Safe2Drive Blog

4/8/2024

Eyes on the Road: Navigating Distracted Driving in the Age of Technology

by Courtney Conley

Each April marks National Distracted Driving Awareness month. In 2022 alone, there were 3,308 people in the US killed in collisions involving distracted drivers. These deaths are preventable.

As technology continues to advance, its impact on driver behavior has become a growing concern. While technology can often contribute to distractions behind the wheel, it also has the potential to provide solutions to avoiding distracted driving.

Distracted Warning on Dashboard

What is Distracted Driving?

Distracted driving is often thought of as texting and driving. While that’s a big distraction, it’s not the only one drivers are susceptible to. Distracted driving is any non-driving activity that takes your eyes off the road (i.e., visual distractions), your hands off the wheel (i.e., manual distractions), and/or your mind off of the driving task (i.e., cognitive distractions). Here are some examples:

  • Visual Distractions: Reading a text message, looking at your GPS, or adjusting the temperature.
  • Manual Distractions: Eating, vaping, or reaching for an item in the vehicle.
  • Cognitive Distractions: Daydreaming, talking on the phone, or engaging in deep conversations with passengers.

Avoiding distracted driving starts with recognizing these dangers and applying safe driving habits to protect yourself and others on the road.

Technological Distractions

There are many technological distractions that can compromise one’s driving, such as:

  • Texting: Reading or sending text messages, emails, or social media updates can distract a driver visually, manually, and cognitively.
  • Social Media: Scrolling through social media feeds, watching videos, or reading articles online can divert attention from the road and surrounding traffic.
  • Phone Calls: Engaging in phone conversations, even when using hands-free devices, can cause cognitive distractions and take a driver’s attention away from the road.
  • Navigation Systems: While GPS and navigation tools can be helpful, they can also cause distractions if a driver focuses too much on the screen or attempts to adjust settings while driving.

Preventing Distracted Driving with Technology

Various apps, devices, and in-vehicle systems have been developed to limit distractions and promote safer driving behaviors. These solutions tend to focus on reducing access to distracting features while the vehicle is in motion.

Here are some examples:

  • "Do Not Disturb" modes: Many smartphones and devices offer settings that automatically silence notifications and limit access to certain apps while driving.
  • In-vehicle systems: Modern vehicles often feature integrated systems that allow drivers to control music, navigation, and other functions using voice commands or steering wheel controls, minimizing manual distractions.
  • Device mounts and holders: Securing devices in a visible location can reduce the urge for drivers to reach for or use them while driving.

By embracing these technologies and strategies, drivers can create a safer driving environment for themselves and other roadway users.

Safe Driving Strategies

Here are a few ways you can reduce distractions behind the wheel:

  • Put your phone away: Place your phone out of reach, such as in the glove compartment or a bag, to avoid the temptation of using it while driving.
  • Set your phone to "Do Not Disturb" mode: Use features that silence notifications and limit access to distracting apps while driving.
  • Utilize hands-free options: If you need to make a call or use GPS, opt for hands-free devices or in-vehicle systems that allow you to maintain focus on the road.
  • Pull over if needed: If you must attend to a distraction, such as answering an important call or adjusting a setting, find a safe place to pull over and stop before doing so.
  • Set ground rules: Encourage passengers to help maintain a distraction-free environment and avoid engaging in distracting behaviors themselves.

National Distracted Driving Awareness Month serves as an important reminder of the risks associated with distracted driving and the role technology plays in both causing and preventing these distractions. By understanding the different types of distractions and adopting safe driving habits, we can work together to make our roads safer for all roadway users.

Interested in learning more about traffic safety?

Are you looking for defensive driving and traffic school courses? Do you want a discount on your auto insurance? Do you know a teen who’s ready to take an online driver education course?

Safe2Drive is here to help! We offer convenient online courses for drivers of any age! Visit our website today to learn about the online courses we offer in your state.

Each April marks National Distracted Driving Awareness month. In 2022 alone, there were 3,308 people in the US killed in collisions involving distracted drivers. These deaths are preventable.

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4/2/2024

Electric Bicycle Safety for Drivers: How to Safely Share the Road with Electric Cyclists

by Courtney Conley

As electric bicycles become more popular, it’s more important than ever for drivers to understand how to safely share the road with these roadway users. Electric bicycles, also known as e-bikes, are like traditional bicycles but are equipped with an electric motor for additional power and speed. With their growing presence on roads and bike lanes, drivers need to be aware of how to interact with them in a safe and responsible manner. Here are some tips for drivers to share the road with these innovative machines.

