Teen Motor Vehicle Crashes: How big is the problem?

March 6, 2015

In 2011, about 2,650 teens in the United States aged 16-19 were killed and almost 292,000 were treated in emergency departments for injuries suffered in motor-vehicle crashes. That means that seven teens ages 16 to 19 died every day from vehicle injuries.

Young people ages 15-25 represent only 14% of the U.S. population. However, they account for 30% ($19 billion) of the total costs of motor vehicle injuries among males and 28% ($7 billion) of the total costs of  motor vehicle injuries among females.

(Source: http://www.cdc.gov)

Have a Happy Thanksgiving & Drive Safely

November 21, 2014

1. DO NOT DRIVE DISTRACTED. Do not let a harmless activity turn into a situation with deadly consequences. Finish what you need to do before you start your car or after you have arrived safely at your destination. Request the courtesy of a distraction free zone from your passengers.

2. NEVER DRINK AND DRIVE. Drinking and driving does not mix so just don’t do it! If you enjoy some holiday cheer please decide on a designated driver ahead of time. Have the numbers of cab and car services on hand and use them, these are life saving numbers for you and those that you share the road with.

3. Get enough sleep the night before and be fully awake when taking off for your trip. Being drowsy or half asleep when you first start driving, no matter what time of day it is can cause you to fall back asleep. The best way to combat this risk is to get to sleep two to three hours before your normal bedtime. If you’re leaving earlier than you’re used to getting, this extra amount of sleep will be vital to ensuring you get a full rest.

4. Don’t eat carbohydrate heavy meals while driving. Eating carbohydrates while traveling isn’t a good option because the body is more sedentary than normal. The cars are energy for your body, but when you eat a carb heavy meal and then sit for hours afterwards the carbs turn to sugar which then turns into blood glucose, which in high doses can make even non diabetic people drowsy or fall asleep. By keeping the carbohydrates down, it ensures keeping alert while driving.

5. Keep your mind active. Playing the radio on stations with music you enjoy, talking to people in the car, or taking in the scenery as long as it is safe to do so are all things you can do to stay alert. If your mind has just enough stimulation it will stay engaged in the task of driving and watching out for dangerous situations, but overstimulation will cause you to lose focus on things, and that could lead to a crash.

6. Common Tips To Remember

  • Don’t let distractions in the car take your attention from the road.
  • Check the weather forecast before leaving and during your trip to ensure safe driving conditions lay head if you have a long distance to go.
  • Don’t let other drivers who are driving badly affect you, especially if they are not causing immediate danger to you. Being upset or resorting to reactionary jerking of the wheel to avoid other drivers can lead to crashes too.
  • If you feel tired, stop and take a few minutes to stretch your legs, go to the bathroom or be physically active for 5 to 10 minutes. Being active will recharge the mind and revitalize your inactive body.
  • Always wear your safety belt and have proper car seats for the children in your car.
  • Most of all, be careful this winter holiday season and enjoy yourselves with your loved ones!

We wish you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving!

Buckle Up and Drive Safe!!!

National Teen Driver Safety Week (NTDSW)

November 26, 2013

The next National Teen Driver Safety Week (NTDSW) takes place on October 19-25, 2014. This year’s theme was ‘It Takes Two: Shared Expectations for Teens and Parents for Driving,’ and thousands of teens across the country used the NTDSW platform to reinforce this safety theme at their schools, in their communities and with their families.

National Teen Driver Safety Week is a time designated by Congress each year to raise awareness of teen driver safety topics and to encourage safe teen driver and passenger behavior.

Below is a list of the top ten things that we need to know about teen drivers, according to the National Safety Council.

  1. Care crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in the U.S.
  2. Most dangerous time of a teen driver’s life is the first 12 months after receiving a license.
  3. A teen driver’s crash risk is three times that of drivers ages 20 and older.
  4. Teens crash most often because they are inexperienced – not because they take more risks behind the wheel.
  5. Teen passengers are one of the biggest distractions for teen drivers. Just one teen passenger raises a teen driver’s fatal crash risk 44 percent. Two passengers doubles fatal crash risk. Three or more quadruples crash risk.
  6. Most fatal nighttime crashes involving teen drivers happen between 9PM and midnight
  7. More than half of teens killed in car crashes were not restrained by a seatbelt.
  8. Most states’ teen driving laws and restrictions do not adequately protect teen drivers from the most serious crash risks.
  9. Teens really do learn to drive from watching their parents. A survey from the Allstate Foundation found 80 percent of teens cite their parents as having the most influence over teen’s driving habits.
  10. Crash risk remains high after licensure. In fact, young drivers’ crash risk does not significantly begin decreasing until age 25.

