Notes from the road: sage advice from Seattle’s Safest travelers

man smiling next to "Are you Seattle's Safest Driver" caption

This guy is definitely excited to be participating in Seattle’s Safest Driver.

 

We’re 3 weeks in to Seattle’s Safest Driver (our 8-week competition complete with prizes) and have some fun stories to share below.

But first, a call to action.

 

Get in the game – download today

If you haven’t yet downloaded the app, it’s not too late to get in on the competition. Join by June 9 to be eligible for the $5,000 grand prize, thanks to our sponsor, PEMCO Insurance. Plus, several more opportunities to win bi-weekly prizes. Also, quick sidebar: sooo many prize opportunities in June – have you taken the Ride Transit Month Pledge yet? Make it happen. Most of us are pretty darn multimodal – we might take transit one day, bike home another, drive, and are always walking somewhere. Remember: if you ride transit and/or bike, you can also win via Safest Driver.

Head to the App Store or Google Play, download, and drive safely. Then invite everyone you know to compete.

 

Bi-weekly prizes

Last week, we got to reward 8 folks for being the safest and least distracted drivers, and for riding transit and biking during the first 2 weeks of the competition. Yeah, those were fun emails to send. There are still several more opportunities to get in on that bi-weekly prize action, FYI. Shout out to our bi-weekly prize partners: car2go, Lyft, Uber, Lime, Zipcar, AAA Washington, Pacific Science Center, and Rachel’s Ginger Beer

 

Stories from the street

We’ve been in touch with participants who’ve reached out with questions and feedback, and wanted to highlight the experiences of a couple folks. Here are a few stories from the street, including some nuggets of sage wisdom, from some of Seattle’s safest travelers.

 

Sarah from Seattle

woman next to bicycle

Sarah, getting around Seattle by bike.

 

Sarah was a racker upper of the most bike trips for the first 2-week chunk of the competition. Here’s what she had to say about why she rides and why safety matters:

“I’m fortunate to be able to choose a car-free lifestyle, and I’m an advocate for increasing the number of ways people can get around the city. My hope is that drivers will put down their phones and pay close attention to their surroundings. Hand in hand with this, I feel that it’s incredibly important for people riding bikes to foster a safe and supportive environment in the cycling community.”

Couldn’t have said it better. Thank you, Sarah, for riding and for promoting safety on multiple levels.

 

Frank from Auburn

photo of man smiling

Frank, a commercial truck driver who drives in and out of Seattle on a daily basis and is scoring high marks.

 

Frank originally reached out to us with a question about the app. After some back and forths, he let us know a bit about him and his experiences with the competition. We appreciate his reflections, positivity, and willingness to share!

 

“I am a commercial truck driver, 90% of my deliveries are in downtown Seattle, so that by itself is a challenge.  I am currently at 124 trips, with a 99.9% accuracy. I have traveled over 1,325 miles. I hope to win so that I can take the experience back to my company as a model for our drivers around the country.

I can honestly say I wasn’t aware of how out of the loop I am with speed limits, including streets in my own neighborhood, and roads that I travel each day.  I can also say that now that I am aware and doing my best to abide by the speed limit, not many other people are. I have been honked at, flipped off, and I was illegally passed 3 times in no passing zones.  That was just a week and a half in.

It’s really been a great opportunity for me to fine tune my driving skills, as I truly did not realize how much improvement I needed.”

 

Thank you, Frank, for following the speed limit and sharing your story! Sorry you’re getting grief for it on the road. Reminder that all residential streets in Seattle are 20 MPH and all arterials are 25 MPH unless otherwise posted.

 

Scott from Seattle

Alaskan Way Viaduct demolition

Scott (don’t worry, he’s not taking a pic while driving) in his truck watching the viaduct come down.

Scott is a truck driver who just happens to be hauling bits of the viaduct away. He shares some great tips below, and we’re impressed with his safety record (!).

 

“This contest has been good for me. Learned a few things about Seattle drivers. I have over 3 million accident crash-free miles in 24 years of truck driving.  (Editor’s note: Scott said accident, but you know how we feel about that word – remember this video?)

Plan ahead, plan ahead, plan ahead. Don’t put yourself in a position to be late. When you’re late you make bad decisions and take chances that are not worth it. My dad taught me to drive as if I was a limousine driver – act like you have an egg between your foot and the gas pedal or the brake pedal. Soft pressure on the gas off pressure on the break, always give yourself room to stop, you’ll get better mileage, your passengers will feel better, and if you have a fishbowl with a goldfish in it you will not spill any water.”

 

Can we give it up for Scott’s dad’s tips?

 

Share your story

We love that people from around the region who drive, ride a bicycle, and take transit are participating in Seattle’s Safest Driver. Safer streets will take all of us working together! Want to share your story? Send us a note and a photo, if you’d like.

And don’t forget, it’s not too late to jump in. Download the Seattle’s Safest Driver app today and get in on the safe streets (and prize) action.