Safe2Drive Blog

10/25/2021

Halloween Safety Tips

by Courtney Conley

It’s that time of year again, when ghosts and witches haunt the streets in search of treats! For kids who go trick-or-treating, Halloween can be one of their favorite childhood memories. As drivers, it’s our responsibility to make sure little ones are safe year-round, but especially on days like Halloween, when there will be more kids out and about.

Let’s take a look at some safe driving tips for Halloween!

1. Slow down.

If you’re driving during a trick-or-treating event, be sure to slow down and drive under the posted speed limit in residential areas. Many neighborhoods host trick-or-treating on the days leading up to Halloween, so keep an eye out for little ones in the street this time of year. Little kids don’t always understand the danger of running out into the street. Parents do their best to keep their children safe, and drivers can make their job easier by making sure they don’t pose a threat to kids on the street.

Keep in mind that Halloween parties can often involve drinking, and there is an increase in intoxicated driving around the holidays. If you think you see an intoxicated driver on the road around you, slow down and keep extra space between your vehicles. Report the drinking driver to your local authorities when necessary.

2. Be patient.

Getting around may take a bit longer than usual when kids are out trick-or-treating. Give children and parents plenty of time to cross the street, and don’t assume you can just pass stopped vehicles. Some families drive their children from house to house, rather than walking. Keep your eyes and ears open, and give trick-or-treaters time to get to their destination.

3. Utilize your lights.

Headlights

Most trick-or-treating is finished by the time it’s dark out. Even so, you should keep your headlights on to help pedestrians see your vehicle. It’s crucial to use your turn signals always, but especially when there are more pedestrians out and about than usual.

As the guardian of a trick-or-treater, avoid stopping in the middle of the roadway to let your children out of the car. Pull over in a safe space, and turn on your hazard lights to let other drivers know you’re there.

4. Avoid distractions.

Taking your attention off the road for even just a few seconds to skim an email or respond to a text puts you and everyone around you in danger. Don’t use your cell phone or other communications device while you’re behind the wheel. Do not drive along the roadway to keep up with your walking child, as you will be splitting your attention between the road and the kiddos, which means you’re not giving either one your full attention.

5. Drive defensively.

Defensive driving means always being alert. The IPDE method, which stands for Identify, Predict, Decide, Execute, is especially helpful when there are potential hazards on the road, such as trick-or-treaters.

IPDE Steps

Here’s how that works in practice. When you’re pulling into your neighborhood and spot a group of trick-or-treaters, identify the trick-or-treaters as a potential hazard. Next, predict that one may run into the street at any moment. Decide to slow down and use extreme caution. Complete the process by executing your decision. Remove your foot from the accelerator and cover the brake until you’re away from the trick-or-treaters.

We hope you have a safe and fun Halloween! Interested in traffic safety? 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!

It’s that time of year again, when ghosts and witches haunt the streets in search of treats! For kids who go trick-or-treating, Halloween can be one of their favorite childhood memories. As drivers, it’s our responsibility to make sure little ones are safe year-round, but especially on days like Halloween, when there will be more kids out and about.

Let’s take a look at some safe driving tips for Halloween!

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10/21/2021

The New York Online Pre-Licensing Course

by Courtney Conley

We have some exciting news for New York residents! Safe2Drive’s 5-Hour Online Pre-Licensing (OPL) course is available now. Our 5-Hour Online Pre-Licensing course was created for first-time drivers who are age 18 and older and hold a NY learner permit. By taking our 5-Hour Online Pre-Licensing course, you’ll be eligible for your road test in a snap!

First-Time Driver

Who should take the 5-Hour Online Pre-Licensing course?

In New York, first-time drivers are required to take either the 5-Hour Pre-Licensing course or a Driver Education course. The Driver Education course consists of 24 hours of classroom instruction and 24 hours of in-car instruction.

Our 5-Hour Online Pre-Licensing course is a great option for first-time drivers who are at least age 18. This course lets you skip the hassle of a classroom and complete the instruction from the comfort of your own home, or on the go on your mobile device!

Note: No one who is an applicant for a class DJ or MJ license is permitted to register for the online course. A class DJ license is a Junior Operator license for teens ages 16-17. A class MJ license is a Junior Motorcycle license for teens ages 16-17.

What is the 5-Hour Online Pre-Licensing course?

