Preventing Wrong-Way Traffic Accidents

wrong-way traffic accident prevention

It’s every driver’s worst nightmare – a car headed in the wrong direction. When wrong-way accidents occur, the results are often devastating as most collisions occur head first, with little or no warning, and at high rates of speed. Over the last year, the state has experienced a rash of wrong-way accidents, including three consecutive accidents that occurred last May in or around the Phoenix area. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, most of these accidents involve drivers who are impaired by either drugs or alcohol.

According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, driving the wrong-way or on the wrong side of the road, factored into 3.1 percent of all fatal crashes within the U.S (NHTSA, 2009). While that may not sound like a very big number, compared to the 1.3 million involved in other types of accidents, but it’s shocking enough to warrant attention. Especially when you consider all of the traffic control signage and medians that are in place on state highways preventing just that.

In an effort to remedy the problem, the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) has begun testing radar-based systems aimed at detecting wrong way drivers, in three separate locations throughout Phoenix. The systems are designed to alert highway patrol officers when a wrong way driver enters a freeway. The system also alerts other drivers through the use of freeway message boards. The test is part of a larger effect by ADOT to reduce, if not eliminate, wrong-way crashes.

In addition to the electronic system, ADOT is also considering lowering “wrong way” signs to eye level for easier viewing, as well as increasing the amount of raised pavement marking that are currently installed on select off-ramps. The markings are invisible in the correct direction of traffic, but reflect a bright red light if viewed by a wrong-way driver. While the survey ends next month, the electronic signage which is currently installed at the following locations, is expected to remain.

  • The northbound exit at Interstate 17 at Carefree Highway
  • The eastbound Interstate 10 at Ray Road
  • The northbound Loop 101, off-ramp, at Thunderbird Road

Click here to read the original article.

Fool Proof Methods for Eating Healthy While on the Road

Fail Proof Methods for Eating Healthy

Summer is the prime time of year for hitting the road in search of fun-filled vacation venues, amazing vistas, and much needed rest and relaxation. It is also the one time of year, besides holidays, that your healthy lifestyle may take a dive. Between being away from our routines, and convenient fast food stops, we often take on an “I can eat whatever I want” mentality.

This is often the hardest part of keeping the commitment to a healthy lifestyle – whether that means eating healthy, exercising, or both. The results? A vacation pudge that lasts far longer than we’d like. The good news is that you don’t have to lose your healthy habits at the next exit. Let’s examine some fail proof methods to ensure you’re eating healthy while on the road.

Fail Proof Methods for Eating Healthy

Fail Proof Method #1: Bring Your Own

Let’s face it: fast food and healthy lifestyles just don’t mix! By far, the best choice is to BYO. With a little advance preparation, you can avoid damaging your diet, and your budget. Plan to choose nutrient- and protein-rich foods – and don’t forget the cooler. Don’t have time to pack ahead of time? Hit up your local grocer and find several healthy choices ready-made.

Your best bets include:

  • Nuts
  • Beef jerky
  • Trail mix
  • String cheese
  • Hardboiled eggs
  • Protein bars/shakes
  • Cut veggies with yogurt/hummus dip
  • Fresh or dried fruit (choose firm options)
  • Oatmeal-to-Go (no added sugar is preferable)
  • Homemade “Lunchables” – whole grain crackers, deli meat, and cheese

Fool Proof Method #2: Stay Hydrated

The body needs water for virtually all of its functions. Drinking half your body weight in water each day will flush your body of harmful toxins, keep your skin looking fresh, and help you eliminate a false feeling of hunger. Believe it or not, many of the unhealthy cravings we experience while on the road, can be satisfied with a refreshing drink of water.

