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What you should teach your teen child about cars and driving

It’s for their safety, and you know it. And what they are teached during the driving classes isn’t always enough. So you should try to add some information to their knowledge. Here there are:

When a police officer asks him to stop the car, he should safely pull the car over, turn off the engine, pull the handbrake and roll down the window. Then, just answer to all the officer’s questions, without arguing or making sudden moves.

If he has a flat tire, he should pull completely off the road and call for roadside assistance. If he already knows how to change a tire, he should do that carefully and outside of the road.

If a drunken friend offers to give him a ride, he should refuse him and try to stop his friend from driving the car in that condition.

If using the cell phone while driving is allowed in your state, you should teach your teen child how to pair his phone with car’s Bluetooth system and keep repeating him that he should always use a hands-free device, so that to keep both hands on the wheel and the eyes on the road.

If he gets involved into an accident, he should turn on flashers and pull safely out of traffic, and then call the police to report the accident. You should also advice him to take pictures of the other car involved into the accident and to exchange insurance information with the other driver. He should always avoid getting into a dispute about whose fault was.

Driving in bad weather conditions requests for a specific driving behavior. So, he should reduce the speed, leave a safety distance between his car the car in front of him. You should also take him to practice in safe conditions the reactions he should have if his car slips on a snow-covered road.

What other advice do you have for parents to teach their teen children?

[Source: Edmunds, Photo]

The button that tells if you’re drunk

Hey, you, drunk people driving cars! You’re drunk driving days are over! At least, we hope. Two companies are decided to join their efforts and create a push-to-start button which to automatically sense driver’s blood-alcohol level. We are talking about Takata (am Auburn Hills-based parts supplier) and TruTouch (an Albuquerque-based company). For succeeding finalizing their idea, the Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety gave them $2.25 million grant. A good start, we’d say!

For the moment, the device needs only a few seconds to determine the alcohol level, but it works properly only in room temperature conditions. It uses an infrared sensor and is about the size of a bread box. So, the little help from ACTS should be enough to correct these elements that the device misses: the device to fit behind a car’s start button, to display the results in only a few milliseconds, to work in different temperature situations.

The biggest challenge: to keep its price below $200 per unit.

We think they should also find a way to connect the device to the car, so that a driver to be obliged to check his blood-alcohol level before to start the car and then to prevent the car to start if the result is above legal limits of the country.

So, what do you say: are you a supporter of this device?

[Source: Autoblog, Photo]

The “Safe” Way to Check Your Phone While Driving

We all know that using mobile devices while being behind the wheel encourages distracted driving. It has already statistically being proven by the increasing number of accidents due to this habit. This is the reason why all over the world governments try to reduce or forbid drivers to use gadgets while driving. On the other hand, there are also initiatives that actually encourage the use of mobile phones while driving a car, by offering some so-called “safe” alternatives. This is also the case of Sameer Desai, one of the persons who had the idea of creating Steer Safe.

Steer Safe is a cradle for your mobile phone that can be mounted on your steering wheel and which makes the use of your mobile devices easier while you are driving. Its producers claim that any phone can fit the Steer Safe and that it can be mounted on any type of steering wheels. Moreover, they claim this is legal, as its use should be limited to when vehicles are parked or stationary. The contradictory part comes when watching the presentation video, in which the device is used, guess how, while driving.

We don’t really know how safe this is. It’s true that looking for a map or watching the navigation device can become easier this way, but who guarantees that each of us will use their mobile phones while driving only for checking a map. Secondly, if even the producers sustain that this cradle should be used only while being parked, while should we need it on our steering wheel in the first place. But maybe this is only our opinion and some of us still find this product useful and, first of all, safe.

What is your opinion about Steer Safe?

[Source: Kickstarter]

OnStar’s Family Link – for Concerned Parents about their Teen Drivers

Being a parent has never been easy, but nowadays the situation seems to be even more complicated because of the developing society and children’s access to all sort of things, more or less dangerous for them. Undoubtedly, parents’ concern stays the same, if not even increases. Their kid driving is one of their main worries. This is why OnStar has created a system through which parents can check if their teen driver has arrived safely to the destination.

We are talking about a pilot program called The Family Link, which allows OnStar subscribers to be constantly informed about the location of a car equipped with the subscription-based communication system. In this way, any parent can log in to the Family Link website and check the car’s position on the map in any moment. In addition, it can also be activated a vehicle location alert, meaning that an email or a text message with the exact car location can be sent to parents, according to the time and frequency set by the user for receiving the messages.

According to OnStar, the entire system is currently just in the state of testing, which allows it to get some improvements, so that to include data about speed, boundary and arrival / departure alerts. In the near future, 10.000 OnStar subscribers will receive invitation to the pilot program, but no price has yet been announced.

