Safe Travels On the Road with Your Furry Friend

It’s summertime again and Americans will be doing a lot of traveling. Whether it’s going to the beach, enjoying a baseball game, or going on your yearly family vacation across the country. Many of us like to take our pets with us to experience the same activities, after all our pets are part of our family.


Before You Head Outdog leaning out the car window with funny sunglasses

There are many things that pet owners need to be aware of when traveling with their pets. Before heading out make sure to have a check list of things your pet will need during the trip especially during a long trip. It is best to have a food pouch in case they get hungry during the ride. A plastic water gulpy or a collapsible water bowl is very important to keep in your vehicle at all times in case your pet needs a drink. Any of the items mentioned can be obtained at your local pet store or online. If your pet takes medicine or is on antibiotics it is vital to have those with you at all times. Some pets get anxious while traveling, if this sounds like your pet, purchasing over the counter calming aid for them may lower the anxiety while on the road. If your pet feels safe in his or her crate make sure to crate them so that it minimizes their anxiety (cats should always travel in a pet carrier). If you prefer to have your pet sitting in the backseat it is very important that you have the proper equipment so that your pet does not get hurt during sharp turns or sudden braking. A car seat belt tether and a harness for your pet is the safest way to keep them stable in the backseat. These items are all sold at any pet store or online as well.


Cute little red kitten with travel plastic cage isolated on white




Never leave your pet unattended in a parked car for any period of time, whether you are stopping for gas or grabbing a bite to eat. On a warm day your car can exceed temperatures of 120 degrees in a matter of minutes even if your windows are half way open. According to The Humane Society of the United States your pet can quickly suffer brain damage or die from heatstroke or suffocation.

Things to Keep in Mind…

Pets get stolen every year from unattended cars. When taking your pet on a trip they should have two tags – one with a home address and the other with the destination address.

We love our pets and It’s important to keep them safe when traveling whether on long or short trips. Keep these tips in mind when you’re ready to go on your next traveling adventure with your furry friend!

Dog and bags and other luggage in the trunk of the car on the back yard ready to go for vacation


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Roundabouts- What you need to know

The most common cause of auto accidents are drivers running a traffic control signal. The solution-roundabouts.

Research has shown that intersection crashes may be substantially reduced by installing a modern roundabout in place of a traffic control signal and stop signs. Like any other traffic control innovation, there is always a problem.

Roundabouts are circular and have no traffic signals which does improve traffic flow, however, researchers have found an increase in noninjury crashes due to confusion when navigating through them.

Statistics also have indicated that roundabouts have significantly reduced the amount of automobile collisions causing bodily injury. Over the years there has been a rise in roundabouts, taking the place of stop signs and traffic signals at four way crossings.

So let’s go through the steps for when you approach and exit a roundabout.

  • When approaching the roundabout you always want to follow the regulated speed limit, whether it is 45 mph or 15 mph.
  • Slow the vehicle speed and make sure to yield to traffic already in the circle and directed in one-way, counterclockwise direction.
  • When exiting the roundabout drivers must yield to pedestrians in the crosswalks.
  • Bicyclists have the option of riding their bike in the lane or on the sidewalk.
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Driving Lesson Topics

Behind the Wheel Lesson Topics:

  • Evaluation of your driving abilities
  • Basic Fundamentals of driving (knowing your vehicle, braking, steering)
  • Right/Left turns
  • Driving straight
  • Driving in a residential area
  • Driving downtown
  • One Way Traffic
  • Driving on rural highways and interstates
  • Entering/Exiting and Merging on roadway
  • Intersections
  • Changing lanes
  • Road design/lane markings/sign identification
  • Passing
  • Parking
  • Backing
  • One way traffic
  • Stopping
  • RR Crossings/Crosswalks/Pedestrian traffic/School zones
  • Accidents
  • Move Over Law
  • Your driving characteristics
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Texting and Driving


  • In 2011, 3,331 people were killed in crashes involving distracted drivers and an estimated additional 387,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers.
  • The average time a driver’s eyes are off the road while texting is nearly five seconds. When traveling at 55mph, that’s enough time to cover the length of a football field.
  • You are two times more likely to crash if you text while driving
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Hands Free Calling & Texting: Dangerous or Not?

Hands free calling and texting has become a popular feature. Auto dealerships boast about the effectiveness and convenience this feature gives to drivers. When buying a new vehicle, shoppers will add this feature to their list of accessories they want in their vehicle. Hands free calling and texting gives assurance to the driver that they are driving safely while having a conversation on their phone. But, is this really what it seems? Does this feature keep you safe on the road or is it just another distraction?

We are dealing with two separate issues when considering if hands free calling and texting is dangerous or not. The first issue is the mechanics of holding a cell phone, looking away from the road towards the cell phone to dial a number or to text someone while driving and looking away from the road conditions. The hands free feature allows us to use the phone without looking at it while we are driving. This leaves both hands on the wheel and our eye sight on the road. Keep in mind at 60 mph the vehicle you are driving is traveling at 90 feet per second. If it takes 2-3 seconds to find a number or contact in your phone and dial it, your vehicle has covered 180-270 feet, a lot can happen.

The hands free feature is by far safer and less distracting. The second issue with this feature is complicated and rarely discussed but it is the most important. The conscious mind can only hold one thought at a time. Our brains are not equipped to process multiple thoughts at one time. So if you are driving at 60 mph (90 feet per second) and your phone call becomes that one thought in your mind, you will without knowing, neglect everything that is going on right in front of you. As your conversation becomes complicated, maybe about money, business, or important personal issues, your awareness of what’s around you and the 90 feet per second becomes less and less.

