5 Teen Driving Safety Tips
January 11, 2011
Tomes can be written about teen driving safety tips but some of the more important ones, are usually the ones that are both the most simple and sometimes-overlooked. Most people know that drinking while driving is never a good idea, regardless of if it is a new driver, or older driver. But there are several other reminders to pass on to family and friends.
Here are a few of the better teen driving safety tips:
Contracts with parents – This is by far the simplest and easiest to do to keep teens safe: maintain a Parent-Teen driving contract or logbook. It could be as simple as a set of dos and don’ts from parents to their teens; along with the appropriate consequences should the teen break any of the terms of agreement. A logbook is helpful to limit access to the vehicle and monitor your teens use and responsibility toward driving and care. Studies show that when teens are not given unlimited access to the vehicle, that they take better care of it and are involved in fewer crashes and receive les tickets. The logbook can be as simple as a teen noting down the times of departure and arrival if the vehicle will be used.
Don’t be a chauffeur – A teen driving safety tip is for teens not to become their friend’s personal driver. Just because a teen is able to drive does not mean they are capable of handling the distraction and responsibility for their passengers. Many states have enacted laws prohibiting learner’s permit holders from having passengers under 21, and for newly licensed drivers limiting passengers as well. More passengers equate to more variables to lose focus on while driving.
Learn from defensive driving, not by driving around – Driver’s education and defensive driving courses are specifically designed to create a controlled environment for new drivers to hone their skills and learn strategies for safe driving. Busy streets are not for learning defensive driving on the fly.
Buckle up! – Teach a teen driver to practice buckling up before even starting the vehicle. Wearing your safety belt reduces your chances of being killed or injured by up to 50 percent. As the driver, it keeps you at wheel and in control of the vehicle, which can help you react to other compounding situations in a crash. For a passenger buckling up reduces their body of being thrown from the vehicle, crashing into the interior of the vehicle or other occupants, and reduces the damage caused internally by the force to their organs. Making a constant habit of buckling up before turning on the ignition will go a long way to ensuring their safety and avoiding a citation.
Distracted Driving Mobile App – Most distracted driving mobile applications are designed to disable a mobile phone’s features while the phone is moving. This is a great way to avoid the temptation to answer the phone or a text while behind the wheel. Another feature for many of these apps is to designate locations through their Global Positioning System (GPS) that are unsafe allowing parents to be notified, should their teen find themselves in those spots.
Vehicle crashes are the number one cause of deaths for teens, make it a priority to raise vehicle safety awareness.
New Florida Driver’s License/ID Card Requirements for 2011
October 18, 2010
Florida enacted a new law on January 1, 2010, in order to comply with the federal Real ID Act, passed by Congress in 2005. Florida’s new law requires more positive proof of identification for anyone trying to get a license or a Florida ID card.
Lack of awareness of this law has resulted in a lot of customers at the DDL office who were turned away for lack of proper proof of identification. If you are planning to visit the DDL anytime soon, you will need to carry the required items of documentation with you if you need to:
- Apply for a new license or ID card
- Renew a license or ID card
- Change your name
- Change your address
- Replace a lost or stolen license
(If there are no changes, simple renewals can still be done online at: http://www.flhsmv.gov/html/online.html )
Primary Identification (proof of citizenship or legal presence). You need to provide ONE original or certified copy of any of the following:
- Certified United States birth certificate
- Valid United States Passport or Passport Card
- Consular Report of Birth Abroad
- Certificate of Naturalization, Form N-550 or Form N-570
- Certificate of Citizenship, Form N-560 or Form N-561
If a birth certificate is your chosen form of primary identification, then it must come from a government agency; hospital birth certificates are not accepted.
When necessary, marriage certificates, court orders, or divorce decrees must be provided to tie the name on the primary identification to the name the customer would like to place on the driver license or identification card.
Those born in Puerto Rico must present an new, updated birth certificate after September 30, 2010.
2. Proof of Social Security Number. Provide ONE original or certified copy of any of the following that proves your social security number tied to your full name.
- Social Security Card (must be an original and must be under name being applied for)
- W-2 Form
- Pay check/stub
- Any 1099 (not handwritten)
If an applicant currently does not have a social security number, one must bring a letter from the Social Security Administration indicating that the applicant was not issued one. In addition, secondary identification is required, which could be any of the following:
- A driver license from the District of Columbia, U.S. Territories or one from the 50 states
- School record starting date of birth, with the registrar’s signature
- Transcript of the birth record
- Baptism certificate, with the date of birth and place of baptism
- Family Bible record
- An insurance policy on the applicant’s name, which has been in place for at least 2 years
- United States military or military dependent identification card
- An identification card from the District of Columbia, U.S. Territories or one from the 50 states
- Florida license record or identification card record
- Selective Service Registration
- Florida Vehicle Registration Certificate (HSMV 83399, owner’s copy) or out-of-state registration certificate with name and date of birth
- Receipt copy of last Florida driver license issuance
- Immigration form I-571
- Federal form DD-214
- Marriage certificates
- Court order, which includes applicant’s legal name
- A Florida voter registration card, which was issued at least 3 months previously
- Parent consent form of minor, signed by the parent or legal guardian
- Government issued out-of-country passport, driver license or identification card
- Concealed weapons permit
Making the social security number a requirement reinforces the idea that social security is indeed, for social security.
