Safe2Drive Blog

7/13/2020

Summer Heatstroke Prevention for Children

by Courtney Conley

Now that it’s officially summer, the weather is heating up. While that’s good news for those who love to swim and sunbathe, the heat also brings a level of danger. If you’ve ever gotten in a car after it has been sitting in the sun, you know that it’s very uncomfortable. After just ten minutes in the sun, a car can heat up by 19 degrees. As adults, sitting in a hot car for a few minutes isn’t ideal, but for young children, it’s downright deadly.

Sunny Day

Did you know that on average, every ten days a child dies from heatstroke in a vehicle? The majority of the time, the child’s caregiver forgot the child was in the back seat of the car and exited the vehicle without the child.

Extreme temperatures are more dangerous for children because their bodies aren’t developed enough yet to regulate their body temperature like adults. Their little bodies heat up three to five times faster than an adult’s body. Children have died from heatstroke in a vehicle when the temperature outside was as low as 57 degrees Fahrenheit. Cracking a window isn’t enough to keep a child safe.

Safe Kids has developed a way to help reduce the number of deaths from heatstroke by remembering to ACT:

  • Avoid heatstroke-related injury by never leaving a child alone in a car, not even for a minute. Keep your car locked when you’re not using it so that kids don’t climb in by themselves. About 25% of pediatric vehicular heatstroke deaths occurred because the child gained access to the vehicle on their own.
  • Create reminders to help you remember there’s a child in the car. This can be especially important for someone who doesn’t regularly drive the child around and may easily forget they’re there. Some people keep a stuffed animal in the child’s car seat when it’s empty, and move the stuffed animal to the front as a visual reminder when there’s a child in the seat. You could also put something you need in the back, like your cell phone or wallet, so that when you get out of the car, you’ll have to check the back seat first.
  • Take action. If you see a child alone in a car, call 911. They will walk you through what to do next. As we mentioned above, when children die from heatstroke in the car, over half of the time it’s because the driver forgot the child was there. It’s not nosey or uncalled for to be concerned about a child left alone in a hot car.

With rising temperatures this summer, it’s important to do everything we can to make sure children are safe. While only 20 states have laws that specifically say it’s illegal to leave a child unattended in a vehicle, it’s not safe in any state for any amount of time. 853 children have died due to heatstroke in a vehicle since 1998. There are countless near-misses. These deaths are preventable.

Now that it’s officially summer, the weather is heating up. While that’s good news for those who love to swim and sunbathe, the heat also brings a level of danger. If you’ve ever gotten in a car after it has been sitting in the sun, you know that it’s very uncomfortable. After just ten minutes in the sun, a car can heat up by 19 degrees. As adults, sitting in a hot car for a few minutes isn’t ideal, but for young children, it’s downright deadly.

Back to TopRead More
7/6/2020

The New Indiana Cell Phone Law Explained

by Courtney Conley
Cell Phone

If you’re an Indiana resident, you may have heard something about the new cell phone law. The new Indiana cell phone law is an effort to cut down on distracted driving. Cell phones are one of the most common distractions behind the wheel. In this post, we’ll examine the new law and what it means for Hoosiers.

The new cell phone law went into effect on July 1, 2020.

As of July 1, drivers in Indiana are prohibited from holding or using a cell phone while driving. This means you can no longer hold your phone up to your ear while driving. Texting and driving is already banned in Indiana.

Hands-free technology (e.g., Bluetooth or a cradle) is still allowed. If there’s an emergency while you’re driving and you need to call 911, that’s allowed. Other than that, you cannot hold or use a cell phone while driving in Indiana. Law enforcement can pull over drivers who violate this law, which can result in a Class C infraction with fines up to $500.

Because the law is so new and some drivers may not know about it, drivers who are ticketed for using or holding a cell phone while driving before July 1, 2021 will not receive points on their license. Make sure your friends and family are aware of this new law!

Distracted driving kills.

