Safe2Drive Blog

1/13/2020

3 Ways to Show Appreciation for Law Enforcement Officers

by Courtney Conley
Police Officer

If you have had your driver’s license for a while, you’ve more than likely seen law enforcement officers out on the road. You may have even been stopped by one from time to time. Law enforcement officers are an important part of the highway transportation system. We need traffic laws in order to get from Point A to Point B safely, and law enforcement officers help make sure everyone follows the same set of rules to ensure our safety on the road. January 9th was National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, so we are sharing a few ways to show your appreciation for law enforcement officers you may encounter on the road.

1. Move Over

Move Over

When you use a highway or freeway, you’ll likely pass by someone pulled over on the shoulder. If you’ve ever been in that situation, you understand how scary it can be to feel the rush of wind as cars zoom by. Now imagine you’re a construction worker or a member of law enforcement and you’re walking on the shoulder. Depending on the location, drivers could be traveling up to 85 miles per hour (and that’s not including anyone who is speeding!), so you can imagine how stressful it would be to walk on the shoulder to approach a stopped car without the protection of a vehicle. One way to help support officers is to move over when you see a law enforcement officer (or any emergency vehicle) on the shoulder. That means moving to a different lane (when it is safe to do so) to put more space between passing vehicles and those stopped on the shoulder. This helps keep everyone safe.

2. Be prepared, courteous, and respectful during traffic stops.

Law enforcement officers pull drivers over for a variety of reasons. Maybe you were speeding, or maybe your brake lights are out and you didn’t notice. It may even be that your vehicle matches the description of one officers are on the lookout for. Traffic stops can be stressful, so it’s important that everyone (including law enforcement officers, drivers, and passengers) are prepared.

Drivers and passengers should not exit the vehicle unless asked to do so by the officer. Exiting the vehicle unprompted could be seen as aggressive behavior and a threat to the officer’s safety. Drivers and passengers should not reach for their license or insurance documents before or while an officer is approaching because the officer will have no way of knowing what you’re reaching for, so it’s best to be very transparent with them. Drivers who transport handguns in their vehicles are encouraged to keep these in a separate location from their license and insurance documents. You are not required to answer an officer’s questions and can tell them that you would like to remain silent, but you must not lie to an officer. If you believe an officer has acted inappropriately during a traffic stop or other encounter, you should report that conduct to the officer’s superiors and follow agency guidelines for submitting complaints against officers as soon as possible.

3. Follow traffic laws.

This one may sound obvious, but it’s true! Following traffic laws is a great way to show appreciation for law enforcement officers. Breaking traffic laws can result in law enforcement officers issuing you a ticket, which is generally something people like to avoid. Remember, ignorance of the law is not a valid excuse for breaking it. If it’s been years since you completed a driver education course in order to earn your driver’s license, you may want to brush up on your traffic law knowledge. Check out our website to learn more about our online traffic safety courses and make sure you’re up-to-date on the laws in your state.

Driving

Law enforcement officers are a valuable part of keeping us safe on the roadway. They enforce traffic laws, make sure our vehicles are in proper shape, and respond to emergency situations on the road. Let's show our appreciation for law enforcement this month by keeping the three above tips in mind!

If you have had your driver’s license for a while, you’ve more than likely seen law enforcement officers out on the road. You may have even been stopped by one from time to time. Law enforcement officers are an important part of the highway transportation system. We need traffic laws in order to get from Point A to Point B safely, and law enforcement officers help make sure everyone follows the same set of rules to ensure our safety on the road. January 9th is National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, so we are sharing a few ways to show your appreciation for law enforcement officers you may encounter on the road.

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1/6/2020

3 Driving Resolutions for the New Year

by Courtney Conley
Young Driver

Happy New Year! It’s the first full week of 2020, which means it’s time to think about resolutions. Popular resolutions include diet and exercise, healthy eating, self-care, and saving money. Many resolutions are personal and will vary depending on each person and their goals. There’s one area, though, where we can all make some resolutions. In honor of the new year, here are three resolutions we suggest for all drivers in 2020.

1. No distracted driving!

Texting

It’s 2020. We’ve had cell phones for years. You’d think that people would understand the dangers of texting and driving by now, but unfortunately, distracted driving is still a big problem in the US. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports a total of 3,166 deaths due to distracted driving in 2017. Distracted driving includes texting and driving, but it also includes anything that takes your mind off of driving, your hands off the steering wheel, or your eyes off the road. If you have a habit of driving while distracted, make one of your resolutions for 2020 to be mindful of distractions and avoid them when behind the wheel.

