around you.
  • Orient > Calculate the following distance; identify other potential conflicts.
  • Decide > Action to maintain safe following distance; plan to avoid those other conflicts.
  • Act > Establish/reestablish safe following distance; avoid those other conflicts whether or not the crash would have been your fault.
  • Do it again > Practice OODA until it’s as natural as driving itself.
Jeff Hohlstein presenting Defensive Driving Tools for Safety

Click here to read Jeff Hohlstein’s first article, Three Defensive Driving Tools to Avoid Great Impact, and what the video presentation from 2020.

Six-Year Crash Fact Report

This FDOT District Two Community Traffic Safety Program’s Six-Year Crash Fact Report provides data for all 18 counties.

The 6-year crash facts covers districtwide numbers, county numbers, population growth, and the emphasis areas of Florida’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan. These include roadway crash facts, user behavior crash facts, and road user crash facts.

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) District Two’s Community Traffic Safety Program mission is to reduce traffic-related fatalities and injuries. This is also the goal of Target Zero – because every life counts, and even one fatality is too many.

The #1 objective of the Community Traffic Safety Program is to reduce the number and severity of crashes. We work at identifying, developing, implementing, and evaluating safety and traffic strategies.

These strategies include planning, design, construction, maintenance, education, and community outreach. We offer traffic safety engineering expertise to the public, and with the help and assistance of our partners, we serve as transportation safety champions.

The six-year historical report is a fundamental evaluation tool as we work toward zero deaths and severe injuries on our Florida roadways.

Take a moment to flip through District Two’s Six-Year Crash Fact Report