Archive for the ‘Defensive Driving Blog’ Category

Car Humor for a Defensive Driver

DOWN IN THE DUMPS? A LITTLE CAR HUMOR WILL HELP!

It is amazing how many sites there are on the internet for car jokes. While I was perusing all they had to offer I thought a few of them might be worth sharing. Every now and then when I come across good ones I will post them here on our blog.

defensive driving humor.

Today’s selection is as follows:

A traffic cop pulled alongside a speeding car on the motorway. Glancing into the car, he was astounded to see that the young lady, who was driving, was knitting.

Realizing that she was oblivious to his flashing lights and siren, the policeman wound down his window, turned on his loudspeaker and yelled, ‘PULL OVER!’

‘NO’, the young lady yelled back, ‘IT’s A SCARF!’

Julie was driving a people carrier full of ten screaming kids through the high street looking for a space. Too frazzled to effectively pay attention, she coasted right through a stop sign.

A man in a passing car leaned out of his window and yelled, “Hey, lady, have you forgotten how to stop?”

Julie out of her window and yelled back, “What makes you think these kids are all mine?”

The new metro cop pulled a speeder who was zipping down Maple Avenue.

“Can I see your license and registration, bub?”, the cop inquired.

“But officer,” the fellow started, “I can explain…”

“Shut yer trap, bub!” snapped the officer. “You’re going downtown and sit a while till the sarge gets back.”

“But, officer, I think you really should know…”

“And I said to shut yer trap! You’re going to jail!”

A few hours later the cop looked in on his prisoner and said,
“Lucky for you that the sarge is at his daughter’s wedding. He’ll be in a good mood when he gets back.”

“Don’t count on it,” shot back the sap in the cell. “I’m the groom.”

Farmer Joe decided his injuries from the accident were serious enough to take the trucking company responsible for the accident to court. In court the trucking company’s fancy lawyer was questioning farmer Joe.
“Didn’t you say, at the scene of the accident, ‘I’m fine,’?” asked the lawyer. Farmer Joe responded, “Well, I’ll tell you what happened. I had just loaded my favorite mule Bessie into the…”
“I didn’t ask for any details,” the lawyer interrupted, “just answer the question. Did you not say, at the scene of the accident, ‘I’m fine’?”.
Farmer Joe said, “Well, I had just got Bessie into the trailer and I was driving down the road…”
The lawyer interrupted again and said, “Judge, I am trying to establish the fact that, at the scene of the accident, this man told the Highway Patrolman on the scene that he was fine. Now several weeks after the accident he is trying to sue my client. I believe he is a fraud. Please tell him to simply answer the question.”
By this time the Judge was fairly interested in Farmer Joe’s answer and said to the lawyer, “I’d like to hear what he has to say.”
Joe thanked the Judge and proceeded, “Well, as I was saying, I had just loaded Bessie into the trailer and was driving her down the highway when this huge semi-truck and trailer ran the stop sign and smacked my truck right in the side. I was thrown into one ditch and Bessie was thrown into the other. I was hurting real bad and didn’t want to move. However, I could hear ol’ Bessie moaning and groaning. I knew she was in terrible shape just by her groans. “Shortly after the accident, a Highway Patrolman came on the scene. He could hear Bessie moaning and groaning so he went over to her. After he looked at her, he took out his gun and shot her between the eyes.
“Then the Patrolman came across the road with his gun in his hand and looked at me. He said, ‘Your mule was in such bad shape I had to shoot her.’
“Then he said, ‘How are YOU feeling?’”

 

Remember that sometimes humor can be found in even the most serious of situations. And if you find yourself in need of defensive driving log on to WirelessDefensiveDriving.com.

New Sticker Law In Texas – Defensive Driving News

STICKER SHOCK  – new law that will affect you

As of March 1, 2015, Texas will be going to a one sticker policy when it comes to your inspection and registration stickers. The inspection sticker will disappear because when you register your car from now on you will be required to have your inspection up to date.  When you get your auto inspected you will now receive a Vehicle Inspection Report (VIR) instead of a sticker. This will be required when you next register your car.

New Law In Texas

There is a great website set up by the state to explain this new program. Some of the highlights noted on the website are:

–        If the dates of your stickers don’t coincide you can take steps to get them in sync.  This may mean going beyond your 12 months cycle for inspection. So if you are up for registration in April, 2015, but your inspection is due in August, you will go ahead and get your sticker in April but not need to have your car inspected until April 2016. That is because the new sticker makes your inspection due date in April of every year.  Once these two are synced up it will be easy to remember.