Electric Bicycle

What is an Electric Bicycle?

E-bikes are battery-powered with an electric motor that allows riders to reach higher speeds and travel longer distances easily. In some areas, e-bikes are classified as bicycles and are allowed to use bike lanes and paths, but some regions may have additional restrictions or requirements. Most e-bikes are heavier than a traditional bike. Electric bicycles can reach speeds of up to 20 to 28 mph, depending on local regulations and the bike’s design.

Sharing the Road with Electric Bicycles

Look for Bicycles

As a driver, it’s your responsibility to adapt and share the road with all roadway users, including electric bicyclists. Drivers must be extra cautious when sharing the road with e-bikes due to their higher speeds and potential for unexpected movements. Here are some additional tips:

  • Pass with caution: Make sure you have plenty of room to get around them, leaving plenty of space between your car and their e-bike. Be sure to signal early so they know what you’re doing, and only pass when it’s totally safe to do so.
  • Increase your following distance: Leave extra space when following an e-bike. Since e-bikes can go faster than regular bikes, they might need to stop suddenly, and you want to have enough time to react.
  • Check your blind spots: It’s easy for e-bikes to get hidden from your view. So, whenever you’re about to switch lanes or make a turn, do a thorough check of your blind spots.
  • Keep an eye out at intersections: Intersections can be super dangerous for electric cyclists because they could get hit by a turning car. Make sure to be extra careful when you’re coming up to an intersection and keep an eye out for e-cyclists zipping by. Remember to yield to them when you need to, and don’t turn in front of them until you know it’s totally safe to do so.

Tips for Electric Cyclists

All roadway users share the responsibility of doing everything they can to keep those around them safe. As an e-bike rider, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and take steps to ensure your safety on the road. While drivers should be cautious and mindful of e-bikes, you can also do your part to help prevent collisions and keep yourself visible. Here are a few tips for safer riding:

  • Make sure your e-bike has functioning lights and reflectors, and consider wearing bright clothing or a reflective vest to increase your visibility.
  • Obey traffic laws, use hand signals, and ride in the direction of traffic. You should make your movements as predictable as possible so drivers know what to expect.
  • Avoid distractions, such as using your phone, and pay attention to the road conditions, other vehicles, and pedestrians.
  • Choose bike-friendly roads and paths, and try to avoid heavy traffic or hazardous areas whenever possible.
  • Wear a helmet! E-bike riders are almost twice as likely to suffer head injuries when they’re not wearing a helmet.

Sharing the road safely with electric cyclists is all about awareness and communication. As drivers, we need to understand the unique features of e-bikes and adjust our driving habits accordingly. By being mindful of their vulnerability and following the tips outlined in this post, we can help make sure that everyone gets to their destination safely.

Interested in learning more about traffic safety?

Are you looking for defensive driving and traffic school courses? Do you want a discount on your auto insurance? Do you know a teen who’s ready to take an online driver education course?

Safe2Drive is here to help! We offer convenient online courses for drivers of any age! Visit our website today to learn about the online courses we offer in your state.

As electric bicycles become more popular, it’s more important than ever for drivers to understand how to safely share the road with these roadway users. Electric bicycles, also known as e-bikes, are like traditional bicycles but are equipped with an electric motor for additional power and speed. With their growing presence on roads and bike lanes, drivers need to be aware of how to interact with them in a safe and responsible manner. Here are some tips for drivers to share the road with these innovative machines.

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3/25/2024

Elderly Drivers: Maintaining Mobility and Safety Through Driver Improvement Courses

by Courtney Conley

Most adults appreciate the freedom and independence that driving affords them. It enables them to stay connected with loved ones, run errands, and engage in activities that enrich their lives. However, as we age, changes in our physical and cognitive abilities can impact our driving skills. This is where driver improvement courses for mature drivers come in handy. These courses can play a vital role in increasing road safety while helping mature drivers to drive safely for as long as possible.

How Aging Affects Driving

Age-related changes like losing vision, slower reflexes, and reduced flexibility can affect a mature driver’s ability to drive safely. Medications and underlying health conditions can also affect your driving skills. Some specific challenges mature drivers may face include:

  • Vision: Decreased vision, impaired night vision, and difficulty judging distances.
  • Hearing: Reduced ability to detect crucial traffic cues like sirens and horns.
  • Cognitive Decline: Slower reaction times and difficulty multitasking, making it more difficult to avoid hazards in time to avoid a collision.
  • Physical Limitations: Difficulty maneuvering the vehicle comfortably and safely due to reduced flexibility and strength.

