Tag Archives: driving


We all know that when someone tells you to drive safely, first thought is… don’t drink and drive or don’t text while driving, buckle up or watch the road. Common safety rules that we often disregard and take for granted. What does it really mean when you say “drive safely”?

1.       Don’t slow down.

Normally the precaution is for you not to go over-speeding. But the opposite is also recommended. Don’t slow down too much as you may stop the flow of traffic. Other cars are moving in a normal and average speed and they can’t wait for the “king of the road” to pass. Driving too slowly may frustrate drivers behind and around you. This can be another contributing factor in road deaths! Just slow down when you are in unfamiliar places and make sure to keep your hazards blinking on.

2.       Do not accept calls while driving.

Some drivers think that answering calls with the use of mouthpiece, earpiece or loud speaking are okay. However, the call will get his attention and he will focus less on what’s on the road. The brain tends to split thoughts so it’s always better to ignore calls and simply call back later. The phone would have the number of the caller anyway and it would indicate how many times the call is missed. If it’s really urgent, the concerned person on the other line would send an SMS you can read when the traffic light turns to red.

3.       Always put on the seat belt.

If it’s a short-distance driving, you may have the habit of not putting on your seat belt thinking that it won’t be of any good use. You may be lazy or sometimes forget this act for safety. Realize that most accidents happen to drivers who do not buckle up behind the steering wheel. The seat belt should claim its purpose and you should maximize whatever is designed in the car for function.

4.       Forget the toys.

Stuffed dolls, small figurines, pillows and toys are put for decorations in the car. These are girly stuff that most drivers have to please their passengers who consist mostly of their family members. Sorry to burst your bubble but these fluffy toys would not help you be safe in any way. In fact, they may even pose as danger when they block the driver’s view. Instead of placing them on the dashboard or at the back near the compartment area, leave them inside the house to avoid the risks of accidents.

5.       Never assume it’s best to overtake.

Overtaking in many cases is dangerous, especially if you are a novice driver in such a narrow road. Blind spots will always be there so it’s best to never take a wild guess and think that it’s okay to overtake when the side of the road looks clear. There might be a fast-moving car to sweep you by and this implies death or massive injuries at your end in a matter of seconds.


With all these safety tips, the best thing is to always make sure your car is properly serviced and maintained. Before getting inside the car, check the lights and the brakes and remove anything unnecessary that will cause distractions. It’s better that you’re safe than sorry.



 When driving a vehicle, it is vital that you follow the traffic rules and regulations. There are specific traffic laws in every state and every driver has to abide by these laws when driving their vehicles. Failing to do so is illegal and will be considered as a violation of traffic laws. A traffic ticket is issued when you do not follow these traffic laws. 

There are mainly two types of traffic violations – moving violations and non-moving violations. Example of moving violation includes driving too fast and over the speed limit. Non-moving violation refers to parking violations and tickets issued for such violations are known as parking ticket, parking citation, or notice of illegal parking. Traffic tickets may be issued for both these types of violations. 

If you have received a traffic ticket, you may have a difficult time accepting it, especially if you think you have not done anything to deserve it. A traffic violation puts a bad impression on your driving record and a marred record can have several consequences. However, there are ways that can help you get the ticket reduced. 

In order to get a reduction on the traffic ticket, you would first need to do a thorough evaluation of your situation. If you decide to fight the ticket, there would be additional costs for court time and other legal proceedings. Experts believe your chances of beating the ticket gets slimmer with the number of violations you commit. Therefore, if this is your first time traffic violation, you will be more likely to get the ticket reduced and sometimes even dismissed than those who have multiple violations on their record. 

You would need to hire a competent attorney who would carry out the legal proceedings for you. For example, if the violation occurred in Las Vegas, you may hire an attorney who fights traffic tickets in Las Vegas. Once you have hired the lawyer, you would need to prepare a concrete plan regarding how the matter should be approached. According experts, the common type of reduction that you may get is getting a moving violation reduced into a non-moving violation. For example if you were issued the ticket for speeding, your lawyer may be able to get it reduced to not wearing a seatbelt. 

