It May be Mad March But You Can Still Drive Safely!
Something happens on our roads during March. Maybe it’s just March Madness
parties coinciding with the celebratory mood of St Patrick’s Day. Suddenly,
the traffic is crazier than usual.
Then we have spring break here in LA at the end of the month, putting more
young pedestrians on our roads and sidewalks. And we all know how much
attention many youngsters pay to road safety – like, not a lot.
And, as our sporadic rainfall at the start of the month demonstrated, slick
roads create an additional hazard for early spring drivers.
One way or another, March is a good time to add an extra measure of caution
to your driving.
St Patrick’s Day and March Madness Safe Driving Tips
Let’s take a quick look at the two big mid-month events first.
Even though LA has a fairly low Irish American count and we don’t have any
major events, that doesn’t stop us enjoying the local celebrations, parades
and festivities of the day.
this TimeOut guide
to find out what’s happening here).
This year, St Patrick’s Day falls on a weekend, which likely means more
people, more traffic and more road safety risks.
It’s one of the deadliest days of the year on our highways. Make sure you
don’t become an accident victim.
So, if you’re planning to join the celebrations, here are a few simple
driving tips to be aware of:
- First, be aware that others are celebrating too and they may not be as
cautious or sober as you, so be extra vigilant in your driving.
- Same goes for pedestrians. Watch out for unsteady revelers on sidewalks
and at crossings.
- Plan your journey in advance – both going and returning, taking account
of published information about traffic disruptions and road blockages.
- If you also plan to enjoy an alcoholic beverage or two, simply don’t
drive – agree on a designated driver in your group, take a cab or use
- Download the Designated Driver VIP app for your smartphone. It’ll help
you locate bars that have free incentives, like non-alcoholic drinks and
appetizers for your safe driver.
- As last year, we can expect the LAPD to beef up its presence over the St
Patrick’s Day weekend. There will likely be both saturation patrols and
license checkpoints. You have been warned!
- If someone you’re with takes a few drinks and insists they’re okay to
drive, encourage them to hand over their keys and arrange for
transportation back home for them.
Pretty much the same rules apply to March Madness revels. But there’s one
more important thing:
- Absolutely don’t consider streaming games onto your mobile when you’re
behind the wheel -- and discourage your passengers from streaming too
because of its potential for distraction.
More March Driving Safety Tips
You’re likely still getting used to the return of Daylight Saving Time
earlier this month.
It’s a challenge for most of us because we have to start our working day an
hour earlier, which, for some at least, means a darker start to the day.
Experts say it can take quite a time for our bodies to adjust to the switch
– and one group of researchers in Germany even says our bodies never
So, if you’re still struggling, you now know why! And if you can’t adjust
your body/brain, how about adjusting your driving?
For example, you could
- Allow extra time for your morning commute
- Drive more cautiously if you’ve had to switch from light to dark
- Remember some other drivers may be having a struggle even greater than
you, so look out for them
- Have an extra cup of coffee before you leave home!
- If you’re really sleepy, don’t drive. Stop if you’re already behind the
wheel and plan a safe way to continue your journey. You may be late for
work, but at least you’ll get there in one piece.
Focus on Students
Young people take the safe-driving focus towards the end of the month.
On March 24, Southern Californians will join students across the United
States in the nationwide March for Our Lives campaign in the wake of the
Florida school shooting last month.
Whether you agree with their protest or not, if you happen to be in the
vicinity of Pershing Square you could be in for a whole stack of driving
diversions and increased road hazards. Watch out!
And that brings us to Spring Break, which, for most public schools in the
Los Angeles Unified School District, runs from March 26 through April 2,
which also happens to be the Easter weekend.
If your drive takes you past parks, playing fields and tracks, around malls
and other public areas be prepared to encounter more young students at
While you’re keeping your eyes peeled for revelers and students, don’t
forget the road surface directly in front of you.
After last month’s flash floods, some LA roads are still awaiting repairs.
Look out for potholes – and if, by any chance, we have any more sudden
bursts of rain, watch for those oily, slick surfaces.
One More Thing
On our increasingly busy roads, driving is still a risky business, even for
the most cautious of drivers.
The change of seasons is a good time to review your auto insurance.
It’s a bit like spring cleaning – making sure everything is in order for
the busier times ahead.
Why not do that today? Call us at Aldrich Taylor Insurance and we’ll be happy to
review your coverage and answer any other questions you have about good car insurance.