Learn How to Drive on your Spring Break
February 25, 2011
Mention the word “Spring Break” and images of vacations and getaways come to mind. The reality is: not everyone gets to go on spring break. While this may dishearten some teens, the good news is: it’s a great time to learn how to drive!
Don’t exactly know where to start? Here are some suggestions on getting started on some spring break learning:
- Consider a visit to the DMV office. Different states have different requirements, so knowing these is a good start. Also, dropping by the DMV will allow you to get materials such as driver’s manuals to help aide your study. This can also be done online, with most states having their own official DMV site.
- Practice for your DMV written test online with a drivers license practice test. When completing the online course you’re guaranteed to pass your written test.
- If you’re already have your learners permit, get practice. Most states require a minimum of 50 hours, so running errands at home can sometimes be a way for new drivers to get experience driving, or completing required hours for driving. It’s the perfect time to familiarize one’s self with the vehicle, and properly operating it.
- Learn basic vehicle troubleshooting. Learn how to check the oil. Learn how to change a tire. Basically, learn the basics of being prepared for anything.
- Have fun. Imagine the surprise your friends will get when they find out you got started on learning how to drive. Driving is a lifelong skill that is both a convenience and a privilege, and there’s no better time to begin learning than when you have a break from your other responsibilities.
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning from Vehicle Exhaust – A Vehicle’s Silent Killer
February 9, 2011
A group of young people decide to have a festive “get-together” at a friend’s house. They have been anxiously waiting for the “getty” the entire week. One of the friends is running a bit late to the reunion. His friends have texted him a few times in order to hurry him up so, he can get to the gathering as soon as possible. He finally arrives and parks the car in the garage. However, he mistakenly leaves the car running due to his hurried state. Some time later, a silent killer enters the room; not in the form of a human being and invisible to all. It is odorless, colorless, and lethal. It is called Carbon Monoxide. This toxic gas impairs oxygen delivery and disrupts “oxygen utilization and respiration on a cellular level, especially in high-oxygen demand organs” such as the brain and the heart. Therefore, breathing in high levels of carbon monoxide can cause loss of consciousness and death. Due to this fatal consequence of the carbon monoxide poisoning from the vehicle exhaust, all of the young people at the “get-together” tragically succumb to a heartbreaking death.
The aforementioned tragedy is based on real-life fatalities that occur way too often in our society due to the toxic dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning from vehicle exhaust. Even though not every carbon monoxide poisoning occurrence leads to death, it can still cause long-running symptoms as headaches, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, and an altered mental status. Carbon monoxide can quickly build up to unsafe levels in enclosed or semi-enclosed areas, and that is a key factor why deaths can happen so sudden.
Approximately three-quarters of carbon monoxide emissions in the United States come from motor vehicles (around 56%). Each year, approximately 25 percent of all non-crash fatalities occur from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning usually involving people inside passenger vehicles that were running inside enclosed spaces, but as previously noted the toxic gas can also spread externally to nearby enclosed or semi-enclosed spaces.
The following are some methods to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning from motor vehicles:
- Always make sure NOT to leave the vehicle engine running when parked in or nearby an enclosed or a semi-enclosed space.
- Never run a vehicle in the garage, even when the garage door is open.
- Have a mechanic check the exhaust system of your motor vehicle every year. A small leak in your car’s exhaust system can lead to a build up of carbon monoxide inside the car.
- Don’t allow people to travel inside truck canopies and campers. Vehicle exhaust can be drawn into the covered or enclosed area of canopies and campers.
- Install a carbon monoxide detector in a motor home or any recreational vehicle.
Carbon monoxide is a silent killer, but nevertheless it is quite imperative for us to not be silent and share with others education on the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning from vehicle exhaust and on how to prevent it from happening.
Learn more vehicle safety tips at www.NationalSafetyCommission.com
Allstate Insurance Teen Driver Programs
January 20, 2011
Allstate is considered to be one of the largest insurers in the country. While they provide several types of insurance, their auto insurance has a few teen driver discounts and safe driving programs worth noting.
Allstate follows the belief that good driving behavior in teens is worth rewarding. They have several campaigns that help spread the message of safe driving operation, most of which are targeted at teens and their parents. Here are some of the discounts that are applicable for teens:
Good Student discount – Applicable for teens who are younger than 25 and are full-time students. Good grades may qualify them for a discount on their auto insurance.
Defensive Driver discount – Teens who show initiative by taking a state-approved defensive driving course will be able to receive a special discount on their auto insurance rate. To note, this does not apply to court-appointed classes.
Drive Wise campaign – The newest campaign that Allstate is promoting, the Drive Wise campaign, is an opt-in discount program targeted for drivers who know that they are already practicing safe driving habits. This is a great opportunity to save money, especially for teen drivers who are taught from the get-go that driving safe is the only way to drive. Over time, drivers may get UP TO 30% discount on their auto insurance premium. How Drive Wise works is a driver will agree to have the Drive Wise device installed in their vehicle. The device is different from a GPS device, in that it gauges driver performance based on mileage, driving time of the day, hard or extreme braking and maximum speed, instead of location. Once satisfactory performance conditions are met, the discounts are applied. The discount awarded will initially be 10% upon signing up for the campaign.
Allstate has found a way to reward their customers with incentives that translate to saving customers money. Allstate features several attractive discounts when it comes to auto insurance and promoting safe driver behavior. Developing and maintaining safe driving habits will always be a driver’s best form of insurance.
Learn more about vehicle safety features that may lower your teens auto insurance.
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.
Five Important Reminders for Teen Drivers
January 3, 2011
Teaching teens how to drive is only the first step of becoming a safe driver. To become confident and competent behind the wheel it is important that they learn defensive driving strategies. Whether they have just received their license or have been driving for a year, defensive driving school is an opportunity to brush up on the rules of the road. Even though teens as new drivers are starting off fresh, as new learners, sometimes they need a little reminding.
Here are five important reminders for teen drivers:
- 1. Failing to prepare is preparing to fail. Surveys conducted by several driving safety organizations have yielded the same result: teen drivers think that they are better drivers than other drivers. Preparing to drive means preparing the vehicle for safety and mentally preparing the driver to be focused on driving, and nothing else, when a teen driver gets into the driver’s seat.
- 2. Seeing signs. Ever notice those things by the side of the road sometimes? Those are meant to be followed. Speed limits are put into place not by some arbitrary decision: road engineers have taken the time to study traffic flow in an area to determine by which speed it is best to drive at.
- 3. Undertakers love over takers. It’s easy for a teen driver to lose his or her cool when another driver cuts them off, or overtakes them. Some motorists go so far as driving fast to catch up to the drivers who did it to them. Simple advice: let them go on. It’s not a race and it’s not worth the risk of a ticket or crash.
- 4. Distraction is two letters away from destruction. A teen driver may feel that they can ABSOLUTELY do something else while driving, while statistics and surveys often prove otherwise. Surprisingly, teen drivers fail to acknowledge that having other teens in the car is one of the biggest distractions from driving. Eat/text/call/change tunes BEFORE starting the car.
- 5.Drinking, drugging and driving DO NOT mix. That goes with prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications that may impair driving ability too. Teen drivers often underestimate the effects of alcohol, and what they don’t know is, when they get a DUI, it haunts them for a long time. It follows them when they look for jobs; apply for scholarships or when they are going to pay for car insurance. Not to mention that it also puts themselves and other motorists at risk.
If you area teen or know a teen, share these important reminders for safe driving, Driver education is continuing education, especially during the teen years.