Tag: driving

How to Teach Teens Vehicle-Ownership Responsibility

The day your child becomes a vehicle owner is going to be a glorious day for them but will probably be a frightening day for you. You’ll worry a great deal about whether your child is responsible enough and ready for vehicle ownership. But there are things you can do to help prepare them. Here are some steps you can take to ensure your teen is ready when the time comes.

 

Make Them Pay

The very first lesson you can teach your teen about being a responsible car owner is the lesson of cost. In the end, a teen will appreciate the car more if they have to work and contribute to it. Even if you only make them pay $500 of the overall coast of the car, they will understand how to work hard and pay for something so essential to daily life.

Introduce Them to the Local Mechanic

Introducing your teen to the local mechanic will start them on the path of better caretaking of their own vehicle. You can have your teen take it in for maintenance tasks like oil changes or spark plug wire replacements. Here they’ll get used to seeing and doing things that are necessary to keep the car running well. Those car-healthy habits will carry over into adulthood and will extend the life of every vehicle they own.

Clean the Car

Taking the car to get regular repairs is only half of proper caretaking. Your teen also needs to partake in cleaning the interior and exterior, so it will be better preserved and look less aged. You can talk to them about the importance of keeping up with the cosmetics and having an organized interior. This also helps them get to know the vehicle and where important things inside it are, like the spare tire, chains, or first aid kit.

Give Them the Manual

The last tip is extremely valuable. Get your teen an owner’s manual so they can learn the ins and outs of the car. You may find they become highly interested in repairs and having a part in overall maintenance. There’s something about working on one’s own car that gives that person a sense of pride.

Take all the steps mentioned above to give your child the best advantage at being a responsible vehicle owner. You can decrease the amount of worry that you experience if you follow that advice.

Fatal Mistake: 5 Driving Mistakes that Could Get You Killed

Every day, there are millions of people driving on our roads. While driving seems to be a normal part of life, the fact is that it actually fairly dangerous if done irresponsibly and an accident can cause severe consequences. As a teenager, you don’t have as much experience driving, which means you are more vulnerable to make mistakes that could get you killed or seriously hurt. So what do you need to avoid while driving?

Drowsy Driving

Did you know that, according to the National Sleep Foundation, there are similarities between driving drowsy and driving drunk? If you are drowsy, your reaction time will be slowed and you might not notice things you would normally see. If you think you are too tired to drive, ask a friend for a ride, call your parents, or take a nap before you go.

Being Distracted

There are a lot of distractions you might experience while driving, but all of them can put you at risk for an accident. Eating, drinking, changing the music, adjusting the heating/cooling, messing around with your friends, and texting or talking on your cell are just some of the many distractions you might be faced with. You might feel you’ve been driving so long now that you can deal with one or more of those things without a problem, but your life isn’t worth making the mistake and taking a chance.

Speeding Up at a Yellow Light

The yellow light does not mean “speed up to beat the red.” It means stop if you can in a safe manner. You don’t want to risk it and zoom through only to get t-boned in the process, especially when the situation could have been avoided. There are usually people waiting to turn left, and they may not see you coming, or you may leave them stranded in the middle of the intersection when the light changes. Just stop. You can wait a few extra minutes.

Driving while impaired

According to Alpert Schreyer, approximately every 30 minutes, someone dies in an alcohol-related crash. Drinking and driving is no joke, especially as a teenager. You aren’t legal to drink and you can seriously hurt or kill someone while you are impaired. Don’t ever put yourself in a situation where you will be tempted to drink and drive. You may feel invincible, but you definitely aren’t.

Speeding

Speeding, in general, isn’t a good idea, and it’s even worse if you’re speeding during bad driving conditions such as if it’s raining or snowing outside. Driving at an unsafe speed isn’t going to do you any good, especially if you get into an accident. We all have places to go, but the goal is to get there safely.

You can’t control what other people are doing, but you can protect yourself to the best of your ability. It may seem cool to show off for your friends, but it is much better to get to wherever you are going alive.

How to Deal With the Aftermath of a Car Accident

By now your driver’s ed teacher has scared you with all the teen car accident statistics out there. You know that you are likely to experience an accident sometime before adulthood. Although the period following a traffic accident is likely to be characterized by confusion and shock, dealing with the aftermath will require that you keep a level head. This will help you to remember your responsibilities as well as to protect your rights. If you have prior knowledge of what you should do, you will be more prepared to handle the situation.