Fool Proof Method #3: Healthy Eating Starts Where You Stop

If you’re on the road, and find that you have no other choice than to hit the fast food circuit – although not ideal, you can still make some decent choices. Stopping at a fast food chain that offers whole or healthy food options is definitely your best bet. Consider these choices from popular restaurants anytime you find yourself hitting the fast food circuit:

  • Subway
    • Salads with protein and apple slices
    • 6″ flatbread sandwich loaded with fresh vegetables and protein
  • McDonald’s
    • Southwestern grilled chicken salad
    • Chicken sandwich (not fried/without the bun), side salad or apples, and water
  • Chipotle
    • Burrito bowl loaded with protein and vegetables (without the rice)
  • Panera Bread/Paradise Bakery
    • Soups
    • Salads with protein
    • Flatbread sandwiches

Fool Proof Method #4: Don’t Skimp on Breakfast

Breakfast provides the body and brain with fuel after fasting all night – without it you’re effectively running on empty. Get your day started right with hunger-taming, quality protein, found on most menus. Protein pancakes travel well, and can help you stay on track, as well as curb your sweet tooth. Plan on packing two per day, for the course of your travels. Recipe:

  • 1/3 cup oats
  • 1/2-3/4 scoop plain protein powder
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened almond milk (or water)

Directions: Mix all ingredients and cook on stove as you would a normal pancake. Make a large batch so you have multiple meals ready to go. Perfect for quick to-go breakfasts and snacks. Enjoy!

Family Road Trip Survival Guide

family road trip

I love road trips! Just thinking of the many memories I’ve created, and will continue to create with my loved ones in tow, sends shivers of excitement down my spine. Road tripping, is my family’s preferred way of travel, as we enjoy venturing to area’s unknown and meeting new people along the way.

So how do you prepare for a family road trip? We each have our own way to ensure we’re ready, whether it’s a detailed packing list, or downloading your favorite songs and apps. Below you’ll find a collection of tips that can help you survive any road trip.

Plan Your Route Ahead of Time

You know your destination, but you have no idea what the best route is to take to avoid delay, or which pit stops you should make. You’ll save yourself, and your passengers, a lot of time and stress if you map out what route you plan on taking well in advance of your departure date.

Equally important, is to share your traveling dates and route with close family members or friends, just in case. One website that can help you plan your route as well as calculate costs, time, and distance is Roadtrippers. It’s also available as an iOS app.

Avoid Getting Hangry

Your energy is zapped, your stomach is rumbling, and you find yourself getting increasingly agitated – and to make matters worse the next exit is miles away. Your hunger has officially led to anger. Avoid getting hangry altogether by packing enough food to last you the entire road trip.

To avoid relying on junk food (which only zaps your energy that much quicker), pack healthier foods and drinks, even if it means bringing a cooler. You’ll thank us later. Some great options include energy bars, cheese sticks, nuts, and coffee as well as juice.

Pre-Charge All of Your Gadgets

Smartphones, tablets, e-book readers, portable DVD players; oh my! Dare we admit we can’t survive a road trip without these technologies? Probably not – and that’s okay. These technologies can, no doubt, make any family road trip more enjoyable; when they’re fully charged.

There’s nothing worse than getting an hour into an eight-hour trip and having one of the kid’s iPads run out of juice – let the backseat tug-of-war ensue. If you want to survive your road trip, make sure to fully charge all of your gadgets ahead of time, and bring plenty of extra batteries/chargers.

Download the Right Apps

A few must-have apps include Waze, which helps you navigate around traffic, and construction jams; iExit, which allows you to discover stop worthy restaurants and hotels, and other popular venues; and of course GasBuddy, which finds the cheapest gas. Available on both iOS and Android.

Err…On the Side of Caution

Opt for safety above all things – remember you’re hauling precious cargo! No matter how tight your schedule may be, it’s important to take plenty of breaks, stopping at scenic rest stops. Refrain from following too close to another driver, cutting them off, or honking your horn.

