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 Talk Summer 2022

FDOT District Two Community Traffic Safety Program News and Information Update – Click here to download this edition of Traffic Safety Talk Summer 2022. In this issue, various projects from the past six months are highlighted. They include:

  • Safety Belt Use in Northeast Florida with four new occupant protection messages
  • 4 E’s and More in Traffic Safety
  • Reinforcing Florida’s Bike Safety Law
  • Move Over or Slow Down safety campaign and digital tip cards
  • Safety Town videos and coloring pages for children
  • Get Out and Move for Safety virtual event

Traffic Safety Talk Summer 2022 Newsletter Flip-book:

District Two Community Traffic Safety Outreach Online

Over the past year, TrafficSafetyTeam.org had 11,434 website sessions. New visitors make up of 76% of our visits. Our Instagram following has shown the most growth from 297 to 392. Our YouTube videos have had 689 hours of watch time. Pinterest views averaged 27,000 per month. Non-alcoholic mocktail drink recipes remain very popular on all platforms – St. Patrick’s Day Lucky Lime had 1,242 reactions in March 2022. A variety of posts exceeded social media engagement goals.

Traffic Safety Talk Summer 2022 CHAMPION –
Dr. Morya E. Willis

Targeting the best-of-the-best, Dr. Willis is the bullseye! We hope you will take a moment to read this article. She shared some of her Community Traffic Safety Team experiences – past, present and future. You will get insight on why she is a true Community Traffic Safety Program “Champion!”

Traffic Safety Outreach

If you have an upcoming event or an idea for community outreach that involves traffic safety, please let us know how we can help! We can share your event on our social media platforms, at team meetings, in an email, and highlight it in our next newsletter. Please email us at: trafficsafetyteam@dot.state.fl.us

Click here to read the complete CTSP Traffic Safety Talk – Summer 2022 newsletter and see upcoming projects.

Engineering Concerns

Our members are local highway safety advocates. They are committed to solving traffic safety problems through a comprehensive, multi-jurisdictional, multidisciplinary approach. A major function of the CTSTs is to submit, review and address solutions for these concerns. Since last summer, we have:

  • Followed 323 Engineering Concerns
  • Received 128 New Concerns
  • Closed 127 Issues

Tailing Traffic Safety

District Two CTSP wrapped 40 fleet vehicle truck tailgates. The three traffic safety messages included occupant protection, bicycle safety and stop speeding reminders. 

4 E’s and More in Traffic Safety

The Northeast Florida Community Traffic Safety Program in FDOT District Two has long since integrated and promoted the 4 E’s. Our local Community Traffic Safety Teams (CTSTs) were founded on the four core values of road safety: enforcement, emergency service, engineering, and education.

It’s time to reevaluate the 4 E’s and more in traffic safety

The 4 E’s remain fundamental in traffic safety. However, as we work towards our goal of Target Zero, perhaps it is time to expand the list. Bringing new partners to the table can create better insight and opportunities to reduce the number and severity of crashes. This will result in fewer fatalities and serious injuries.

Evaluation is sometimes mentioned as the fifth E. Evaluating our roadway safety programs and crash facts has always been a critical function.

Innovation and technology play a big part in traffic safety today and in the future. Embedded technology could officially be added to the list as a vital part of road safety for six E’s. It continues to expand and grow with improved vehicle systems. Some embedded technology safety features include:

  • adaptive cruise control
  • airbag
  • telematics
  • traction control
  • in-vehicle entertainment
  • emission control system
  • parking system
  • navigation systems
  • collision sensors
  • climate control
  • radio
  • anti-lock braking systems

Evaluation and Embedded Technology brings it up to 6 E’s

Over the years, new players have been invited to the table. We need to do things differently to change the number and severity of crashes. Innovation and technology have helped us get where we are. Therefore, embedded technology needs to be included to continue learning and adapting.

Traffic safety partners are vital for every CTST. We must enlist, engage, encourage, and have equity to be effective. In summary, “it takes a village” to tackle and change driver behavior on our highways. We need to engage ALL players. This graphic illustrates our adaptation of the four original E’s of road safety and expands with the new E’s to enhance and complete the process.