How Mature Driver Improvement Courses Can Help

Taking a mature driver improvement course can benefit mature drivers in the following ways:

  • Enhanced Skills: Refreshing existing driving skills and introducing new defensive driving techniques.
  • Safer Driving: Reducing the risk of collisions for mature drivers by addressing age-related challenges.
  • Increased Awareness: Providing mature drivers with a better understanding of their abilities and limitations behind the wheel.
  • Insurance Discounts: Qualifying mature drivers for discounts on car insurance premiums upon course completion, depending on your insurance company.

Tips and Tricks for Mature Drivers

Here are some safety tips for mature drivers:

  • Regular Vision and Hearing Checks: Mature drivers should maintain good vision and hearing through regular checkups and corrective measures.
  • Family Communication: Have open conversations between family members and mature drivers about driving habits and support for alternative transportation options, and mature drivers recognizing when to limit driving or seek alternative transportation.
  • Doctor Involvement: Keep your medical team in the loop by having doctors assess a mature driver’s fitness to drive and recommend appropriate courses of action.

Mature driver improvement courses provide a valuable resource for mature drivers to maintain their mobility and safety on the road. By adapting to the changes that come along with age, these courses can help mature adults remain connected, independent, and safe on the roads.

Interested in learning more about traffic safety?

Are you looking for defensive driving and traffic school courses? Do you want a discount on your auto insurance? Do you know a teen who’s ready to take an online driver education course?

Safe2Drive is here to help! We offer convenient online courses for drivers of any age! Visit our website today to learn about the online courses we offer in your state.

Most adults appreciate the freedom and independence that driving affords them. It enables them to stay connected with loved ones, run errands, and engage in activities that enrich their lives. However, as we age, changes in our physical and cognitive abilities can impact our driving skills. This is where driver improvement courses for mature drivers come in handy. These courses can play a vital role in increasing road safety while helping mature drivers to drive safely for as long as possible.

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3/20/2024

Overcoming Traffic Violations: How Traffic School Can Help Clear Your Record

by Courtney Conley

Traffic school, sometimes called defensive driving, provides drivers with the opportunity to dismiss their ticket, potentially reduce fines, and remove points from their driver record, and hopefully get them back on the road as safer, more defensive drivers.

The Benefits of Traffic School

One of the main benefits of traffic school is a legal one: by completing a course, drivers may be eligible to have points removed from their driver record. This is a huge help for drivers who may have collected a lot of points on their record. Each state has a threshold for how many points you can accumulate before your license is suspended or even revoked.

Beyond point reduction, traffic school can save you heaps of money in the long run. If you take traffic school to dismiss a ticket or remove/hide points on your driving record, insurance companies won’t see them and can’t raise your rates because of them.

Additionally, traffic school can be a great way to freshen up your knowledge on safe driving practices. You’ll revisit the rules of the road, learn about new traffic laws, and gain insights into defensive driving techniques. This can help you avoid future violations and become a safer, more confident driver.

Can I take traffic school to dismiss my ticket or remove points from my record?

Whether or not you can take traffic school to dismiss a ticket or reduce points on your driving record depends on various factors, including the following:

  • What State You Live In or the Court That’s Dealing with Your Case: States have different rules on whether you can take a traffic school course to remove points or dismiss a ticket. Rules also differ from court to court. It’s best to check with your court and see if you’re eligible.
  • The Severity of the Violation: Often, you cannot take traffic school for major traffic violations such as a DUI. However, for things like minor speeding tickets, traffic school can be a great way to dismiss a ticket or reduce/hide points on your driving record and keep your insurance rates low if your state or court allow you to do so.
  • Whether You’ve Taken Traffic School Before: Some states limit the amount of times you can take traffic school to dismiss a ticket or have points removed from your driving record.

Traffic violations don’t have to define your driving record. By taking advantage of traffic school courses, you can get back on the road with a clear driving record and the confidence to keep it that way.

Interested in learning more about traffic safety?

Are you looking for defensive driving and traffic school courses? Do you want a discount on your auto insurance? Do you know a teen who’s ready to take an online driver education course?

Safe2Drive is here to help! We offer convenient online courses for drivers of any age! Visit our website today to learn about the online courses we offer in your state.

Traffic school, sometimes called defensive driving, provides drivers with the opportunity to dismiss their ticket, potentially reduce fines, and remove points from their driver record, and hopefully get them back on the road as safer, more defensive drivers.

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