You never know what type of car troubles you’ll encounter on the road. That’s why it’s a smart idea to never leave home without a fully packed emergency road side kit. A road side kit should include the following tools and supplies:

  • Flash light(s)
  • Jumper cables
  • A first-aid kit
  • A bottle of fix-a-flat
  • Fire extinguisher (trust me)
  • Road flares or hazard triangles
  • A change of clothes, blankets, and food

Happy traveling from your friend’s at Action Barricade!

Preventing Job Site Theft

job site theft

Job site theft is a rampantly growing problem that costs the construction industry more than $1 billion a year, according to the National Equipment Registry. The organization is devoted to assisting law enforcement in tracking down stolen construction equipment.

The painful truth is that tools, machines and materials left un-monitored in publicly accessible areas for extended periods of time have been found to be too great a temptation for some to resist. Theft, no matter where it happens, is a crime of opportunity. Here are some ways to avoid it.

How You Can Prevent Job Site Theft

1) Don’t leave your equipment or tools unattended for extended periods of time – especially over the weekend and during holidays. Consider hiring a security guard for these periods of time or taking the equipment with you.

2) If have no choice but to leave your equipment and/or tools at the job site, make them hard to move, by chaining equipment and locking tools in a heavy duty construction lock box. Remove keys from machinery.

3) Install temporary fencing around the job site that is high enough to deter thieves from climbing over. Action Barricade LLC. has many types of fencing available for you to choose from.

4) Post well-marked “No Trespassing” signs. You can also post signs that say job site under surveillance. Post these signs in various places throughout your job site for optimal effectiveness.

5) Most thefts occur at night, so keep the job site well lit by installing motion sensor lights around the site’s perimeter, and in areas where your equipment is being stored.

6) Practice just-in-time delivery. The National Association of Home Builders recommends that you plan your material deliveries carefully as to minimize the quantity of valuable materials left on the site.

7) Mark, photograph, record and register serial numbers found on your machines and tools. If a theft does occur, this will provide critical information for both a police report and an insurance claim.

8) Protect yourself against losses by having adequate insurance coverage. You may want to consider looking into additional coverage should you lose income, as well as equipment rental coverage.

3 Ways to Handle Road Closures and Delays

road closures

Here are three proven ways to help yourself shorten your ride should you encounter road closures, barricades due to road construction, local events, accidents (which always seem to go hand-in-hand with lookie-loos) and other traffic delays.

#1: Check for Road Conditions Ahead of Time

If the road you normally travel on is closed due to road construction, natural disasters, or local events, you typically won’t know it until you’ve already begun your commute. But there are ways to check the status of a roadway and predict the possible delays before getting behind the wheel of your car.

Apps such as Waze (available on iOS and Android) let you check the status of a specific highway or street via information they receive from fellow users as well as the Arizona Department of Transportation. Putting a call into 511 will also inform you of any traffic delays due to accidents, construction, events, etc.

#2: Get a Heads-Up While in Commute

Few things are more frustrating than coming to a complete halt on your way home from a long day at work and being helpless to do anything about it until an exit appears or traffic clears. This is where those smartphones of ours can really come in handy.

Using the same sources listed in Tip #1, you can use your smartphone to check the status of the road ahead of you, while you’re driving. Simply place your phone in a hands-free mount and be alerted by fellow drivers before you approach police, accidents, road closures or those dreaded traffic jams.

#3: Put Plan B (or C) into Action to Get Ahead

In dire situations, when the roadway before you promises hour-plus delays, consider putting a plan b (or c) into action. I can’t stress the importance of this tip enough – as it really pays to plan alternative routes. These routes will allow you to take another road or highway to arrive home with your sanity intact.

Take for example: my go-to choice when traveling along Loop 101 is to jump onto the frontage road until I see traffic moving smoothly again. Some of the best ways to know if your alternative plan will shorten your ride is to travel them yourself, ask friends and family, and use smartphone apps.

5 Gifts That Will Wow the Socks off the Travelers in Your Life

With less than 3 days to go, or just under 72 hours, it’s officially time to start jingling those bells especially for those of you that have yet to finish your holiday shopping.

