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Do Reminders Really Stop Texting And Driving?

 

Our TXTNG KILLS phone guards were recently featured in a news story that ran in Denver. While we're not sure how the journalist found our phone guard, we are sure about the message - reminding drivers NOT to text and drive really does work!

Good habits take time time to form  - about 21 days. If you do something repeatedly for 21 straight days your mind will accept it as a habit and make it a part of your daily life. Exercise routines and diet programs work this way. Stopping smoking works this way, and not texting and driving works this way too. If you can make it 21 days in a row, you've formed a new habit to better your life. When it comes to the habit of texting and driving, you might be saving your life too!

But making it through those first 21 days isn't always easy. Your phone makes a noise while you're driving down the road and your eyes are immediately drawn to the screen to see who needs you. Texts and phone calls let you know you're needed and important and most people can't help but look to see who needs them. It's human nature, but it's also the cause of thousands of deaths and hundreds of thousands of injuries every single year across the United States.

Texting and driving is illegal in 43 states (what the heck is wrong with the other 7 states?) yet the number of texting and driving accidents has not declined much over the past few years.If you're like most people, you need more than laws to keep you from texting and driving.

TXNT KILLS Phoneguard

You need some new habits! To help get you through those first 21 days, try using a TXTNG KILLS phone guard that will actually prevent you from texting while driving. Even the act of taking the wrist band off of your wrist and using it as a phone guard on your phone will form the opinion in your mind that texting and driving is a bad thing. The reminder alone will decrease your urge to text and drive. 

You may also need to put the phone in your glove box, turn off the ringer or power it off completely to avoid the temptation. For the first 21 days, you need to do whatever it takes! You could also designate someone as your texter when you're driving. Get your kids involved and let them text for you. It will keep them occupied AND set a good example about the seriousness of texting and driving. The whole "do as I say and not as I do" attitude doesn't work with kids and texting and driving. If they see you do it, you can be pretty sure they're going to do it too!

There has never been a better time than right now to start forming the habit of being a text free driver. Thanks to the Denver news, there will hopefully be less people on the road texting today than there were yesterday. If you need help, get a texting wrist band/phone guard. It may be the best $1.50 you ever spend. Get one for every driver in your house and start forming good habits together. You'll all be safer and you'll be making the roads safer for everyone else too!

To see the Denver news story, go to http://denver.cbslocal.com/2014/04/03/colorado-drivers-targeted-in-campaign-to-curb-texting-driving/#.U0F-7kekGTI.facebook 

To get your TXTNG KILLS wrist band/phone guard, go to  SHOP NOW!

Teen Guide To Driving - No Texting and Driving Allowed!

 

Guide to Teen Car Insurance and Driver Safety

For More Articles on Car Insurance, Visit Our Car Insurance Resource Center.
We all know teen drivers pose a higher risk behind the wheel than older drivers with more experience, but most teens and parents aren’t aware of what those risks mean. High auto insurance premiums might be the least of a parent’s worries if their son or daughter is involved in a serious accident. Consider the facts: Over a quarter of a million teenage drivers were rushed to the ER due to car accidents in 2010, and nearly one out of every one hundred of them died due to their injuries. These statistics from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) Teen Driver Fact Sheet should be enough to keep teens and parents vigilant about safe driving, but each year the trend continues.

The CDC also reports that teen drivers are three times more likely to be involved in an accident than drivers over the age of twenty. It’s no wonder car insurance premiums for teenagers are through the roof. Fortunately, the CDC and other agencies have developed sound strategies to keep teens safe on the road – strategies that also keep their rates affordable.

