There’s a lot of excitement and joy when your teen gets his or her first car both for the parents who don’t have to drive the teen around anymore as well as for the teen who now has a degree of freedom they haven’t had before. For the parents there’s also the concern and worry over whether or not their teen is going to drive safely, especially with regards to texting and driving.
That’s the emphasis of Michelin’s new TV ad and hashtag entitled #FirstCarMoment that features real footage of several teens finding out that they just got gifted their first car. Have a look for yourself:
If you text and drive you might want to stay home from April 10th to the 15th because “law enforcement from states all over America will be out in force, pulling over people who are texting while driving, and writing tickets.”
According to the DOT website, a new campaign entitled “U Drive. U Text. U Pay.” is being launched this week in order to send home the message that texting while driving will not be tolerated.
Read all about the U Drive. U Text. U Pay. campaign on the DOT website.
According to a new study, texting while driving has now become the most likely way that a teenager is going to die, passing up drinking and driving for the first time ever.
Reported on the Newsday website, the research done by Cohen Children’s Medical Center in New Hyde Park estimates that texting while driving now accounts for 3,000 deaths annually along with 300,00 injuries. Almost half of all boys admitted to texting while driving and, among teenage girls the percentage was only slightly lower, coming in around 45%.
The study further concluded that the more experience that teenagers get behind the wheel the more they tend to think that they are able to text and drive without danger.
While drinking and driving has slowly decreased over the past few years, texting while driving has gone up. What’s frightening is that texting while driving impairs a driver as much as drinking and driving. Laws designed to keep people from texting and driving clearly have no effect, the further also found, because stats between states with laws and states without laws showed no noticeable difference.
No of the reasons attributed to this increase has to do with the fact that most of the time when a teenager gets behind the wheel, he or she hasn’t been drinking; unfortunately most teens ALWAYS have their mobile device with them and the temptation to “just have a quick look” is just too great.
This time of year means more driving than usual. Students are coming home from college and they’ll be on the road; almost all of them will have their cell phone with them. Many of them won’t think twice about checking their cell phone while they are on the road when (not “if” but “when”) they hear that familiar tone that lets them know they have an incoming text message.
Send them this link before they leave. It just might save their life.
June 2012 National Safety Month Tips
Driving is one of the most dangerous activities you will do each day. As traffic on the roads increases during the summer months, keep in mind the safety tips below to stay safe when driving for work or pleasure.
Cell Phone Distracted Driving
Cell phone use while driving isnt just a visual and manual distraction, but a cognitive distraction taking your mind off the primary task of driving. That is why hands-free devices offer no safety benefit as your brain is distracted by the conversation. When driving:
Refrain from using your cell phone
Put your cell phone on silent or in the glove box to avoid temptation
Safely pull over and put the vehicle in Park to take or make a call
Change your voicemail message to say you are unavailable when driving
Safety belts are one of the most effective safety devices in your vehicle. Safety belts can determine who will walk away from a crash and who will not.
Always wear a safety belt every trip, every time
Make sure every passenger is wearing his or her safety belt before you begin your drive
Children should sit in the back and use the proper child safety seat or booster seat
Impaired driving simply means a persons ability to safely operate a motor vehicle is compromised by alcohol and other drugs that change the function of the brain and body.
If you plan on drinking, designate a non-drinking driver for the evening
Never get in the car with an intoxicated driver take keys away from someone who has been drinking
If you have been drinking and need to get home, call a friend or taxi or take public transportation
Aggressive driving behaviors can include speeding, frequent and unnecessary lane changes, tailgating and running red or yellow lights. These behaviors create unsafe situations and can lead to road rage. To avoid aggressive driving:
Keep your emotions in check and dont take frustrations out on other drivers
Plan ahead and allow enough time for delays
Focus on your own driving
Dont tailgate or flash your lights at another driver
Use your horn sparingly
Daily Tips this week:
June 25: If you plan on drinking, designate a non-drinking driver for the evening.
June 26: Put your cell phone on silent or out of reach to avoid the temptation of distraction while driving.
June 27: Always wear your safety belt and make sure passengers are buckled up as well.
June 28: Avoid aggressive driving by keeping your emotions in check and planning ahead to allow enough time for delays.
