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Driving Tips

Why Highway Driving Practice is Important

Highway Driving Practice
A lot of people are scared of driving on highways, especially those who are new to the process and who have little experience. In most cases, these people are learners; those who have recently passed their test, and those who have lost their confidence due to an accident. Some people will even go as far as to completely avoid driving down highways altogether.

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A lot of people are scared of driving on highways, especially those who are new to the process and who have little experience. In most cases, these people are learners; those who have recently passed their test, and those who have lost their confidence due to an accident. Some people will even go as far as to completely avoid driving down highways altogether.

Practicing highway driving is very important in order to remain safe on the roads. Driving can be very unpredictable and people never know when they will have to make changes to their routine. For example, if there's been an accident then people may be forced off their usually route and have to take a highway. This can be very dangerous for those who have failed to get an adequate amount of practice. People who are afraid of highways will also lack the most important element of safe driving ��� and that's confidence.

Building Good Driving Habits

One of the most important elements of practicing highway driving is to build up good driving habits. Most experienced drivers don't need to think consciously about what they are doing and will instinctively act on impulse. One of the most important habits to get into is to become aware of other drivers. For this reason, it's important to regularly check the rearview mirror. Some driving instructors recommend checking the mirrors every twelve seconds. This is a very important habit to get into. Drivers should always be aware of their surroundings and exactly where other cars are on the road.

Changing Lanes

One of the most difficult elements of driving on a highway is changing lanes. The most important step of changing lanes is the head check. This means that drivers should never solely rely on mirrors in order to see if it's clear to move into another lane. The first step is to alert other drivers by using the indicators; then the head check should be performed in order to check the blind spot; and finally, if the lane is clear the driver should move into place. This may seem tedious, but it's a driving habit that becomes second nature with practice.

Exiting a Highway

Exiting a highway can be very confusing. It's very important that drivers take all of the necessary precautions prior to taking an exit to ensure that other cars are aware of their intentions. Failing to take certain steps could increase the risk of causing an accident. The driver should always count the exits so they will know when they need to turn off. Indicators should be turned on to inform other drivers well in advance of taking any exit.

Staying Safe

Contrary to popular belief driving on a highway is actually much safer than on surface streets. On a highway people will be driving at a constant speed, and generally staying in one single lane. On surface roads there will be more turns, crossings and traffic collisions. In fact, 86% of accidents happen off the highways. Those who are initially getting used to driving on a highway should remain at a slow but safe speed, and should make sure that they are free from distractions (music, conversations with passengers) in order to become more aware of what's going on around them.

Aiding Convenience

The best element of driving on a highway is the convenience that they can add to a journey. Highway driving is a lot faster paced than inner city driving, and can often lead people to reach their destination much quicker. This is because most inner city roads and surface roads will have much more congestion and will be more difficult in terms of navigation.

Practicing on the Highway

The best way to remain safe on a highway is to practice over and over again. People who have doubts about highway driving should try to practice with an experienced driver so they can feel more confident. Only when they are confident that they will be able to drive safely should they take the highway alone. Even then it's recommended that they ease themselves into it with baby steps, such as taking the highway for only certain parts of a journey.

What to Do When Your Car is Broken Into

Broken Into car
It's a horrible experience to open your car's front door only to discover that it was broken into. Your initial reaction might be of panic, anger, fear, or confusion. But none of those can help you. If ever you find yourself in this situation, remember to take a deep breath, and do the following.

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It's a horrible experience to open your car's front door only to discover that it was broken into. Your initial reaction might be of panic, anger, fear, or confusion. But none of those can help you. If ever you find yourself in this situation, remember to take a deep breath, and do the following:

1. Look around you to check if the coast is clear. Some thieves break in a car to steal stuff, but other criminals use it as a tactic for something worse. You never know if someone is in a dark corner, just waiting to assault or kidnap you. When your mind is fully preoccupied with your car, you're putting yourself in a vulnerable situation that criminals will not hesitate to take advantage of.

2. Check what was stolen from your car. Important stuff that you need to look for right away includes ATM cards, credit cards, IDs, legal documents, etc. Report any loss of these items to your bank, credit card company, and other authorities. It's bad enough that your car has been broken into -- don't be a victim of identity theft as well. Then, prepare a list of everything that's missing. You'll need this when you file a police report and make an insurance claim.

3. Assess the level of damage. Broken glass, torn seat covers, and other damages cost money to repair or replace. Depending on your coverage, you can file an insurance claim to cover the expenses for fixing car parts. Just like in step one, prepare a list of everything that's damaged because it will be a necessary part of the paperwork you'll have to do.