 

Enter Your Zip Code: 

 

How to Prepare Teens for Driving

  • Driver’s Education Courses and Programs
    • Most adult drivers have internalized their driving habits; so, when trying to teach “instincts” to sons and daughters, parents probably won’t be as effective as you might hope. No parent can substitute for a professional driving instructor.
    • Tip for parents: Your local department of licensing or department of motor vehicles may offer courses and educational materials to help, and private lessons are readily available across the country. Be sure to go with an accredited or well-established driving instructor, as some fly-by-night instructors might only waste your money and impart few long-lasting skills.
  • Learner’s Permit and Driving With Parental Supervision
    • Most states require new drivers to obtain a learner’s permit before they can apply for their license, with the majority of states requiring a certain number of parent-supervised driving hours logged and recorded by the parent.
    • Tip for parents: Remember to take time to pull over, take a deep breath, and discuss your teen’s driving errors and successes. Particularly if your teen driver is making your blood pressure skyrocket, take a moment to calm yourself so you can be the most effective teacher possible and foster a good environment for them to learn.
  • Websites, Mobile Apps, and Car Accessories for Safe Driving
    • While it may seem counterintuitive, some smartphone apps can help teens drive more safely and with fewer distractions. A few apps of this type operate on a simple premise: lock down the phone’s texting, calling, or browsing functions until the car is at a stand still.
    • Allstate offers informative and entertaining videos and games to capture teens’ attention and educate them about safe driving.
    • Tip for parents: Ask your insurer about GPS units, dashboard cameras, and other gadgets to track your teen’s driving. Such devices, which are readily available online, not only notify the parent by text or email when their teen driver strays a certain distance from home, they also notify parents when the teen exceeds certain speed limits, drives erratically, or is involved in an accident. Many major insurers offer these devices, or provide discounts for families who purchase and install them on their cars.
  • Safe Driving Pledges and Contracts
    • Create a safe driving contract with your teen driver, and have them sign it to acknowledge their commitment to road safety. Setting down specific guidelines and agreements will keep them aware of right and wrong, and will set specific consequences if they break the contract.
    • The Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles provides a sample contract as a foundation for your agreement with your teen driver.

Rules of the Road

Even the best education on safe driving will be useless if your teen driver isn’t aware of the rules of the road – both the laws and regulations around operating a motor vehicle, and the unwritten rules of the road for safe driving habits.

  • New Driver Laws
    • Curfews: Many states impose curfews on drivers under the age of 18, which can vary between weeknights and weekends. Check with your local DMV to see what regulations apply at the state or local level.
    • Seatbelts: While seatbelts are required for drivers and passengers in nearly all states, certain states will issue tickets to any unbuckled passengers as well as the driver. To avoid a hike in car insurance premiums after such a violation, make sure your teen is requiring that their friends buckle up and that they only carry as many passengers as there are seatbelts in the car.
  • What to Do if a Police Officer Pulls Over Your Teen Driver
    • Rehearse the procedure in advance. Walk through the following steps with your teen to prepare them for getting stopped by an officer.
    • Keep all current registration and insurance cards in an easy to find place. A brightly colored envelope or pouch in the glove box works well.
    • Keep hands on the wheel, stay calm. When a police officer pulls over a vehicle and sees people moving around, shuffling in their seats, or fidgeting inside the car, officers are trained to suspect the worse: weapons, drugs, or illegal materials in the car, and your teen will not like the officer’s reaction. Wait for the officer to approach the car, and when the officer asks for license, insurance, and registration, tell the officer “I’m going to open the glovebox for the documents” before doing so.
    • Be polite, give brief answers, and only speak when spoken to. Most teens have difficulty acknowledging their mistakes, and arguing with a police officer over an “unfair” ticket is not the best way to get off with a verbal warning.
    • Apologize, and say “please” and “thank you.” In most cases, an officer has discretion to give a driver a ticket, written warning, or verbal warning. A simple apology and common courtesies can go a long way towards keeping your teen driver’s record clean.
  • What to Do in Case of an Accident
    • Pull off the roadway, turn on hazard lights. Get to a safe spot on the side of the road or in a parking lot before exiting the vehicle. Never stop in the middle of the road or intersection.
    • Call 911 or the local police department, even if it is a minor accident. Having a police report on what actually happened will be invaluable to document the case later on, even for a minor fender bender.
    • Exchange information. The name, address, phone number, driver’s license number, license plate, vehicle year/make/model for all drivers involved in the accident, including any witnesses or passengers. For the other driver, also get their insurance company, policy number, and claims phone number, which can be found on their auto insurance card.
    • Don’t make any admissions of fault. Accidents can be traumatic and unsettling, so you can’t be sure what happened immediately after the fact. Leave it up to the police, witnesses, and insurers to say who had the right of way and who was at fault.
    • Take pictures of everything at the scene of the accident. All involved vehicles, license plates, the whole road or intersection, a wide angle shot showing the whole scene, as well as close-ups of the damage to vehicles.
    • Get statements from witnesses. Written down, recorded on video or audio, and keep track of the witnesses’ names and phone numbers. They can be called on later for official statements if needed for a legal dispute.
    • After everything has calmed down and everyone has gone home, decide whether to file a claim, and whether to call your insurer. See if you can work with the other involved drivers to handle it off insurance to keep your teen driver’s rates low. Be sure to document all damage, repairs, and expenses in case you need to open up a claim should the cost of repairs skyrocket. Most insurers will still handle a claim even if you’ve taken some steps towards managing it yourself, so long as they can investigate and keep track of everything.
  • Underage Drinking and Driving
    • A serious risk: According to the CDC, in 2010, 22% of drivers aged 15 to 20 involved in fatal motor vehicle crashes were under the influence of alcohol. While many parents may want to believe their children would never drink and drive, the CDC further reports that “In a national survey conducted in 2011, 24% of teens reported that, within the previous month, they had ridden with a driver who had been drinking alcohol and 8% reported having driven after drinking alcohol within the same one-month period.”
    • Guilt by association. In many states, if a teen driver is transporting an underage passenger who has been drinking, both the passenger and driver can be ticketed for underage drinking, even if the driver is completely sober. Check your state’s regulations and contact your local DMV for more information on what rules apply.
    • Have a serious talk with your teen. Make sure they know that they can call you to get a ride if their friends have been drinking, and that they should never ride with an intoxicated friend or get behind the wheel with alcohol in their system.

