‘Make Safety Stick: Everybody Click’ every day, every time
Mike Seals - January 28, 2021 10:00 pm
ODOT launches year-round educational safety effort
From distracted driving to sharing the road to driver etiquette, the Oklahoma Department of Transportation, the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority and its safety partners are bringing 12 months of driver safety education to motorists in an effort to lessen fatalities on Oklahoma roads.
The year-long “Make Safety Stick: Everybody Click” awareness effort is a reminder that highway safety can never take a back seat. The effort will focus on all aspects of driver safety with seat belts as the overarching theme. In the first 15 days of 2021, Oklahoma saw 10 fatalities on its highways and five of those were not wearing seat belts, which potentially could have saved their lives.
“We’re passionate about working together to bring down fatalities on Oklahoma highways and turnpikes and we’re asking motorists to be our safety partners,” said Secretary of Transportation Tim Gatz. “On an almost daily basis, we see crashes that could have different outcomes if seat belts had been worn. The odds of survival go up significantly and the severity of injuries often goes down when people are wearing their seat belts. We ask motorists to buckle up each and every time and heed safety protocols while driving.”
Each month, the department will highlight a different aspect of highway safety combined with an emphasis on seat belt usage statewide. Oklahoma is ranked No. 43 nationally for motorists wearing their seat belts. ODOT is enlisting drivers’ help to change its national ranking for seat belt usage and climb closer to the top by clicking their belts each and every time they drive and always asking their passengers to buckle up, too.
“We are very excited about this safety campaign that is designed to provide critical information to drivers daily to use as a tool in protecting themselves while driving,” said Terri Angier, transportation spokeswoman. “Transportation officials and engineers take crashes on the highways very seriously and do everything in their power to keep highways safe and now ask drivers to join us in saving lives. The life they help us save may be their own or a loved one’s.”
The first week of the campaign in January emphasized the dangers of distracted driving in conjunction with an Oklahoma Highway Patrol and Oklahoma Highway Safety Office effort. Distracted driving resulted in 2,841 deaths nationally in 2018, the latest year with full data available. One of the best ways to eliminate potential crashes is to always remain focused behind the wheel by putting down the cell phone. Other common distractions to eliminate while driving are eating, grooming, adjusting the radio and climate controls or being distracted by a passenger. Starting in February and throughout 2021, the ODOT safety calendar will focus on safety tips to help avoid the top causes of crashes and highway problems, as assessed by engineers.
Areas for safety improvement that will be highlighted with daily safety tips will include work zone, bicycle and pedestrian safety, how to avoid common driver errors, tips for sharing the road with commercial vehicles and motorcycles, driver etiquette and more. The department also will highlight traffic innovations and solutions that help drivers navigate safely from start to finish, but wants to remind motorists that they always share responsibility in highway safety.
ODOT and OTA will work with their safety partners to promote this statewide safety effort. Here are ways to stay up to date with safety:
- Stay tuned to @OKDOT and @OKTurnpike on Facebook and Twitter;
- Online at oklahoma.gov/citizen/make-safety-stick-everybody-click to learn more about each month’s safety focus;
- Drivers can sign up at odot.org under Stay Connected to receive traffic advisories via email, and
- Download the Drive Oklahoma mobile app for real-time travel information on interstates. Find the app in the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.