Check for Any Injuries

Immediately after a car accident, it is important to prioritize your health as well as that of other people at the scene. This means checking for any visible injuries, confusion and odd behaviors. Since it is not easy to spot internal injuries, you should ensure that everyone involved in the accidents gets checked.

Keep Yourself and Others Safe

Once you have established that no one has sustained serious injuries, you should consider moving to a safer place. In the event that you are not able to get out of your car, you should turn on the hazard lights and keep your seatbelt fastened. Whenever possible, it is advisable to move the vehicle to a position where it will not block traffic.

Take Pictures and Video

It is advisable to start video recording immediately after the accident. Document EVERYTHING. Take both pictures and video if need be. You do not need ANY permission from the other driver if you are in a public place to record anything and everything in the scene. Video is even better, because if the other party admits guilt when speaking, you can present that to the insurance company and attorneys to help win your case in the event of a lawsuit. If any witnesses took video or pictures, ask them to send them to you.

If There is Significant Damage or Injuries, Call the Police

After making sure that everyone is safe, you can choose to call the police. This would be particularly important in situations where there are serious personal injuries, your car has been seriously damaged or the other driver is not willing to cooperate. The law enforcement agencies will assess the situation, make their notes as well as gather details such as pictures of the damaged vehicles and photos of the scene. The resultant police report will come in handy in case your parents decide to seek compensation.

Exchange Information With the Other Driver

You should remember to exchange information with the other driver before leaving the scene. Besides getting their name, phone number, license plate number, address and vehicle make and model, you should also exchange insurance information. All these details will be helpful during the claim process, making your parents’ lives easier. You’re in deep enough as it is; the last thing you need is annoyed parents on top of it all.
If the damage is small, you may be able to settle with the other driver and avoid involving insurance companies. Try to work out a deal for getting any damaged repaired with your parents involvement.

Call Your Parents’ Insurance Company

For anything beyond small damage, your parents should make a point of calling your insurance company as soon as they can. Often they will need to consult with a lawyer in order to negotiate with the other driver’s insurance company. By reporting immediately and giving your side of the story, this will increase the chances of the claim being successful and getting the compensation you deserve.

If you believe that the other party was at fault, you have the right to file a claim. This will ensure that you get fair compensation to cover you medical expenses as well the costs of repairing or replacing your property.

References

Teen Driver Car Accident Statistics

Car Accident Key Questions

Teens and Insurance After Accidents

How to Conquer Your Fear of the Freeway: Driving Tips for the Fast Lane

Freeway driving is a necessary part of driving that can be intimidating at first sight. As you drive more and explore more highways, you’ll become less fearful of the activity. Teens leaning to drive should review highway rules and practice as much as they can. Review these tips to help improve your skills for the fast lane.

Have an Experienced Driver in the Passenger Seat

Have an experienced driver accompany your trip on the freeway. A partner prevents you from making mistakes and increases your chances of driving successfully. An experienced driver in the passenger seat works as insurance in case you get into an accident as well. Be sure you feel comfortable behind the wheel before trying the freeway.

Drive at the Least Crowded Times

The most obvious tip for novices is to drive when it’s the least crowded. Choose a time and part of the highway that has the least amount of traffic. Some highways are crowded at all times, while others are less crowded on the weekends. The best way to know is to review the traffic reports and ask your parents if they know anyplace that might be good for practice.

Know Your Route

When you learn to drive, you must follow a predetermined route. New drivers cannot drive aimlessly on the freeway and take random exits or they’ll easily get lost and might increase their risk of an accident. Plus, you want to become familiar with driving on the main roads and exits you’ll usually take.

Start at Low Speeds

Start by driving at low speeds and remain on the right side of the road. Freeway accidents occur often when people change lanes too quickly or brake too late – all while going too fast. As your skills improve, drive at the same speed as other drivers. A freeway is the worst place to get into an accident because the drivers do not like to stop. The last thing you want is find a car accident lawyer just because you were trying to get some practice in.

Review Traffic Rules Beforehand

Review common freeway rules before you head out onto the road. Know the best way to merge onto the highway, remembering to signal properly and increase your speed at the right moment. Once you merge, it’s important to avoid accidents by flowing with the traffic.

On any road, drive for the safety of yourself and others. Also, get used to changing lanes and checking blind spots. At the same time, pay attention to exit signs and change into the right lane at the right moment.

Approaching the ramp is a nervous time for any new driver. However, there will be a time when approaching the ramp with ease becomes second nature. With enough practice and dedication, become a more experienced driver on the freeway.