2. Brush up on your driving skills with an online course.

Online Courses

The new year is a great time to evaluate your educational needs. When was the last time you completed a defensive driving course? How about an insurance discount course? If it’s been a while, or you never have, now is a great time to take the extra steps to boost your driving knowledge and skills. Here at Safe2Drive, we offer convenient and fun courses you can complete entirely online. Online courses are a great option for those who have busy schedules but still want to learn. Even if you’re already a great driver, it’s nice to brush up on your knowledge and see if you can learn something new! Click here to visit our website to see what courses we offer in your area!

3. Explore new places.

Road Trip

This is a fun one that doesn’t have to break the bank. Maybe you finally check out that new bike trail your city offers. You could plan a short trip to the nearest museum or aquarium, or a longer road trip to a new state. Exploring new places with family or friends, or even on your own, is a resolution that can help expand not only your driving skills, but your social and emotional well-being as well. Exploring new places as a driver, cyclist, or pedestrian is a great way to step out of your regular routine and try something new.

As you make your list of resolutions for the new year, keep these three driving resolutions in mind. We all share the goal of keeping our roads safe, and resolving to be better drivers in the new year will help us meet that goal!

Happy New Year! It’s the first full week of 2020, which means it’s time to think about resolutions. Popular resolutions include diet and exercise, healthy eating, self-care, and saving money. Many resolutions are personal and will vary depending on each person and their goals. There’s one area, though, where we can all make some resolutions. In honor of the new year, here are three resolutions we suggest for all drivers in 2020.

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12/30/2019

Is Your Teen Ready to Tackle Winter Driving?

by Courtney Conley
Snow

It’s officially winter. If you’re in a part of the country where winter comes along with snow and ice, you know driving becomes a bit trickier this time of year. Experienced drivers know how to adjust their driving to account for the weather conditions. Teen drivers, or other novice (new) drivers, however, usually need more time to practice before they feel comfortable driving in the winter. If you have a teen driver at home, and you live in an area where winter weather presents some driving challenges, this blog post is for you! Here are 5 ways to help get your teen ready to tackle winter driving.

1. Answer any questions your teen may have.

Driving with Mom

Sometimes it’s difficult to think of questions to ask in the moment. Explain to your teen that you’re going to be working on winter driving together. Ask them to make a list of at least five questions they have about driving in the winter. Make sure they write down their questions so you can have a physical list to look at together. Give your teen a few days to work on their list before deciding on a time to work through the list together. Once their list is complete, read through the list together and answer the questions as best you can. If you’re unsure about some of their questions, you can look up the answer together. Some questions may be best answered through demonstration, which is #4 below.

2. Review safe driving practices.

When you’ve answered your teen’s questions, it’s time to talk about driving in the winter. As experienced drivers, we know how to adjust our driving to account for snow and ice. Here are some winter driving tips to share with your teen:

  • Wet, snowy, or icy roads usually require you to drive below the speed limit in order to stay safe. Even vehicles with four wheel drive should slow down in snowy weather.
  • Increase your following distance behind other vehicles. For novice drivers, a safe following distance is 3-4 seconds. In winter weather, it’s a good idea to double your normal following distance. Leave plenty of space between your vehicle and snow plows.
  • Slow down when crossing bridges, because water on bridges freezes faster and thaws slower than water on the regular roadway. Black ice is difficult to see and avoid, so it’s best to drive slowly and safely.
  • Make sure you are constantly scanning the road ahead for danger spots. Watch for drifting snow.
  • Take extra precautions when making turns. If you turn too quickly, it’s easy to lose traction and skid.
  • If you do start to skid in the snow, take your foot off the gas and do not slam on the brakes. Steer the vehicle in the direction you want to go. Prepare to counter steer and then straighten the wheels. Apply the brakes lightly once you have control of the vehicle.

3. Make sure their vehicle is ready for winter weather.

Whether your teen has their own vehicle or they drive a family vehicle, make it a priority to involve your teen in the process of getting your family’s vehicles ready for winter. This includes getting the vehicle serviced, checking the battery, tires, and windshield wipers, and packing an emergency kit. Check out our blog post on this topic for a more detailed list of how to get your vehicle ready for winter weather!

4. Supervise your teen practicing driving in winter weather.

Snow

Just like normal driving, winter driving takes practice. The best option is an empty, untreated parking lot where your teen can get a feel for how their vehicle reacts to snowy roads. This way, your teen can practice how to adjust their driving and how to control their vehicle during skids or fishtailing in a safe environment.

5. Make sure they know when it’s safer to stay home.

Sometimes, the best option is to just stay home during a bad snow storm. Show your teen how to check the weather forecasts and to account for what time they will be on the road. Even if it’s clear when they leave for school in the morning, there could be a big storm in the afternoon that leaves them stranded. While they need to be able to drive safely in all types of weather, they also need to understand that their safety is more important than anything else.