The online 5-Hour New York Pre-Licensing course is DMV-approved and gives first-time drivers all the knowledge they need in order to drive safely and defensively. The course is completed entirely online from any device that has an internet connection. Take our course at home in your pjs, on the train, or even during your break at work.

When you take our online 5-Hour New York Pre-Licensing course, you’ll complete short lessons full of videos, text, and even games! You’ll take a short quiz before moving on to the next lesson.

Even better, there’s no final exam! When you complete the final lesson quiz, you’re finished with the course. The DMV mandates that you have 3 attempts to pass the lesson quizzes before you have to restart the course. Most people pass the quizzes on their first try. Don’t worry, we will not charge you to restart the course.

What are the goals of the online 5-Hour New York Pre-Licensing course?

The goals of the Pre-Licensing course are:

  • To reduce injuries, crashes, traffic violations, and property damage.
  • To help students become responsible drivers.
  • To learn about the effects that fatigue, distractions, and alcohol and other drugs have on your driving ability.
  • To develop a positive attitude toward safe and defensive driving.
  • To encourage and promote proper safety belt and child safety seat use.
  • To learn how to fit safely into the transportation system with other highway users.
  • To become familiar with the "rules-of-the-road."
  • To teach new drivers to show courtesy to others when they are driving.

If you take our online 5-Hour New York Pre-Licensing course, you’ll meet these goals and more.

How do you register for the online 5-Hour New York Pre-Licensing course?

Registration is fast and easy. Create an account by choosing a username and password and inputting your email address. Next, you’ll read basic information regarding the course, fill out your contact information, make payment, and set up your voice print. That’s it! You’re ready to get started. Visit this link to register now!

We have some exciting news for New York residents! Safe2Drive’s 5-Hour Online Pre-Licensing (OPL) course is available now. Our 5-Hour Online Pre-Licensing course was created for first-time drivers who are age 18 and older and hold a NY learner permit. By taking our 5-Hour Online Pre-Licensing course, you’ll be eligible for your road test in a snap!

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10/18/2021

Talk to Your Teens about National Teen Driver Safety Week

by Courtney Conley

October 17-23rd is National Teen Driver Safety Week! The week is all about encouraging parents to have conversations with their teenagers about driving safely.

Some of the biggest risks for teen drivers include:

  • Distracted driving
  • Impaired driving
  • Inconsistent or nonexistent seatbelt use
  • Too many passengers in the vehicle, or passengers distracting the driver
  • Speeding
Teen Driver

Parents are usually our first driving teachers. It’s part of our responsibility as the parents of driving teens to help them understand and navigate the risks associated with driving. Here are some tips to help you teach your teen how to drive safely.

1. Be patient.

Teen Driver

Teaching your teen to drive can be frustrating for both you and your child. Learning to drive can be stressful, and when drivers are stressed and tense, they’re more likely to make mistakes behind the wheel. Take your time as your child learns this new skill. If one or both of you gets frustrated or upset, pause the lesson and give yourselves time to regroup.

Safe drivers aren’t made overnight. It takes patience and practice.

2. Give straightforward instructions.

Teen Driver

Too much information all at once can be hard to digest. Be brief and direct in your instructions by telling your teen exactly what you want them to know, and explain the reason for it. Invite them to ask questions before they try the action themselves.

3. Practice makes permanent.

One of the best ways to learn is by repetition. That’s why people say, "Practice makes perfect." This phrase fails to acknowledge that practicing the wrong thing can be detrimental. Instead, we like to say, "Practice makes permanent." When you teach your teen how to drive, it’s important to have them practice repeatedly and correctly. This way, not only will they absorb the information, they’ll absorb the correct information.

4. Minimize distractions.

Teen Driver Texting

Both parent and teen need to focus their full attention on the task at hand. Distractions like cell phones, food, and music takes your attention off the road and puts you both at risk for a collision. Explain to your teen the importance of minimizing distractions behind the wheel, and model distraction-free driving for them when you’re in the driver’s seat.

5. Remember that it’s okay to have questions.

Your teen may have a question that you don’t immediately have the answer to, and that’s okay! Even professional teachers are constantly researching and learning new things. If this happens, don’t be discouraged. One strategy is to say, "That’s a great question! Let’s look it up together." This shows your teen that driving is a lifelong learning experience. It also teaches them how to conduct research on their own when necessary.