Texting and Driving Will Probably Kill You

We’ve all had times in our lives when we’ve felt invincible – catching the winning touchdown pass, receiving a first kiss, or acing the math midterm you’ve been stressing about for weeks. Unfortunately, some of us tend to feel invincible even when we’re very, very not.

According to textinganddrivingsafety.com, nearly 1,600,000 people were involved in accidents caused by a distracted driver. By the time you read this, someone else will have been hit because someone was texting and driving. If you’re reading this in the car, on your phone, for God’s sake put the phone down and focus on the road. Otherwise, read on.

In the Blink of An Eye

We all love social media – except for that one weird libertarian friend who wears a Snowden shirt and tries not to have any digital footprint. Adults tend to overblow the consequences of so-called tech addiction, without fully appreciating technology’s positive influence in society. But when you are in control of a one-ton hunk of metal hurtling down the road at 88 feet per second, your parents aren’t being dramatic – they’re right! Even when you’re going slow, even when you think there’s nobody around, even when you’re looking back at the road, by the time you look down and then back up again, it is too late.

In the time it takes you to take your eyes off the road and look at the screen for three seconds, your car has traveled 264 feet. If the person in front of you slows down suddenly, it will take your brain an additional 3-4 seconds to apply the brakes, according to Safe Drive Training. That is about 6-8 seconds too late and you probably never saw it coming.

What Happens Next?

The consequences of texting and driving can ruin your life. If you are not hurt, the very least that will happen is that you will get a ticket. You will have to replace or repair your car. Your insurance rates will go up as much as 4 times. Brauns Law lists these potential consequences of accidents: severe injuries, brain drama, spinal cord damage, amputations, internal injuries, extended medical treatment or surgical needs, the need for long-term care, problems with medical insurance, and car replacement and maintenance problems.

And that’s assuming no one else is hurt, and this is what should really scare you! The CDC says that distracted driving kills 9 Americans and Injures 1,000 Americans every day. Not only would you have to live with that, but you could even face manslaughter charges in some instances! That is scary, and all because you could not wait to check your phone until you could pull over someplace safe.

It Can Wait

I know that it is easy to think that it is Ok to look at the phone for just a second, but if you really care about your friends, it is time to stick together and make sure that someone you care about does not become the next victim. It is time for texting and driving to become something only losers do, because in the end, everyone who does it loses. If you think it is important, think again, it can wait.

So You Want to Ride a Motorcycle? What Teens Should Know

You’re a teen who wants a motorcycle license. How cool! It’s entirely possible for you to get your license, but first you should be aware of the fees, law,  and safety procedures involved in riding a motorcycle. Knowing what to expect can keep you safe and prevent surprise expenses from throwing you off your goal. Here are some things to keep in mind.

Classes Save Lives

According to Esurance, 90% of motorcycle accidents involve drivers who never took a motorcycle safety class. While taking a class doesn’t guarantee you’ll never be in a crash, or that other drivers will be safe, it can provide you with the knowledge that can keep you safe as possible. If you’re a minor, you may be required to take these classes. Taking safety courses has another bonus: you can save money on your insurance!

Crashes Are More Dangerous Than Car Crashes

You’re 35 times as likely to die from a motorcycle crash than a car accident. We’re not trying to scare anyone away from enjoying riding a motorcycle, but it’s the truth. You can seriously mitigate this risk by being knowledgeable and safe, which includes wearing a helmet at all times. Oh yeah, and take a class like we just mentioned : )

And Speed is a Factor

Super sport and sport motorcycles are popular because they’re sporty and speedy, but they’re also the type you’re most likely to crash on because of their light frames. It’s best to practice and own a motorcycle that’s more beginner-friendly until you’re more experienced.

But Protective Clothing Helps

If you’ve ever looked at a biker covered in leather on a hot summer day, you might have wondered “Why?”. While the thick layers might seem warm, they also add protection should you get into an accident. That gear might be the only thing that comes between you and the asphalt. At the very least, you should wear boots that go over your ankles, shatter-proof goggles, and gloves.

Not All Helmets Are the Same

Some helmets are more form than function. They’re small and light and don’t offer as much protection as helmets that are approved by the DOT. You’re only required to wear a helmet in 19 states, but you’re 40% more likely to die from a head injury if you don’t wear one, so you definitely don’t want to skimp here!