The answer is simple. Instead of losing your awareness, pull over to a safe location and make your important call or text. Be a smart driver, if your distracted by the phone conversation, do the right thing and pull off the roadway when it is safe to do so and give consideration to other drivers you are sharing the roadway with.

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Driving Lessons- What you need to know

The benefits of professional driving lessons

Research has shown that drivers who take basic or advanced driver training courses are less likely to be involved in an accident. The more aware you are about responsibilities, strategies, recognizing risky drivers and hazards on the road, the safer you become. There are numerous distractions while driving, hazards, other drivers, cell phones, radios, passengers, etc. Driving is one of the greatest responsibilities young drivers will face; it is also one of the most powerful forms of independence. For teens and adults alike, ASI offers driving lessons that will focus on proper technique, explaining why each one is critical, and the risks that you will face while out on the road.

What to expect

A driving lesson will be 2 full hours with you as the driver the entire lesson. The instructor will teach you the basics and fundamentals of driving and will also give you a review on all requirements to pass your driving test at the DMV. Our instructors will give you the self-confidence and knowledge to become a safe driver. The first lesson will begin in the parking lot. The instructor will review your knowledge of basic functions and safety. From there the lesson is tailored for the specific needs of the student. You will then start the process of building the techniques to become a safe, confident, and knowledgeable driver.

What you will learn

During your first driving lesson you will be exposed to what we define as the 10 BASICS OF DRIVING. The 10 Basics are taught in a low to zero traffic area and once you have mastered those you will be introduced to larger volumes of traffic, situations, and driving techniques. Learning the 10 Basics in minimal traffic is beneficial and easier to understand. Once you move onto higher volume of traffic, you will have mastered the basics.

  • Breaking, Steering, Acceleration, Backing up, Parking, Stop right turn and moving right turn, Straight with a stop sign and straight without a stop sign, Protected left turn and unprotected left turn, Signal and turn, and Stay in the correct lane


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Driving Test-Another Pass in Tampa

RAYMOND PASSED HIS DRIVING TEST LAST THURSDAY!!!!!!!!!! I want to send a huge thank you to Shawn and Jorge. Shawn gave Ray the confidence he needed to get on the road and expressway. Ray also got a good understanding of how to navigate in traffic. Jorge gave Raymond all of the tools he needed to pass the test. Raymond said everything Jorge showed him was on the test. Shawn and Jorge are wonderful instructors!!!!!!!!
Thank you so much Tanya for taking the time in writing this. We are so happy to hear Raymond passed his driving test. We are overwhelmed by your support and enthusiasm in our instructors.
-Tampa Bay Driving School
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Driving Test

Hello Tampa Student Drivers and Parents,

Turning 16 is an exciting time in your life, you are finally the legal age to receive a Drivers License! At the same time, this is a freighting time in a parents life. Let us ease your mind a little by knowing your teen has been taught, by an expert, safe driving habits. Our mission at, Tampa Bay Driving School, is to ensure the safety of all our student drivers by teaching safe and defensive driving techniques. We also stride to make this experience exciting and stress free. Below, is a link to the Department Highway Motor Vehicles, you will find a check list of all documentation to bring with you in order to take your Drivers Test and receive your Drivers License. Good look and we look forward in knowing there will be safer drivers on the road with us.

Thank you,

Tampa Bay Driving School Staff


Checklist for documents needed to receive your drivers license at the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Click on the link below :




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Dr. Oz

Please tune in today at 4:00 pm to the Dr. Oz show. Our wonderful instructor, Jorge Santamaria, helps demonstrates the effect of over-the-counter medication can have on a person. Many over-the -counter medications will impair a persons driving ability without them realizing it. A typical dose is equal to three glasses of wine. These medications can lead to a DWI, Driving While Under the Influence. Over-the-counter medications can affect your ability to drive safely. Always remember to follow the advice of your physician or the label about mixing drugs and driving.

Antihistamines are classified as a depressant. Depressants are often referred to as sedative-hypnotic drugs or downers because they depress the functioning of the central nervous system. Small amounts help relax muscles and produce calmness, while larger doses create difficulties with judgment, reflexes and speech.


The effects of antihistamines, including over-the-counter remedies:

Slowed reflexes—reducing ability to react to driving situations, ability to stop quickly, and ability to avoid roadside hazards.

Drowsiness—reducing your ability to react to a number of driving situations.

Lack of coordination—reducing control of the vehicle, including: steering, braking, changing lanes, turning, shifting gears, parking, and stopping.

Blurred vision—reducing ability to recognize road signs, signals, pedestrians, and changing driving situations.

Reduced concentration—possibly causing inattention to driver responsibilities and negotiation of traffic. This could include driving off the road or crashing into other vehicles.

Lack of rational judgment—possibly causing a driver to take foolish chances behind the wheel.

Many over-the-counter medications contain alcohol, sedatives, and related substances that are not conducive to driving. Drivers must be aware of what is in the medications they are taking, and that these substances could impair the ability to drive.

Prescription drugs include cough medicine, antihistamines, barbiturates, and tranquilizers. Drivers often fail to recognize that many drugs that are prescribed by a physician have warning labels attached, noting alcohol consumption with the drug could be very dangerous. In addition, many of these drugs warn not to operate a motor vehicle when the dosage can cause drowsiness, light-headedness, slower reactions, intensified emotions, impaired judgment, and reduced concentration and coordination. A driver pulled over under the influence of codeine is still breaking the law, as he/she is driving under the influence. Drivers must be aware of what prescription medicine they are taking and the effects of each.


Keep in mind that the use of any drug that impairs your ability to drive is illegal.



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