Preparing Your Kids for the Road

Preparing Your Kids for the Road

Preparing Your Kids (and Yourself) to Drive

Passing a drivers test and receiving their very first licnese is a teenager’s first step to independence and one move closer to adulthood. You can provide your child with driving advice and safety tips to better prepare them behind the wheel. No matter the advice you give, your child’s first time behind the wheel is going to be an exhilarating, and maybe scary experience. Tackling important information early on can help your new driver to make the best decisions during their first days, weeks, and months on the road.

Don’t Miss Out On Driver’s Training

As all younger drivers are require to complete driver’s training, before taking their exam they will need to study the laws of the road. You can be a part of this by helping them to study, quizzing them on the information for the exam, and maybe even pick up a little refresher yourself! With this preparation your child will be more confident and better prepared for the exam and the road.

Talk Finances

Whether or not your teenager will be helping to pay for their own car, auto insurance, or gas it’s important that they understand the financial responsibility that comes with a driver’s licnese. Show them a copy of your insurance policy, talk with them about the costs that come with a driver’s licnese and emphasize the responsibility they are about to receive. Discussing the effects of a speeding ticket on insurance rates and the dangers of irresponsible driving is an important subject to touch on as well. These conversations will better prepare your child to be financially responsible with their vehicle and driving habits today and in the future.

Talk Safety

Further than discussing the financial consequences of a speeding ticket or an accident, you’ll want to discuss the importance of safety behind the wheel. Parents should discuss the incredible responsibility the child has acquired not only for themselves, but for the passengers of their own vehicle and others on the road. Topics to discuss here include everything from wearing a seatbelt and ensuring the headlights are used during evening hours to defensive driving techniques. Here you’ll want to be firm, but not overly controlling – you will want your child to take you seriously and feel respected.

Keep the Driving Subject Open

Once they receive their driver’s licnese, the training is not over. You will want to consistently review driving techniques and ask about their driving experiences. Although you will not want to discuss this every time you talk with your child, depending on the length of time they’ve been driving you’ll want to keep on top of these important topics.

Safe Driving!

Photo by Caitlinator

Men v Women – Who Is the Better Driver?

A recent survey conducted by MetLife asked men and women, which sex is superior behind the wheel? According to the survey both men and women are superior in their own areas. Men gave in slightly to their female counterpart as a mere 39% of men expressed a strong belief thier sex holds greater driving skills than women. Solidifying this further, women provided a confident response in their own driving skills. In fact over half of women, fifty-one percent, strongly believed women are better drivers than the male population.

Women, bask in that sun as long as you can – men take home the gold in familiarity and knowledge of safety related auto technologies surfacing over the past 10 years. Verified by this survey, men were almost three times as likely to know about electronic stability control. For those of us who are unaware, the electronic stability control helps drivers avoid accidents and improve steering. This technology is also to be implemented in all new car models as of September 1st, 2011. Even further than this almost twice as many men recognized the safety benefits of this technology.

Men and women alike have found their niche in the diving realm. Looks like Venus and Mars will need to find another venue to wage their war.

MTBA Approves Funding for Station Improvements

MBTA Blue LineThe Orient Heights Station on the Blue Line has received funding approval for a number of grossly overdue renovations. According to the Boston Globe, the employee bathroom was so run-down it was replaced by an outdoor trailer. Thankfully, instances such as this have been brought to the eyes of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA).

Chipping and dripping ceilings within the run-down station are to be scheduled for updating with the MBTA’s (Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority) approval of a $27 million construction contract as a part of a twenty-year $700 million project. The East Boston project, inclusive of engineering, inspection, design and other costs amounts to $50 million.

For the most up to date notices about T Projects please visit the MTBA’s project website.

Photo by Mulad

Stricter Regulations Proposed for Child Transporation

Companies transporting children to and from childcare facilities throughout Massachusetts may soon be facing stricter regulations. During a meeting yesterday suggestions have come to include: the additon of an adult personal to monitor children on vans and buses, mechanisms reminding drivers to check for children left-behind, and a new system for double checking for children at the end of routes.

State officials are working dillegently to develop these new procedures in response to last month’s fatality. For the full story of 17-month Gabriel Pierre please click here. The Department of Early Education and Care promises to have recommendations ready by their set October 11th deadline. Keep your eye on the news for proposals in the next couple weeks.

Contact information for the Department of Early Education and Care can be found on theirwebsite.

MADD Supports Extended Measures Against Drunk Driving

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 108 people were killed in Massachusetts due to drunk drivers in 2009. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has initiated a fight for legislators to support an extended reach of ignition interlock devices and monitoring. An interlock device prevents a driver from operating a vehicle if they do not pass the breathalyzer test. If the driver passes the interlock the vehicle will start however if their BAC is not up to par the vehicle will remain as it is.

In Massachusetts repeat drunk driving offenders are required to have the systems in their vehicles for the first two years. MADD is asking to reach further and include the requirement for first time offenders during the first 6 months their licnese is reinstated. Drivers will gain training in how to use the device to ensure proper use. The ignition interlock system typically costs $100 – $200 for installation with a monthly rental fee of approximately $70 – $100. The device is programed to prevent a vehicle from starting should you have too high BAC, have a friend blow into the device, use a mechanical device to blow into the system or tamper with it in any way. Drinking and driving is a serious matter. MADD is working along side Senator Robert Hedlund, sponsor of the bill, to ensure drunk driving recognized as such.

