Safe2Drive Blog

5/10/2021

Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

by Courtney Conley

Each May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. As the weather gets warmer in most parts of the country, you’re more likely to encounter motorcyclists on the road. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration uses this opportunity with their "Get Up to Speed on Motorcycles" campaign to remind us to stay alert and safely share the road with motorcyclists. In 2019 alone, there were 5,014 motorcyclists killed in traffic crashes. While that number is down from the previous year, it’s still much too high.

Motorcycle

Motorcycles are small and hard to see, especially at intersections. They’re narrower, so approaching one from the front or back may be less obvious to your eye. That makes it harder to judge how far away they are and how fast they’re going. Because they’re so small, it looks like they’re moving faster than other vehicles, making them even harder to see.

Most motorcyclists ride in the warmer months, with few riding in the winter. It’s easy to forget about them, especially in the spring after they’ve been gone all winter.

When it comes to motorcycle lighting, in most cases, motorcyclists have to keep their headlights and taillights on at all times. This helps them be seen, but they’re still harder to notice than other vehicles. It’s also harder to see the brake lights on a motorcycle because their taillights are always on, and they’re pretty small. Additionally, motorcyclists don’t always use their brakes when stopping, so you have to pay closer attention and leave plenty of room between yourself and motorcyclists.

Motorcycles don’t have the "Center High Mount Stop Light" like cars and trucks. That’s the light that’s eye level, or close to it. Usually motorcycle brake lights are lower than eye level, making them harder to see. It’s also hard to see motorcycle turn signals because they’re so close to the taillights or headlights. While motorcyclists may wear reflective clothing, many don’t.

Here are some tips for staying safe around motorcyclists:

  • Watch for motorcycles when turning left. Collisions with motorcyclists often occur when a motorist turns left in front of the motorcycle. These types of collisions are very dangerous for motorcyclists.
  • Don’t tailgate. Increase your following distance, as motorcycles can stop faster than you may expect in good conditions. In adverse conditions and at night, give them even more space.
  • Expect the unexpected, and actively keep an eye out for motorcycles. Familiarize yourself with different types of motorcycles so you know what you’re looking for.
  • Don’t drive distracted. Avoid sudden movements, such as changing lanes without making sure it’s safe and clear to do so.
  • While blind spot monitors and back-up cameras can help, don’t rely on technology to alert you to motorcycles.

This May, and all year, help keep all roadway users safe by looking out for motorcycles, and driving carefully around them. Taking an online defensive driving course or an insurance discount course is a great way to help prepare you for any type of driving situation! Click here to visit our website to see the online courses we offer in your state!

Each May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. As the weather gets warmer in most parts of the country, you’re more likely to encounter motorcyclists on the road. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration uses this opportunity with their "Get Up to Speed on Motorcycles" campaign to remind us to stay alert and safely share the road with motorcyclists. In 2019 alone, there were 5,014 motorcyclists killed in traffic crashes. While that number is down from the previous year, it’s still much too high.

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5/4/2021

Will Iowa Parents Become Their Teens' Driver Education Instructors?

by Courtney Conley

Learning to drive is one of the most exciting milestone for teens. Traditionally, the only option for Iowa parents was to enroll their students in a driver education course taught by a licensed instructor. Iowa parents who homeschool their teens are able to teach them driver education at home. Thanks to a new bill, all Iowa parents may soon be able to act as their teens’ driver education instructor, if they prefer to do so. This bill has passed in the House and the Senate. If the governor signs the bill, it could go into effect on July 1, 2021.

Teen Driver

Teaching teens to drive is a huge responsibility that may seem daunting to you as a parent. Luckily, Safe2Drive’s Iowa Parent-Taught Driver Education online course makes it easy for parents or legal guardians to become an instructor for their teen’s driver education.

Our course includes an easy-to-follow lesson plan approved by the Iowa Department of Transportation. Your teen will complete 30 hours of online coursework under your supervision. The state of Iowa also requires students to complete a minimum of 40 hours of behind-the-wheel training, with at least 4 hours completed after sunset and before sunrise. If the new law passes, however, students will be required to complete a minimum of 30 hours of behind-the-wheel training, with at least 3 hours completed at night.

Our Parent-Taught Driver Education course makes it easy for parents to instruct their teens behind the wheel. Our training guide provides parents with a recommendation at the beginning of each module for how much time should be spent on that section, and how much should be practiced during the day or at night. This takes out the guesswork as your teen’s driving instructor. You can print our convenient behind-the-wheel training guide and take it with you on the go!

This new bill presents an excellent opportunity for parents to take their teens’ driver education into their own hands. Keep up with us on Facebook for updates on when Iowa Parent-Taught Driver Education will be available for all teens!

