Teen Drivers Getting Keys

New drivers are eager to drive. I was too short after I had my driver’s license. Of course, with the years commuting is no fun anymore, but for teens, driving represent a new life. Parents on the other side find incredibly stressful giving the car’s key to their teenage children. Most parents drive with their children to see how they cope behind the wheel, but handing over the keys is mostly a source of anxiety.

The best way of dealing with this anxiety is based on good old communication and modern technology too. The rate of accidents of teen drivers is huge. However, not all teens are alike.

The first point is not letting your children drive with the cell phone and don’t call them while they are driving. Text messages specially are a huge distraction for young driver and a terrible source of accidents. Never let the keys of your car on the hand of someone who believes being able to read a text message while driving. It is simply not possible.

The second ground rule is establishing a road map where the teen may and may not take the car. New automobile GPS keep track where you car has been. Most models also allow for real time tracking through your cell phone or the internet. With such system you will always know where your car is.

An automobile GPS allows for negotiating safe zone -perhaps the road between school and home -and to expand or reduce this safe zone. Some GPSs systems also track the speed limit and so you will be informed for gross infraction of your ground rules.

Having an automobile GPS on your car will also make your insurance policy cheaper since recovering a stolen car equipped with GPS is much, much easier.

Of course, installing an automobile GPS and not telling your teen may be a huge source of conflict. Don’t ‘sell’ it as a control mechanism. Explain what your car means to you and about your necessity of always knowing where the car is and when you will have it back.

Make your son or daughter feel like this is something you are accomplishing together. Take him or her for a drive and test their driving style or ask them for a full brake in a quiet area, for example.

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Drivers Ed Saves Lives

We all probably went through the same experience when we were growing up.  When we turned 16, we probably took driver’s ed and got our driver’s license. I was not a huge fan of drivers education, because it was a very boring class.  Yet, looking back, it is an extremely valuable class that everyone should be required to take.

I don’t think a day goes by that I don’t see someone run a red light.  Is getting to be the wintertime now.  I really start to wonder how many people are going to get in car accidents  just because they were impatient.  It’s a terrible thing.  While driver’s ed doesn’t really solve this problem, it does teach you to drive more defensively and can keep you safer in the midst of so many other bad drivers.

Also, even though drivers education was a very high stress environment, especially the driving tests, that does do a good job of teaching you to be alert in high stress driving environments.  Many people live in large urban areas, with four or eight lane highways that get cramped and congested during rush hour.  I’ve driven in more than my fair share of this kind of traffic, and I can tell you that it is extremely stressful.  People make mistakes, and at 75 miles an hour, that usually means someone dies or is badly injured.

I can’t help but wonder, when I see bad drivers if they ever took drivers education class themselves.  I’m sure they did, but what happened to them that they all of a sudden decided that safety of themselves and others was not really worth paying attention to? Is getting to work or to the store a couple minutes quicker, worth killing someone? I don’t think so, but it seems like a lot of other people do.

With all the distractions in our vehicles and outside of our vehicles, it is more important than ever to have a solid foundation of drivers education to keep people safe behind the wheel.  The more safe drivers, we can have better.  Even if you know how to drive, a defensive driving course. might save your life. Aefensive driving isn’t sexy, but neither is a horrific accident. Think about it.

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More Helmet Debate

As summer time gets underway and more ATV’s are playing in the dirt Congress keeps voting on laws. The latest however has been overthrown, for the second year in a row. Therefore children between the age of 6-15 will not be required, by law, to take a $75 training course and wear a helmet and goggles.

The reigning argument is that children are dieing on public property, where the law was not written to reach. Let’s lean on the parents to start requiring their children to wear protective gear and the government, go back to keeping drugs and murderers off the street.

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ATV Youth, Helmets Required

ATV Helmets RequiredOklahoma is one step closer to requiring underage riders to wear helmets on public roads and property. According to statistics 18 people died last year, 6 minors, due to ATV related incidents. It was not clear whether a helmet would have been a deciding factor in saving the individuals lives.

The measure is similar to a bill that was approved in the state Senate last year but died in the state House. House leaders said then they disagreed with guidelines that allowed law enforcement authorities to enforce the ATV regulations on private property.

Ultimately this law will only affect around 12 public access points where ATV riding is allowed. Check out the local story at KOTV.

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UnInsured Drivers Find A Way

We all know that not carrying insurance is illegal, however, many people do it on a daily basis. Some places more than others, as evidenced by Nevada, which is ranked 10th in the nation for uninsured motorists. Who pays the bill? It’s law abiding citizens with enough smarts that pay to play.

“The majority of the stops we make unfortunately people don’t have their insurance with them or they don’t have insurance period,” said North Las Vegas Traffic Officer Jim Byrne.

Last year Nevada police officers wrote close to 27,000 citations for insurance related incidents, but they still find their (uninsured motorists) way back to the roads. The problem comes from not having a system, nor man power, to enforce policy. When taken to court over not carrying insurance motorists are fined and then allowed to leave. What prevents these same motorists from making it back out on to the same roads we travel? Nothing.

The alternative is that the accused simply does not show up to court, which a warrant would be placed for their arrest. The reality is that those motorists will never be taken into jail, simply because law enforcement must prioritize. Currently, driving without insurance is not even close to the top of the list of things to do.

Looks like my Progressive rates are going up again next renewal. :(

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ATV Age Law in Utah

A serious debate on the legal driving age of operators of ATV’s is undergoing scrutiny in Utah lately.

House Bill 237 would change the minimum age for riding all-terrain vehicles on public property. It’s certainly a subject that needs to be addressed.
    As the law stands now, kids as young as 8 can operate ATVs in Utah, and they’re paying the price with their bones, their flesh and their lives.

Should the decision to let minor’s operate vehicles lie within government or with the parents? Any all terrain vehicle can be dangerous and not every child is capable of operating, but who is responsible? I was riding my Honda Fourtrax at the ripe old age of 6, unharmed and better off. If nothing else I was taught responsibility, something I still recognize today.

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