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Teen Drivers

Night Driving Laws in Pennsylvania

Teen Drivers need to know night time driving rules
Night driving is a crucial part of learning how to drive, but young drivers can't just practice anytime between dusk and dawn. Most states have rules regarding when young drivers can drive by themselves at night, when they need to have someone else in the car, and who that someone else needs to be. Even after you get your license, some rules may still apply. Here are the nighttime laws in Pennsylvania that you need to know:

Night driving is a crucial part of learning how to drive, but young drivers can't just practice anytime between dusk and dawn. Most states have rules regarding when young drivers can drive by themselves at night, when they need to have someone else in the car, and who that someone else needs to be. Even after you get your license, some rules may still apply. Here are the nighttime laws in Pennsylvania that you need to know:

 

  • If you just have a learner's permit, then nighttime driving restriction begins at 11 p.m. A young driver may not be behind the wheel between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. Young drivers may travel for employment and for volunteer or charitable service during these hours, but they must carry proper documentation.
     
  • Those on the learner's permit need to acquire 65 hours of behind-the-wheel training from a licensed driver over the age of 21 before getting a junior license. At least 10 of those hours much take place at night.
     
  • If you have a junior license, then nighttime driving restriction begins at 11 p.m. Even with a junior license, a young driver may not drive between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m., unless they carry the proper documentation or they are supervised by a licensed driver over 18.
     
  • Even with proper documentation, those with a permit or a junior license are restricted in the number of passengers they can have in the vehicle. Young drivers can have only one non-family member under 18 with them in the car.
     
  • After six months on the junior license, the restriction rises to no more than three passengers under 18, but only if the young driver has a clean driving record. Immediate family members are excluded from the restriction. The restriction also does not apply if a parent or legal guardian is in the vehicle with the young driver.
     
  • Once on the unrestricted license, the nighttime driving restriction is lifted.
     

 

Some of these restrictions were only implemented this year, so it's important to revise your knowledge of Pennsylvania driving law so you can keep your teens safe, and so they are aware of the law when they are learning how to drive. Car accidents are the number one killer of teenagers in the country, and these laws are only in place to keep young drivers out of dangerous situations.

Passing Bad Driving Habits on to your Teen - Part 2

It used to be that parents just passed on bad hereditary traits like flat feet, acne, or a propensity to grow an exorbitant amount of back hair. In today's world, parents are responsible for passing on good driving techniques yet some taught are the antithesis to safe driving.

It used to be that parents just passed on bad hereditary traits like flat feet, acne, or a propensity to grow an exorbitant amount of back hair. In today's world, parents are responsible for passing on good driving techniques yet some taught are the antithesis to safe driving.

 

You may have already studied up on the first part of this blog, but there are additional habits of mass destruction parents are handing down to their impressionable students and they are important to take note of. However, before you read this on your Smartphone, Blackberry, or Blueberry make sure you are not in the car with your teenager. Set some good examples. Remember only YOU can prevent forest fires?and bad driving habits.

 

1. Not giving enough practice time

We now live in a society where you are not only expected to grab the bull by the horns, but flip him upside down, twirl him, then finish him off with a half nelson. Our kids may be able to program an iPod in five seconds, but learning to drive still takes time. 100 hours is the suggested time to spend with your kids to ensure they are practicing safe techniques and feel comfortable on the road.


2. Braking too hard or too late


Before cars were invented it was customary to yank the reins of the animal you were traveling on in order to come to a halt. It was done in a jerky manner and did not require a gradual pull in order to slow the beast. Today's means of transportation work a little differently. Anticipating ahead of you on the road and slowly easing into a stop will not only save your brakes over time, but is a good driving technique. It also will save thousands of dollars in chiropractor bills for your whiplashed passengers.


3. Road Rage


Driving turns even the kindness of people into irascible monsters. If your children are in the car, try to remember to take a deep breath and relax before you scream obscenities out the car window. This is a bad habit that your child may take as normal. Practicing this will do wonders for your blood pressure as well.


4. Drinking and driving


It seems logical that one shouldn't down one, two, maybe seven cold ones and then get behind the wheel but it happens more than we realize. A recent national study released in December revealed that parents who received DUI's also had children who admitted to driving under the influence. Monkey see, monkey do.


