Spring break road travel safety

Center for Advanced Public Safety research data. (Source: Terri Brewer/WBRC)
Center for Advanced Public Safety research data. (Source: Terri Brewer/WBRC)

TUSCALOOSA, AL (WBRC) - Across Alabama, many people are either on spring break right now, or getting ready for it in the next few weeks. For those who will be on the road this spring break, traffic researchers have some safety considerations for you to remember.

University of Alabama Center for Advanced Public Safety Associate Director of Outreach Rhonda Stricklin says in looking at state crash data from the spring break time period last year, it appears the factors that contribute to crashes throughout the year were the same ones that were factors during that time period.

Speed was the greatest contributing factor in fatal crashes.

Stricklin also says the data shows the importance of wearing a seat belt. She says 57 percent of the crash fatalities were unbelted.

"Wear your seat belt," Stricklin said. "That's the number one thing you can do to protect yourself, if you are in a crash, whether you cause it or not. That's the number one thing you can do to make yourself safer."

With teens being out of school for spring break, some of them will likely be spending more time behind the wheel. Stricklin encourages parents to enforce Alabama's graduated driver license law, which puts special restrictions on beginning teen drivers.

One of the restrictions limits the number of passengers a teen driver may have in their car.

"It does help to make them safer, to give them more time, more experience, before they start driving other passengers around. We talk about distraction a lot, with texting and teens, but other passengers are a huge distraction for teen drivers."

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