4. Take photos of the damage. Pictures may not be necessary at all times, but it's good to have them handy for documentation. In case the police or the insurance company asks for additional evidence for whatever reason, at least you have them ready. With the popularity of smartphones equipped with cameras, this will be an easy thing to accomplish.

5. File a police report. Even if you think that the loss and damage are minimal, or that you won't get back what's stolen, it's still advisable to file a police report so that the cops can be made aware of a break-in. This will help them identify whether what happened to your car is an isolated incident, or just one of many in a string of consecutive break-ins within the community. If it's the latter, your report can help solve a major crime. If it's the former, then at least you still stand a chance of getting justice once the thief is caught.

6. Call your insurance company. It's important that you inform them as soon as possible about the break-in. If you have comprehensive coverage, your car is most likely covered for cases of theft. However, work out how much your deductible will be (if you have any) against the cost of the repair or replacement. If your deductible is higher than the typical cost, skip the claim and pay for the expenses yourself to save money.

7. Replace essential missing parts. Laws vary from one state to another, but having no rear-view mirror can get you pulled over, for example. To be safe, attend to your car's repair before using it regularly again.

After doing all these, focus your attention on prevention. Determine the reasons why your car was targeted for a break-in. Did you leave an tablet computer or cellphone on the console? Were there bags on the seats? It's possible that someone got tempted to steal your stuff. Did you park in a dark area? Were you in a shady neighborhood? Some environments are more conducive for criminal activities. Did you forget to lock your doors? Carelessness makes it easy for thieves to steal.

Knowing the answers to this kind of questions will help you learn from the experience so that a break-in won't happen again.

How to Harness your road rage

Harness your road rage
Back in the early days of vehicle travel, road rage was a difficult piece of mental anguish to contract. Typically there were only a few cars in a single town. Today with millions of drivers on the road, catching a hint of road rage is as common as catching a breath.

Back in the early days of vehicle travel, road rage was a difficult piece of mental anguish to contract. Typically there were only a few cars in a single town. Today with millions of drivers on the road, catching a hint of road rage is as common as catching a breath.

You don�۪t have to be an irascible hooligan to find yourself falling into the toxic road rage pit. Even the most amiable, heart-warming individual can find themselves breathing fire, billowing smoke from their ears, and screaming obscenities at other drivers.

So what makes humans turn from friendly land-dwelling gentlemen into fuming, teeth-gnashing monsters when we get behind the wheel and start moving?

Wait, you didn�۪t expect me to have an answer for you did you? 100 years of furiously-caged animals on wheels all figured out in one blog? Not quite, but what this blog will do is examine what some potential causes are as well as some tips on what you can do to harness that anger. ��

What I can say, is that there is an element of entitlement, vulnerability, pre-conceived hostility, and a world that stresses accomplishing things in as little time as possible that play a part in making road rage one of the most deadly distractions on the road.

All drivers are created equal. Each one, once they figure out how to pass their driver�۪s test, familiarize themselves with road signs, and obtain valid insurance have the exact same right to the road as another. Unfortunately not all drivers feel this way.

There is also a sense of vulnerability when we get in our vehicles. While there have been many improvements over the years to increase safety, literally at any moment we could find ourselves on the losing end of a crash causing injury or even death. And there is something about impending death, which puts everyone on edge. Who would�۪ve thought it? ��

We can�۪t possibly be perfect on the road every time. However, what you can do is adopt some of these tips which will help make the road a safer place.

1. Say goodbye to subconscious preconceptions about the road

We are groomed from an early age, that the road is a hostile place, and not a place of peace and mutual respect. Let a driver into your lane. Send a wave to another driver when they do something for you. Be nice to each other out there!

2. Acknowledge elevated anger is toxic to your health

People that get stressed or angry are more likely to suffer from fatal diseases such as heart attacks, strokes and others. It�۪s hard to see how an innocuous road rage incident may be affecting your health, but now is a good time to wake up and smell life! (It�۪s a lot better than death)

3. Don�۪t make assumptions

You were cut off. So what? You don�۪t know what the other driver is going through, or furthermore, if he or she did it intentionally. Don�۪t take it personally. Maybe they�۪re having a bad day. Maybe their child just threw up their Cheerios in the back seat. Cut them some slack.

4. You�۪re not that big of a deal

The road was not built for you, and contrary to what you may think, other drivers aren�۪t the least bit concerned with you. You�۪re not any more entitled or special than any of the other drivers on the road. Sorry.