3. Two Proofs of Residential Address. Bring TWO different documents that confirm the applicant’s residential address. It could by any TWO of the following:
- Deed, mortgage, rental/lease statement
- Florida Voter Registration Card
- Florida Vehicle Registration or Title
- Florida Boat Registration or Title
- TWO Proofs of residential address from a parent/legal guardian, along with a statement from a parent/legal guardian with whom the applicant resides with
- A utility hook up or work order dated within 60 days of application
- Automobile Payment Booklet
- Selective Service Card
- Medical/Health card with address
- Current homeowner’s insurance policy/bill
- Current automobile insurance policy/bill
- Transcript forms from current school year
- Unexpired professional license issued by government agency in the U.S.
- W-2 form or 1099 form
- Form DS2019, Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) status
- A letter from a homeless shelter/transitional service provider/half-way house verifying that they receive mail for applicant
- Certificate of Address Form
- Utility bills
- Mail from financial institutions
- Mail from federal State, County or City government agencies
If an applicant’s current driver’s license has a P.O. Box under address, records must be updated that verify an applicant’s physical address. The address will be placed when the applicant next renews his/her license.
For more information, visit: http://www.gathergoget.com/
Tips for Taking a DMV Practice Test
September 16, 2010
When a driver decides to take a DMV Test for the first time, they’re all supposed to be confident. If they’ve studied the handbook and familiarized themselves with the rules of the road, listened to the lectures, and took up a DMV Practice test, they are bound to pass in no time.
When taking a DMV Test for the first time, confidence is the key. If they’ve studied the handbook, and familiarized themselves with the rules of the road, listened to the lectures, and a have taken a DMV Practice test, they are bound to pass with ease.
A big problem for new drivers is where to start. Knowing which parts of the driving manual are most important and how the information will relate to actual, real life, driving can be confusing. Taking a DMV practice exam can help.
A DMV Practice test is a mock exam that simulates the experience of taking the actual written portion of the exam, without the risk of failing and having to wait the required waiting period before getting to take it again.
To pass the DMV Practice Test, here are a few tips that will help future drivers:
- Treat the DMV Practice Test as if it’s the real thing. If a driver studies as hard for the practice exam as if it’s the real thing, he or she will be better prepared. In the real exam, no two test-takers will get the same set of questions so, for that reason, the practice exam creates a random test from a large data base of questions taken directly from the driving manual.
- Avoid Distractions. Focus on what you learned in driver’s ed and just answer the test. Not only will this help you study, but it will also help you learn the importance of being focused. Distracted driving is fast-becoming one of the most common hazards on the road, and by setting the habit of avoiding it, a driver ensures himself a future of safe driving.
- Be confident in your abilities and what you’ve learned. This is one of the reasons why students fail their DMV test and a practice test is a way for a driver to get rid of that nervousness by getting more informed with what to expect from the real thing.
Enrolling in a DMV Practice Test is always a good idea for new drivers. It builds confidence and helps first-time drivers become guided in where they should start when studying for their driving test.
Graduated Drivers License Laws Around the United States
June 3, 2010
Young drivers in the United Stares are subject to many different laws, regulations and procedures. Many of the rules, regulations, privileges and limitations are similar from state to state but some also differ greatly. It would be overwhelming to compare the rules and regulations young drivers face in all 50 states. It’s easier to compare the policies of a handful of states. Many states differ on age young drivers can obtain their learner’s permits and driver’s licenses; they also differ on nighttime driving and passenger restrictions. Additionally the amount of supervised driving various from state to state and the length of time a young driver needs to have a learner’s permit before they can obtain a driver’s license various as well.
Minimum Age to Obtain a Leaner’s Permit
Many states allow teenagers to get their learner’s permits once they have turned 15. The minimum age to obtain a learner’s permit in Florida, Georgia and Texas is 15. In Colorado and Illinois 15 year olds can obtain their learner’s permits if they are enrolled in drives education. In California, teenagers must be 15 years and 6 months old before they can obtain their learner’s permits. Teenagers in New York are ineligible to obtain their permits until they turn 16.
Requirements to obtain a Driver’s License
After obtaining their learner’s permits young drivers are required to possess their permits for a specific amount of time until they are able to take their road tests (assuming they have reached the minimum age to take the toad test). In California, Texas and New York young drivers are only required to have a permit for six months before they take the road test for their driver’s licenses (or restricted licenses). In Illinois a permit is required for nine months before the road test can be taken. Colorado, Florida and Georgia require young drivers to keep their permits of a minimum of 12 months.
Before young drivers are able to get their licenses they are required to log a specific be amount of time behind the wheel. Most states require that 50 hours of driving time be completed and that 10 or 15 of those hours include nighttime driving. However, Texas only requires that 20 hours of driving being completed. But, at least 10 out of the 20 hours needs to be nighttime driving. Georgia requires that drivers complete at least 40 hours of driving and that at least 6 of the hours are night time driving.