Teens and Car Insurance

Teen drivers account for some of the highest premiums among all drivers, and while the statistics indicate that teens do pose a higher risk than older drivers, there are a handful of steps you can take to keep your family’s premiums low.

  • Ways to Save Money on Car Insurance for Teen Drivers
    • “Good student” discounts. Your insurer may offer discounts for good report cards, typically A’s and B’s or a GPA above 3.5. Quite simply, studious drivers are seen as more responsible and lower-risk drivers than those with poor grades.
    • Keep your teen driver on the family policy. This will offer your teen lower rates than if they buy their own auto insurance policy.
    • Remove them as a driver from certain vehicles. If your teen will be limited to driving the family minivan, have them removed from driving the family’s other vehicles. This will cause them to be uninsured in the event they get behind the wheel of another family car, so keep in mind which car they’re allowed to take out on Saturday night.
    • Driving safety courses. Many insurers offer discounts to teen drivers who complete a driver safety course. Ask your insurer what options are available.
    • Dashboard cameras and tracking devices. Many insurers offer discounts to families who install “black box” recording devices, GPS trackers, and dash-mounted cameras in their teen’s cars.
    • Choose your teen’s car carefully. Certain car models offer varying safety ratings, have higher or lower cost of repairs, and subsequently cost more or less to insure, even among similar models from different manufacturers. Research rate quotes for various different models before settling on a car for your teen driver.

Never Stop Teaching & Learning

Whether your teen driver is just getting their permit, or is ready to head off to college, take some time to review your teen’s driving habits, safety practices, and accident preparedness. By checking with your insurer about possible discounts and driver education courses, you may be able to both improve your teen’s driving safety and lower your car insurance rates at the same time.

Thank you, www.simpledollar.com, for sharing the above article with us! As a reminder and addition to all of the tips in the guid above, please do not text and drive! To see the full article directly on the simpledollar website, visit: http://www.thesimpledollar.com/carinsurance/teen-drivers/

New Texting and Driving Infographic

 

We would like to say thanks to Carolyn Jago at AIG for sending over the following infographic about texting and driving.

