Best Driving Tips for New Drivers

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When your teenager finally gets behind the wheel of a car, their main concern is driving without the supervision of an adult. As a parent, your main concern is their safety on the road. It is important for your teen to know that with the freedom of driving also comes significant responsibility. Here are some basic driving tips that parents and new drivers should keep in mind.

Keep Your Hands on the Wheel

Many drivers, new and old, have trouble following this simple suggestion. Before you even leave the driveway, check and adjust your mirrors, seat, and anything else you may have to before taking off. Doing these steps before you even leave the driveway will prevent you from having to make these adjustments while driving, which can easily take your eyes off of the road and create a dangerous situation.

Turn Your Cell Phone Off

Like oil and water, texting and driving do not mix. Studies have shown that driving while trying to send out a text message is just as dangerous as driving drunk. Do everyone a favor and turn your phone off or on silent. Turning it off or putting it in silent will help you to avoid distractions from incoming calls or messages. If you should  need to use your phone in an emergency situation, pull over first.  Not only is talking on the phone while driving distracting,  in some states, it is illegal and a ticketable offense.

Wear Your Seat belt

Wearing a seat belt has been scientifically proven to help prevent injury in an accident. Plus, not wearing your seat belt is a ticketable offense in 49 states. Save yourself the hassle and just wear your seat belt- it could save your life.

Obey the Speed Limit

Nowadays, it seems like everyone is in a hurry. It’s no wonder that speeding is a major cause of traffic crashes. Plus, more drivers are convicted of speeding than any other offense. Always obey the posted speed limit and slow down in rain, fog, snow and ice.

Stay in Your Lane

Drifting into the other lane can cause several problems. You could run into another car, cause an accident by cutting another person off, or even backup traffic. Make sure you pay close attention to what lane you are driving in and cars in other lanes to avoid these issues. Also, be sure to check your blind spots before you switch lanes.

Give Yourself Enough Time

Plan ahead and give yourself plenty of time to arrive to your destination safely. You’ll be safe and save money on traffic tickets and car insurance.

Be Prepared

You should always be prepared for a roadside emergency. Have a well stocked emergency kit in your car at all times. You should also make sure that you have an inflated spare tire and jack, and know how to safely change a flat.

 


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Emergency Car Kit
If you have had your license for a while, you know that anything can happen. You can break down anywhere at any moment. And usually it’s usually out in the middle of nowhere. If you are lucky your cell phone will work, you have a membership with an auto club, or you have OnStar. As for the the unlucky ones, you will either have to hail a passing car or spend the night where your car broke down.

To make sure that you are prepared for all situations, keep a roadside emergency kit in your car at all time. It can mean the difference between getting back on the road or being stuck for a long time waiting on help or rescue. Some of the basic items include:
  • At least two roadside flares
  • a quart of oil
  • small first aid kit
  • extra fuses
  • flashlight
  • A multipurpose tool commonly containing pliers, wire cutters, knife, saw, bottle opener, screwdrivers, files and an awl
  • tire inflator
  • rags
  • pocket knife
  • pen and paper
  • a help sign
  • emergency blanket.
This will all take up minimal room in your trunk if you have a smaller car or little trunk space. But if you have a large SUV or full sized truck that can haul more stuff, here are some other items that might come in handy:
  • 12-foot jumper cables
  • Two quarts of oil
  • Gallon of antifreeze
  • First aid kit (including an assortment of bandages, gauze, adhesive tape, antiseptic cream, instant ice and heat compresses, scissors and aspirin)
  • Flat head screwdrivers
  • Phillips head screwdrivers
  • Pliers
  • Vise Grips
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Tire pressure gauge
  • Rags
  • Roll of paper towels
  • Roll of duct tape
  • Spray bottle with washer fluid
  • Ice scraper
  • Granola or energy bars
  • Bottled water
  • And heavy-duty nylon bag to carry it all in.
There are a few companies that offer pre-assembled emergency roadside kits. While these kits contain the basics items in a small convenient carrier, you might want to a supplement yours with a few of the items listed above to suit your needs. Before you actually use your kit in an emergency situation, take some time to familiarize yourself with the items you've collected and learn how to use them properly. Unfortunately, there isn't one tool for all your roadside emergencies, but with a little planning and a little trunk space, an emergency roadside kit can save the day.
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Road Safety for Back to School and More Back to School Tips

It's that time again! The children of our community are on their way back to school, which means we have to be extra cautious on the roads in the mornings and afternoons.To help you prepare for the season ahead, we have a few driving and general tips to make the first days of school run smoothly. Here’s to an A+ in Back to School Readiness!

 

Driving Tip #1: Get an Early Start

 

If you are rushed in the morning, you may want to leave a few minutes early, especially if you pass through a school zone. Or you may want to find an alternate route to avoid traffic congestion.

 

Driving Tip #2: Take a Second Look

 

Look twice before backing out of driveways and parking spaces, and go slowly.

 

Driving Tip #3: Watch for “School Zone” signs

 

    Watch for signs indicating schools zones and obey posted speed limits.

 

Driving Tip #4: No Texting or Talking in the School Zone

 

    Don't talk on the phone or text while driving.