However, in order to get a good reduction, you would first need to have a clean driving record. Your chances of getting the ticket reduced gets dim if you have had received such tickets in the past.  

Author Bio: Rob Baptist is a personal injury lawyer and he shares his experiences by writing on line blogs and article. In this article he discusses about the traffic tickets in Las Vegas.


One week each November has been set aside to make teens more aware of the dangers of taking their eyes off the road for even a moment.  This year, it starts on November 18th and goes through November 24th.  The hazards of texting  are a serious threat to today’s youth with this escalating trend beginning to surpass the threats of drunk driving. Research states that “texting and driving slows down a driver’s response time to that of a 70 year old” according to University of Utah survey.  So talk to your teens (or others you know) about the dangers of driving and texting.  This message also applies to all drivers, of any age!

Texting Tips For Teens

1) How about just turning the phone off before starting the car?

2) Think about the risks you are taking!

3) Have a passenger text for you

4) If you must text while driving, stop the vehicle, then text

5) Avoid reading text messages; it’s as dangerous as sending text messages

6) Get your text or voice message when you reach your destination safely!

7) Is there any message worth losing your life, or taking someone’s life? 

Not only is the person who is texting distracted, but may lead them to cause an accident.  They are also not able to be a defensive driver which could help them avoid being hit by another driver.  Remind them to always pay attention to the road – it could save their life!   In addition, here is some good information regarding the subject from the Federal Communications Commission:

Give Clear Instructions – Give teen drivers simple, clear instructions not to use their wireless devices while driving. According to Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association, the easiest way to say it is: “On the road, off the phone.” Before new drivers get their licenses, discuss the fact that taking their eyes off the road – even for a few seconds – could cost someone injury or even death.

Lead by Example – Children learn from their parent’s behavior. No one should text and drive. Be an example for your children and if you need to text or talk on the phone, pull over to a safe place. 


Cell Phone Use While Driving: A Preventable Danger (Guest Post)

Sent to us by Brandy Anderson.

Texting drivers are twenty-three times more likely to be involved in an accident than non-texting drivers. They recognize the danger, too: forty per cent of teens admit that they have been passengers in a car and felt at risk of a crash while the driver used a cell phone in a hazardous manner. Despite the risk, nearly fifty per cent of teenagers admit to texting while driving, and estimates report that one million people chat or text while driving each day.

This bad habit has tragic consequences. In 2010 alone, almost 3100 people were killed and 416,000 more were injured in motor vehicle accidents that were caused by a distracted driver.

One study by Car and Driver found that texting while driving impaired reaction times significantly more than driving while drunk. Society as a whole is aware of the risk of drinking and driving and collectively condemns that behavior. It’s astounding that attitudes regarding cell phone use while driving are so dramatically different.

Many still consider this habit to be acceptable regardless of the risk. Some are reluctant to admit the danger and claim that they have the ability to multitask and drive. However, a study by Carnegie Mellon University shows that simply listening to someone speak while driving reduces cognitive functions by thirty-seven per cent. Regardless of one’s claimed ability to multitask, the fact is clear: Driving performance is drastically impaired by using a cell phone.

One tragic case involved a teen girl in Alaska who fatally hit a man early on Easter Sunday in 2011. The investigation found the girl to be texting while driving and continued to text “OMG, OMG” while leaving the scene of the accident. After hearing news of this story, Jim Wojciehowski, a physician’s assistant in Alaska decided to do something to prevent tragedies like this from occurring in the future. He came up with an idea for a smartphone app that would eliminate phone distraction while driving.

He created Silent Driver, which works by blocking all incoming calls and texts when a user is moving faster than 10 mph. It also locks the phone so that the user can’t place a text or make a call while driving. The phone allows users to include three safe numbers, so if something happens while the user is moving, they can still call for help. Parents have the option to password protect the app on their teenager’s phone to ensure responsible driving, and they receive a notification if there is any attempt to disable it.

