Welcome to Safety Tip Tuesday on 97.9 The Hill! Every Tuesday, we present some helpful hints and useful reminders that help you stay safe no matter the situation in a recurring series of conversations with local family safety organizations presented by Safe Kids of Orange & Chatham counties, along with Pam Herndon State Farm.

This Tuesday, join 97.9 The Hill’s Brighton McConnell for a conversation with Sheriff Charles Blackwood and Lt. Brian Whitehurst of the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. It’s summertime, which means a lot more people are hitting the road.

“It is a very unique time. Everybody’s going and doing what they do around summertime and that increases traffic,” said Blackwood. “Schools out … folks [are] getting back out and moving about a lot more than they have been for the last little while, traveling going on vacation.”

Of course, making sure you’re as safe as possible on congested roads is important, but Blackwood and Whitehurst also brought up another important factor when it comes to road-going accidents: speed.

According to Whitehurst, in 2019, 25 percent of accidents were “speed-involved,” meaning that increased and unsafe speed was a significant factor in the accident. When traffic decreased in 2020 as lockdowns began, he estimates that less drivers on the road may have actually contributed to unsafe driving habits.

“You would think, that with the pandemic going on, with less traffic being on the road, that you would have fewer crashes and fewer fatalities,” said Whitehurst. “But, that’s just not what we saw. I think a lot of people saw there was wasn’t as much traffic on the road. It caused them to increase their speeds, take other chances, and that caused more crashes and more fatalities.”

Listen below for the full conversation, and for some helpful tips concerning staying safe, whether you’re going across the country, across the state, or just across town this summer.

Safe Kids of Orange County and Safe Kids of Chatham County are both led by UNC Health Care Trauma Program, which provides dedicated and caring staff, operation support and other resources to assist in achieving our common goal: keeping your kids safe. Based on the needs of the community, this coalition implements evidence-based programs, such as car-seat checkups, safety workshops and sports clinics, that help parents and caregivers prevent childhood injuries.

Insurance Agent Pam HerndonBuckle up with State Farm, and get auto insurance in Chapel Hill, NC that fits your needs. If you need more than an auto policy for the family, we provide car insurance coverage for new drivers, business travelers, collectors, and more. Not to mention, State Farm is the largest auto insurance provider in the U.S.  

Pam Herndon has been serving this community since 1991, and is committed to keeping local families safe!