I'm sotally tober offizer. My Dad drinks and drives all the time, so I'm fine.
Don't let this happen. Model behavior will at least give your kids a fighting chance. Behind the wheel is no exception.


5. Not obeying road signs


Just because no police cars are in sight doesn't mean you don't have to obey road signs. They are in place to make the roads safer and by blowing them off your tyke will think that is ok to do too.


Taking the extra time and energy in the car with a young one will go a long way. You may not notice it right away, but each time you do something potentially unsafe in the car you could be putting someone in jeopardy when they get behind the wheel. Test your road sign knowlege now with our Traffic and Road Sign Practice Test.
Best of luck out there.


Want to read more and missed part 1 of this blog?
 

Sooo your kid is turning 16...

As your son or daughter nears his monumental sixteenth birthday he has visions of freedom and a set of wheels. You've already started hiding your car keys, triple-checking you've locked your car doors, and doubled up on your heartburn medication. Up to this point, you were able to keep an eye on him, confident you knew his every move, since he could only make it so far on his skateboard. Now the kid will be jet-setting all over town with nothing but an empty gas tank to stand in his way while you sit at home with a bottle of scotch in one hand and one of those squishy stress reliever balls in the other.

As your son or daughter nears his monumental sixteenth birthday he has visions of freedom and a set of wheels. You've already started hiding your car keys, triple-checking you've locked your car doors, and doubled up on your heartburn medication.

Up to this point, you were able to keep an eye on him, confident you knew his every move, since he could only make it so far on his skateboard. Now the kid will be jet-setting all over town with nothing but an empty gas tank to stand in his way while you sit at home with a bottle of scotch in one hand and one of those squishy stress reliever balls in the other.

The sound of screeching brakes in your driveway and the smell of a burning clutch will never feel so good as your precious 2012 BMW returns home. Alright, fine, your son/daughter too, but mostly your BMW.

You've already serviced the car your son/daughter will be driving to meet all the DMV test vehicle requirements, so he's ready to go there.

You've spent countless hours behind the wheel with him teaching him all the tricks. From that, but mostly because of his experience playing video games, he can handle a car like Dale Earnhardt Jr.

You've purchased a cheat sheet to help him study, and he's passed every DMV practice test online.

He's ready to go. YOU aren't.

At your weakest point after weeks of begging, you are ultimately unable to withstand your son's/daughter's relentless attempts. Reluctantly, you schedule a test date and before you have the chance to visit your Doctor to help lower your blood pressure, the day arrives.

You hand him off to the test giver who points him in the right direction. You wait until your enthusiastic son/daughter skips excitedly out of ear' reach before you casually slip the test administrator a fifty-dollar bill and tell him there is more where that came from for a failed test. You told yourself you had accepted the inevitable, but clearly you are still holding on, like a new swimmer in the deep end sans water wings.
The grumpy administrator glares at you and tries to pretend he has too much pride to be bought, but still slips the fifty into his shirt pocket. You glance over at his desk and notice a pile of tests marked passed. Each one has a crisp twenty fastened by a lone paper clip and you realize the man has about as much morality as Lindsay Lohan out on a Friday night in Hollywood. It feels wrong to buy a failing grade, but this is your last ditch effort to keep a spanking new driver's license out of your son's/daughter's hands and keep your status as commander and chief of the penitentiary you call your house. There is less than one minute left in the game and you just called the goalie to the bench for an extra attacker.

Two grueling hours later your son/daughter comes back with a huge smile.

I did it! he shouts.

You feel your heart drop somewhere near your left knee and a feeling of malaise collects in your midsection.

Then something happens. Somewhere between your vitals returning to their natural levels and your son's/daughter's jovial celebration dance a feeling of warmth invades your body. Your son/daughter is growing up and even Doc from Back to the Future can't stop time. You're actually happy for him yet at the same time a little guilty. You glance up just in time to see the test administrator click the Complete My Order button on his computer. A new sports coat is headed his way in two to three business days courtesy of you.

You put your arm around your son/daughter, congratulate him, and walk outside. It is a brand new day for not only him, but for you. Your worst nightmare has become a reality, but you no longer care. You both smile.