–        Vehicle inspections should cost less because they will no longer be charging you the state’s portion of the inspection fee. It will cost more, though, to register your car because that fee will now be included in that cost.

–        There will be no changes to what is actually inspected. The same requirements as before are still in place.

To find out more information or ask a question, go to Twostepsonesticker.com.

And for all your defensive driving information always log in to WirelessDefensiveDriving.com.

Tailgating is not Defensive Driving.

Defensive Drivers don’t tailgate.

Tailgating is very simply being too close to the tailgate of the car in front of you.  That is actually the definition of tailgating. I don’t think many of us refer to the back of our car or door to the trunk as a tailgate but that is exactly the origin of the word. In the mid-1800s it referred to the hinged door at the back of a wagon that could be unlatched and swing down. On trucks it is easy to see the comparison because they have such a door that swings down to open. But in cars that are not trucks it does not make sense to call the rear of a car the tailgate. Nevertheless this is what we call the act of following too close.

defensive driving is not tailgating

Now that you have learned the term, do you know how far you should be from the car in front of you so that you won’t be considered “tailgating”? In daylight, good weather with dry roads we refer to the safest distance in Texas as the “two second rule”. Others states, such as California, use a three second rule and you can use three seconds also. You determine this by picking a fixed object on the road (a sign, a tree, a bridge, etc.) and when the rear bumper of the car in front of you passes it you start counting, one one thousand, two one thousand, and then the front bumper of your car should be just passing the same object.  If your car reaches the object before you count to two one thousand in this way then you are following too close. Once you get in the habit of knowing how far to lag behind, it will become habit and you won’t find yourself following so close any longer.

If weather conditions are poor or it is night time or the traffic is very heavy you should think in “defensive driving mode” and double that time and make it 4 seconds. In those conditions it can often be much more difficult to stop so you are giving yourself more of a buffer between you and the car in front.  Remember, if you rear end the car in front of you it is always your fault because it is up to you not to follow too closely and be prepared to stop quickly if the car in front slams on their brakes.

If someone is tailgating behind you and it is making you nervous then carefully move to the next lane when it is safe to do so and let them pass by. You cannot control the fact that other people tailgate but you can move yourself out of the situation.

For all the information you could ever use to help you drive safely, check out WirelessDefensiveDriving.com.

Defensive Driving Resolutions 2015

Driving habits for our New Year’s Resolutions.

Suzanne Kane from iSeeCars came up with 10 driving habits that we should all try to drop as part of our New Year’s Resolutions. We can all stand to be better drivers in the New Year so take a look at these tips:

Don’t be fooling with the electronic devices

This is a no brainer. Almost a quarter of all car crashes these days are blamed on cell phone use. If you can embrace only one resolution this year, it should be this one.

Use the turn signal

Simple, but so often overlooked. People are not mind readers so stop assuming they are and start signaling. You will be amazed at how quickly it becomes a habit.

Defensive Driving Resolutions

Get some distance between you and the car in front of you

Tailgating is a very bad and dangerous habit and should be on your “Not to do” list. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration tells us that rear end collisions account for about 23% of all wrecks which result in about 2,000 deaths a year. So put patience on your “To do” list and back off.

Distractions – who needs them?

There are so many things that can distract you while you drive. Most are pretty obvious – eating, talking on the phone, looking up directions, trying to find something in your purse, dealing with children in the back seat, etc etc etc. You know when something you are doing is a distraction and needs to stop. So listen to yourself and be a safer driver.

Give your tires the attention they need

Such a simple thing but most drivers rarely do this – check the tire pressure. If done regularly this can prevent a blowout and possibly a terrible accident. Tire gauges are cheap and you can go to your local DMV site and get instructions on how to do it properly.

Buckle up or get out!

Be definite with anyone riding in your car that seatbelts are a requirement and not an option.  Seatbelts save lives yet there are still a lot of folks out there who just don’t like them. This is one to stick to and a rule to pass along to your children.

 

No matter what you do in the New Year, make a resolution to be safe. And if a traffic ticket comes your way be sure to log in to WirelessDefensiveDriving.com.

 

Think you are a good driver?