Cell Phone

Everyone knows distracted driving is dangerous. Even so, people are still using their cell phones while driving! You may think you’re a "good" driver and it’s safe for you to use your cell phone while driving, but it’s not. According to NHTSA, distracted driving killed 2,841 people in 2018 (the most recent data available). This included 1,730 drivers, 605 passengers, 400 pedestrians, and 77 bicyclists. Many more collisions and injuries happened because of distracted driving. Taking your attention off the road for even a moment can cause serious damage to yourself and others.

How can you prevent distracted driving?

Headphones

Here’s the truth: even hands-free technology can be a distraction on the road. Anything that takes your eyes off of the road, your hands off of the wheel, or your mind off of driving is a distraction, and as we detailed above, distracted driving is super dangerous. When you’re dictating a text message or taking a work call on your Bluetooth, you’re not as focused on the road and therefore may not notice a hazard in enough time to avoid it.

That’s why it’s important to limit your distractions on the road as much as you possibly can. Turn on "Do Not Disturb While Driving" mode on your smart phone, if you can. This will silence notifications and send a message to anyone who contacts you, letting them know you’re on the road and will call them back once you’re finished driving. If you absolutely have to use your cell phone, make sure it’s hands-free. Avoid doing too many things at once while behind the wheel. For example, if you’re lost and trying to find the correct exit, that may not be the best time to answer a phone call on your Bluetooth.

Eating

Keep in mind that cell phones aren’t the only distraction in the car. Typing an address into your GPS while driving isn’t much different from texting, since it takes your eyes, hands, and attention off of driving. Eating your breakfast on the way to work is a distraction because it takes your hands off the wheel. Think about what distractions you have on the road, and do your best to limit them.

Safe2Drive is here to help!

Online Class

For more driving tips and tricks, take one of our Indiana online driving courses! Our online Indiana Driver Education course is perfect for Hoosiers who are at least 15 years old and need to meet licensing requirements, or to refresh your knowledge of driving laws and skills. We also offer Indiana Driver Safety Program courses you can take to meet a BMV requirement, satisfy a court order, and/or get a 4-point credit on your driver’s license. People under age 55 can take our Insurance Discount course, and if you’re at least age 55, you can take our Mature Driver Improvement course. Our courses are a great way to keep up on the latest driving laws in Indiana. Visit our website to register for a course today!

If you’re an Indiana resident, you may have heard something about the new cell phone law. The new Indiana cell phone law is an effort to cut down on distracted driving. Cell phones are one of the most common distractions behind the wheel. In this post, we’ll examine the new law and what it means for Hoosiers.

Back to TopRead More
6/29/2020

4 Tips for Avoiding Car Theft

by Courtney Conley
Parked Cars

While many Americans are practicing social distancing, we have fewer reasons to drive than usual. Cars have been sitting empty for days on end. Unfortunately, many cities have reported an increase in car theft since March. To help combat this, we’ve put together a list of four tips for avoiding car theft.

1. Know if the make/model of your vehicle is more likely to be stolen.

Some vehicles are stolen more often than others. Forbes published a list of the most commonly stolen vehicles of 2018. The top five were: 2002 Honda Civic, 1997 Honda Accord, 2006 Ford F-Series Pickup, Chevrolet Silverado Pickup, and 2017 Toyota Camry. Your vehicle may still be at risk even if it’s not one from the list, but if you do happen to drive one of these vehicles, be extra careful.

2. Lock your car doors.

Car Keys

This one seems obvious, but there are many people who leave their vehicle unlocked all night. If you park in your driveway or on the street, it’s crucial that you lock your doors. Even if you live in the "safest" neighborhood in the world, you should always be in the habit of locking your car doors. Often, people are looking for unlocked cars and won’t bother trying to break into a locked one.

3. Remove any valuables from your vehicle when you park it.

Again, while this seems like an obvious tip, it’s still super common for people to leave their wallet or purse in plain sight in their car, whether on accident or on purpose. When you exit your vehicle, look through the windows to do a quick scan. Is there anything sitting out that might be appealing to a thief?

My college roommate left her pencil bag sitting on the passenger seat one night, and someone threw a brick through her window to steal it! We could tell the thief was disappointed by the way they tossed the contents of the pencil bag in the street. Make sure your vehicle is clear of anything that could be desirable to a thief, even if you know it doesn’t have anything of value.