4 E’s and More in Traffic Safety

10 E’s in Traffic Safety:

  • Engineering
  • Education
  • Enforcement
  • Emergency Medical Services
  • Evaluation
  • Embedded Technology
  • Engage
  • Enlist
  • Encourage
  • Equity

The Northeast Florida Community Traffic Safety Teams are locally based groups of highway safety advocates committed to solving traffic safety problems through a comprehensive, multi-jurisdictional, multidisciplinary approach. Our teams comprise members from the four “E” disciplines of highway safety—Engineering, Education, Enforcement, and Emergency Medical Services. Members also include City, County, and State representatives, private industry, and citizens. The common goal of each team is to reduce the number and severity of traffic crashes within their community.

Engage, Enlist, Encourage, and Equity are four more E’s to consider

Community Traffic Safety Team members are a vital part of the program. They work together to help solve local traffic safety problems related to drivers, vehicles, and roadways. Four additional E’s have been brought to the table that could assist these members, partners, and agencies. The new categories include Engage Your Audience,  Enlist Your People, Encourage Your Team, and Equity Sharing Opportunities.

In addition, it has been asked, “Should we expand safety strategies to include the 4 I’s?” These related topics benefit the Community Traffic Safety Program and improve the traffic safety culture. The 4 I’s include:

  • Information Intelligence
  • Innovation
  • Insight into Communities
  • Investment & Policies

In conclusion, the 4 E’s remain a core traffic safety function. However, there is room to grow. Adding additional strategies and insight can help work towards ZERO fatalities on our roadways.

Get Out and Move for Safety!

The FDOT District Two Community Traffic Safety Program (CTSP) held a successful virtual bike/walk/run challenge during the week of April 23-30, 2022. The purpose was to share traffic safety tips and promote pedestrian and bicyclist safety in Northeast Florida.

The inaugural Traffic Safety Spring Bike/Walk/Run Virtual 5K was a great community outreach event encouraging everyone to get out and move for safety! The event helped educate motorists and vulnerable road users on safe habits while on the road. We reached over 1,400 social media impressions, interactions, and blog views. We also created a four-part message campaign that included over 4,000 emails sent to team members with traffic safety education and information.

In total, 43 participants registered and completed an individual 5K (3.1 miles) by cycling, walking, jogging, or running. Once completed, participants could upload their results to their race roster participant dashboard, download their finisher certificate, and receive a digital medal. The first 10 participants to upload their results received a Traffic Safety Team hat.

Virtual race logo

The event was held to promote safety tips for pedestrians and bicyclists:

  • Wear bright colors. Increase your visibility and use bike lights/reflectors.
  • See and be seen. Make eye contact with drivers when crossing streets.
  • Be predictable. Cross streets where it is legal to do so.
  • Stop! Look left, right, and left for traffic.
  • Be prepared for the unexpected.

Let’s MOVE for SAFETY all year long! As you enjoy outdoor activities this summer, please stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, wear sunscreen and a hat, watch for signs of heat exhaustion, take plenty of breaks from the heat, and cool off by heading into a cooled space. Wherever you drive, for work, a long road trip, the neighborhood pool, or the beach, make sure to drive safe and share the road.

Tips for Motorists, Bicyclists and Pedestrians

Share the Road

Motorists:

  • Share the road with bicyclists.
  • Stop for pedestrians crossing at every intersection.
  • Stop before turning right on red.
  • Passing bicyclists too closely is dangerous and illegal.
  • Focus on the road. 
  • Avoid aggressive driving.
  • Obey the traffic laws, signals, and speed limits.
  • Look in all directions before making a turn. 
  • Do not pass a vehicle that is stopping for pedestrians.

Bicyclists: Wear a helmet when biking. If a rider or passenger is under 16, they must wear a properly fitted helmet that securely fastens to the passenger’s head by a strap. Ride on the right side of the road, with traffic flow. Use bike lanes when available. Use hand signals when turning and obey all traffic signs and signals.

Walkers and Runners: Always cross the street at corners or crosswalks. Walk or run on the far left off the side of the road, facing traffic. Use sidewalks when available. Pay attention. Constantly look and listen for vehicles.


For more information on the event or about your FDOT District Two CTSP, please email us at TrafficSafetyTeam@dot.state.fl.us.

