Archive | October, 2015

Halloween Pedestrian and Driver Safety Tips

30 Oct

Halloween is just a day away! Now that the days are shorter and most trick-or-treaters are going to be out during the twilight and evening hours, we would like to share a few Halloween safety tips.

Image: Pinar Ince/Shutterstock

Image: Pinar Ince/Shutterstock

For pedestrians
Young children should always trick-or-treat with an adult, older children should trick-or-treat in groups.
Choose the safest routes to walk, try to avoid busy traffic areas, and always walk on the sidewalk. If there are no sidewalks, keep to the left and walk facing traffic. Try to limit the number of street crossings.
Wear light colored clothing with reflective tape or stickers or put reflective tape on the trick-or-treat bag. Children can carry glow sticks to improve visibility.
Make sure the costumes don’t make it hard for children to walk and try to avoid face masks because they reduce visibility. Instead children could use face paint.
Watch for cars turning or pulling out of driveways and don’t cross between parked cars.
Eliminate distractions, keep your head up, and be alert.
Carry a flashlight.

For motorists
Slow down and make sure you pay extra attention in residential neighborhoods.
Watch for children at intersections, crossways, and curbs.
Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully.
Remember popular times for trick or treating are between 5:30pm and 9:30pm.
Watch for children dressed in dark colored costumes.
Eliminate all distractions and turn headlights on early.
Do not drive while under the influence.
Stay safe and Happy Halloween!



Fall Safety Tips

23 Oct

In October the days are shorter and it is getting dark earlier which means you have to pay extra attention when you are on the road.


Photo credit: gigi_nyc –

When driving:

  • Be careful when the road is covered in wet leaves, they may cause your car to slip.
  • Watch for deer, they are very active between dawn and dusk this time of
  • Pay particular care for bicyclists and pedestrians who can be more difficult to see during low light hours.
  • Adjust your lights to low beam when driving through fog
  • Always wear your seatbelt and do not use electronic devices while driving.

When walking or biking:

  • Make sure you have bright/light clothing, reflective gear, a glow stick, or a reflective band.
  • Cyclists must have lights on the front and rear of their bike. It’s safer and the law!
  • Pedestrians can also carry a flashlight and should always use the sidewalk when available
  • If possible walk/bike in groups to be more visible.

Stay safe and enjoy all the beauty of the fall!

October 18th- 24th is Teen Driver Safety Week

16 Oct

Parents, take some time next week to start the driving risks conversation with your teen. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ( NHTSA) designated October 18th to October 24th Teen Driver Safety Week. Teens may be a little, let’s say… apprehensive about the topic, but this NHTSA “5 to Drive” campaign is a good way to make them listen. Statistics show that car crashes are the leading cause of death among teenagers, 15 – 19 years old. Many of these fatal car crashes have these causes in common:  cellphone use while driving, speeding, drugs and alcohol, having extra passengers in the car, and not wearing a seat belt.



That is why the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends that parents impose the following rules:

  1. No cell phone use while driving – When you are distracted, your reaction time slows down,  you can’t execute emergency maneuvers, and you are less likely to be able to avoid collisions with other vehicles.
  2. No speeding – Every time you increase your speed, the stopping distance increases, and your chance of being able to control the car decreases.
  3. No alcohol – Driving impaired impacts your reaction time, your judgment, your vision, and it is not legal.
  4. No extra passengers – No more than one passenger at all times. When you have more than one passenger in the car, the risk of getting distracted increases and so is the risk of getting into an accident.
  5. No driving or riding without a seatbelt – Wearing a seatbelt can significantly reduce your chances of being seriously injured or even killed in a car crash. You and your passenger have to wear a seatbelt.

For more information, resources, and statistics regarding teen driving, please visit .

And as always, stay safe!


Do You Really Know Your Car’s Safety Features?

9 Oct

Cars are getting safer.  Additional safety features are standard in most new cars.  There’s just one problem…it turns out that many of us are not familiar with the features in our own vehicles.

In a study conducted by University of Iowa and the National Safety Council, 40% of people interviewed said their car behaved in a way they weren’t expecting and 32% said that their car reacted in unexpected ways in certain situation. Perhaps not surprisingly, the majority of people who had their car behave in an unexpected way turned to Google for answers. But the problem with that is that’s “reactive” not “proactive”.   A new campaign launched by wants to change that and get you to know your car better and make the most of the safety features in your car. Here are a few of the features they describe on their website (the website is very informative and also has many informative videos).