Driving in the winter can be intimidating. That’s why it’s important to have these conversations with teen drivers. We hope these tips help you and your teen driver this winter! If your teen needs to complete a driver education course as a licensing requirement, or just to brush up on their driving knowledge, please visit our website. We offer fun, engaging, and informative driver education courses your student can complete online. Click here to see if we offer a course in your state!

It’s officially winter. If you’re in a part of the country where winter comes along with snow and ice, you know driving becomes a bit trickier this time of year. Experienced drivers know how to adjust their driving to account for the weather conditions. Teen drivers, or other novice (new) drivers, however, usually need more time to practice before they feel comfortable driving in the winter. If you have a teen driver at home, and you live in an area where winter weather presents some driving challenges, this blog post is for you! Here are 5 ways to help get your teen ready to tackle winter driving.

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12/23/2019

Save the Gravy! 3 Tips for Traveling with Holiday Dishes

by Courtney Conley
Road Trip

It’s the holiday season, and if it’s anything like last year, around 112.5 million Americans will be traveling for the holidays. When my family gathers for holidays, each of us brings a side dish to share with everyone. As we all live between 10 minutes and 2 hours away from each other, some of us have to travel pretty far with our side dishes! If you’re in a similar situation and will be traveling with food this holiday season, here are 3 tips for getting to your destination safely, and not spilling a drop of gravy.

1. Understand food safety guidelines and plan accordingly.

One of the hassles of holiday travel is making sure food is safely transported. Many families will bring along a cooked dish to share, and that means you need to make sure it stays at a safe temperature. The USDA says the "Danger Zone" is between 40 degrees Fahrenheit and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, which is when bacteria grow most rapidly. If you are going to be traveling a longer distance (1.5 hours or more), maybe offer to bring rolls or cookies, which are safe at room temperature. If you’re traveling with a cold dish, like pasta salad or veggies, pack your dish in a cooler with plenty of ice. If you’re in charge of something warm like gravy or baked sweet potatoes, it’s best to cook your dish at home, cool it completely, and transport it while cold. Then you can reheat it when you get to your destination. Other warm dishes can be transported wrapped in foil and placed inside an insulated bag on short trips, but keep an eye on the internal temperature of your warm dishes and make sure they stay out of the Danger Zone.

2. Secure your dishes in your vehicle.

If you go through the effort of making a beautiful dish to share with your family, you want to make sure it gets to Grandma’s house safely! Not only is it a mess to have to clean up a spilled dish, it can also be a driving distraction. Here are a few ways to keep your holiday dishes secure on your drive:

  • Get lids that lock. Whether it’s a slow cooker or casserole dish, there are lots of options for secure lids with locks. If you don’t have a locking lid option, you can secure lids with rubber bands.
  • Place your secured dish in a cooler or insulated bag. This will help keep your food at a safe temperature, and help with keeping any spills contained to one area.
  • Keep your holiday dishes in the trunk or on the floor of the back seat, not on the seats themselves. You should not keep them on your lap while you’re driving, or on a passenger’s lap. This will help prevent distracted driving. The driver’s focus should be on the road, not on a slow cooker full of stuffing.
  • If transporting pies or other baked goods, place them on a baking sheet and wrap foil around the pies and baking sheet so they are secured together. Then, store the baking sheet in your trunk with a floor mat or other gripped surface underneath it to keep it from slipping.

If you are bringing home leftovers (who doesn’t love a Friday afternoon leftover lunch?), keep the same safety guidelines above in mind, and don’t eat any leftovers that were left out of the fridge for more than 2 hours.

3. Drive carefully.

This one sounds obvious, because we should always be driving carefully and defensively, but it’s particularly important on holidays. Like we mentioned above, holidays are big travel days, and the roads will be busy. If you live in an area of the country where snow and ice are possible, that complicates things even more. Even the most expertly-secured dishes are at risk if you’re not driving defensively. Give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination, and stay on the alert. If you want to brush up on your defensive driving skills and knowledge of rules of the road, we can help! Our online courses give you the information you need in a fun and engaging way. Click here to see which courses we offer in your state!

We hope you'll use these tips this holiday season to get to your destination safely! Let us know on Facebook what other topics you’d like us to cover here on our blog. We love to hear from you!

It’s the holiday season, and if it’s anything like last year, around 112.5 million Americans will be traveling for the holidays. When my family gathers for holidays, each of us brings a side dish to share with everyone. As we all live between 10 minutes and 2 hours away from each other, some of us have to travel pretty far with our side dishes! If you’re in a similar situation and will be traveling with food this holiday season, here are 3 tips for getting to your destination safely, and not spilling a drop of gravy.

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