Whether you procrastinated on your holiday shopping altogether or just forgot to purchase a few gifts, it is officially time to start cracking if you plan on getting everyone on your list a gift this holiday season.

The one nice thing about waiting is that you should be able to find some of the best deals at retailers across the state this week. But in order to get those deals you’ll have to fight your way through Black Friday like crowds.

But not to worry! You can still find quality gifts that won’t seem so last-minute. Here are some of our favorite last-minute gift ideas that we’re sure will wow the socks off the travelers in your life:

Gift Idea #1: GoPro Camera

Who doesn’t want to record their travel adventures? With an astounding array of features, you can pretty much never go wrong when gifting your loved one with a GoPro Camera.

Gift Idea #2: Gas Gift Cards

While not as personal as picking something out for him or her, the gift of gas gift cards is a great way to provide an adventurer with the means to travel to their next destination – wherever that may be.

Gift Idea #3: Adventure Tours

Give the gift of a great adventure when you purchase a gift certificate for one of the many great adventure tour companies located right here in Arizona. Just don’t book the recipient for a certain date.

Gift Idea #4: Scratch-Off World Map

Allow your recipient to track where they’ve gone with a handsome scratch-off world map. He or she can simply scratch off those areas they’ve already visited to reveal visually appealing pops of color.

Gift Idea #5: AAA Membership

For road travelers, it’s hard to go wrong with a yearly AAA membership, which provides them with emergency road side assistance should they ever have a flat tire or dead battery as well as numerous discounts on hotels and restaurants.

Happy Holidays!!!

~ From our family at Action Barricade to yours.

Nothing Trumps Safety on Black Friday

{Source: PurpleSlog | Flickr.com}

{Source: PurpleSlog | Flickr.com}

Thanksgiving is just three days away! And, while many people are preparing for the arrival of family and friends to join them as they sit around to enjoy a mouthwatering turkey dinner with all the fixings, many others are gearing up to kick-start the holiday shopping season off.

According to the yearly National Retail Federation (NRF) survey, an estimated 25.6 million people will hit the stores in an effort to purchase electronics, toys and clothing at some of the year’s best prices. This is down from last year’s figures as approximately 44.8 million consumers shopped in 2013.

However, for consumers to actually purchase the best deals they seek, they’ll have to brave “Gray Thursday’s” madness knowing that there are a limited number of items available for the advertised price and that they’re definitely not the only one who wants one (or two for that matter).

Although the total number of shoppers expected this year is down from last year, it is still big enough for retailers to take some necessary precautions, including following the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) recommendations.

“OSHA urges retailers to take the time to adopt a crowd management plan and follow a few simple safety guidelines to prevent unnecessary harm to retail employees.” This according to David Michaels, assistant labor secretary. Each store’s crowd management plan should include the following:

  • On-site security guards
  • An emergency plan in the event something goes wrong.
  • Safety barricades surrounding the entrances of the store.
  • Limits on how many customers may enter the store at one time.

Another way retailers are making their stores safer is by staggering their sales. What this means for consumers is that the prices advertised at 6:00 p.m. are only good for a specified amount of time – typically until the next round of sales begin, which in most cases is 8:00 p.m.

In the name of competition, Walmart is practicing yet another subtle – but extremely clever – form of crowd control by incentivizing their brick-and-mortar customers with “One Hour Guarantees.” They are thus far the only retailer to offer this incentive.

Consumers that arrive during a specified one hour window will be awarded with the door buster regardless of whether they run out of stock or not.  Knowing that you’re guaranteed to receive the item 2 weeks prior to Christmas really alleviates much of the stress associated with the evening.

As does knowing that nothing in life goes according to plan. So if you’re one of those brave souls that will venture out in pursuit of some great deals remember to breathe and know that while this year’s Black Friday shows much potential to boost the economy; nothing trumps safety on Black Friday.