Put your knowledge to the test!

Believe it or not most people feel that they are pretty good drivers. It is not something that people are very good at self-assessing. When looking at this subject online it is amazing how many sites are willing to rate your driving skills for you. Some of the sites are fairly legitimate (http://goo.gl/ExNiZ3) and some are just silly (http://goo.gl/cAl4K3). This last one has the category of “Good enough to get away from a group of zombies” as a realistic assessment of your skills.

defensive driving good driver

But what they most have in common are a set of good, common sense questions to help you determine if your skills are up to snuff or maybe, just maybe, you might need a little refresher course (WirelessDefensiveDriving.com of course!). Questions about how you stick to the speed limit, whether you check your mirrors, use your turn signals and how you grip the steering wheel.  All very objective, which is why most of us come out looking better than we probably should.

There is one thread in most of the listings for rating your skills: Most people admit that others might not see them as quite as good as they see themselves. Comments such as “I would give myself an 8 but my wife or friends would probably say 4 or 5” abound. There are numerous chat rooms that concur with this idea that we may be just over inflating our own abilities a smidge. Like I said, all very objective.

But lo and behold, just as I was becoming convinced that there was no realistic way to judge one’s driving, I discover: There’s an App for That! Actually I found 2! On the Google Play page I found the Rate My Driving app for Android then saw another called Motor Mate by Confused.com. Both function in about the same way by monitoring driving behavior using  GPS data. The app knows where you are driving and records how you react to road types, situations and driving environments. It does this by looking at how you brake, your speed, taking corners, slowing and speeding up, etc.

One app claims to be able to give you a clear picture of your driving ability after you have driven 250 miles. They say by driving 250 miles the score is an accurate reflection of your ability across a variety of road types, times, environments and situations. At least one of these apps is sponsored by an insurance company.

Whether you go online to take a survey or use an app on your phone it is always a good idea to refresh your driving skills by taking a defensive driving course. It can also often reduce your insurance premiums. Check with your insurer then log into WirelessDefensiveDriving.com.

Deadliest Season for Teen Drivers Has Begun

Tips for New Drivers

Each year Memorial Day indicates the start of the deadliest season for teen drivers. These dangerous days are book-ended by Memorial Day and Labor Day.

Defensive Driving Educators teach and work with teens about practicing their defensive driving skills all year around. However, no one has as much influence on them as the parents do.

So, if you are a parent of a teenage driver, what can you do to help? These are 4 topics you may want to discuss and press with your teen:

1 – Friends are deadly.
Without sounding too dramatic, the fact is that teens sharing the car ride with friends are at a much higher risk of an accident. The distraction factor is huge. Statistics show that even having only one friend in the car increases the chances of an accident by a staggering +40%. Can you imagine having a car full of friends? Suggest to your kids to ride alone whenever possible. When not possible, remind them to stay focused on the driving task, at the cost of being rude to their Besties. The  AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has an infographic that shows an increase of 44% when a teen has a companion under 21 years of age:

Defensive Driving Teens

2 – Turn the phone off.
Of course the word ‘phone’ is nowadays a misnomer. ‘Phones’ are no longer just devices used to make phone calls; they are in fact portable computers/entertainment devices. Turning the mobile device off is really the only way to make sure extra distractions are not impeding the teen’s driving focus. Even if the teen is not actively engaged and looking at their device, the sounds, screen flashing, buzzes and vibrations caused by the Tweets, post notifications, etc… etc… will take the driver’s attention from the driving task.

This is a good but intense short video produced by the NHTS to illustrate the point.

3 – Wear the seat belt.
Amazingly enough, the concept of wearing a seatbelt is still not widely accepted by teens and for that matter some adults. The NHTS reports that of all the teens involved in fatal crashes, 60% were not using a seat belt; SIXTY percent!

4 – Experience is everything.
Parent, please get in the car with your teens as often as you can and drive together. Monitor, observe, instruct and just spend time with your teen while driving. There are even websites like driveithome.org that have weekly tips for parents driving with their teens.

Of course there are many other things that can minimize the chances of accidents. Things like, no driving during dark hours, of course no drinking, getting enough sleep during the night. With all the teens being mostly out of school at the same time, driving together trying to have fun, the risk factors increase dramatically.

Please talk about the defensive driving attitude and driving safety with your kids as often as possible.

Have a great, safe summer and check out this great infographic below.