By reducing distractions from cell phones, drivers are free from the temptation to use their phones while operating a vehicle. Download Silent Driver for your phone and commit to driving safely. By focusing on the task of driving, you avoid a preventable accident and the risk of harming yourself or others.  No text or call is worth risking your own or your loved ones’ lives. 

Author Bio:
Brandy is an MBA student at the University of Colorado Denver. She enjoys topics related to environmental issues, technology, business, and social responsibility.  Click here for Brandy’s Twitter.


The month of December is one of the heaviest traffic times of the year, as shoppers go about their business, and the working world carries on their daily duties.  There are more travelers, too, so the focus on preventing distracted driving is very important, at all times, but especially when there are more vehicles in city streets and on the highways.

Department of Transportation unveils ‘OMG’ PSA to warn teens about the dangers of distracted driving.

The U.S. Department of Transportation unveiled “OMG,” a new public service announcement (PSA) to warn teenagers against the dangers of distracted driving. The PSA is available on the newly redesigned Distraction.gov website, along with new materials designed especially for young drivers. The new PSA is designed to reach teenagers using imagery that relates to popular shorthand text messages such as “L8R” for “later” or “LOL” for “laugh out loud.” Two versions of the PSA will air. A version geared toward a teenage audience will run exclusively on 6,589 movie screens in 526 cinemas across the country. A more somber version will air on the 12,000 screens that top pumps at high traffic gas stations across the United States.

The human toll is tragic,” said OSHA Assistant Secretary David Michaels about the consequences of distracted driving. “The Department of Transportation reports that in 2009, more than 5,400 people died in crashes linked to distraction and thousands more were injured.

Texting while driving has become such a prominent hazard that 30 states now ban text messaging for all drivers. It is an employer’s responsibility and legal obligation to create and maintain a safe and healthful workplace, and that would include having a clear, unequivocal and enforced policy against the hazard of texting while driving.” In an Oct. 20 blog post, Michaels said, “Companies are in violation of the Occupational Safety and Health Act if, by policy or practice, they require texting while driving, or create incentives that encourage or condone it, or they structure work so that texting is a practical necessity for workers to carry out their job.” 

Agencies such as OSHA, the Department of Transportation, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, are working together to ensure that companies enforce the policy that their employees who are required to drive all or part of their work shift do not text while driving.  Technology has made workers able to accomplish more by faster communications; however, there is a time and place for use of a cell phone, and it is not while driving.  These calls should be made when the driver is stopped and pulled over.  If there is an accident because of talking or texting on a cell phone, how much time is saved then?  For more information, visit OSHA’s Distracted Driving Web page. 


Distracted driving is a dangerous epidemic on America’s roadways. As stated previously, in 2009 alone, nearly 5,500 people were killed and 450,000 more were injured in distracted driving crashes.  The U.S. Department of Transportation is leading the effort to stop texting and cell phone use behind the wheel. Since 2009, two national  distracted driving summits have been held, banned texting and cell phone use for commercial drivers, encouraged states to adopt tough laws, and launched several campaigns to raise public awareness about the issue.  Distraction.gov is your resource for learning more about distracted driving. Get the facts, get involved, and help us keep America’s roadways safe.  If you haven’t seen the videos, go to this website and see for yourself just how fast tragedy can strike.



 I received this email recently and we have previously talked about not using cruise control when it is raining.  We want to repeat that tip, as well as this one:


How to achieve good vision while driving during a heavy downpour.  We are not sure why it is so effective; just try this method when it rains heavily. This was told by a police friend who had experienced and confirmed it. It is useful….even driving at night. Most of the motorists would turn on HIGH or FASTEST SPEED of the wipers during heavy downpour, yet the visibility in front of the windshield is still bad……  In the event you face such a situation, just try your SUN GLASSES (any model will do), and miracle! All of a sudden, your visibility in front of your windshield is perfectly clear, as if there is no rain.  Make sure you always have a pair of SUN GLASSES in your car, as you are not only helping yourself to drive safely with good vision, but also might save your friend’s life by giving him this idea.  How about a pair of good safety sunglasses?  Those who have tried this method say the gray or green lens seem to work best.  Possibly, the yellow ones would work, too. Try it yourself and share it with your friends! Amazing, you still see the drops on the windshield, but not the sheet of rain falling.  You can see where the rain bounces off the road. It works to eliminate the “blindness” from passing semi’s spraying you too.  Or the “kickup” if you are following a semi or car in the rain. They should teach that little tip in driver’s training. It really does work. 