Can I drive? he asks with excitement oozing out of his eyes, now the size of grapefruits.

You can't resist.

You give him the keys, not because you are now a submissive and sensitive mold of your former self, but because you realize that you only have two years to start hiding the cigarettes, dirty magazines and voter registration cards and the clock is ticking. It's never too early to start conjuring up your plan and it can start right now from the passenger seat.

You happily settle in as your son /daughtertakes the wheel. The light wind is blowing from the east cooling you both from the summer heat. It's just Father and son/daughter about to embark on the road of life together and things couldn't be better? 

CRUNCH!

You quickly swivel your head around to see a brand new Porsche's headlights smashed into smithereens.

Jaw agape, you look at your son/daughter.

I thought I was in drive, he exclaims.

10 Tips to Pass Your DMV Written Test

Pass your DMV Test with out fear.
According to a study done by an insurance company in 2010, it was estimated that 1 in 5 drivers currently on the road could not pass a written driving test. With numbers like this for drivers who have already passed their written tests, yet aren't competent enough to pass it again, passing for the first time may feel a bit ominous. It should. 70 percent of first-time test takers go home with a failing grade.

According to a study done by an insurance company in 2010, it was estimated that 1 in 5 drivers currently on the road could not pass a written driving test. With numbers like this for drivers who have already passed their written tests, yet aren't competent enough to pass it again, passing for the first time may feel a bit ominous. It should. 70 percent of first-time test takers go home with a failing grade.

If this statistic alone makes you want to throw up your number 2 pencil and note cards in defeat, don't fret. Help is here.

If you don't pass the first time you can take it again, but my Mother always said when you do something, do it right the first time. Moms are always right, I think, and this time is no different. Plus, passing the first time will save you money, time, and the stress of having to study again. Here are some tips to pass the test the first time and show Mom that for once in your life you listened to her.

1. Pick up a handbook from your local DMV, or download online so you can familiarize yourself with your state's laws.

Simply picking it up and using as a coaster on your coffee table won't suffice. There are plenty of people who go to the gym, but that doesn't mean they have Pecs that woman drool over. It just means they spend most of their time wasting it. Open the booklet and browse through casually. It can be quite long, so don't stress yourself out to read it word for word. Reading without stress the first time will give you a foundation before you fine tune your studying later. Jot down some notes on note cards, make a study document on your computer, or highlight some points that catch your eye.

2. Go online and find yourself a practice test to gauge where you are at.

Make sure you choose the right state because each state's laws may vary. If you're not sure what state you are in, then perhaps this test may be the least of your worries.

3. Re-Read.

After you complete your practice test, go back to your handbook and read through like it is the last Harry Potter novel and you don't want to miss anything. Since you've taken the practice test, now you'll know a little bit more of what to look for and what to notate. Or, if you are like most of the population and prefer the cliff notes, then you can choose your own adventure and skip to tip four.

4. Find yourself a study guide.

Freedmvpracticetests.com offers a great DMV Cheat sheet that will not only save you hours of time, but includes sample questions, requirements for obtaining your license, and other helpful tips.

5. Study, Study, Study.

No athlete has ever been interviewed after a loss and said they didn't execute because they over prepared. Taking a test works the same way. The more you can retain the better. Focus on specific numbers such as maximum speed limits in different areas; residential, schools, etc.

6. Re-take the practice tests.

Your computer won't shut off after due to exhaustion after too many practice tests like us humans will. Take as many practice tests as you can. The more practice, the more perfect as they say. Get used to the wording the tests use so you aren't stumped during the test. When you're burnt out, take a break, then come back to it.

7. Get plenty of sleep the night before the test, and eat a hearty breakfast.

Here we go with preaching from Mom again. She's right. Again.

8. During the test, make sure you fully read each question thoroughly.

The last thing you'd want to do after all the time you've spent is to miss a question because you were too fast to answer or misread it. The test can be tricky and for that reason alone, you want to look out for all wording such as legal or illegal, right turn or left turn, crosswalk or sidewalk, etc. Don't assume you know the answer until you've read the entire question.