Tips on Shopping for an Online Traffic School

June 7, 2013

Be sure to read the fine print when shopping for a traffic school such as Basic Driver Improvement, Advanced Driver Improvement or the D.A.T.E. Course (learner’s permit course). If the cost of the course is unusually low, most of the time there is a hidden fee attached and you’ll end up paying a lot more than the fee that is advertised. For instance, some of the course providers may advertise the D.A.T.E. Course for as low as *$19. Seems like a great price to pay, but WAIT! The very small (*) in front of the price often means “LOOK FOR THE HIDDEN FEE”. The hidden fee is usually an extra charge that is in small print somewhere on the webpage indicating additional charges for a certificate or state processing fee, which can be anywhere from $8-$15 in addition to the listed price of $19. That low advertised fee is now $27-$35, way above the average cost of the course. It is also important to know that it is not necessary to purchase a completion certificate for the D.A.T.E. Course, all course providers are required to submit the completion electronically and the DMV will not accept a paper certificate.

Bridgeway Center, Inc. Driving Schools offers online courses such as Basic Driver Improvement, Advanced Driver Improvement and D.A.T.E. with no hidden fees.

NTSB Recommends Lowering DUI Limit to .05% Blood Alcohol Content

May 23, 2013

To reduce fatal crashes, the National Traffic Safety Board issued a report recommending states to lower the blood alcohol level that qualifies for a DUI from .08% to .05%. According tot he report, bold steps are needed: On average, every hour, one person dies in a crash involving a drunk driver and 20 more people are injured, including three with debilitating injuries. That adds up quickly to yearly totals of nearly 10,000 deaths, 27,000 lives forever altered and another 146,000 injured.

The NTSB can only make recommendations to states and the federal government and can’t make laws and regulations.

Other recommendations include:

  • Increase use of high-visibility enforcement
  • Develop and deploy in-vehicle detection technology
  • Require ignition interlocks for all offenders
  • Improve use of administrative license actions
  • Target and address repeat offenders
  • Reinforce use and effectiveness of DWI courts

May is Global Youth Traffic Safety Month

May 2, 2013

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 5,000 teens are killed in passenger vehicle crashes a year. Lack of driving experience, feelings of invincibility and distractions like teen passengers and cell phones, it is easy to understand how young drivers can be a threat to themselves and everyone else on the road. Global Youth Traffic Safety Month is a great opportunity to teach young drivers of situations that could be potentially dangerous.

Bridgeway Center, Inc. Driving Schools offers a variety of courses designed for young drivers including Drug Alcohol Traffic Education (DATE), A+ Driving Lessons, Safe New Attitude Program (SNAP), and a Distracted Driver course.

Giving New Drivers the “Tools” to Make Better Safe Driving Choices – Safe New Attitude Program (SNAP)

April 29, 2013

Experience may be the best teacher, but for new drivers gaining that experience comes with some risks. Young drivers are at a greater risk of having accidents on the road because they have less experience looking for signs of potential hazards that can lead to accidents. This driving course is designed to give novice drivers the tools they need to become more aware of the conditions around them and the kinds of responses that will help ensure their safety and that of other drivers.

Bridgeway Center Inc. Driving Schools is now offering the online version of the Safe New Attitude Program (SNAP) so that higher risk drivers can learn what it takes to reduce their risks behind the wheel. Like most defensive driving courses, the idea of personal accountability into driving is incorporated into the course to help individuals understand the potential outcomes of their actions. This course will help young drivers make better decisions, develop a positive attitude behind the wheel and become courteous drivers.

Safe New Attitude Program is presented by our partner, the National Traffic Safety Institute (NTSI).