Assessing and Adjusting the Space Around Your Car

Did you know…

You can generally avoid the need to brake, accelerate, or swerve suddenly? All you need to do is adjust your following distance, a cushion of space also gives you room to steer in case of emergency.


Helpful Tips on Assessing and Adjusting the Space Around Your Car:

  • Adjust your following distance by leaving at least 2 to 3 seconds between your car and the one in front. Leave 4 to 5 seconds at speeds in excess of 40 mph or more, plus another 5 to 6 seconds if the road is slippery or if you are behind another vehicle that blocks your view.
  • Try to keep a 2-second distance behind your car. Distance behind your car is the hardest to maintain because other vehicles may tailgate or follow too closely. If you are being tailgated, increase-do not decrease- the space between you and the car ahead.
  • Whenever possible, try to keep as much as 8 feet on either side of you. The more room you have around your car, the more room you have to react to threatening situations.
  • If there is insufficient space ahead, behind of or to the side of your car, take prompt action to increase the space.
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What To Do if You Approach an Accident + Helpful Tips

What you can do if you approach an accident and tips on how to avoid an accident

What happens when you’re on the road and you come across the scene of an accident? Always make sure to turn on your hazard lights and slow down. If you can’t move your vehicle remember, emergency vehicles will need to get close to the victim. Call 911 or *FHP if you are on an interstate. Be aware of your location, cross street, mile markers, and condition of the injured. If you are qualified to give medical assistance move your car off the road and be extremely careful approaching a vehicle with injured occupants. Always be aware of your surroundings, a second collision involving vehicles approaching from either side of the road is not uncommon and can create and even larger accident scene.

Think about what you observed prior to the crash and during the crash so that you can be a cooperative and knowledgeable witness. The ability to avoid being involved in a crash is something that a great driver should do. As a routine part of daily driving, avoid doing these things…

  • Drive too fast
  • Tailgate
  • Drive cars that are in poor mechanical condition
  • Talk on the phone constantly
  • Text while driving
  • Radio is too loud
  • Run red lights
  • Change lanes constantly without using turn signals
  • Drive too fast & aggressively
  • Drive in bad weather, rain is an example of driver continuously going at 70mph on an interstate during a heavy rainstorm

As a good driver you see those potential traffic crashes before they occur – stay away from these reckless individuals.

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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




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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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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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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Thank you Instructors!

Mohamed called earlier today and wanted me to thank all of the instructors who were involved in helping him learn how to drive! (Everyone who had the pleasure of having at least one lesson with him) He did take his DMV road test with us yesterday and obtained his license!
Thank you to everyone for striving to make Tampa Bay Driving THE BEST!!!!!
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