5. Chill Out

If you feel yourself starting to lose control, activate that voice in the back of your head that tells you to relax and to let things go. It�۪s not worth it. Getting angry or acting on your rage could result in worse things like an accident, a fight, ��or serious injury. If you can�۪t find a happy place, turn on a favorite song, or have some calming music ready. Perhaps listening to some comedy might help. Find something ��� anything!

6. Leave plenty of time for trips

Whether they�۪re short or long, leaving enough time for you to get to your destination will help alleviate road rage. ��That way if you hit traffic, or a driver gets on your nerves, the extra stress of making it on time will not exacerbate the situation.��

7. Other drivers are not your punching bag

Perhaps you�۪ve had a rough day at work, your child is screaming in the back seat, or you missed the final episode of Housewives of New Jersey.�� Don�۪t take out your troubles on other drivers. And buy a DVR while you�۪re at it.

8. Take care of yourself

Just like anything else, that mom of yours is always right. Eating right and getting plenty of sleep helps a lot of things. Taking care of yourself helps with brain health as well, and you are far less likely to get irritated at other drivers if you�۪ve gotten a good night�۪s sleep and filled yourself with nutrients before taking to the road.

Unfortunately, road rage lives within all of us. For some it lives right near the surface, ready for summoning at the slightest slip of focus. It is important for you to take these tips with them the next time you get behind the wheel. You�۪re not just making things easier for yourself-you might help make someone else�۪s day better too. That�۪s what it�۪s all about.

Be safe out there.��

Decoding the Myths to Beating Traffic Violations

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The other day, while enjoying a club sandwich and tasty beverage, I had the displeasure of listening to my friend describe his strategic approach to beating a recent traffic ticket.

���So let me get this straight,�۝ I quizzed him. You were speeding, made an unsafe left turn, and were on your cell phone?�۝

After agreeing he proceeded to present the most implausible defense proclaiming his innocence. Each idea was more outlandish than the previous.

There are a lot of stories about how people have beaten their tickets in court. Few are true. Ultimately the best way to avoid a violation of any kind is to abide by the rules of the road. However, just in case you think you can take the easy way out and beat a ticket on a technicality, here are some myths to debunk your plight.

1.������������ The officer is not likely to show up in court because he has to come in on his day off

In some cases if the police officer doesn�۪t show up in court your ticket will be dismissed but this isn�۪t always the case. Additionally, since the court is more likely to take the side of the law as opposed to you, it would be more likely that they schedule it on a day advantageous for the officer as well. Don�۪t count on this.

2.������������ You were going with the flow of traffic

Perhaps if you hire Matthew McConaughey from A Time to Kill as your legal counsel you may have a chance with this far-from-airtight alibi, but for the rest of society this isn�۪t going to work. The chances are, an officer pulled you over for a reason and not just to pick you out of a crowd of ten cars speeding on the roadway.

3.������������ If you receive a ticket in a state other than your own it won�۪t be reported to your state

This sounds great in theory if you consider yourself a traveling lawbreaker, however when you return to your home state, they will also know about your tomfoolery. There is something called the Interstate Driver License Compact which is an agreement between states and they share information. There is also another database that shares information on revoked or suspended licenses, so if you attempt to obtain a license in another state you�۪ll probably show up on that as well.

4.������������ Overpaying your ticket

The story of Oedipus killing his father and dating his mother is entertaining, however it is urban legend. So is this. The theory breaks down like this: You overpay your citation and if they try to send you a refund, you don�۪t cash it. Then the state can�۪t convict you since the paperwork never gets finalized. The truth is, once you are convicted, the state and your insurance company have a record of the citation.��

5.������������ If you don�۪t sign the ticket it didn�۪t happen

Pulling the sheets over your face when you suspect a monster is under your bed doesn�۪t do much to protect you and neither does trying to ignore the ticket by not signing it. If you show up in court and the judge learns that you were trying to be an outlaw and not sign the ticket, this may actually hurt your chances for an innocent verdict. Signing doesn�۪t show an admission of guilt, it merely states you will pick up the pieces at a later date in court.

6.������������ If the officer doesn�۪t let you see the radar gun, you can beat the ticket

By no means does the officer need to show you what he saw on the radar gun. If you try to claim the gun wasn�۪t working correctly at the time, that will be a tough road to take. Furthermore if you are questioning the officer at the time of the ticket, he or she will probably make it a point to ensure you are convicted of the ticket in court just because you are being a problem.

7.������������ If the officer makes a clerical error, the ticket will be thrown out

This is definitely not true. If the officer gets minor things wrong on the ticket such as a letter in your name, a number, etc. it will be overlooked in most cases. If the officer has information wrong such as the basics of the violation such as where it was, what you did, and what you looked like, that may have an impact.