9. When you come to an question you don't know, relax and pick the best answer.

Isn't this obvious? No. Test nerves will make you question whether or not you are even wearing pants or not. Take a deep breath. This isn't a write-in ballot. If you've studied the cheat sheets, chances are you'll be able to narrow the answer to at least the best two. Pick the one that makes the most common sense.

10. Be positive.

You studiedYou finished your grapefruit parfait at breakfast. You should be good to go. Keep a positive outlook and you will receive a positive score.

 

What tips do you have for other drivers? Leave your best tips in the comments below.

 

Drivers Ed, or No Drivers Ed?

For many teenagers, Drivers Education is the gateway to getting a drivers permit. It also allows them to learn the rules of the road from professional teachers, and from instructors who can teach to the drivers test. But, how necessary is Drivers Ed for a teenager to earn his or her license? It costs money for driving instruction. So, is it worth it?

For many teenagers, Drivers Education is the gateway to getting a drivers permit. It also allows them to learn the rules of the road from professional teachers, and from instructors who can teach to the drivers test. But, how necessary is Drivers Ed for a teenager to earn his or her license? It costs money for driving instruction. So, is it worth it?
 
Drivers Ed often involves a combination of classroom, in-car, and online training regarding road conditions, hazardous weather, and proper driving strategies. Drivers Ed can be found at a variety of locations: online, specific driving schools; some high schools even offer certified driving instruction opportunities. Even through Drivers Ed is open to all ages, it is necessary for teenagers to go through the training in order to get their license at an earlier age. However, if your teen waits until the age of 18, he or she doesn't have to go through Drivers Ed, but merely has to pass both the driving and the written exam at the DMV.
 
If you choose to have your teen wait until the age of 18, then the driving instruction is going to have to come from somewhere. Your teen certainly doesn't want to take the drivers test without any time behind the wheel! Parents can opt to instruct their kids themselves, or to hire a private instructor. A private instructor is much more expensive, but a private instructor can also teach to the drivers test, and perhaps cover traffic rules and bad habits that parents may unintentionally showcase. However, parents can also take the time to coach on car maintenance and can do the instruction on those short trips to the grocery store or to the mall.
 
Yet, most teenagers won't want to wait until they are 18 in order to drive. They'll want to get into the driver's seat sooner than that, even if it's for the privilege of driving their friends around or not needing a ride from Mom or Dad. In most cases, the only way to get around that is to enroll them in Drivers Ed, since that's the only way for them to get their license before they turn 18. So, Drivers Ed is completely worth if from the teenager's perspective, and it might save parents from having to sit in the front seat as their teen learns to drive.
 
Drivers Ed may be a tough call for parents if money is tight, but fortunately there are plenty of online options that can help your teen practice for the test or to take online Drivers Ed. Online is also a good option if there isn't Drivers Ed or a driving instructor close by. Overall, Drivers Ed has to come from somewhere, and it's best to get some instruction before obtaining the license. You want your teen driving on the road with the most experience possible.

Are you Ready to go to the DMV and take the Written Driving Test?

Online DMV Test Prep
Everyone dreams of getting their drivers license at some point in their life. It has a number of uses besides simply driving, with most people using it to provide their birthday or identity as well. Even though millions of Americans have driver's licenses, it is important to know what is necessary to ensure that you get one as well. While you can take the test more than once, there is no reason to do so if you are properly prepared. Some people think that they are ready to take the test and pass, but are you really ready to head to the DMV and take that written test?

Everyone dreams of getting their drivers license at some point in their life. It has a number of uses besides simply driving, with most people using it to provide their birthday or identity as well. Even though millions of Americans have driver's licenses, it is important to know what is necessary to ensure that you get one as well. While you can take the test more than once, there is no reason to do so if you are properly prepared. Some people think that they are ready to take the test and pass, but are you really ready to head to the DMV and take that written test?
 
One aspect of the driving test is the written portion. This part can be difficult for drivers as some are not very good test takers. Thankfully, it is also one portion of the driving test that can easily be practiced so that it is not such a difficult task to pass the test on the first try. In order to have the right information needed to pass the test, is it important that you take the necessary steps to find all of the right resources. The most invaluable asset for the written test is the state manual.
 