Learning to drive is one of the most exciting milestone for teens. Traditionally, the only option for Iowa parents was to enroll their students in a driver education course taught by a licensed instructor. Iowa parents who homeschool their teens are able to teach them driver education at home. Thanks to a new bill, all Iowa parents may soon be able to act as their teens’ driver education instructor, if they prefer to do so. This bill has passed in the House and the Senate. If the governor signs the bill, it could go into effect on July 1, 2021.

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4/26/2021

Which State Has the Most Car Accidents?

by Courtney Conley

Collisions are an unfortunate (and often preventable) part of the driving experience. In 2018, there were 6,734,000 police-reported motor vehicle crashes in the US. While traffic fatalities have declined in recent years, there were still almost 38,000 traffic fatalities in 2019.

Crash TestAccording to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Texas had the most fatal collisions in 2019, with 3,615 fatal crashes. California was right behind them with 3,606 fatal crashes, and Florida had the third-highest number of fatal crashes that year with 3,183.

As we mentioned, the number of collisions in the US has been on the decline for the last few years. Hopefully you will not experience a collision, but just in case, here are some tips on how to protect yourself during a collision:

  • Always wear your safety belt and make sure your passengers wear theirs. They allow you and your car to slow down together, reducing the possibility you’ll be propelled forward into the dash or windshield.
  • Make sure to adjust your headrest to the proper height. When you’re rear-ended, the car accelerates forward, and the back of the seat pushes into your torso, which will cause your head to snap back, giving you whiplash. A good head restraint can help reduce whiplash.
  • Try not to panic. Reacting properly and quickly can help you avoid collisions, or at least minimize damage.
  • If you have to, drive off the road to avoid a collision. Look for something soft to hit, such as shrubs or brush, rather than something hard, like a wall. If you have to hit anything, try to make it a sideswipe rather than head-on.
  • When hit from the side, everything in the vehicle that is not fastened down, including the passengers, will slide towards the point of crash, not away from it. When worn properly, your safety belt will keep you in place and behind the wheel. The airbag might not inflate. Firmly grab the steering wheel to help keep you from being thrown into the side of the car.

Collisions can be a traumatic experience, but they’re also survivable, especially if you develop good defensive driving instincts.Taking an online defensive driving course or an insurance discount course is a great defense against collisions! Click here to visit our website to see the online courses we offer in your state!

Collisions are an unfortunate (and often preventable) part of the driving experience. In 2018, there were 6,734,000 police-reported motor vehicle crashes in the US. While traffic fatalities have declined in recent years, there were still almost 38,000 traffic fatalities in 2019.

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4/19/2021

Which State Has the Lowest Speed Limit?

by Courtney Conley

Speed limits vary depending on several factors, including state, county, and the type of road you’re on. You may be wondering, which state has the lowest speed limit? Let’s find out!

Blue Skies

The speed limit is typically much lower in residential areas. This is because higher speeds are unsafe in areas where there is a lot of foot traffic and parked cars. Residential areas also tend to have more stop signs and sometimes speed bumps, which help slow drivers down.

When it comes to the highway, most states have a maximum speed limit of 70 miles per hour. The state that has the lowest speed limit on the highway is Hawaii. Its freeways typically have a maximum speed limit of 60 miles per hour.

Have you ever wondered why speed limit signs are posted to the left or right on rural and residential roads, whereas speed limit signs are usually posted above the roadway on highways and freeways?

At a standstill, your field of vision may reach 180 degrees wide, giving you a clear view of all of the objects within a 180-degree angle of the front of your car. The stationary car has a wide view. Any amount of speed will lessen your field of vision. When you drive at 20 miles per hour, your field of vision will reduce to approximately two-thirds. At 40 miles per hour, your field of vision is decreased to two-fifths of what it was at no speed. At 60 miles per hour, your field of vision is only 40 degrees.

This is why highway signs are posted above the roadway whenever possible. Road departments understand that drivers traveling at highway speeds (usually around 60 miles per hour) cannot clearly read signs that are posted to the left or right.

Regardless of the posted speed limit, there are times when you’ll need to slow down. A little rain can make a lot of trouble for drivers. A car is harder to control on a wet road and can even become out-of-control. Slowing down is the only wise choice! This will help you keep control of your car in wet weather

Do you want to learn more about traffic safety? Taking an online defensive driving course or an insurance discount course can be a great way to stay ahead of the curve! Click here to visit our website to see the online courses we offer in your state!

Speed limits vary depending on several factors, including state, county, and the type of road you’re on. You may be wondering, which state has the lowest speed limit? Let’s find out!

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