Texting while driving - the facts - An infographic by the team at AIG Car Insurance

Texting And Driving Kills More Teens Than Drinking And Driving

 

By now, you've probably been hearing about the deadly consequences of texting and driving texting and driving for at least a year or two. Stories of accidents, near accidents, injuries and deaths are in the headlines almost daily. Police are issuing tickets, cell phone companies are running commercials, and yet a new study shows that texting and driving is now the number one killer of teens, surpassing drinking and driving and killing more than 3,000 teens per year. Here's the story as reported by CBS:

"Texting while driving has now surpassed drinking and driving as the leading cause of death among teens, according to a new study.

More than 3,000 teens die annually from texting while driving, compared to about 2,700 for driving under the influence of alcohol, according to a study by Cohen Children’s Medical Center in New Hyde Park.

Despite a national ad campaign and a national dialogue on the dangers, the study reveals stunning new numbers: 50 percent of students text while driving and half of high school kids who drive said they text behind the wheel, CBS 2′s Carolyn Gusoff reported.

“The reality is kids aren’t drinking seven days per week — they are carrying their phones and texting seven days per week, so you intuitively know this a more common occurrence,” Dr. Andrew Adesman, Chief Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, Cohen Children’s Medical Center told Gusoff.

Adesman, the chief author of the study, found that laws against texting while driving are not effective. Fifty-seven percent of boys said they text while driving in states with texting laws, and 59 percent said they text while driving in states that don’t have texting laws, according to the study.

Many are not surprised by the results.

“People are texting and driving all the time,” one man told WCBS 880′s Mike Xirinachs. “I don’t know the exact way to do it, but something’s gotta be done.”

“Every single day I see it,” one driver said. “People driving along, texting, talking on their phone. They’re not supposed to do it, but they do it — kids, grown-ups, everybody does it.”

“I’ve seen it firsthand, it does cause accidents, it’s dangerous and it’s irresponsible,” a former police officer told 1010 WINS’ John Montone. “A vehicle is a weapon, just as a gun or a knife, and you can kill people. You don’t deserve to have a driver’s license and that level of responsibility where you can kill people if you’re not willing to take precautions, such as not texting and driving.”

Statistics show that if you are communicating by text while driving a vehicle, you are 23 times more likely to crash.

Some schools have been taking measures to make sure its students stay safe. Students at the New York Institute of Technology in Old Westbury and Freeport High School participated in driving simulations demonstrating the dangers of texting behind the wheel. Teachers are also taking matters into their own hands by sending their students a strong message about the deadly consequences of texting while driving.

Manhattan schoolteacher Julius Khan said he tells his students to “think about your mother and father crying over your grave or someone’s else grave that you’re responsible for killing.”

“Pay attention to what you’re doing because the life you save could be your own,” Khan added.

Lawmakers have also been pushing for tougher distracted driving laws.

In March, Long Island State Senator Charles Fuschillo proposed harsher penalties for distracted drivers, including increased fines for talking or texting on a cellphone and stricter measures for repeat offenders.

“It goes up to $400 but all the penalties in the world aren’t going to stop someone from being irresponsible,” Fuschillo said.

One possible solution is more widespread use of phone apps that restrict texts and calls from coming in when it detects the phone is in a moving car, Adesman said."

For the original story, visit: http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2013/05/09/study-texting-and-driving-kills-more-teens-annually-than-drinking-and-driving/

Make It Stop: Companies Fight Texting and Driving

 

Of the 2 trillion text messages sent each year, too many are sent from moving vehicles. The 1drving texting resized 600 CDC stats on distracted driving are alarming, so much so that private corporations are stepping up to the plate. It's not just non-profits and Ad Councils promoting safer behavior, BMW and AT&T have both launched campaigns designed to curb distracted driving. Given the dangers involved and the consequences of any accident involving a motor vehicle, you wouldn't think we'd need advertising to know better. Sadly, too many of us just aren't paying attention.

One in Three Text and Drive

In this case, the stats aren't lying. But, if you claim you don't text and drive, you might be. According to a recent survey by the CDC on distracted driving, 31 percent of American drivers admitted to sending or reading an email or texting while driving in the past 30 days. Here's one example of our European counterparts outsmarting us, rates in most countries across the pond are much lower. How does that translate to accidents? Almost 20 percent of accidents in 2010 involved a distracted driver. The likelihood of getting in an accident increases 23 times while texting and driving. So, aside from the laws making texting while driving illegal, it's downright dangerous. Thankfully, automakers and phone companies are stepping up in an effort to make our drivers and our roads safer.