June 29: Abide by speed limit signs and adjust for the driving conditions, such as inclement weather.
Driving Safety Quiz
1. What behavior can help to avoid impaired driving?
A. Getting in the car with an intoxicated driver
B. Designating a non-drinking driver
C. Only driving after you feel like youve sobered up
D. Driving home quickly after drinking
2. What behavior signals aggressive driving?
A. Frequent and unnecessary lane changes
B. Driving the posted speed limit
C. Focusing on your own driving
D. Keeping your emotions in check
3. Drivers who buckle up are more likely to avoid serious injuries in a crash by what percentage?
4. What type of distraction is caused when using a cell phone while driving?
A. Visual distraction
B. Cognitive distraction
C. Manual distraction
D. All of the above
5. Using a hands-free device makes driving while using a cell phone safe.
Other basic Driving Safety Tips:
Beyond acquiring basic car control skills — and exercising good judgment behind the wheel — there are a few basic rules for safe driving that everyone should know– and follow:
Don’t tailgate: Crowding the car ahead of you makes it more likely you’ll smash into it if the driver should suddenly brake. Modern safety devices such as anti-lock brakes and traction control don’t trump physics.
Obey the three second rule: Every driver should know and heed the three second rule: When the vehicle ahead of you passes a fixed object (such as a tree or telephone pole) slowly count “one thousand, two one thousand, and three one thousand.” If you reach the object before completing the count, you’re following too closely. Double your following distance (to six seconds) in poor weather.
Use turn signals: Failing to signal your intentions to other motorists is always dangerous — as well as not courteous. Other motorists are not psychic; they can’t guess that you are planning on making a right turn — or about to move into the next lane. Signaling is especially important for the safety of motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians, too. If they are in your blind spot and you just assume no one’s there and execute a maneuver without signaling first, these folks will get no advance warning — and will suffer the most if you strike them.
Don’t impede the flow of traffic: Driving too slowly can be more dangerous than driving a little faster than the posted limit. In a high-density situation, with many others vehicles sharing the road, a dawdler creates what amounts to a rolling roadblock. Traffic snarls; motorists jockey for position — the smooth flow of cars is interrupted. Try to drive with the flow of traffic — and if the car behind you clearly wishes to go faster, the best thing to do is let it get by, whether you are “doing the limit” already or not. The other driver may have an emergency you are unaware of — and in any event, it is simply safer and more courteous to yield to faster-moving traffic. Leave enforcement of speed limits to the police.
Maintain appropriate speed: Speed, as such, doesn’t kill. If it did, airliners traveling at 500 mph would have the highest accident/fatality rates of any form of transportation. But air travel is in fact much safer than driving — and few cars travel at 500 mph. The problem is inappropriate speed. For example, while it may be perfectly legal to drive 65 mph on the highway, if you don’t slow down when it’s raining heavily (or snowing) and your visibility as well as your car’s stopping ability are reduced — you increase your chances of having an accident. Similarly, if you are driving an unfamiliar road, especially a country road with many blind curves, you may not be able to negotiate the road at the same speed a local might with equal safety. Use your judgment — and adjust speed to match conditions and your comfort level.
Plan ahead/use your mirrors: Anticipate the need to brake or make lane changes, etc. by constantly scanning your driving environment and watching the actions of other drivers, pedestrians and so on. This way, it’s less likely you’ll need to jam on the brakes — or make sudden steering changes — to avoid problems. The best drivers always maintain “situational awareness” — where other cars are in relation to their vehicle, what’s coming up ahead — and what’s happening on either side of them and behind them. Use your mirrors — frequently.
Drive within your limits, the limits set by conditions and the limits of your vehicle: SUVs are not as equipped as sporty cars to travel safely at higher speeds — and sporty cars tend to get skittish much more readily when it snows. Older vehicles lacking modern tires or traction/stability enhancers don’t have the same built-in edge as late model cars with those features. You’ll need more time to slow down safely; the older car will also go into a skid with less provocation than a newer car equipped with an electronic stability aid. Don’t drive faster than you — or your vehicle — can drive safely, with ample “cushion” of time and space to make corrections and react to changing conditions and other motorists.