How To Practice Safe Driving

The Importance of Safe Driving and Helpful Tips To Be a Safe Driver

 

Getting in your car and heading out doesn’t seem like much of a science, but what many drivers are not aware of are the things they do while they are behind the wheel. If you have ever paid attention to what people are doing while driving, you will be surprised at what you see.

 

It is important for drivers to practice safe driving habits to prevent collisions on the road.

 

What to Avoid:

 

First thing to avoid while driving is holding your phone up to your ear. You may not realize it, but when both hands are not on the wheel, you can begin to lose control of your car and can start to swerve and potentially hit another vehicle. This is especially important to not do when roads are slick, when there’s fog, or when there is a heavy thunderstorm. Having both hands on the wheel is the most secure way to drive. If you must make a phone call or answer your phone at any time, having a device to hold up your phone to the windshield is a safer way to talk. By putting your phone on speaker, you will be able to drive with both hands on the wheel and not run the risk of dropping your phone while driving.

 

Eating is another bad habit while driving. This can be very distracting especially if they are trying to hold a burger in one hand and drive with another or trying to take the fries out of the fast food bag and having to look down. Not everyone who eats in their car eats fast food, but regardless of what they eat, it can potentially be hazardous while on the road. Taking your eyes off the road for a split second can cause an accident. This is the main reason why eating in the car is one of those habits everyone should kick.

 

Also having the radio turned on extremely high is another hazard while driving. Loud radios can impair your driving and can cause accidents due to lack of concentration, not to mention it is not good for your ears. It is best to always have your radio on at a moderate volume level so that it is not distracting.

 

Practicing good driving habits is the safest way to be on the road. Accidents can’t always be avoided, but by staying focus on the road and avoid bad driving habits you will minimize the chances of getting into a car accident.

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What to do if you are in a collision

If you are in a collision make sure you stay at the scene. It’s a crime to hit and run.

 

In the state of Florida leaving the scene of a vehicle accident could result in a conviction of a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the results of the crime. There are 3 types of vehicle accidents, collision causing property damage (hitting a parked car), a collision causing injuries (to the other car, passengers or a pedestrian), or a collision resulting in a person’s death, the other car, passengers or a pedestrian.


There are different ways to handle each collision and what to do after the accident.

 

Collision with another moving vehicle:

• Call 911
• Make sure that you and your passengers are safe
• Make sure that it is safe to exit your vehicle
• Check the other vehicles to make sure everyone is ok
• If the cars involved can safely move out of harm’s way, safely move onto the shoulder of the road. If the vehicles are not able to safety move leave them where they are.
• If the vehicles are not able to move off the road, and there are no injuries to the passengers involved, move yourself to the side of the road for safety.
• When the police or HP arrive let them do their jobs.

 

Collision with a parked vehicle:

• Stop immediately and check the car
• Check the surrounding area for the owner
• Check local store for owner
• If the owner is not found, write down your information Name and phone number
• Keep a copy of the car’s license plate number

 

These are the steps to take when you are involved in a vehicle collision. If you have any questions about what to do and the steps to take, always verify with your Local Police Station or Highway Patrol office.

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The Dangers of Distracted Driving

Don’t be a Distracted Driver

A distracted driver is one of the most dangerous drivers sharing the road with you. There are many forms of distraction when driving a car; the radio, other passengers in the car, food and drinks, the objects outside of the car, the thoughts running through your mind of daily life and of course the biggest distraction your phone.

If you are driving at a speed of 55mph, just looking away from the road for 5 seconds, you can drive the length of a football field. There are many things that can happen in this time.

The US Department of Transportation (USDOT) reported that in 2015 alone 3,477 lives were lost and 391,000 people were injured due to distracted drivers. USDOT also reported that an estimated 660,000 people use an electronic device while driving each day.

Distracted driving is a major concern throughout the country. Of the drivers between the ages of 18-64, 69% of them admitted to using their cell phones while driving. The state of Florida has banned the use of texting while driving, a first offense could be a $25 fine and consequences can include license suspension and/or prison time.

Currently, Florida law says texting by noncommercial drivers is a secondary offense. That means officers must see another violation like speeding before they cite a driver for texting. Courses that you could be told to take from the Clerk of Courts or the DMV are the 4-hr Basic Driver Improvement Course or the Youthful Offender Course if you are between the ages of 15-25 also know as T.O.A.D.

There are many ways you can eliminate the distractions. For example, turn the radio off, only allow passengers in the car who understand the importance of not distracting the driver, do not eat or drink in your vehicle and turn off your phone. Most phones now come with a mandatory app for hands free driving which will block a text coming in to eliminate the distraction when your car reaches a certain speed the phone.

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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

 

 

WARNING HEAT KILLS PETS!

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

DID YOU KNOW?

  • 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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