8.������������ The officer was discriminating against me because of my red car

A red car may further attract the attention of a police officer, but so does speeding. There isn�۪t any official evidence to show that by having a red car, you will receive more tickets. The best way to avoid this theory is to not speed.

9.������������ You have a legitimate excuse

Being late for work, having to go to the bathroom, or you were chasing a hot chick in a Ferrari might get a chuckle from an officer. And if they have a moment of compassion they may let you slide at the time of the citation, but these won�۪t help in court. Whenever someone has excuses it shows they are essentially admitting guilt which never is a good thing in a court of law.

��Again, the best way to avoid having to deal with any of these situations is to abide by the rules of the road. If you�۪re never issued a citation it will be pretty easy to beat something that doesn�۪t exist!��

17 Tips and Tricks for Driving in Severe Weather

Tornado Highway
Severe weather (of all kinds) can cause many problems for anybody caught by surprise out on the road; here are a number of tips and tricks that you can use in order to stay safe.

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Severe weather (of all kinds) can cause many problems for anybody caught by surprise out on the road; here are a number of tips and tricks that you can use in order to stay safe.

Earthquakes

1) Movement of the ground while driving can disrupt the vehicle's ability to remain stable and grip the ground, so it is important to gradually slow down. Decreasing speed too quickly can further weaken the vehicle's grip and may increase the chances of collision, especially if other drivers are also having a difficult time controlling their vehicles.

2) Furthermore, earthquakes can cause structural damage that may lead to the collapse of buildings or items such as trees and power lines falling over, so it is important to remain in the open as much as possible. No structure should be assumed safe until it has been examined.

Flash Floods

1) Flooding may occur as soon as a few minutes after a downpour begins, and can come unexpectedly. If there is significant water on the roadway (6+ inches), avoid driving into it. Water can hide depth, so even if it looks shallow enough to cross, it may not be safe.

2) If possible, drive to higher ground and wait for the flooding to subside.

Hail Storms

1) Trees are not safe during heavy hail, but buildings are. Drive under a shelter to help minimize damage to the vehicle; shelters include parking garages, overpasses, tunnels, and similar places.

2) Set your headlights to low beams and drive slowly. Driving in hail is similar to driving in the rain, but the ice has a greater chance of causing damage (including smashing windows) and can be difficult to drive on, particularly when thick.

Extreme Winds

1) Be aware that larger vehicles are more affected by the wind than smaller ones, and give extra room around other vehicles. It may be difficult for drivers to maintain a straight heading; the winds may push them towards other lanes, and remaining close can significantly increase the chance of a collision.

2) Much like earthquakes, is is often important to drive slower during high winds. Sudden changes in wind speed can cause you to over-correct your speed or heading, but driving slower can help reduce the problems this causes.

Thunder and Lightning

1) Remember that flashes of lightning can blind you and make it so that you cannot see hazards. As with the winds that may accompany it, slowing down will help, and so will pulling to the side of the road and turning on the emergency flashers. This will help ensure that other drivers can see your vehicle.

2) Furthermore, you should remain inside your vehicle and avoid touching metal. Cars are actually a very safe place to be during a thunderstorm, especially if parked, even if lightning hits the vehicle.

3) Do not remain under trees. They can be struck by lightning and collapse on top of your vehicle; it is much safer to be in the open, even if there is a higher risk of the vehicle being struck by lightning.

Tornadoes

1) Do not drive during tornado conditions. Tornadoes can easily lift vehicles into the air and fling them considerable distances. However, if you are already driving when the conditions begin, then...

2) Do not attempt to drive away from a tornado. They can change speed and direction very quickly. It is much safer to abandon the vehicle and get as low as possible, preferably into a ditch or other area below ground-level. Some forms of severe weather can be driven in, but tornadoes are not one of them.

Winter Weather

1) Ice can make it difficult to see, so clean the windows. Do not use hot water to melt the ice; it may re-freeze. Instead, use a scraper, defrosting chemical, and heat the inside of the vehicle. This may fog up the windows, but they should be clear by the time you begin driving.

2) Remember that snow and ice can make gripping the road difficult, but you can drive only as fast as is safe. This may be only a few miles per-hour. However, you may also have chains or studded tires that can help with driving on ice; do not assume these will work perfectly, however.

In All Circumstances

1) Avoid downed power lines. You should always assume that the wire is live, and stepping on the ground near a downed wire can be extremely dangerous. If you have the contact information for your local electrical department, you may wish to inform them of the downed line so they can take care of it as soon as possible.

2) During most forms of severe weather, turn on the radio when it is safe to do so. There should be an emergency channel that will provide information on where storms are headed, what areas are dangerous, and similar items that will be important to know.