In order to obtain a driver’s license or restricted license most states require that driver’s be at least 16 and have taken driver’s education. In order to get a driver’s license without taking a driver’s education course most states require the drivers to be 17 or 18. New York State issues a junior license to 16 year olds who have held their permits for at least 6 months. If they take driver’s ed they are eligible for their senior licenses at 17, if not, they must wait until their 18. For 16 year olds in Florida, they can take the road test for their license when they turn 16 regardless if they have taken driver’s education.
Driver’s License Restrictions
Most states do not give newly licensed 16 year old boys and girl complete freedom behind the wheel. Most states have nighttime driving restrictions and many states have restrictions on the number of passengers young drivers can have in their vehicles. For example, 16 year old drivers in Florida are not permitted to drive between 11pm – 6 am and 17 year old drivers in Florida are not permitted to drive between 1 am – 5 am. Drivers in New York adhere to restrictions from 9 pm – 5 am. And drivers in Colorado and Texas adhere to nighttime driving restrictions from 12 am – 5 am.
Out of the seven states compared here, Florida is the only one that does not have a restriction in place for the number of passengers young drivers are allowed to have in their vehicles. In California, for the first 12 months young drivers are not allowed to have any non-immediate family passengers under the age of 20 in their vehicles. In Colorado and Georgia, drivers are restricted to zero passengers for the first six months they have their license and no more than one for the second six months. In Texas, Illinois and New York young drivers are not allowed to have more than one passenger under the age of 21 in the vehicle. Again, immediate family members are an exception to the rule.
Driver Education Information That Could Save Your Life
May 21, 2010
Driver education can save thousands of lives. Don’t believe me? Imagine a car and a gun side-by-side. Tell me, which do you think has taken more teen lives? If you feel like the answer should be the gun, think about this for awhile: which one of the two do you see more often day-to-day? While most of the country pays close attention to the subject of gun control or the views of the National Rifle Association, very little focus is given to the number one cause of death for teens- Car Crashes.
The need for driver education is very important because so many of us take the right and the responsibility of driving every day for granted. We travel the roadways and go about our daily routines without the safety reminders we all need. And if you are a new driver— you need the reminders more frequently. We’re going to discuss the basics — the lessons you should be absorbing. This is by no means a substitute for actual driver education, just a summary of the information you may need a refresher on and could save your life.
Buckle Up – Before even starting the car or stepping on the accelerator, always fasten your seat belts. Each year, over 400,000 teen drivers between the ages 16 and 20 get injured in car crashes. Wearing your seat belt will help save your life. It will keep you from being thrown out of the vehicle, lessen the force of impact when hitting the dashboard or other interior spaces in the vehicle and reduce the collision forces on your internal organs. Coupled with air bags, what would be a fatal crash can be reduced to one with only minor injuries. This is also true for your passengers. Make sure they fasten their seat belts. In the event of a crash, if they are not properly belted they can literally become a flying object within the car causing serious injury themselves and other occupants.
Overcrowding – When driving a car, you are not only responsible for your safety, but also for the safety of all your passengers. Being a teen driver already increases your crash risk, but having other teens in the vehicle actually doubles that. Teens make up about 12% of all fatal car crashes in the United States. Overcrowding not only affects the way you drive overall, but causes distractions while driving. In some states, you can be ticketed and fined for driving with minors in the car.
Overloading – A fact you learn in driver education: for every 100 pounds in the car’s trunk, we lower the car’s fuel economy by 2%. This may seem like a low number, but it adds up in the long run. Not only that, but it shifts the center of gravity of your vehicle which in turn affects engine performance, braking distance, and how the vehicle reacts in an emergency. If you’re planning on carrying a lot of stuff — don’t stuff it in the trunk, call a moving van instead.
Emergency Kit – Driver education teaches you all aspects of driving: from trip preparation, operating a vehicle, laws and safety guidelines, defensive driving techniques and handling vehicle emergencies. Always make sure that, when faced with a vehicular emergency, breathe — stay calm. Panicking does not fix your car or improve the situation. If you plan ahead with the proper knowledge, a vehicle emergency tool kit including a spare tire, you’re going to be okay. If you can’t fix the vehicle, remember to have a fully-charged phone, with all your emergency numbers before leaving.
Car Maintenance – Do you know how to check your oil? Is there enough fuel in the tank? Can you check if your tires are worn? Can you check the tire pressure? Are your mirrors adjusted correctly? These are small things you should know how to do after attending driver education — and you should turn this into a routine!
Defensive Driving Techniques – Do you know where your blind spots are and check them each time? Do you keep a space cushion around your vehicle? Is there always a minimum of a two second following distance between your vehicle and the one ahead? Do you look left right left again before entering and intersection? These are some of the many techniques to be a defensive driver and a driver education course covers them.
Driver education is a small step for turning teens into competent drivers on the road. Not only that, but driver proficiency is a skill you will be carrying for life — knowing the small things could save your life in the future! If you have a good attitude towards learning, and you try to learn as much as you can, you are well on your way to becoming a great driver.