BMW Takes a Stand

With support from Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, BMW North America stepped up with a multi-platform campaign in 2011 including TV, digital, radio and print to educate drivers about the dangers of texting while driving. The campaign was titled "Don't TXT & Drive" and pulled on the heartstrings of every parent. It reminded drivers what's at stake with their family in the car and their attention not on the road. That's sure to make you feel better about buying a BMW. Even if you're considering a used BMW, it's nice to know they're taking action.

AT&T Has Something to Say

So an automaker is hoping to stop the danger of texting and driving, what about the cell phone companies? Data plans are growing and smartphones are as popular as they've ever been. AT&T isn't just doing an advertising campaign, they created an interactive exhibit for high-school students that toured the country. In 2010, the company launched the campaign titled "It Can Wait" asking drivers if the last text they read or sent was worth causing a serious accident. If that wasn't enough to drive the point home, they also featured parents of teens killed in accidents and injured accident survivors. It's hard to argue with the sight of a paralyzed teen or a crying parent. In 2013, they followed up by creating a simulator and taking it to high-school students, visiting Ohio to coincide with the state's new law banning texting while driving.

What About You?

Now that you've heard what BMW, the CDC and AT&T have to say about texting and driving, what's your takeaway? You're controlling a hunk of metal hurtling down the road at upward of 60 miles per hour. It doesn't matter how many airbags you have or how good your ABS is, the best safety feature in your car sits behind the wheel— it's you. Keeping your attention on the road and your eyes on the oncoming traffic is the surest way to keep you and your passengers safe. If you or someone you know or love is texting and driving, it needs to stop. For your sake, for your passenger's sake, and for everyone else's on the road with you.

A Conversation With The Huffington Post About Texting While Driving

 

We were fortunate to be invited by the Huffington Post to participate in a live conversation about teen driving and whether the driving age should be raised from 16 to 18 in the US. Our opinion is NOT that the driving age should be raised, but that there should be more parental and school involvement to promote text free driving and distraction free driving among teen drivers.

The truth is that ALL ages should focus more on text free driving, but the show was focused on teen drivers. We were one of 4 panelists involved in the conversation. Take a look and let us know what you think, do you think teen drivers should have to wait until age 18 to get an unrestricted license?

Here is a link to the Huffington Post interview. (it seems as though you have to mute the live feed in the top left corner or it plays at the same time as the interview):

http://live.huffingtonpost.com/#r/segment/teen-drivers-automobile-accidents-death/512a6a6002a7602846000793

Can Gamification Improve Teen Driving And Stop Texting And Driving?

 

It's easy to vilify games as distractions or time wasters, but it's not always a black and whiteTeen Driver debate.Gamifyingis the practice of adding a gaming element to an activity, and it can be quite effective. By adding stakes or points to otherwise tedious practices, you incentivize achievement. Gamificationcan be as simple as turning a lesson into a challenge or as complicated as rethinking your entire life.

Memorizing the rules of the road is necessary, but uninteresting to a teenager. Even though there's no real world benefit, there is a satisfaction to winning a game of jewel quest online at iWin. So how can you marry the appeal of a game with something tedious or unappealing to get the result you want from your teen driver?

GamifyDriving Lessons

First, remember that you hold the power. Sure teens are headstrong and over-confident about their abilities, butyouhold the purse-strings. You own the car, maintain the insurance and provide the living quarters. Driving is a responsibility, so tie it in to everyday life if you think your teen will best respond to that. Or, make driving its own game.

Assign positive point values to desirable behaviors like:

  • Coming to a complete stop in reverse before shifting into drive.
  • Using turn signals and checking blind spots appropriately.
  • Parallel parking successes.
  • Stopping for yellow lights rather than speeding up.