Lower Than Expected Citations for Texting & Driving

Massachusetts is reporting a lower number of texting while driving citations than expected.  Since September 30th a grand total of 245 drivers across the state have been ticketed on the offense, of those a mere 16 were given to drivers less than 18 years of age. It is possible drivers have found the strength to turn off their cell phones or chucked their PDA to the back seat; then again – maybe they’ve found a way to text without being caught.

After a long legislative debate the texting ban was enacted September 30th of 2010. The new legislation is intended to make roads safer and drivers more alert to their surroundings. It has been thought the low citation numbers across the state, totaling less than 3 per day, may exhibit the difficulty officers face in determining if drivers are using their phones and pda’s behind the wheel.

The texting citation, although not a surchargeable ticket, will cost you a pretty penny. The fine totals $100.00 for drivers over the age of 18. Drivers less than 18 years of age caught texting and driving may face heavier fines, license suspension, and additional driving courses to re-instate a licnese.

New technologies have made it possible to hold incoming messages, send auto responses, and even read incoming messages to you. Weighing the risk of facing a fine, suspension for the under-agers, and placing your life and many others in danger – is that text message really worth it?

Commerce Insurance Provides Vehicle Donations & Educational Development

Commerce Insurance, a MassDrive insurance carrier, is at it again. The insurance carrier has always been committed to teaching new drivers safe driving techniques and is now providing vocational technical students an opportunity to improve their auto repair skills. As a participant in their Division of C.A.R.E.S. in the Community, Commerce is donating two vehicles to be repaired by the Bay Path Regional Vocational Technical High School in Charlton, Massachusetts.

The two cars donated to the program, a 2010 Toyota Camry and 2010 Toyota Corolla, are to be repaired by students at Bay Path in cooperation with the Long Subaru in Webster. Once repaired the vehicles will be raffled and proceeds from the raffle distributed to four local schools. The local schools will not only reap the financial benefits of the raffle but the students are to take part in the marketing and selling of the raffle encouraging further development of student’s buisness skills.

Commerce Insurance, one of MassDrive’s many carriers, is committed to its Massachusetts residents in working to improve safety and enrich communities with participation in programs such as C.A.R.E.S.

For a free insurance quote comparison call your MassDrive representative today.

75 ThanksGiving Drivers & OUIs

The winter holidays are a stressful time for many, but don’t let the hustle and bustle lead to bad driving decisions. The Massachusetts Public Safety and Securities reported making 171 total arrests Thanksgiving Thursday through Sunday, November 28th. Of the total 171 arrests, 75 have been reported as OUIs – 71 under the influence of alcohol and 4 under the influence of other narcotics.

Neighboring New Hampshire officials arrested 33 drivers for driving under the influence of alcohol. The New Hampshire Operation C.A.R.E. (Combined Accident Reduction Effort) program stopped 3,519 drivers, almost 1,000 of which were cited with speeding according to the Boston Globe.

The holiday season brings increased patrols, even more reason to drive carefully in this winter wonderland. An additional 13 State Police patrolled the roads from late Wednesday through early Thanksgiving morning. With Christmas and other December holidays around the corner, think twice before drinking your eggnog.

Parallel Parking Stress You Out? We May Have A Solution.

When purchasing a new vehicle what do you look for? Your criteria may contain everything from a price range and safety rating to a leather interior or extra cup holder. A new study released by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Ford Motors may motivate you to add another item to your vehicle checklist: parking assistant program.

A recent technology appearing in a number of new vehicles underwent a study to determine if the parking assistance has an effect on drivers’ stress levels. This proved to be a study important to many motorists as a Harris Interactive study revealed approximately 31% of drivers avoid parallel parking if at all possible.

The study observed 42 drivers’ stress levels with EKG monitors while parallel parking and backing into a tight-fitting parking spaces. As revealed by the study, these sometimes difficult parking maneuvers exerted less stress on the driver while using an automatic parking-assist system.

Drivers’ average heart rate decreased from 83 beats per minute when manually parking to 71 beats per minute while using Ford’s Active Park Assist technology. The average 12 beat per minute drop in drivers’ heart rate accompanied a 30% decrease in drivers’ perceptions of their own stress levels while using the assistant.

The parking assistant program utilizes sonar to determine if the vehicle will fit in the parking space and help to guide it into the spot. While parking the driver controls breaks and thrust as the computer turns the vehicle. For more information on the MIT study please visit the MIT Release at: MIT News.

Twenty-Nine Texting & Driving Citations

A recent publication by the Massachusetts RMV suggests some Bay State drivers have yet to adjust to the new texting and driving ban. As of October 15th Massachusetts has served 29 citations regarding new regulations.

Mary Beth Heffernan, Public Safety Secretary, commented:

“Distracted driving is a serious threat to public safety. Cracking down on distracted drivers is imperative… We must reduce the threat posed by those who don’t give their undivided attention to the road while behind the wheel.”

Reinforcing Heffernan’s efforts here are a few things to remember before texting behind the wheel:

  • Drivers Less Than 18 Years of Age: Drivers younger than 18 years are not banned from using a cell phone while driving. If cited the teen driver can face a $100 – $500 fine, 90 day – 1 year suspension of license and/or required to complete a required attitudinal retraining course.
  • Drivers violating use of electronic device: Drivers of 18 years and older may face fines of $100 – $500.
  • Drivers with 3+ Surchargeable Citations: Drivers accruing 3+ surchargable citations in a two year time period may face suspension of license and required to complete a driver retraining course.

For more information on the texting and driving legislation please visit the RMV website.

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