Parents May Be Distracting Their Teen Drivers
August 12, 2014
Parents may be distracting their teen drivers by calling to check up on them. According to research presented at the American Psychological Association’s annual convention, more than half of teens responding to a survey said they were on the phone with a parent while driving. Continue Reading
Ask The Driving School Instructor: Earplugs
August 4, 2014
Question: Is it illegal to drive with earplugs?
Answer: By earplugs, I’m guessing that you mean some type of earplugs or earbuds connected to an iPod, MP3, or some other type of music player. Whether it’s earplugs for music or earplugs to drown out the noise, the answer is yes; it’s illegal to wear any type of earplugs in both ears while driving. The only type of earplug allowed by law is that for a hearing aid in one ear.
For those blessed with good hearing, your hearing is a very important tool to warn you of dangers on the road. You need to be able to hear if an emergency vehicle is approaching so that you can get out of the way. The sound of screeching tires can alert you to a possible crash. Even the sound of your engine or the hum of your tires can alert you to a possible mechanical problem.
It’s hard enough to hear the sounds of the roadway to begin with. Modern cars have more soundproofing for a quieter ride and we tend to drive with the windows rolled up, the air-conditioner on, and the radio cranked up. That tends to block out all of those important roadway sounds that we need to hear and wearing earplugs just makes it that much more dangerous.
If you’re wondering then, how can deaf people drive? I grew up in the deaf community and was taught to drive – safely – by my deaf father. Drivers who are deaf or hard of hearing are perfectly safe drivers. They aren’t distracted by cell phones, the radio, air-conditioner, etc. and that allows them to pay even more attention to the roadway conditions around them; something every driver should try to do.
Disturbing New Study On Teen Driving Behavior
June 5, 2014
Safe Kids Worldwide an organization devoted to child safety along with the General Motors Foundation recently released a survey on teen driving behavior. In talking with 1,000 teens, they discovered, among other things that:
- One in four teens don’t wear seat belts.
- Teens who don’t wear seat belts are more likely to say that they text while driving than those who do.
- Thirty-nine percent of teens say they have ridden with a teen driver who was texting.
- More than half have ridden in a car with a parent who was using a cellphone.
- Forty-nine percent of teens feel unsafe when riding with a teen driver.
Read more: Research Report: Teens in Cars
Top Ten Bad Driving Habits By Teens
March 9, 2014
When teens first start learning to drive, they are usually very careful and willing to listen to advice but, once they get their operator’s license and start driving on their own, some seem to think that all the rules and safe driving advice were just for the driving exam and no longer apply to them. That attitude quickly turns to tragedy for some with an average of six teens killed and 493 injured in traffic crashes every day. More than half of all teen crashes are single vehicle crashes, meaning that, due to high speed or distractions, the teen ran off the road and crashed; no other cars were involved.
The following list of bad teen driving habits isn’t in any particular order. One could be just as bad as another but separately or combined, they are all dangerous.
1. Driving distracted – One of the biggest hazards on the road today is distracted driving. We’ve all heard about the dangers of texting and cell phone use but there are other distractions as well, such as;
- Paying more attention to passengers than to the road ahead.
- Eating and drinking
- Loud music
- Applying makeup
- Looking at things out the window instead of at the road.
- Adjusting the radio or loading CDs
All of these distractions can take your eyes off the road just long enough for a dangerous problem to creep up unnoticed. Continue Reading
Distracted Driving Awareness Month Increases Attention, Debate
April 10, 2012
April is in full swing and with it has come Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Being observed throughout the United States, the month serves to raise general awareness and point the attention of lawmakers and automakers towards safer regulations to make the roads safer. Aside from the numerous events going on throughout the country, heavy debate has been sparked on the automakers side, as in car technology has now become a large topic of discussion.
Talks in Washington D.C. have involved major discussion over the impact that built in gps and stereo systems are having on the attention span of drivers these days. Lawmakers are calling for the vehicle manufacturers to tone down their entertainment. GPS modules and entertainment/stereo systems are certainly continuing to grow, becoming more complex along with the times.
Just as many are pointing towards automakers to help minimize risk in these times, they car companies are looking for accountability from technology developers. Certainly smart phone developers and portable GPS makers share some responsibility for the impact their products have had, but options are somewhat limited from a lawmaking standpoint.
Automakers are seemingly determined to work out efforts, however. It was reported that they are attempting to work with cell phone developers in an effort to fight cases of distracted driving. The National Transportation Safety Board has called to have more integration with cell phones into the cars, allowing for more hands free use, and eventually a positive impact on the road.
It will take some response from the cell phone developers, however. Right now, these companies have done little to come to the table and discuss possible options. Hopefully the increasing cases of distracted driving will highlight the need for these developers to work on a plan to help minimize future road problems.
Laws relating to distracted driving are heavily different throughout the United States. Around 35 states currently have a full ban on text messaging, while nine have a full ban on the use of hand held cell phone devices. Just recently, the city of Chapel Hill, NC made news by becoming the first town to enact a ban on cell phone use while driving.
The impact of the recent Chapel Hill law, going along with Distracted Driving Awareness Month taking place this month will be far reaching from adults to teenagers. There are a number of states where stricter laws may be necessary to minimize distracted driving cases in the future, while attention will certainly come upon automakers and technology developers as well. All in all, the awareness month in 2012 serves to increase attention to one of the great dangers today and will continue to do so in coming years.