WirelessDefensiveDriving.com

Teen Driving infographic
Provided by Drive It Home

Tickets For Driving Too Slow

NOT SO FAST! DRIVING SLOW CAN GET YOU IN TROUBLE.

Have you ever found yourself behind a car that is going at least 10 miles under the speed limit? We all have and we have all felt the frustration build as we attempt to change lanes to go around. Has the thought ever crossed your mind that it should be illegal to drive that slowly?

Defensive Driving Tickets

Well, it is! In fact every state has a law on the books that says something like this: “A person shall not drive a motor vehicle at such a slow speed so as to impede or block the normal and reasonable forward movement of traffic.” Texas Transportation Code –Section 545.363, Minimum Speed Regulations, states just this, but adds “except when reduced speed is necessary for safe operation or in compliance with law.”

But are tickets really issued for this behavior? Absolutely! And the ticket counts the same as any other driving violation, with an impact on your driving record and insurance.

These laws do change from state to state however. In some states they are allowed to set a minimum speed limit on highways and will ticket you for going under that limit. Plus, there are laws on the books that dictate that you must be in the far right lane to go slower than the flow of traffic.

A U.S. government researcher, David Solomon, found in studies that those drivers going the median speed of all traffic had the lowest risk of collision. Those that were going at speeds below the average traffic flow had a sharp increase in crash risk.

In 2010, The Texas Highway Patrol wrote 23 tickets for “a speed under the minimum”.  Doesn’t sound like a lot but it still happens. So next time you see that one driver who has to block up the lane by driving 10 miles under the  limit, just remember that they will be penalized if caught and to be more cautious and aware about getting around them.

And remember that anytime you need a refresher course on driving safety in Texas just sign in to WirelessDefensiveDriving.com. We are always here for you!

Speeding Tickets, Speed Demons and Lamborghini.

The Speeding Ticket.

Police have been giving speeding tickets for a long time. The history is a bit unclear but it sounds like the very first fine for speeding was imposed in New York City in 1899 to Mr. Jacob German, a cab driver. A cab driver in New York City speeding? That was just destiny. Mr . German was arrested but was not given a proper ‘ticket’.

The first actual paper ‘ticket’ seems to have been given in Ohio in 1904 to Mr. Harry Myers. Both speed demons were traveling at a mind blowing speed of 12 MPH.

In 1908, again in New York, police officer William Seaman riding this gorgeous Indian motorcycle, chased down a Mr. Jones also riding a motorcycle at the neck breaking speed of 39 mph. Mr. Seaman V-twin Indian was at the time one the most advanced bike in USA.

Speeding Tickets

Cars and motorcycles have certainly gotten faster since then but so have the police. Now an officer ‘chases’ you down basically at the speed of light using either a radar gun or a speed camera (mostly in Europe).

Speed Radar Gun

However, there is one police force that will use the opportunity not only to give you a ticket for speeding, but also to embarrass you, should you decide not to stop. The Italian Police have just been given the newly released Lamborghini Huracan, a 202 mph beast with a 610 horsepower V10.

(This video is not the new Huracan, but the previous Gallardo. Oh well… you get the idea)

Italian Police Speeding Lambo
2015lambo

The prices of the speeding ticket have obviously gone up as well over the years. From a few cents around the turn of the century, to the most expensive speeding ticket ever, an incredible $220,000 given in Finland to Mr. Salonoja for driving 80 km/h in a 40 km/h zone (50 mph in a 25 mph zone).

Overall the US still has one of the lowest price tags when it comes to a citation for speeding. See what some of the other countries are giving as penalties for speeding and in some cases how the fine is calculated.

Finland, Denmark (depending on annual income)
Highest Fines: $220,000 (or more)

Canada
Highest Fines: $25,000

The United Kingdom
Highest Fines: $8,000

The United States
Highest Fines: $2500

Norway & Iceland
Highest Fines: 10% of annual income and jail time (Norway), $2700 (Iceland)

Portugal
Highest Fines: $1800

France, Switzerland, Italy
Highest Fines: $2100

Australia
Highest Fines: $857

Germany
Highest Fines: $623 and  four points on their license. Achtung!

If you were pulled over and got a ticket, either by a police officer riding in a Lamborghini or just by getting ‘lit-up’ by a speed gun, come and take defensive driving to learn or refresh your defensive driving skills.

