For some reason, we could not get a Wisconsin map at any of the tourist offices we visited while there last weekend – and we tried several. Perhaps it’s part of some budget cutback? Anyway, it forced us to rely on partial maps we found at the tourism offices – most notably a multi-county map of good roads for bicyclists. The one we used was the West-Central Wisconsin State Bike Trails map, which includes “safe roads to ride,” “bike trails” and “Amish community.” With it, we found a pretty series of mostly letter-named roads that went diagonally from Sparta northwest to Alma on the Mississippi. I suppose cyclists wouldn’t appreciate me sending car drivers on these roads but the fact is, they were great for both. We took I-90 west to 108 north to Mindon, then VV (not to be confused with W, as I did) to Ettrick, then D, and T to Acadia, then 95 to E to Waumandee, then more E to 88 and my favorite named town – Cream, Wisconsin – and then E again to Alma. You do have to pay attention because these road names/numbers change pretty quickly.
Category Archives: On the road
So here’s the bottom line on the deadliest times to drive, according to recent AAALiving mag: during a weekend pre-dawn rain shower in August….
who’dah thunk it but here’s the reasoning:
– 10 percent of all fatal crashes happen on Sat. midnight and Sun. 6 a.m.
– four times as many fatalities happen on rainy days compared to snowy days
– deadliest driving month is august.
One more interesting tidbit: 43 percent of AAA’s roadside rescue calls were for a tow to repair shop; 21 percent to replace batteries; 15 to retrieve keys locked in car; 14 percent to add air or change tires; 3 percent pull car from side of road and snowbanks; 2 percent provide fuel for car.
As promised here’s more info from AAALiving’s traffic expert on the riskiest times/situations to drive:
– When it’s raining right? Not necessarily. It depends on how long since it’s last rained. The longer it hasn’t rained, the higher the crash risk.
– Why, you ask? (Or I asked myself). A few reasons. 1) rain releases oil and other slippery stuff from dry pavements (my husband knew this one.) 2) But if it hasn’t rained in a while, drivers tend to forget how dangerous slick wet roads are (vs. if it’s rained a lot, they remember all too well.) This reminds me of my terrifying experience 25 years or so ago when I got caught in a near-monsoon in Los Angeles. The drivers there, used to sunny weather, didn’t appear to have a clue about how to drive on wet roads and sharing the road with them was NOT fun.
– So is rain or snow more dangerous weather for driving? If you guessed snow – like I did – you’re wrong. The are four times as many fatalities on rainy vs. snowy days.
Still more tomorrow because admit it – this is kind of interesting….
What’s the riskiest time to be driving on the road? Not surprisingly, it’s late Saturday night and early Sunday morning, according to Tom Vanderbilt, author of Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do, who offers wisdom in the May/June 2011 issue of AAALiving (which was surprisingly informative this month.
Other more surprising info:
– Morning rush hour presents the higher crash risk but NOT the highest risk of the most dangerous crashes.
– The evening rush hour, alas, is more dangerous because it includes: people who don’t have to be on the road, more drunk drivers, and, perhaps, faster drivers (as people rush to get home from work.) The morning rush our is twice as safe – in terms of fatal and non-fatal crashes – as the evening rush.
STAY TUNED for more interesting tidbits…
Word has it that AAA is working with eight states (including Iowa?) on a pilot program to their safest roads – so if you’re planning a road trip, you could plan accordingly even using your in-car gps to find not just the quickest but the safest route. It won’t be available for about three years but sounds like a good idea. (It would also map the unsafe roads.) Other states involved include Illinois, Kentucky, New Mexico, Utah, Florida, Michigan and New Jersey. More may be added.
One related-service now available, I gather, is an interactive website from the U of Minnesota’s Center for Excellence in Rural Safety that enables drivers to plot fatal crashes on a map. I found it hard to figure out but maybe you won’t. see http://www.saferoadmaps.org/home/
My 17-year-old is giving me a hard time (big surprise there) about not letting her drive with a 17-year-0ld friend to Iowa City this weekend – a two-hour trip each way. And so I had to dig up statistics to help make my case (although she doesn’t want to look at them.)
In case your teen is giving you a hard time, here’s the word from the California Dept. of Motor Vehicles:
Teenage Driver Crash Statistics
The relationship between age and driving behavior has interested highway safety researchers and administrators for many years. It is generally acknowledged that the greatest risk of traffic crashes is among teenage drivers. Traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers across the United States.
For both men and women, drivers aged 16 to 19 years of age have the highest average annual crash and traffic violation rates of any other age group.
- The crash rate for 16-year-olds is 3.7 times higher than drivers of all ages.
- The crash rate for 16 to 19-year-olds is 2.7 times higher than drivers of all ages.
|Teenage Driver Crash Risk Factors
The traffic accident rates for 16- to 19-year old drivers are higher than those for any other age group. What causes teenage drivers to be such risky drivers? The following is a list of their primary risk factors.
Poor hazard detection
Low risk perception
Not wearing seat belts
Lack of skill
Alcohol and drugs
We are so cozy up here in our tree house near the beach in Manzanita that it’s tempting to just stay put. The bed here is as snug as a nest — a wooden nook built into the rear wall of our room, with a low slanted wood ceiling that has a sky light and windows at eye level that look out onto the main street from top-of-the-tree level. I slept through the night for the first time during our trip.
Manzanita by night – at least last night, a Thursday in March just before the spring tourist season – was very quiet. At sunset, the few people around started migrating towards the beach and we joined the flow. Scattered up and down the beach, people stood quietly watching the fierce yellow sun sink slowly into the ocean, leaving behind bands of orange and pink. A couple of dogs leapt around near the water.
We found lots of people inside the San Dune Pub – most appeared to be locals. Good burger, local beer, fish and chips. Back to our tree house, where I tried out the whirlpool in our room and D caught up with some of his beloved basketball,sitting on a couch near the burning embers (not) of our electric fireplace (the one goofy touch in this room.) Go Jayhawks!