Tips For Passing Your Motorcycle Driving Test

Short of owning your own torpedo, riding a motorcycle can be the most exhilarating way to get from point A to point B. If you�۪re reading this, you may havealready passed your written test, but before you take to the openroad with the wind ripping at your new leather pants and flame helmet, you must pass a driving test. Failing your driving test means more paperwork, standing in lines, and going home with your tailpipe between your legs, so make sure you study upon these tips to prevent this trio of pain from happening. Make sure the only conundrum you�۪ll have is which biker gang to join once you pass.

Short of owning your own torpedo, riding a motorcycle can be the most exhilarating way to get from point A to point B. If you�۪re reading this, you may have already passed your written test, but before you take to the openroad with the wind ripping at your new leather pants and flame helmet, you must pass a driving test. Failing your driving test means more paperwork, standing in lines, and going home with your tailpipe between your legs, so make sure you study upon these tips to prevent this trio of pain from happening. Make sure the only conundrum you�۪ll have is which biker gang to join once you pass.

Select a smaller motorcycle for the test

Unless you have a lot of practice on a large bike, a smaller motorcycle is going to help with your comfort level. The test will often have you weave through cones or have some sort of challenge requiring tricky maneuvering. The smaller the bike, the easier time you�۪ll have with that part of the test.

Study up on Road Signs

This one may be a no-brainer, but let�۪s not forget the basics. You don�۪t want to add another item of mass confusion during your test. Nerves can cloud your memory so make sure to take the road sign test to brush up on the basics before your test date.

Study your state�۪s motorcycle handbook

Just because you�۪ve already passed your written test, doesn�۪t mean you�۪re out of the woods when it comes to the rules of the road. The last thing you want to do on your test is to perform a maneuver you weren�۪t aware was illegal.

Test your motorcycle

It�۪s tough to pass the part of the test that requires you to signal, then turn left if your signal light is out. Make sure to test your turn signal lights, brake lights and headlights at least a week before your test. That will give you enough time to make repairs if needed, so you�۪ll be ready for your test.

Practice

You may think you are ready for anything, however unless you are an expert rider, even basic things can elude you when nervous especially when faced with unexpected traffic situations. ��Parallel parking and three-point turns are two things that may be on the test, so make a point in becoming an expert on both. Confidence is invaluable come test day.

Be on time and arrive with a licensed driver

You don�۪t want to give the DMV another reason to put off administrating your test. They have a building full of other people that need assistance, so show up at least 15 minutes early, and with a licensed driver. Also don�۪t forget to bring your permit!

Turn off cell phone

Answering a phone call during your driving test is not only illegal, but it is a sure-fire way to fail your test. Turn off your phone or leave it at home so you aren�۪t distracted or tempted to answer.

Relax

It�۪s impossible to anticipate how your nerves will handle the test, but if you are calm, you are less likely to make mistakes. Try your best to take a deep breath and relax if you find yourself getting nervous.

Be friendly

Your test administrator is just a person, and is going to enjoy the experience much more if you are courteous to him or her. Remember, they will be driving with you, so treat them with respect. Since they don�۪t know your level of expertise, you might find them just as nervous as you!

Listen

The examiner will let you know what maneuvers you have to do, so focus on listening so you have a full understanding before attempting yourself. If you�۪ve practiced, then chances are you won�۪t be shocked at any of the maneuvers you�۪re asked to perform, so try to keep those butterflies at bay. If there is something you don�۪t quite understand, don�۪t be afraid to ask as well.

Keep your eyes on road

It�۪s always good to briefly check your mirrors and speedometer, however mostly try to keep your eyes darting ahead and around you to show that you are ready to react to your surroundings.

Best Practices

Jerky motions and abrupt braking can result in poor scoring on your test, so be sure to brake evenly, use your turn signals and turn safely, or act with caution if you encounter a precarious situation.

Overall, all you can do is your best out there. The test is mostly passed and failed during your preparation, so make sure you do everything you can to give yourself the best chance once the real test starts. And most of all, be safe, but don�۪t forget to have fun.