WirelessDefensiveDriving.com has a course you can take with you on your mobile phone, anywhere, anytime.

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Article research sources: 

http://autos.aol.com/article/highest-speeding-fines/
http://www.nydailynews.com/autos/italian-police-fleet-adds-lamborghini-huracan-ranks-article-1.1801978#ixzz32vd2oIET
http://www.ohiohistorycentral.org/w/World’s_First_Speeding_Ticket?rec=2599
http://www.policemag.com/blog/vehicles/story/2009/08/the-history-of-america-s-first-traffic-ticket.aspx

Memorial Day – Driving with 36 million other drivers

This weekend 36 million people will get on the road. The weather is finally good, winter is over, and we are all looking to get out of Dodge for some fun. You can already smell the grill and hear the laughing. Taking the family on the road for a couple of days of fun is one of our most beloved things to do.

Defensive Driving Road TripRoad trips are one activity we enjoy doing together. No, we are not always laughing and cheerful, we do travel with teens after all, but at the end of the day, we do have a good time.

This weekend, while on the road, we will talk about Memorial Day, what it means to give up things for the greater goods and something bigger than any of us. Of course paying attention is only possible between answering to a tweet, vine, post or whatever else is critical and needs to be addressed right-at-this-moment. We will talk about our parents, our family, friends and their sacrifices at home and around the world.

Strapped next to each other in a moving car, will not necessarily make us a captivated audience, but surely a captive one. (Tip: Always have the child-lock engaged on the rear doors).

We will try not to be in a hurry to get there. I am the one that needs most help in with that. Thankfully plenty of people in the car will make sure we’ll pull over for jerky, sweet tea, frequent bathroom stops and of course Dairy Queen.

We will plan a time to arrive at destination, but we will never actually make it on time. Getting there eventually is a much better plan than not getting there at all.

dog catching wind

Aggressive driving, sleepy driving, drunk driving, distracted driving have no place in a car full of people barreling down the road at the speed limit (ok, maybe a couple of miles over the limits). All you have to do is drive. Really, just drive, as in, ONLY drive. There is enough going on in the car and on the road around you to keep you busy. You don’t need to be a killjoy or a downer, but remind your passengers, with whatever threats necessary, that you are trying to just drive.

Be nice, have fun and paraphrasing Dylan, take care of making good memories for you cannot relive them.

David @ WDD

 

 

 

 

 

Too Old To Be A Safe Driver?

HOW OLD IS TOO OLD TO BE A SAFE DRIVER?

When it comes to driving safely is there a point when a person is too old? This is a question posed across the country every time an elderly person accidentally hits the gas instead of the brake and injures a number of people. Not too long ago this happened to a man in California who is 100 years old, with a valid driver’s license, no record of violations, who claims his brakes failed when he hit a group of nine children. There were injuries, but fortunately not severe. California has been taking a closer look at their laws on this subject after this and numerous other incidents.

Too old to drive?

Wrong Pedals. When A Driver Is Too Old To Be A Defensive Driver?

In Texas renewing your license is pretty easy and often can be done electronically with the regular renewal being every 6 years. But electronic renewal is not an option in Texas for people 79 or over and when you reach 85 you must renew your license every 2 years. This is no doubt to make certain you still meet the standards because of physical or mental infirmities. If there is any doubt of an older persons ability Texas may require applicants to undergo physical or mental exams or re-take the standard licensing tests for vision, as well as the written and road tests. A medical review board of health care professionals may also be called into this decision.

The DMV can decide to renew a license after this review or refuse to do so.  It can also restrict, suspend or revoke a license. Sometimes it is as simple as prohibiting night driving or restricting how far an older person can drive. Typically motorists age 70 and older drive less frequently than other age groups, but, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, they contribute more to the rate of accident fatalities. The death rate per mile traveled for drivers over 85 is 4 times that of the 30-59 age group. According to the NHTSA, senior drivers have trouble judging distances and speed causing a number of accidents.

A driver’s license represents a person’s independence and relinquishing it can be a traumatic experience. As our population ages, we will continue to address this issue. Right now 1 in 8 drivers are considered elderly but more than 1 in 5 will be 65 or older within the next 15 years.

Whether older or younger, a great way to refresh oneself on the rules of the road in Texas is to sign up at WirelessDefensiveDriving.com.

Driving Blog

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