4. Check your car even if you’re not driving it.

One of the reasons it’s easier to steal cars during social distancing is because people don’t notice it’s missing! If you are only using your vehicle once a week, you may not notice it’s been broken into. If you park your vehicle in a parking garage or somewhere else you won’t see it every day, you may not notice it’s been stolen. It’s a good idea to regularly check on your vehicle to make sure it’s where it’s supposed to be.

We hope you find these tips helpful! For more safe driving tips and tricks, take one of our online defensive driving courses! Visit our website today to see if we offer a course in your state!

While many Americans are practicing social distancing, we have fewer reasons to drive than usual. Cars have been sitting empty for days on end. Unfortunately, many cities have reported an increase in car theft since March. To help combat this, we’ve put together a list of four tips for avoiding car theft.

Back to TopRead More
6/22/2020

Tips for Driving After Quarantine

by Courtney Conley
Road Trip

As stay-at-home orders are revised or lifted in many states across the country, many of us are driving for the first time in weeks or even months. If it’s been a while since you’ve been behind the wheel, here are some tips for how to safely get back on the road.

1. Inspect your car.

The first thing you need to do before hitting the road is make sure your vehicle is in proper working order. We’ve put together a checklist to help you remember what areas to check before getting in your vehicle:

Checklist

If your vehicle has been sitting around for a few weeks, you may encounter some issues, such as flat tires, dead batteries, or even small animals making themselves at home under the hood. Take the time to do a thorough check before you start your drive.

2. Keep your maintenance up-to-date.

Depending on what part of the country you live in, it may have been impossible to get your car serviced in the last few months. Make sure your vehicle is up-to-date on its manufacturer-recommended maintenance, and do not drive your vehicle until it is safe to do so.

3. Avoid distractions.

We’re all susceptible to distraction now and then. This is particularly dangerous behind the wheel. There are three types of distractions to be wary of:

Three Distractions

Manual distractions take your hands off the wheel. Cognitive distractions take your mind off of driving, and visual distractions take your eyes off the road. Texting is particularly dangerous, because it involves all three types of distractions. Loss of focus has been a common experience for people throughout the national emergency. Be sure to keep your focus on driving when you get behind the wheel. You should never drive when you’re feeling ill or when your mind cannot focus on the task at hand.

4. Look up your route before you leave the house.

Plan

It’s always a good idea to plan your route before you get behind the wheel, but it’s especially important if you’ve not driven in a while. It’s possible traffic patterns have changed, or there’s construction you aren’t aware of. Take some time before your drive to research your route in order to avoid any unpleasant surprises.

5. Drive defensively.

Driver

A defensive driver is always alert to their surroundings and makes decisions on the road to keep themselves and others safe. Even if you’ve been driving every day since the pandemic started, many people haven’t! You may find yourself on the road with someone who has no idea how to drive correctly. Many people have been on edge for weeks and may have a hard time keeping their cool behind the wheel, which could lead to aggressive driving.

Do your best to keep your cool on the road. If someone is tailgating you, pull over to let them pass. If the car in front of you didn’t use their turn signal and you’re furious, take a deep breath and let it go. Focus on the road and keep extra space between yourself and other cars.

6. Consider taking a defensive driving course.

Tablet

Like we mentioned, it’s absolutely vital that everyone drives defensively. If it’s been a while since you’ve been behind the wheel, you’ll benefit from one of our online defensive driving courses. You could also take one of our courses to obtain a discount on your car insurance. Check with your provider to see if they give discounts for completing a course and to determine the actual discount amount. If you’re over age 55, we offer online mature driver improvement courses. Our courses are designed to be fun and engaging, while helping you become a safer, more defensive driver. Visit our website to learn more and see which courses we offer in your state!

We all share the goal of getting to our destination safely. We hope these tips help you feel more comfortable behind the wheel!

As stay-at-home orders are revised or lifted in many states across the country, many of us are driving for the first time in weeks or even months. If it’s been a while since you’ve been behind the wheel, here are some tips for how to safely get back on the road.

Back to TopRead More
Load More Posts