  1. Back-up camera – helps you see directly behind you while backing. Remember to also use your mirrors while backing up, do not rely only on the camera
  2. Anti-lock braking system – help steer in an emergency by restoring traction to your tires
  3. Blind spot monitor – warn you of cars driving in your blind spot
  4. Forward collision warning – alerts you of an impending collision with a slow or a stopped car in front of you
  5. Lane departure warning – uses visual, vibrations, or sound warnings to alert you when you drift out of lane
  6. Tire pressure monitoring system – all the cars manufactured after 2007 have this feature, warning you if you have overinflated or underinflated tires
  7. Adaptive cruise control – maintains your speed and your following distance. Click here for a video of how it works
  8. Adaptive headlights – adapt to changing road conditions
  9. Automatic emergency braking – can apply the brakes to help prevent a crash into a vehicle ahead
  10. Automatic parallel parking – helps you parallel park into a spot, although you are still responsible for braking
  11. Drowsiness alert – alerts you when you are drowsy and will suggest you to take a break when safe to do so
  12. Electronic stability control –helps stabilize the car and prevents losing control in curves and emergency steering maneuvers
  13. High speed alert – sound alert when you’re speeding
  14. Night vision – very useful especially during this time of the year, allows you to see objects better at night by using night-vision technology
  15. Pedestrian detection – uses advanced sensors to detect subtle and slower people movements
  16. Road surface warning – this is a recently introduced feature that warns you about road conditions such as icy roads
  17. Sideview camera – it activates when you use the turn signal or if you activate it manually and shows you an expanded view of the lane beside you
  18. Traction control – works in the background and makes driving smoother by helping maintain control of the car on icy roads or rainy weather

Do you know how many of these features you have on your car? Do you know how to use them? For the full list and detailed explanations of how these features work and how the warnings may look on your dashboard, please go to

Stay safe!

Sources: , University of Iowa 



It’s Walk to School Month!

2 Oct

It’s Walk to School Month! Walk to School Month is a great reason to plan fun and exciting walk to school events in your community. Communities and schools can use Walk to School Month as a step toward changing community culture and creating better options for getting around that are safer, healthier, and also fun and rewarding. Just a few weeks ago the Surgeon General issued a call for action to promote walking and walkable communities, mentioning that walking to school can be a great way for children to get the recommended 60 minutes of activity a day.

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Not able to commit to a whole month? How about just a day?  October 7th is International Walk to School Day which means that instead of taking the bus or being driven by Mom or Dad, you will likely see more students walking to and from school.  Walk to School Day is a global event where communities from over 40 countries walk and bike to school.  Check out all the other schools in NJ and around the country that already committed to walk to school on Oct 7th

Let your student discover that the journey to school can start with their own two feet!  Here’s why that’s a great idea:

  • Get Exercise: Walking is a great opportunity for children to get the physical activity they need.
  • Get Outdoors: Walking and biking to school is a great way to get outside and enjoy the fresh air.
  • Help the Environment: Replacing car trips with walking or bicycling can reduce pollution from emissions, making it easier to breathe.
  • Make Your Community a Better Place: Walking and biking to school helps reduce congestion, especially around schools. Your neighborhood becomes safer, quieter, and friendlier and you get to know your neighbors and your neighborhood.
  • It’s FunMost importantly, walking to school is fun!  It can be a great way for parents to spend more time with their children or for students to start their day off on a high note by having fun with their friends before even getting to school.
  • It’s Good for Children: Walking is a great way to get to school alert and ready to learn.
  • It’s Easy to Organize Parent Led Walks: with our new NJ Walking School Bus App you can   search by elementary school for existing walking groups, create walking groups and invite neighbors to join, plan walks to and from school, assign parent leaders to walk with students, group text within the app, and alert parents when students have arrived safely at school.

Download the App by October 15th and you will be enter in a drawing for a $100 gift card.

Download the app:



GMTMA offers many other Safe Routes to School programs. To see how GMTMA can help you to make the trip to school safer, healthier and more fun in your community, contact us today at 609-452-1491 or email us at