6. Practice in low-risk environments.

Teen Driver

As your teen learns to drive, it’s best to start off in a low-risk environment like an empty parking lot or a quiet residential neighborhood. It’s difficult to learn the basics in a busy and risky environment, and you’ll both be able to focus better in a quiet environment.

7. Keep things calm.

Teen Driver

It’s vital to impress upon your child the great responsibility that comes with a driver’s license. They should have a healthy understanding of the risks involved and what they can do to reduce their risks on the road. At the same time, we don’t want teens on the road when they’re terrified and anxious. It’s a delicate balance that might take some time to navigate, especially if it’s your first time teaching someone to drive.

Try to keep the mood inside the vehicle serious, but not overwhelmingly serious. It’s okay to laugh together as you learn! You know your teen best. As with everything in life, communication is key. Have open and honest conversations with your child about driving. This will help keep the learning process a positive experience for everyone involved.

Happy driving! Safe2Drive is here for any questions you have as you embark on this exciting journey. Check out our driver resources center to help guide you and your child through this process.

Is your teen ready to take a driver education class? We offer online driver education courses in most states! We even offer online parent-taught courses in Iowa, Oklahoma, and Texas. Click here to visit our website to see the online driver education courses we offer in your state!

October 17-23rd is National Teen Driver Safety Week! The week is all about encouraging parents to have conversations with their teenagers about driving safely.

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10/11/2021

Should You Name Your Car?

by Courtney Conley

October 2nd was National Name Your Car Day! This fun day celebrates those who treat their cars with love by giving them their own name. Can naming your car actually make you a better driver?

It’s possible that naming your car can help create a stronger bond between vehicle and owner. Of course, vehicles are inanimate objects. Even so, giving your vehicle a name is not only fun, but it also shows your responsibility over it. It’s not simply a tool that gets you from Point A to Point B. It’s something you need to take care of and pay close attention to in order for it to "survive."

After all, if you’re not paying attention to your vehicle and its needs, you’re not going to get very far! You should be able to identify when something is "off," such as if your vehicle is shaking or making a strange sound. Thinking of your vehicle as "Diamond" or "Bullet" may help you care about it more. Now, this may sound silly, and it kind of is! If nothing else, National Name Your Car Day can give us all a laugh while also showing us how important it is to take care of your car.

Let’s take a look at a general timetable for "Sparky’s" checkups.

Self-Checks:

Self-checks are things you can do on your own at home. Each week, you should check:

  • Tire pressure and tire condition
  • Headlights, tail lights and turn signals
  • Emergency lights and markers
  • Emergency kit
  • Windshield wiper blades, operation, and washer fluid
  • Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC)
  • Safety warning lights (brake, ABS, air bag, seat belts)
  • Lap/shoulder belts and seat latches for wear and smooth function

Every 1-2 months, self-check:

  • All interior and exterior lights
  • Engine oil level
  • Engine coolant level

Professional Checks

There are some things that should be looked at by a professional. Every 3,000-5,000 miles, have a professional check:

  • Oil change/filter replacement
  • Tire rotation/balance

Have a professional check the following every 15,000 miles:

  • Automatic transmission fluid level
  • Brake pads/shoes/rotors/drums, brake lines, hoses and parking brake system
  • Engine cooling system
  • Steering linkage, suspension and, if equipped, drive shaft and ball joints
  • Cabin air filter replacement (if equipped)

You should have a professional check the following every 30,000 miles:

  • Exhaust system and heat shield
  • Engine air filter and fuel filter replacement
  • Accessory drive belts
  • Automatic transmission/transaxle service (if equipped)

Keep in mind that while these recommendations generally hold true, you should check your owner’s manual, as the make and model of your car may require a different maintenance schedule. Want to look up your vehicle’s owner’s manual online? Check out our tutorial!

Does your car have a name, or are you planning to give it a name now that you’ve learned the potential benefits? Tag us on Instagram (@Safe2Drive1) showing us your car and telling us its name!

Taking an online defensive driving course or an insurance discount course can help you brush up on your driving skills! Click here to visit our website to see the online courses we offer in your state!

October 2nd was National Name Your Car Day! This fun day celebrates those who treat their cars with love by giving them their own name. Can naming your car actually make you a better driver?

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