Assign negative point values to problematic behaviors like:

  • Even picking up a cell phone while operating a vehicle or texting and driving (make this a big deduction).
  • Overly passive or overly aggressive passing and merging.
  • Speeding.
  • Brake slamming.
  • Rolling through stops.

Once you've established point values create standards, rewards and consequences. Are privileges suspended or limited at a certain level? Is curfew extended for a high score? Every family and every driver will be a little different but the underlying idea is the same. Constant feedback, both negative and positive, will let the driver know what they're doing right and what they can improve on. Driving is a serious responsibility in which, unlike games, you don't get unlimited lives.

Improving Basic Skills

Gamers have long asserted that they develop skills like increased hand-eye coordination and tactical thinking skills from games. It's been oft discussed and plenty of research has been done to back that up, though it's hard to know if encouraging your teen to spend more time playing Halo will noticeably impact driving performance.

World renowned game developer Jane McGonigal,PhD says "gameplay is extremely productive." She continues, in an op-ed piece contributed to The Guardian, "it does produce the positive emotions scientists say are crucial to our health and success." What does that mean for your teen driver? Well, McGonigal posits that " we are more likely to help someone in real life after we've helped them in a co-operative game." I don't know about you, but I'd rather drive next to a confident and cooperative driver, rather than an aggressive and selfish one. If a little extra (appropriate) gaming will lend itself to better driving and everyday behavior... well I say go for it.

Dont forget the rewards for winning the game. One reward could be a texting thumb band, wrist band or t shirt! Not only is it a reward, it's a great reminder NOT to text and drive! Find some great rewards in the Safety Store:

"I Wish I Never Saw It" - By London Parent

 

I often times forget that texting and driving is a worldwide problem and not just something we have to deal with here in the United States. This email from London was a stark reminder of the deadly consequences of texting and driving, both here and abroad.

"Today is january 10th and at 50 yrs old I saw something I never want to see ever again.
this was the saddest day I have lived. I got a job at a place that processes smashed cars and trucks and vans. Its the step before the scarp heap or resold to a place for parts

I did see a lot of blood in cars and knowing it was adults it really does not bother me too much. I was sent to an area sectioned off as the "death row" i saw horrible damage and you can tell why they call it this, everyone dies in these crashes. exposed transmissions and engines some cut open by jaws of life some with stained bandages and a lot of blood dried everywhere.

I saw a van that looked like it got a t bone hit on the passenger side and drivers door was hit also this impact was easily 100 km per hour. When I looked in the passenger rear sliding door window I found a infant car seat. Straps were cut to remove the child, the cuts were very frantic like a person trying very hard to cut them. The baby seat was half its original width in the middle and was obviously twisted out of shape from the impact. Then as I looked closer the brown car seat was covered in blood which dries reddish brown and the inside roof had a blood splatter above where the seat was originally sitting the blood was a high speed platter. and then as I looked away i saw a teething ring beside the seat. this child was less than a year old.

I lost it right then and there i just sat down and cried. this was so overwhelming. I have seen a lot of death in my life and a lot of accidents when I drove limo. but this was a whole new sight for me, I don t know how first responders do it. I wouldn't last long as a paramedic.

I regained my composure and told my boss what i saw out back and he said yeah that one bothers even the toughest guys in the yard thats why it is way in back. I asked what caused the crash and he said the guy that brought it in on the flat bed tow truck told him it was a texting thing. The parent was sending a message and drove into a intersection with a red light got hit at the rear passenger door first and hit by second truck on the drivers door. he said they did not die on impact, but both died in a few hours and it really bothered everyone that saw the inside. very few dry eyes.

I have used my phone while driving because i thought it was important at the time. but after today the phone goes completely off from now on. I never ever want to be the person responsible for this kind of destruction. I hope more people follow my lead on this. NO MORE TEXTING AND DRIVING our children and babies are getting killed because of this.

London Parent"

Parents Have to Let Go...Of Their Car Keys

 

Whether you like it or not, your baby is growing up fast. It's already time to give your teenDon't Text And Drive driving lessons and frequent the DMV. They will be begging you for their first car (or borrow yours, every minute of every day). I know giving your teen car keys is very stressful, and somewhat unnerving due to the terrible accidents from drunk driving and texting while driving. If you communicate and stress the importance of no texting while driving and set certain guidelines beforehand, giving your teen their first set of car keys will be a little less stressful, knowing you've taken every precaution possible to warn them about the dangers (and safety) of driving.