100 Deadliest Days of Driving

Summer is just around the corner! It's almost time for beach getaways, out-of-town trips, and pool parties! But under all the summer fun is an unnoticed but real danger. Did you know that in the past five years alone, around eight teens aged 16-18 died every day from March to August?
Summer is just around the corner! It's almost time for beach getaways, out-of-town trips, and pool parties! But under all the summer fun is an unnoticed but real danger. Did you know that in the past five years alone, around eight teens aged 16-18 died every day from March to August? This tragic truth is backed by statistics. Given the trend, it's very likely that it will continue this year. It's easy to see why summer is the season of driving dangerously for teens. School is out, so many of them have much more time to be on the road. Though not all teens are irresponsible, there's no denying the fact that they aren't adults, so their sense of judgment is still a bit reckless. They aren't mature enough to make sound decisions all the time. This is where parents should come in and take responsibility. Your teenage kids still need guidance, and now is the time to make sure that you're there for them. Here's what you can do to make that happen:

 

Summer Teen Driving Tips

1) Get your kids to listen to you.

The best way to give guidance to your kids is to talk to them, but there's no assurance that they will listen to you. But whatever happens, don't give up on reaching out to your kids. Even after they brush you off, stand your ground as an authority figure. Avoid the temptation to get in a fight when they react emotionally. Stay calm and then listen to everything they have to say. This can help you build a relationship of trust and respect between you and your kids.

2) Set rules and give reasons for them.

Many parents reply with Because I say so! when kids ask Why? This kind of reasoning won't make kids follow rules. The best thing you can do is to set clear rules, explain why you have them, and what can happen when they're broken. This is especially important when you're talking about road safety. The consequences of reckless driving are serious (accidents, injuries and even death), which is why you need to put emphasis on them when giving advice to your kids. Don't overwhelm your kids with too many rules. Start with the basics, like these three that can save a lot of lives:
  1. Always wear seatbelts.
  2. Stay within speed limits.
  3. Avoid drinking and driving.
You can add more to these, but it's essential that your kids have a strong foundation to begin with.

3) Ease your kids into driving.

You don't have to buy your kids a car and let them drive off into the sunset as soon as they get their license. You have to make sure that they are responsible enough for privileges. Start with a car sharing schedule. It should have details on when they can take the car and where they can drive. This allows them to have access to a vehicle, but on a limited basis only. Gradually give more freedom as they get better in showing responsibility in their driving. You can also ask your kids to drop you off at work or drive the family to the mall. This move will show that you trust them. At the same time, you can observe their driving style. From there, you can decide if they're ready for their own car or if they still have lessons to learn.

4) Be a good example.

If you talk the talk, you have to walk the walk. Teens, even in their rebellious stage, are strongly influenced by their parents' habits. Thus, the best way to teach your kids about responsible driving is by being responsible driver yourself.

Passing Bad Driving Habits to your Teen - Part 1

Whether parents like to admit it or not, they are teaching their kids bad driving habits. Some are oblivious, while other less-than-optimal techniques are actually being done during driving instruction. Some of these potentially deadly distractions are being passed from parent to child ensuring that the child is in fact turning into their mother.

Whether parents like to admit it or not, they are teaching their kids bad driving habits. Some are oblivious, while other less-than-optimal techniques are actually being done during driving instruction. Some of these potentially deadly distractions are being passed from parent to child ensuring that the child is in fact turning into their mother.
 
Ok teenagers, we're not saying you're going to start going gray, your closet will be full of mom jeans, and you'll go around the schoolyard asking your peers, Is it hot in here or is just me? But you are at risk of becoming her on the road.
 
By the time teens gets behind the wheel they will have spent hundreds of hours in the car with a parent. During that time they will have picked up countless dangerous tendencies. Since they will have less experience behind the wheel themselves, they may not be able to adjust in time to an immediate crisis like an experienced driver can.
 
I've compiled an un-bucket list of poor techniques a parent may be doing on a daily basis. Take a look and see if you are doing any of these things, then make adjustments so your teenager doesn't fall into the same routine when he or she takes the wheel.
 
1. Talking/Texting on cell phone
 
Despite new laws, hands-free devices, and flat out good common sense, parents are still using cell phones when their kids are in the car. Turn off the phone and practice not using it during road travel so you set a good example.
 
2. Not paying attention during instruction
 
In a recent study parents admitted they didn't pay full attention or give their best instruction during driving lessons. Specifically, it revealed they are using cell phones while teaching their kids how to drive. Wait, what? This would be like an ocean diver teaching new divers how to safely swim with sharks by intentionally poking the fish in the gills with a spear. It's bad enough to talk on your phone while driving with loved ones in the car, but now we've got a pissed off Great White on our hands ready to snap off someone's leg. Other excuses included checking work emails, texting, or credulously thinking their pupil didn't need their undivided attention especially in rural areas. Take a break and give your focus. Your childs safety depends on it.
 