This warning is a good one! I wonder how many people know about this~  A 36 year old female had an accident which totaled her car. A resident of Kilgore, Texas, she was traveling between Gladewater & Kilgore. It was raining, though not excessively, when her car suddenly began to hydroplane and literally flew through the air. She was not seriously injured but very stunned at the sudden occurrence!  When she explained to the highway patrolman what had happened he told her something that every driver should know -NEVER DRIVE IN THE RAIN WITH YOUR CRUISE CONTROL ON! She thought she was being cautious by setting the cruise control and maintaining a safe consistent speed in the rain. But the highway patrolman told her that if the cruise control is on when your car begins to hydroplane and your tires lose contact with the pavement, your car will accelerate to a higher rate of speed making you take off like an airplane. She told the patrolman that was exactly what had occurred.

The patrolman said this warning should be listed, on the driver’s seat sun-visor – NEVER USE THE CRUISE CONTROL WHEN THE PAVEMENT IS WET OR ICY, along with the airbag warning. We tell our teenagers to set the cruise control and drive a safe speed – but we don’t tell them to use the cruise control only when the pavement is dry.  The only person the accident victim found, who knew this (besides the patrolman), was a man who had a similar accident, totaled his car and sustained severe injuries.

True story:  A local young man from my home town was traveling down an interstate highway with his girlfriend, when it began to rain heavily.  He was driving at a high speed, when his car hydroplaned; he was ejected from the car and lost his life.  The young lady survived without injury, but this is an example to not drive at an unsafe speed in the rain, and buckle your seat belt at all times.

NOTE: Some vehicles (like the Toyota Sienna Limited XLE) will not allow you to set the cruise control when the windshield wipers are on. If you send this your friends that are not aware of this, it is worth it. You may save a life.



Truth be told, studies show that 97% of Americans see drinking and driving as a threat to them and their families.  Too often innocent lives are lost because of someone driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.  Impaired driving is one of America’s most serious crimes.The entire month of December is time taken and sponsored by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving), and Governors Highway Safety Association, to remind all drivers to leave the party “at the party”, not on the road.  This years’ theme is “Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving.”  

Officers know the cues to watch for when suspecting a driver is under the influence.  Citizens can do the same thing, and have a passenger call the highway patrol (or pull over and give the license number), if they see suspicious activity on the highway.  Some of the cues that officers observe that lead them to stop a driver are:

  • Weaving
  • Weaving across lane lines
  • Swerving
  • Drifting
  • Almost hitting another vehicle
  • Stopping in the lane
  • Accelerating for no reason; varying speeds
  • Failure to signal turns
  • Going the wrong way
  • No headlights on at night
  • Following too closely
  • Inappropriate or unusual behavior
  • Impaired appearance.

Again, if you suspect an impaired driver is traveling near you, call law enforcement, and possibly save someone’s life.

Employers can save time, productivity, money and lives if they have an employee-based traffic safety initiative.  Working Partners raises awareness about the impact drugs and alcohol have on the workplace, and helps employees and employers work together to ensure safety on the road, in the office, and at a worksite.  Individuals most likely to drive impaired – those between ages 21 and 34 – are well represented in the workplace and can provide a captive audience for prevention messages.  The NHTSA uses a three-pronged strategy: high-visibility law enforcement and supporting communication campaigns; enhanced prosecution and adjudication; and medical screening and brief intervention for alcohol abuse problems.  Special emphasis is placed on reach high-risk populations, including those between the ages of 21 to 34, repeat offenders, and high-BAC (blood alcohol concentration) offenders. 