Owning a motorcycle seems fun, but it might be more dangerous than you realize. Knowing the rules and safety measures can prevent tragedy, but it’s also important to remember to ride safe and have fun.

What to Practice to Ace Your Driving Test

Learning how to drive is a milestone in most teenager’s lives. You may also be an adult looking to improve your skills and secure that first license too. To gain any license, you must practice driving on a regular basis. Get to know the skills you’ll need to practice in order to ace that driving test.

Pay Attention to Speed Limits

Speed-limit signs dot the roadway in various locations. You must always be aware of the posted limit so you can drive at a safe speed. Be aware that some signs are difficult to see or might be missing altogether. It’s your job to know if you’re driving in a residential, school, or industrial area. These areas have specific limits that are consistent in any city. With this speed-limit knowledge in mind, you’ll be able to pass your driving test even if the signs are difficult to see.


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Parallel-Parking Skills

The traditional parallel parking test is still part of the industry. You may not perform this maneuver on a daily basis, but it helps to have mastered the technique when you do need to slide between cars. Practice this skill with cones or other tall obstacles in an open, parking lot. Pull up to the cones as if they were the bumpers of two cars and maneuver the car into the space. Perform this activity numerous times until you can complete it without much thought.

Here is a video with some tips:

Merging with Style

Merging into traffic with every vehicle moving at a slightly different speed is a skill that must be practiced several times. It’s possible to avoid most accidents when you know which cars are close or far away. Many people have accidents because they simply forget to check their blind spots. Turn your head to see the cars around you because relying on your mirrors only gives you part of the story.

Stopping

Many people fail driving tests because they do not stop properly. Practice smooth braking, and make sure you come to a complete stop at all stop signs and red lights, even if you are making a right turn on red. you MUST come to a complete stop or you will fail! Stop with enough distance form the cars in front of you, or else you might be thought of as a tailgater — and FAIL.

Freeway Entrances and Exits

According to car accident attorneys, another accident-prone area involves freeway transitions. Learn to accelerate to the proper speed as you enter the freeway. Ideally, you should slide easily into traffic without causing other drivers to slow down or speed up. Practice freeway exits as well. You’ll need to slow down at a constant rate in order to stop neatly at the end of the pathway.

Most states require you to practice driving in both day and nighttime scenarios. Driving tests, however, don’t normally have a nighttime exam. Don’t overlook the nighttime skills because they’re just as important as daytime knowledge. Safe driving in any situation should be your goal.

Now go ace your driving test!

5 Things You Should Do Immediately Following a Car Accident

Being in a car accident generally brings with it a great deal of chaos and confusion, which can make it difficult to think clearly. Here is a checklist of five things you want to immediately do following an accident. Sometimes you may do these things in order, sometimes not, but they are all important following an accident. You may want to print it out and keep it in your car along with your insurance information.

Make Sure No One is Injured

Because your adrenaline may be high, it may mask any pain you might feel that would generally let you know you’ve been injured. Do a quick but thorough full-body check to inspect for any places that might be painful to the touch and have anyone else in your car do the same. Also check to make sure no one in the other car was injured or any pedestrians. If anyone seems to be injured in any way, call emergency responders immediately.


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Move Vehicles Someplace Safe

Whenever possible, you want to get your vehicle out of the flow of traffic and turn on your hazard lights. Single vehicle accidents have a way of becoming multi-car pileups when accidents impede traffic. Be sure to help others involved get to a safe spot if you can.

Determine Whether to Call the Police

In most states, it is up to you whether to call the police after an accident. You will want to file a police report within 24 hours, but whether you call them to the scene or not depends on whether anyone is injured, the severity of the accident, whether you are impeding traffic, and the demeanor or condition of the other driver. If you suspect the other driver is impaired in any way, you might want to call the police to confirm.

Exchange Insurance Information and Take Pictures

Do be sure and give the other party your insurance information and get theirs, but do not give them any personal information like your home address or cell phone number. That’s what insurance companies are for. Also take pictures of any and all damage to both vehicles. That way, if they incur damage later or had previous damage to another part of their car, they can’t claim it was part of this accident.


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Consider Calling an Attorney

If anyone has been injured, if you suspect the other driver is impaired in any way, or if you are at-fault for the accident, you may want to call a car accident attorney immediately. You may not end up needing an attorney in the end, but like the old saying goes, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

It is often hard to think clearly after you’ve been in an accident. That’s why it’s important to thoroughly prepare yourself ahead of time for what to do if you are. Keep this checklist on hand to refer to in case of an accident.