The state manual has all of the guidelines listed for people that are looking to get a driver's license. This can range from stopping distances to understanding street signs. It should also be noted that different states will have different rules in regard to some laws. For example, some states do not allow right turns at a red light, and Northern states will have more information on driving in bad weather for safety. Because of these state specific rules, it is crucial that you get the right manual for your state, as it will not be helpful to find a generic manual. This manual can either be found at the DMV or online, depending on how you wish to study.
 
Those that are still not confident of their readyness can take online tests before hand that will imitate the questions that are given out during one of these driving tests. While it may not be an exact fit for every state, it will get you prepared for the format and the types of questions that are asked during the written portion. Again, make sure that you have the right state listed so that you do not get answers incorrect because of where you live.
 
If you are not sure what the driving manual is for your state, there is a site that has all of the states listed as well as their driving manuals. We hope our will be extremely beneficial for you to take advantage of so you can ensure that you get that driver's license without any trouble. Save yourself the possible multiple trips and get that license that you so desire the very first time. If you study the state manual and pass the online practice tests, you can step into the DMV with confidence and know that you will probably walk out with a driver's license in your hand.

6 High Way Driving Tips for New Drivers

Freeway in Portland, OR
Highways have been a vital component to many people's daily commute to work for countless decades. The rules of a highway vary from state to state, but here are some tips that will universally benefit drivers all around the globe, making sure that you arrive at your destination alive.

1. Pay Careful Attention to the Speed Limit

Ever drive down the highway, only to see a vehicle that is moving at a ridiculously slow speed such as 40mph? What they are doing is illegal on many highways, as there is usually a minimum speed of 45mph required on such highways. Driving too slowly poses a hazard not only to you, but also to everyone else using that highway. Plus, it's annoying to everyone, and you could be ticketed for it. On the other hand, the speed limit on most highways is 70mph during the day, and 65mph during the night. Once again, the speed limit varies from highway to highway, as there are some that don't get very much traffic at all, and therefore the limit is slightly increased for these places.

 

2. Stay in the Right Lane

Keep a close eye on any signs that may read "Left Lane for Passing Only", as these are especially common in states such as Texas. Contrary to popular belief, not all highways dedicate the left lane as the "fast" lane, as there are some highways that dedicate these left lanes strictly as passing lanes. It is acceptable to use these left lanes for passing, but not to use them continuously for cruising. Move off to a lane on the right immediately after you are finished passing a car. Such passing lanes are also more common on larger, multi-lane highways. Failure to abide by this rule can result in a fine as high as $200 in the state of Texas.

3. Stay Alert for Trucks on the Highway

Trucks can sometimes weigh up to 40 tons, and require up to 100 yards to come to a complete stop. One good piece of advice is to keep a safe distance behind trucks by watching when the truck in front of you passes a fixed object, then, seeing if it takes you at least two seconds to pass that same object. If it takes less than two seconds for you to pass that same object, you are driving too closely to that truck. Also, don't try to nudge your way between a truck and the curb, as it is a horrendously bad idea. Trucks make wide right turns, having several blind spots up to 200 feet behind their trailer, or up to 20 feet in front of the tractor. In other words, they may not see you. A good rule of thumb is that if you can't see the driver's windows or the actual truck driver, then they cannot see you. Lastly, never pass a truck from behind when it is in reverse.

4. Moving Over for Emergency Vehicles

Many people naturally move an extra lane away from a stopped emergency vehicle that has bright red flashing lights. This is a correct maneuver, as the law requires you to do this. However, did you know that it is usually also required that you go 20mph below the posted speed limit as you do so? In states such as Texas, you could receive a fine of $200 for not following these two rules.

Tips for Road Trips and Longer Drives

5. Taking a Break

Being drowsy can be downright deadly when driving on a highway, or anywhere for that matter. Driver fatigue is an obvious indication that you are not alert enough to drive safely. If you suddenly find yourself yawning incessantly, drifting unintentionally from lane to lane, or find your eyelids closing intermittently due to tiredness, then pull over to a safe place, and stretch your legs. Rest for 15-20 minutes, and repeat this every two hours or so, or better yet, just take a short nap in a safe place, if possible. The best way to combat driver fatigue is to simply prevent it beforehand by preparing yourself. Get plenty of rest before a long drive, and avoid any drinking from midnight to 6 o'clock. Even tiny amounts of alcohol are enough to influence your reaction time when driving.