So, during the holiday season, when there are more parties and festivities, remember to make plans to have a designated driver – or know how you are going to get home safely.  It’s not worth risking your life or the lives of innocent persons to get behind the wheel.  Not only during holiday season, but every day should be a safe driving day.  There is help for those who are fall the influence of alcohol or drugs on a regular basis, and if you know someone who fits into this category, try to encourage them to get help.  That would be the best Christmas gift of all.  

Drive safely and sober!



National Teens Don’t Text and Drive Week, November 20th – 26th is a very important observance.  However, it should also be “National Adults and Teens Don’t Text and Drive Anytime!”  Recently, I took my grandaughter to a fast-food restaurant, where we were seated next to the window that drive-thru customers passed by.  I would estimate that 9 out of every 10 drivers were texting or retreiving emails while going through the drive-thru.  That may be a little safer than when they pulled out and got back on the freeway, but it still made me wonder if they do it more than just when they are slowed down.

Texting While Driving Kills Virtual Pedestrians  (from Live Science Staff)

“Several studies have shown that distractions while driving, such as using cell phones or texting, can be dangerous. New research confirms these findings among teens.  The study of 21 teens in a driving simulator found that while texting or searching their MP3 music players they changed speed dramatically, wove in an out of their lanes, and, in some cases, ran over virtual pedestrians.  Similar studies have found that adults who talk on cell phones while driving in simulators perform as dismally as drunken study participants. Studies from the University of Utah show that hands-free devices do not make it safe to use cell phones while driving.  In January, the National Safety Council called on state and federal lawmakers to ban the use of cell phones and text-messaging devices while driving and also urged businesses to prohibit it.”

You may not be old enough to remember the old joke (when riding bicycles):

  • “Look, Ma, No Hands! – Look, Ma, No Teeth!”
  •  Now, when driving and talking or texting on the cell phone,
  • “Look, Ma, No Hands! – Look, Ma, No ME!” 
  •   Seriously, it’s not a joking matter. 

In your opinion, which do you think is the most risky thing to do while driving: 

1.      Talking to passengers in the car?

2.      Talking on the phone?

3.      Texting while driving?

4.      Using the internet on the phone? 

I would be interested in your answer.  In my opinion, it is all of the above.  Let’s don’t take chances.  I can’t even text well when I am in my home, (just can’t hit the right letters!)  Let alone try to do it while I am driving.  From experience, I know that it is hard to concentrate on driving safely if I am having a phone conversation with a friend.  It is just not worth taking the chance. 

So, parents, set the example: turn the phone off while you are in the car.  I know this will fall on a lot of deaf ears.  But if you show your kids that you have the willpower to do what’s right, let’s hope they will follow suit.  Drive safely, and keep that phone turned off!


Do you know the difference between “Road Rage” and “Aggressive Driving?”  I thought the two were about the same, but here’s what the AARP Driver Safety Program says: 

AGGRESSIVE DRIVING – Usually involves traffic offenses such as following too closely, unsafe lane changes, speeding, failure to signal intent to change lanes, and other forms of negligent or inconsiderate driving, such as yelling, cursing, repeated blowing of the horn, rude or obscene gestures, etc. 

ROAD RAGE – Occurs when a traffic incident escalates into a far more serious situation.  For example, a person becomes so angry that he or she overreacts and responds with some type of violence, such as getting out of the vehicle and threatening you with bodily harm.  These acts may range from verbal abuse to physical abuse, or even to an assault with a weapon or motor vehicle (such as using their car to run you off the road.) 

Studies show that eighty-five per cent of angry drivers claim they would not have escalated the situation if they had gotten some sort of apology from the other driver.  Even if you are not at fault, apologize in order not to provoke an angry driver further.  Be courteous and avoid cutting others off, and stay with the traffic flow.  You know that you were in the right, but sometimes it pays to a little contrite, as you won’t gain anything from a confrontation with an irritated and angry person. 

There are probably not too many of us who can honestly say that something hasn’t happened as we were driving along the freeway or local street that ignited our tempers  to the point of triggering such an emotion, especially aggressive driving.  However, I have never felt such anger that I would want to ram someone with my car, (with the exception of the infuriating experience with my first brand new car, and a lady ran a stop sign. I thought she was going to hit me.  Later, I felt ashamed that I could let a material item make me feel so mad. 