We think this Family Link is useful for parents and helps them maintain their calm while waiting at home for their teen driver to call and say he reached the destination without any problem.

Do you think is this enough for you to stay calm about your kid while he is on the roads driving?

[Source: Motherproof, Photo]

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Your Kids are Safer while Grandma is Driving

A study made by the American Academy of Pediatrics has shown that children are safer in grandparent-driven cars compared with parent-driven cars. So, they are half more likely to suffer car crash injuries than while their parents are behind the wheel.

The study took into account five years of data collected from car accidents involving 217,976 children under 15. The mechanism was to gather insurance claim data and results from follow-up telephone interviews, and calculate the risk level of child-passengers injury, by taking into account the relationship between driver’s age and the proper use of child-safety belts too.

The result was that grandparents were 50% less likely to cause significant injury to children in car accidents. In addition, older drivers were less likely to optimally secure children in the restraints, and more likely to seat children in the front seats.

Apparently, the increased children protection in cars driven by elder people is related to the more cautious driving habits of these drivers.

However, you can stay calm: your child is safe, even if his grandma or grandpa takes him home from kindergarten.

What do you think: are elder people really better drivers for you child safe?

[Source: Motherproof, Photo]

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Anti Sleep Pilot for a safe driving

40% of all single vehicle traffic accidents are caused by drowsy driving, which is really concerning. Consequently, ASP Technology, a Danish company specialized in scientifically-based solutions to help people avoid driving fatigue, has created the Anti Sleep Pilot, a small dashboard gadget which to prevent this type of accidents, caused by tiredness and sleeping behind the wheel.

This gadget can easily be attached to your dashboard and its purpose is not to wake you up, but to prevent you sleeping. It indicates how tired you are by using 26 input parameters, scientifically validated, and will then use lights, sounds and tests to keep you in continuously alert. When your tiredness will reach a critical level, the gadget will alert you and will indicate when you are able to drive safe again.

“It’s clear that we have hit on a problem which is found throughout the world. Driver fatigue causes too many deaths in the UK and the summer is when many families find themselves making long journeys as they go on holiday. By launching the ASP in the UK now, we hope that we can help reduce this sad figure and make motorists more attentive to their tiredness levels.” said Troels Palshof, CEO and founder of ASP Technology.

This is how it works:

We truly believe this Anti Sleep Pilot is a great development and a useful innovation which to increase your safety while driving. It can be bought from Amazon for £129.95.

What do you think about the gadget?

[Source: Pocket-lint]

Parents’ Wakeup Call – from BMW’s “DON’T TXT & DRIVE” Campaign

This month, BMW North America has unveiled a national advertising campaign to help combat distracted driving. The theme of the campaign is “DON’T TXT & DRIVE” and it has started with some very emotional video spots, in which over-protective parents are careless when it comes to texting while driving. The result is that they expose their family to risk and fail their “job” as parents when they text while being behind the wheel.

The entire campaign will be built around this concept, involving both kids and parents, and will also use suggestive ads (television, print, online and radio) to illustrate different situations of distracted driving. In addition to this, campaign’s message will also be incorporated in more than 100 teen driving schools from across the United States.

“Distracted driving is an epidemic in America, and it has deadly consequences for thousands of people on our roads each year. (…) Putting a stop to these needless deaths, as well as hundreds of thousands of injuries will require everyone to take personal responsibility for safe driving. I am grateful to BMW for their efforts to raise public awareness about distracted driving and for urging drivers to put down their phones and focus on the road. I hope that other automakers will follow their lead.”

said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood

BMW’s initiative is to raise awareness of the fatal effects of texting while driving. It is already known that, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 5500 persons died in car accidents involving distracted drivers, and nearly 87 percent of teens admit they text while driving.

This isn’t the first initiative of this type came from BMW: in Spartanburg, South Carolina, BMW’s Teen Driving Shool has trained in safe driving more than 3000 young drivers for the last 10 years.

The “DON’T TXT & DRIVE” campaign runs through the rest of the year.

This is the first video released:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMBtFgey7rk[/youtube]

So, what do you think about the video: is it too emotional?

[Source: Autoblog, Photo]

Car Safety Driving for Pregnant Women

Safety driving is one of the most important elements taken into account when building a car by the auto makers. In order to minimize the risk of accidents or possible injuries of the driver and passengers, they have tried to develop safety cars and to educate drivers about how they can keep themselves safe. One special category of drivers is the one of pregnant women, which have to apply particular rules to avoid getting hurt in case of an accident, such as:

- Always wear the seat belt.
- Use both the lap and shoulder belt.
- Wear the seat belt properly: the lap strap under the belly and over the hips, the shoulder across your chest and off to the side of the belly.
- Never place the lap belt across the belly.
- Never wear the shoulder belt.
- Don’t sit too close to an airbag, but don’t turn it off either: airbags aren’t dangerous for the fetus unless mother doesn’t wear a seat belt or sit too close to the airbag.
- Move the steering wheel back, in order to avoid mother’s belly slam against the steering wheel during a crash.