3. Poor hands-on-the-wheel technique
 
Driving with an arm slouched over the steering wheel as one bobs and weaves through traffic might look pretty cool in rap videos, but it is not considered safe driving. Sure, ten and two oclock on the wheel is the ideal recommendation, but even Grandma Edna gets lazy on her hand placement once in a while. Keep cognizant of where your hands are and don't get too fancy if you are trying to show off at the stoplight to a sexy co-ed. You kid will take notice.
 
4. Reckless driving
 
There was a time in our existence when the time of day was calculated by the location of the sun in the sky and whether or not the hunter and gatherers had returned home. Now the world has gone and gotten itself in a big hurry. This leads to speeding and reckless driving. Soccer Moms are attempting to get their kids to practice on time, Dads are dropping their child off at school then rushing to make their morning meeting, and Twlight fans are racing to the theater to see the new release. If parents drive recklessly so will teens. So take your time and teach some good examples. They will follow, no matter how much of a dreamboat that Taylor Lautner is.
 
5. Driving too close to the vehicle in front (Tail-gating)
 
In Nascar racing it is customary to drive just behind the racecar in front of you so you can draft off them. The wind generated by doing this is just enough to propel the car behind past the car ahead when the time is right. This is a necessary technique when attempting to win at Daytona, but can put you and other drivers in danger in the real world. Keep a safe distance between you and other cars, even if you think you are Dale Earnhardt Jr. If you are unaware of current laws and requirements, take ten minutes and complete a Permit Practice Test online to brush up.
 
If parents can take action on these terrible habits now, there will be a lot less traffic stops that start with my mom does this all the time, when they take the wheel. 
 
Check back for part 2 of this safe driving saga.

Preparing for a Road Trip

Road trips can be exhilarating, relaxing and a blissful euphoria of freedom. The road lies ahead and you are eager to take it to a glorious path unknown. With the wind whipping through the open window your hair can do nothing but submit to the relentless force and dances about like those inflatable advertising characters outside car dealerships. You turn up your music and feel a fierce release of endorphins invade your body like shoppers penetrating a Best Buy electronics store on Black Friday. You are free.

Road trips can be exhilarating, relaxing and a blissful euphoria of freedom. The road lies ahead and you are eager to take it to a glorious path unknown. With the wind whipping through the open window your hair can do nothing but submit to the relentless force and dances about like those inflatable advertising characters outside car dealerships. You turn up your music and feel a fierce release of endorphins invade your body like shoppers penetrating a Best Buy electronics store on Black Friday. You are free.
 
Before you fall into a deep trance of ecstasy; stop. This blog is not about one's dream of becoming the next Thelma & Louise. This blog is about preparing yourself for a road trip. Where you go and what you want to bump on the radio is up to you, but there are a few key ideologies of preparedness one must take into consideration before hitting the open road.
 
1. Invest in a map unless you have a cell phone that can work on the moon (or close to it)
 
GPS devices or cell phones are a great way to find your way around these days. Nothing against Lewis & Clark who navigated their way through the western hemisphere using limited means, but today we have a multitude of gadgets to help us on our way. Sorry guys. The problem with technology however is reception can often be sparse especially in rural areas. By also having a map as a backup it will help you if your phone carrier lets you down and Sacajawea is nowhere in sight.
 
2. Vehicle check up
 
You don't need to get yourself talked into the 50,000 mile check up for thousands of dollars at your dealership, but the basic maintenance necessities are important. Check tire pressure, top off any fluids that are low, check oil, and make sure windshield wipers are in working order.
 
3. Realistically schedule your drive
 
If you are a real go-getter and think you are going to do x number of miles in x number of hours, good for you. Make sure you stick to it. For the rest of us, leave plenty of grace time to account for traffic, bad weather, or wrong turns. The last thing you want to do is get stuck miles from lodging or a gas station.
 
4. Pack your car with the what ifs
 
Most trips go as planned but all it takes is one mishap and you're featured on the next episode of I Shouldn't be Alive on the Animal Planet. Pack extra blankets, rope, a toolkit, and a knife. An extra set of keys is also a good idea in case you lock yourself out of your car. The idea is to keep them on you or at least give to your passenger to hold in case you manage to lock yourself in your own car. If this happens your friend will probably just take off in embarrassment instead of releasing you from your metal prison on wheels.
 
5. Pack your car with the perishable what ifs
 
Most trips go as planned but all it takes is one mishap and you're featured on the next episode of I Shouldn't be Alive on the Anim- wait a second, this sounds awfully familiar?
 
Water is the lifeline of our existence so make sure to bring enough supply for two nights just in case. Not a single episode of I Shouldn't be Alive has ever ended by one of the lucky survivors as they are rescued from the clenches of death exclaiming, We really had too much water in the desert.
 