Safety Belt Use in Northeast Florida

According to a 2021 survey by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), statewide use of safety belts increased slightly, from 89.8% in 2019 to 90.1% in 2021. Of the 18 counties in FDOT District Two, three were surveyed in 2021. Safety belt use in Northeast Florida increased in two out of the three counties surveyed. We are proud of both Alachua and St. Johns for making the list of high-usage counties!

Survey Results in 2021 for Safety Belt Use in Northeast Florida and Statewide

Usage Rates:
• Alachua County 95%
• St Johns County 92.1%
• Statewide Average 90.1%
• Duval County 87.3%

Alachua County Safety Belt Use Rates Highest in Florida

Congratulations, Alachua County, for having the highest usage rates in the state again! Survey results showed that Alachua equaled its highest-ever use rates, at 95.0%, and ranked #1 overall statewide. Alachua has been a long-time winner with buckling up. We are proud of Alachua for consistently remaining at the top of usage rates in Florida.  

St. Johns County Rates High in Safety Belt Use

Kudos to St. Johns County for maintaining an above-average usage rate. St. Johns came in at the fifth-highest county in the state with a 92.1% safety belt use rate (a tie with Lee County). Since 2018, St. Johns has rated over 90% safety belt use.

Duval County Safety Belt Use Needs Improvement

We have work to do in Duval County! Of the 2021 counties surveyed, Duval ranked the secondlowest safety belt use rate in the state, at 87.3% (followed only by Volusia at 84.%). Plans are for extensive efforts to provide resources, tools, and support to Duval County by educating others on the importance of buckling up. The FDOT District Two Community Traffic Safety Program (CTSP) has many occupant protection resources on its website and social media platforms.


Occupant Protection Messages in Response to Low Usage Rates

Occupants Ages 16-34: Be Savvy… Buckle Up
Occupants in Pickups: Buckle Up in Your Truck

Survey Results and Trends

Florida’s 2021 survey results show safety belt use differed by road type. Motorists on higher speed roads are buckling up more, while usage on local, lower speed roads are least likely buckled up. The highest use of safety belts was on interstate highways, at 93.1%, followed by principal arterials at 91.9%. The lowest usage was on local roads, at 87.6%, and minor arterials at 87.3%.

Safety belt usage also differed by vehicle type. Occupants in pickup trucks have exhibited lower usage than those in other vehicle types every year of the survey. SUV occupants frequently used their safety belts at 93.7%, car occupants at 90%, van occupants at 89.9%, and pickup occupants at 81.6%.

Survey results consistently indicated that females were more likely to wear a safety belt every year. In 2021, 92.9% of females buckled up, versus men, at 87.6%.

Occupants ages 35–39 buckled up 91.8% of the time, and those ages 16–34 buckled up the least, at 88.7%. Prior surveys show a similar pattern in usage among age groups. 

Overall, safety belt usage has shown an upward trend over time. The 2021 results indicate progress in use among occupants traveling on higher-speed roadways and certain types of vehicles (SUVs). Results also indicate where improvement is still needed among the low belt use groups, including occupants of pickup trucks, black occupants, and occupants traveling on lower-speed roadways.

FDOT State Safety Office administered the annual survey. State survey sites and locations were based on recent traffic fatality counts in 15 Florida counties. Click here to view the Safety Belt Use in Florida 2021 Final Report. (Note: No survey was conducted in 2020.)


Additional Occupant Protection Information and Resources

  • Wear your seat belt for every ride.
  • Buckling up is the single most effective thing you can do to protect yourself in a crash.
  • Secure children in a proper child safety seat.
  • Safety belt use isn’t just a good idea; IT’S THE LAW.

Your Traffic Safety Team provides a large variety of occupant protection materials via our website and social media channels.

Safety Belt Law History

In 1986, Florida implemented its first adult safety belt law. Safety belt use before the law was at 22% statewide. From 1999 to 2004, Florida’s use rate increased from 59% to just over 76% due to FDOT’s “Click It or Ticket” campaign and other efforts across the state. In 2009, Florida passed a primary enforcement safety belt bill, and safety belt use has increased since the law’s passage. Working together, we can continue to increase safety belt use and reduce fatalities and injuries on our roadways.

“Always Buckle Up … for Your Family. For Yourself. For LIFE.” 
No Regrets When You BUCKLE UP!