First, your teen needs to understand driving a car isn't a right it's a privilege. When they're behind the wheel they are operating a potentially deadly weapon. And with power comes great responsibility; thus the need for auto insurance.

Here are some rules and guidelines your teen should follow if they want to start driving on their own:

Friend Limit

State how many people are allowed in their car. The less people the better. Immediately, your teens friends will start wanting rides to school, the movies, the mall and the more friends your teen has in their car, the more distractions, which increases the chance for an accident. A good number is two. Allow your teen to have up to two passengers in the car at all times, no exceptions.

Absolutely NO Texting While Driving

According to the Centers for Disease Control, in 2009 an estimated 5,400 people died and 448,000 people were injured in car crashes involving a distracted driver. You want to know what the most common distraction was? Cell phone use and texting. It's no wonder some states have taken to the law and made talking and texting while driving illegal. There is no reason for your teen to be answering calls or texting while driving. Explain to them if it's an emergency to pull over to a parking lot or the side of the road and use their phone. Never while the vehicle is in motion.

How to Act if They're Pulled Over

Whether you want to admit it or not, everyone at some point or another will be pulled over. Teach your teen how to respond when they are pulled over and to never get defensive. Be polite to the officer and when he approaches you, calmly state for his badge number and let him know you are verifying he is indeed a police officer. If he is, he won't mind that you're making sure you keep yourself protected. Have your drivers license, vehicle registration and proof of insurance ready. When speaking with an officer, speak clearly, don't make excuses and always use appropriate language.

Make Sure They Understand There Will Be Consequences if Rules Are Broken

If you find the rules you've set (friend limit, where your teen can and can't drive, etc.) were broken, they need to know immediately that the behavior will not be tolerated. You should take away their car, video game and Internet privileges. If you do, they are most likely never going to break your rules again.

Top Cars for First-Time Drivers

According to Cars.com, here's a list of top cars for first-time drivers:

  • 2012 Kia Soul-It's a great value for the money (starting at $13,900) and is tech-savvy enough your teen will want to be seen in it.

  • 2012 Hyundai Accent-The best deal for first-time drivers who want to use their own money to purchase a brand-new car. Starting at $13,320, this car get's the most bang for the buck and has great fuel efficiency.

  • 2012 Honda Civic-The Honda Civic is a tried and true car that has been driven by millions of drivers throughout the years. Starting at $15,605, it's a little more expensive but remains a top seller, so you know the car will be worth the extra dough.

There are other options available for your teen, just do the research on cars and choose the best fit for them (and make sure their safety features are up-to-date, with great reviews).

Authored by: Pete Morris A gentle giant, Pete is a high school basketball coach, painter and car mechanic. He has been fixing cars since he was 13 and loves saving the day when someone's car won't run.

Alaska D.O.T. Looking To Make The Largest State Safer For Drivers

 

At more than twice the size of Texas, Alaska is the by far the largest state in map of alaska resized 600the U.S. but with only 481,487 drivers, it ranks 48th in size of drivers. But that's not stopping the Alaska Department of Transportation from taking steps to promote safer, text-free driving on Alaskan roads and highways.

We're thrilled to be providing text-free driving materials to the Alaskan D.O.T. for their text-free driving campaign. It's great to see an entire state getting involved in the fight against the deadliest driving habit since drinking and driving and we know they're going to make a great impact throughout the state and save lives along the way.

With over 400,000 people injured in texting and driving accidents last year alone, we need more states to take the initiative and work on changing driver's thoughts and misconceptions about texting and driving. Most people still admit that they believe they have the ability to safely text and drive, despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

Changing people's thoughts and behaviors about drinking and driving and seatbelt use has made significant impacts on the overall safety of driving throughout the U.S. Together we can do the same for texting and driving and makes the roads a safer place for all of us. Thanks, Alaska, for doing your part to help!

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