What other advice do you have for pregnant women drivers?

[Source: Photo]

Dog safe driving keeps your entire family safe

Any woman has the maternal instinct to protect her family and kids, family’s pets included, and keep them safe in any circumstances. And driving doesn’t make an exception.

This is why we have chosen to talk about dog-safety in the car. Here there are some rules that should secure your pet’s ride:
- don’t and allow your dog to roam freely in cars, because it can distract you from driving.
- use a good properly fitted harness and a seatbelt, in order to prevent your dog from getting hurt, hitting the windshield or being thrown outside of the car
- don’t let your dog to stay in your lap while driving, because it can interfere with driving and, if an accident happen, it could suffocate or suffer injuries from a deployed airbag.
- your pet can put your family at risk, so you should not leave your dog to walk free in the car or play with it while driving.
- don’t let your dog to ride with its head out of the window, because it can get hurt on its eyes, nose, ears, mouth and face from airborne debris or if a collision occurs.
- if you intent to take your dog for a car ride, don’t use open trucks, because they can jump or be thrown at high speed.
- don’t leave your dog in your car, especially when the weather turns warm.

What other rules do you think should be respected?

[Source: Edmunds, Photo]

Toyota Teen Driver Program

A few days ago, Toyota has announced the winning students of the 2011 teen interactive safe driving challenge, Toyota Teen Driver Sweepstakes. But what is important to mention in not the prices or the winners, but Discovery Education and Toyota’s joint program called “Toyota Teen Driver” which includes this driving challenge. As motor vehicles crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens, this program was designed to empower and educate teens and parents about driving and road safety through a unique combination of interactive hands-on sessions and simulated defensive driving exercises.

Toyota is dedicated to building awareness among teens about the dangers of distracted driving and encouraging responsible and safe driving habits.

said Patricia Salas Pineda, group vice president, national philanthropy and the Toyota USA Foundation.

The program is also trying to provide resources to schools, educators, parents and teens to help educate teens about how to stay safe while driving. Toyota Teen Driver Sweepstakes was an innovative way to do that, by creating an online, interactive road challenge, Head’s Up, which gives players the opportunity to put their driving skills to the test and see how they handle different distracting situations, such as sending text messages, changing a radio station, or drinking a soda. This was their chance to virtually experience the consequences of their actions and to become aware of the danger they get exposed to if not driving carefully and safe.

For more information about the program, tools and resources for teens, parents and educators, to help teens stay safe behind the wheel, you can visit toyotateendriver.com.

Have you participate to the program so far? What do you think about it?

[Source: Askpatty]

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How to Keep our Teen Drivers Safe

Relationship with a teenager is always difficult and complex, even more when you are the parent and the teenager is your birth child. This could be caused by your overprotecting attitude or by his generalized tendency to disobey you and whoever who tries to set rules. This is why the moment when your teen starts to drive the car needs to be treated with huge responsibility and with patience, because ignoring any way of getting involved into this or supervising the entire process isn’t a proper solution.

This is why any advice about how to keep your teen driver safe is useful:
- a teen child should not be allowed to drive with other teenagers in the car until he doesn’t have enough experience in driving: in the company of other teenagers, young children take unconsciously risks.
- a teenager shouldn’t use any type of mobile phone while driving, because this may distract him too much from driving. Reasons: his distributive attention isn’t fully developed and he doesn’t have enough experience.
- try to reduce situations of night or in bad weather driving for your teenager child, because, as you already know, many experienced drivers have difficulties into such situations, not to mention your unskilled child.
- try to explain to your teenager child that driving is a privilege that could be easily suspended if not follow the rules, yours or traffic rules, it doesn’t really matter.
- set yourself as an example of safe driving for your child, because this will give him an useful standard about what is good and what is bad about driving.

How do you choose to protect your teenager child on the wheel? Share some tips and help others to keep their children safe too.

[Source: Edmunds]

Video: Allstate charts America’s safest driving cities


Insurance company Allstate has charted the safest driving cities in the USA by studying the number of insurance claims and recorded accidents from the last 12 months.

This data was compiled, and it resulted that Fort Collins, Colorado, is this year’s safest city to drive in. According to the data, drivers in that city will get into an accident every 14.5 years, which is 31.2 percent better than the national average.

The last spot is occupied by Washington D.C. Inhabitants of the country’s capital city are subject to an accident every 5.1 years. One spot above is Baltimore, Maryland, where inhabitants filed for insurance claims every 5.6 years.

Hit the jump to see a video from Allstate with the results and a few tips for safer driving. Check out the complete results at Allstate’s website
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