6. Rest Areas Are Your Friend

Large rest areas are places where you can park your car in a safe environment, and they almost always have law enforcement present. Use these places to your advantage as a place of rest, using the bathroom, checking out road conditions, or learning about local points of interest.

10 Tips to Help You Pass the Road Test

Tips for Passing your Road Test the First Time.
Taking your on-road DMV driving test can be a stressful affair. Even if you comfort yourself with the thought that, if you fail, you can always take the test again, having to pay the not insubstantial fee again is not a very comforting prospect. So if you want to make sure you pass your on-road test the first time around, here are some tips to keep in mind.

Taking your on-road DMV driving test can be a stressful affair. Even if you comfort yourself with the thought that, if you fail, you can always take the test again, having to pay the not insubstantial fee again is not a very comforting prospect. So if you want to make sure you pass your on-road test the first time around, here are some tips to keep in mind.

1. Be on the lookout for signs

Chances are your examiner will want to make sure you are able to recognize and follow basic traffic signs, so expect the route you take to have at least a few. Aside from obvious ones like stop signs, be on the lookout for yellow traffic signs indicating that you need to go slower than the posted speed limit due to something like a sudden curve or a school zone.

2. Mind the speed limit even if there is no sign

While checking for signs should be second nature by the time you take your on-road test, you should also make sure you are paying attention to the implicit speed limit if there are no signs posted. Typically, a residential road has a limit of 25 mph and a non-residential road has one of 55. As with the signs above, there is a good chance the examiner will take you to an area without a posted speed limit to make sure you know this.

3. Keep three to four car lengths between yourself and the car in front of you

It is only to easy to get distracted by the dozens of things you will doubtless be trying to make sure you are doing and fail to notice that you are creeping up on the car in front of you. Whether you are on a busy highway or on a sleepy residential road, three to four car length is the standard distance you need to keep. If you can't quite picture the length of your car, keep enough distance that, if the car in front suddenly stopped or slowed down, you would be able to avoid hitting them - otherwise known as the two-second rule.

4. Brake as smoothly as possible

Poor breaking is one of the things that test examiners commonly mark people down on. Make sure you smoothly transition from decelerating to gently applying the brakes. You need to use your own judgment based on your speed, but you generally want to start braking several seconds before you come to a complete stop.

5. Do not go over the line at an intersection

There are often marked lines or crosswalks at intersections that you need to stop behind. There may be times when you will not be able to see the intersecting road due to a crosswalk, in which case you need to slowly inch forward just enough for you to be able to see the road and no more. Also note that, while it is not ideal to stop a few inches before the line, it is much better than stopping over it.

6. Steer smoothly and with the right hand positioning

While you may have let yourself get a little lax with your hand positioning during your hours of practice driving, your examiner will still expect you to have your hands in the proper position, at 10 and 2 (as on a clock), or just above the midway point up on either side. In general, make sure your turns are smooth and gradual, not sudden and jerky.

7. Stay in the right part of the right lane

Keep your car in the appropriate lane. In general, the left lane should be reserved for passing, not for driving regularly on. However, if you are about to make a turn, you should select the lane depending on the direction you will be going in. If you need to switch lanes for a turn, make sure you do so a bit in advance in case another car tries to pass you in the lane you need to move into.

8. Always use your turn signal

Even if you think no pedestrian or other driver will see it, you need to show your examiner that you are in the habit of using your signal whenever you make a turn. You may also have occasion to use your horn, as if you need to warn drivers behind you that you are making a sudden stop, and you can be sure your examiner will take note if you forget to do so in such a situation.

9. Be observant

There are about a thousand things that can happen at any moment on the road, and this includes during your on-road test. Make sure you have your eyes peeled for things like pedestrians or obstructions. Chances are you won't hit anyone, but you need to go beyond that and show you can react well before a dangerous situation even arises.

10. Be calm

As mentioned at the beginning of these tips, an on-road test can be stressful. Nevertheless, if you are a nervous wreck, chances are you will not be able to even get the car out of the parking lot. Be watchful and aware, but recall that getting too high strung is the easiest way to make simple, obvious mistakes.

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