Stock your car with snacks as well. You don't need to pack a meatloaf and three sides, but granola bars, trail mix and various nuts are hearty snacks. If you can't find these items it is legal in some counties to steal them from a chipmunk.
 
6. Medicines
 
If you are traveling with an elderly relative or anyone that requires frequent medications such as diabetics, people with heart conditions, or allergies it is important to carry and extra supply of insulin, nitroglycerines, or an EpiPen just in case. Having your car break down, then going hungry in the desert is stressful enough without being stung by a scorpion without your proper allergens.
 
7. Car supplies
 
A flat tire can ruin a road trip, but if you have a mobile jack and spare tire you can be on your merry way in no time. Additional oil, coolant, and a pressure gauge to check tire pressure can help as well.
 
If you follow these tips your time on the open road can be happily spent listening to your new Britney Spears album and less time worrying if your car is about to blow a tire and erupt in a fiery ball.
 
Stay safe out there.

Safe Driving Tips for Driving Test - Unfamiliar Traffic Situations

Becoming a new driver can be daunting. With so many different steps of the process required in order to get a license, it is easy to get discouraged. There is some help out there, such as online tests to judge your knowledge of the road, but this is just on paper. Once you get behind the wheel and nerves kick in, it is tough to think on your feet. The knowledge you studied and thought you knew can find itself swallowed whole by an anxiety-ridden fog.

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Becoming a new driver can be daunting. With so many different steps of the process required in order to get a license, it is easy to get discouraged. There is some help out there, such as online tests to judge your knowledge of the road, but this is just on paper. Once you get behind the wheel and nerves kick in, it is tough to think on your feet. ��The knowledge you studied and thought you knew can find itself swallowed whole by an anxiety-ridden fog.

One way to help with safety is to familiarize yourself with the area you�۪ll be driving in. ��Just like hiking trails have different terrain, roads have unique features with various road signs, speed limits and traffic.

If you are going to be taking a driving test in an area you are unfamiliar with it is wise to take a drive around the area with someone else and just observe what sort of obstacles lurk. Then, once you feel more familiar, you can get behind the wheel so when you have to perform them you�۪ll be in the driver�۪s seat. Well, literally.

Are there types of turns you aren�۪t familiar with?

One-way streets?

Street signs you haven�۪t seen before?

Giant gorillas on top buildings that may possibly jump down fifty floors in the flash of a second?

These are some things you�۪ll want to be ready for, especially now that Planet of the Apes has clearly set itself up for a sequel and radioactive apes are living high in the trees waiting for the right moment to attack.

Below are some additional tips you may find helpful if you are taking your test or just looking to become a safer driver.

1.������������ Traffic

Speeding down a road with no one on it is a piece of cake. How about driving it during rush hour after a Jonas Brothers concert finished?

2.������������ Unfamiliar areas

Have you ever tried to sing the words to a song you don�۪t know the words to? It�۪s pretty darn hard. Driving in a neighborhood you aren�۪t familiar with while also trying to navigate is just the same. Study a map ahead of time if you are going to be driving in unchartered waters. And learn the words first before belting them out in the shower. Your shampoo bottle has had enough tone deafness. ����

3.������������ Commercial areas

Everyone enjoys a comedic Superbowl commercial, but few can drive in them. Commercial areas have a variety of different factors including a lack of posted speed limits, a plethora of large vehicles, and the likelihood of a stopped one in the middle of the road. If your local DMV is in a commercial area, which many are, take a drive by before your test. If you are a goodie two shoes trying to become safer on the road do the same. Remember if a road does not have a speed limit sign posted, the speed limit is 25. If you were thinking ���whatever I darn well please is the speed limit,�۝ then you may want to study up on your driving laws.

4.������������ Unique Intersections

Chevy Chase ensured his family got to see the sights in England in National Lampoon�۪s European Vacation by incompetently attempting to drive out of a roundabout. This may have worked for him and his family, but if you show your driving instructor the same Applebee�۪s and Starbucks repeatedly you will fail your test.

5.������������ Pedestrians

No one likes a mangled pedestrian, and unless you are playing Grand Theft Auto you will fail your test, not to mention end up incarcerated. If you think you might be driving in an area with heavy foot traffic, especially with big intersections, or big pedestrians, check it out ahead of time. Turning left across an intersection can add an additional challenge so make sure to practice that as well. Bigger pedestrians tend to move slower, so take your time unless they are in the NFL. ��

Boy Scouts always preach being prepared. Your loyal scoutmaster was right. Prepare yourself for all types of situations in case you come across them on your test. It will help you become a safer driver as well.

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