 

Driving Tip #5: Maintain a Safe Distance from School Buses

 

Keep your distance behind school buses, and never pass a bus when it's loading or unloading.

 

Driving Tip #6: Watch for Children at Intersections

 

    Take an extra moment to look for children at intersections, crosswalks and bus stops.

 

Driving Tip #7: No Tailgating!

 

    In heavy traffic, maintain a safe distance - at least three seconds - behind other cars.

 

The following are general tips to make sure that both you and your children are prepared for a successful school year.

 

Tip #1: Re-establish School Year Routines

    

Use the last few weeks of summer to get used to the school-year schedule. Re-establish bed times and practice getting up and getting dressed at the same time each day. Start eating meals on aschool day” schedule as well. If possible, plan an early morning trip or two to get the kids accustomed to getting out of the door in a hurry.

 

Tip #2: Nurture Independence

 

Your child will need to manage a lot of things on her own while in school, so prepare her by giving her age-appropriate responsibilities. These can include organizing school materials, bringing home homework, etc. A younger child can practice tying his own shoes or writing his name.

 

Tip #3: Create a Launch Pad

 

    Designate a space in your home where backpacks and lunchboxes are kept so that they can easily be located. A list of things to take to school each day can be posted in the same location.

 

Tip #4: Set Up a Time and Place for Homework

 

Establish a time and place for studying at home and make yourself available to monitor your child’s progress, as your schedule allows.

 

Tip #5: After-School Plans

 

Since most children finish school before their parents get off of work, determine where they will spend the hours immediately following school.

    

Tip #6: Make a Sick-Day Game Plan

 

Before the school year begins, line up a trusted babysitter, family member or parental group to assist when your child gets sick. You may have to sign forms ahead of time listing the people who have permission to pick up your child.

 

Tip #7: Attend Orientations to Meet and Greet

 

Attend the orientation and information sessions that your children’s school hosts at the beginning of the year. This is a prime opportunity to meet the teachers, administrators and front desk personnel that are responsible for your child(ren) during the day.

 

Tip #8: Talk to the Teachers

 

When you talk to your child’s teachers, ask about their approach to homework: Is it given as a means of practicing skills or will the assignments be factored into the child’s grade? Ask for a schedule of tests and major tasks so that you can help your son or daughter to manage his or her time.

 

Tip #9: Make it a Family Affair

 

Involve your child in preparing for his success in school. Work together to create a routine chart or schedule: After school, will she engage in recreational activities or homework first? The more input your child has in the planning process, the more likely he is to succeed.

 

Tip #10: Create Calendar Central

 

Create a centralized space in your home for all family calendars and schedules. This is a great way to coordinate school events, after school programs, volunteer work, medical appointments and more.

 

Tip #11: Plan Before You Shop

 

Take a day and assess each child’s clothing needs before shopping for new uniforms or outfits. Have a super laundry day (or two) to make sure that everything is clean and ready to go. If there are items that can be recycle from an older child to a younger child, do that as well. As for school supplies, make sure that you have an up-to-date list from the school and shop early!

 

Tip #12: Gather Your Papers

 

Be sure to have your immunization and medical records in a convenient location. Also keep a copy of your child’s birth certificate handy, just in case it’s needed for school registration.

 

Tip #13: Make a Practice Run

 

Before school begins, make a practice run to get kids ready and out the door on time. If they are walking to school, be sure they know the the route that they need to take. If they are a part of a car-pool, be sure to leave enough time to account for rush-hour traffic. If they will be riding a bus, make sure they know the location of the bus stop and when it is scheduled to pick them up.

 

Tip #14: Spiff Up Household Systems

 

The laid-back days of summer are a thing of the past, so it’s time to get better organized in general. Work on discovering ways to clean fast, get healthy meals on the table in record time, and stay on top of the paper overload that usually occurs when children start bringing assignments home. A little preparation time now will save you lots of time later.

 



Here’s to an awesome school year, both on the road and at home!






 
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How to Properly Check Your Tire Tread
Performing regular maintenance on your vehicle will help keep your car running for as long as possible. Part of vehicle maintenance is making sure your tires are in proper working condition. While much car maintenance requires the work of a technician, this one of the things you can do yourself.

To check your tire tread, all you need is a penny. A penny substitutes for the traditional tire tread depth gauge. It’s important to determine the depth of your tire down to the 32nds of an inch, and a penny is just as accurate. Place the penny in the several tread grooves across your tire. You will also want to go around the circumference of the tire to ensure that there is no uneven wear.

Now, how do you determine the depth? Lincoln’s head should always be covered. If it is, then you have more then 2/32” of tread depth remaining. If it is not, you will need to get your tires replaced. According to most state laws, tires are legally worn out at 2/32” of tread depth.

It is important that you replace your tires when they’ve reached this depth as it’s a matter of safety. The less tread your tires have, the poorer their performance will be. Their resistance to hydroplaning in the snow greatly reduces, and traction in the snow essentially disappears. If you rotate your tires and change them out for new ones when necessary, you will not only keep your car in top of the line form but also keep yourself and your passengers safe.
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