Road rage is a horrible thing to have happen, especially if there are children in the vehicle.  Parents and grandparents must hold their tempers at all times and set a good example for their youngsters.  If you drive that way, chances are they will, too.  Here are some tips from AARP that will help you avoid aggressive drivers and help prevent road rage behavior: 

  • Leave early in order to arrive at your destination on time.  Then you aren’t rushed.
  • Avoid eye contact with drivers trying to challenge you. (Keep your eyes on the road.)
  • Don’t block the passing lane.
  • Don’t abuse your vehicle’s horn.
  • Don’t make or return obscene gestures or words.
  • Use turn signals when changing lanes.
  • Don’t stop in the road to chat with someone.
  • Don’t “tailgate” or follow too closely.
  • Be courteous and remain calm.  Avoid conflict.
  • Don’t get out of your vehicle to argue or challenge another motorist or pedestrian. 

If you feel there is a chance of road rage behavior, and you are unable to avoid a confrontation, drive your vehicle to the nearest lighted public area (a shopping center, mall, hospital, convenience store, police or fire station), and call for assistance from store owners, the police, or security personnel or other people before getting out of your vehicle.  If you can get their license number, give that to law enforcement.  You may save someone else’s life.  Get out of harm’s way as soon as you can. 

Remember, drive defensively, and stay safe!


Regardless of your plans for this last long week-end holiday, which marks the end of summer, beginning of school and football season, make plans to take extra precautions to have a safe three-day weekend.  Yesterday, we issued some great tips from the American Trucking Association for travelers.  Who should know better than the ones who are on our Nation’s highways more than anyone else? 

Labor Day began in 1882 in New York City.  In 1884, the first Monday in September was selected to celebrate “a workingmen’s holiday.”  I’ve got news for history:  there’s a lot of working women who need to be honored alongside them!  Canada observes the same day to honor its workers; many other countries have a Labor Day celebration at different times of the year.  

One thing that will be different about the traditional Labor Day Muscular Dystrophy telethon: Jerry Lewis, age 85, will not be hosting this annual money-raising project this year.  He has hosted the telethon that is held during the Labor Day Weekend for the past 45 years, and it is dear to his heart.   We need to continue this worthwhile cause in helping those who suffer from this debilitating disease and be grateful for what Jerry Lewis has done for the telethon. 

You’ll probably hear your fair share of political speeches, or attend your local annual fair or picnic that volunteers work hard to make successful.  Some folks will go to the lake for that last outing, or participate  in other water sports, such as fishing, boating,  swimming, or hike their favorite lookout spot.   Whatever you decide to do, please keep safety in mind: water safety, camping safety, food safety, and take along that first aid kit, just in case. 

Last, but not least, a friendly reminder from our nation’s law enforcement agencies.  Texas is participating in a nationwide impaired driving crackdown coordinated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), that combines high-visibility law enforcement with a public information and education campaign.  Between August 19th (you may have already noticed more of them,) and September 5th, thousands of law enforcement officers will be working overtime to stop and arrest impaired drivers on Texas roads and highways.  TxDOT is reminding Texans: if you’re caught drinking and driving, you are going to jail.  And, as we said, this is a nationwide crackdown.  

Do not get behind the wheel if you’ve been drinking. (This applies to driving boats, as well.)  Designate a driver, call a cab, catch a bus, or get someone you trust to pick you up, or spend the night where you are.  A DWI arrest and conviction in Texas can cost up to $17,000 or more: fees include car towing, impoundment, bail, attorney fees, court costs, hearing and fees to regain and retain driver’s license, DWI fine, probation costs, fees for extended proof of insurance, plus insurance rate hikes.   The 2011 theme for Labor Day is: DRINK. DRIVE. GO TO JAIL.

Now that you are properly warned,  get out there and have a great Labor Day!  (We know that not everyone needs that warning.)  You have worked hard and deserve a day of rest and relaxation.  Just please stay safe – whatever you choose to do.