Author - Kruller001

Sharing The Road: Young Drivers & Big Trucks

What Young Drivers Should Know About Big Trucks

With winter just around the corner, many young drivers will experience cold weather road conditions for the first time; add large trucks to the mix, and odds are you’ll see a great increase in accidents that occur. Even if a truck driver receives the best CDL training possible, they are still relying on all of the young drivers around them to be aware of big trucks.  As a former truck driver, I know that 9 in 10 fatal truck crashes happen when smaller passenger vehicles are involved. If you’re new to driving, or just need a refresher course, here are the 4 B’s that drivers of all ages can keep in mind when sharing the road with large trucks.

Be Predictable

big-trucks2When driving a massive vehicle, operators need more time and space to react to anything happening out on the road. Others can make the roads safer by making sure their moves are steady and predictable. This is especially true when drivers need to pass through a blind spot.

• Always maintain a constant speed while driving around large trucks. When you enter a blind spot, maintain your speed and be visible and predictable.

• Change directions slowly and deliberately. Do not weave in and out of lanes. Driving a truck requires enough focus without having to keep track of erratic drivers.

• Signal plenty of time before making moves in traffic. This gives everyone else time to react to your change in lane or direction.

Be Alert!

Being alert while you’re behind the wheel is an absolute must. Fatal traffic accidents claim countless lives every year, and if you’re frequently inattentive when you drive, you’re only contributing to the problem. Rather than concerning yourself with your phone or your stereo, try focusing on what’s happening in front of you; it can save lives.

• Don’t text (or talk) and drive. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 21 percent of fatal car crashes, involving drivers ages 15-19, were due to cell phone distractions.

• Don’t be a Rubbernecker! This occurs when something of interest catches your eye and you whip your head around to see more. This causes immediate loss of focus on the road. Also, when you turn your head, your hands instinctively turn in that direction which could cause you to drift out of your lane.

• Keep in mind that there are many other ways to be distracted by influences in and out of the car, especially if you are getting up early in the morning to drive to school.

Be Considerate

This one may seem obvious, but often forgotten when tempers flare on the roads. Just remember that everyone needs to get somewhere; that’s why you’re all driving in the first place. Big trucks are not on the road solely to make your life more difficult.

Driving on our roadways requires a lot of trust, and the only way we can establish that with each other is by working together and being respectful of one another’s boundaries. Reading this article means that you have taken a great first step in ensuring your own, and everyone else’s safety.

Just remember: Keep your mind in the car, while keeping your eyes and tires on the road!


Teen Driver Safety: Seat Belt Use

fotolia_54469064_subscription_monthly_m-300x199Out of any driving demographics, teen drivers are the least likely to buckle up. This despite having the highest accident rate out of any other driving demographic per 100,000 drivers…

5 Steps to Getting Your Drivers License

slider-1Getting your driver’s license is pretty straightforward. Here’s an outline of the top 5 steps to getting your license so you’re all prepared to get in the driver’s seat.

big-trucks2Young Drivers and Big Trucks

Sharing the Road: Young Drivers and Big Trucks: What Young Drivers Should Know About Big Trucks

For Teens: The Top 5 Steps For Teens to Get their License

Getting your driver’s license is pretty straightforward. Here’s an outline of the top 5 steps to getting your license so you’re all prepared to get in the driver’s seat.

Step 1: Take a Driver’s Ed Course
Your Driver’s Ed course provides the foundation for your driver training. It sets you up with the knowledge you need to be fully prepared behind the wheel. In many states, like Maryland, you need to be at least 15 years old to enroll in one of these courses.

• Remember to hang on to your Certificate of Completion. You will need this document to prove you successfully completed your course.

Step 2: Complete Behind-the-Wheel Training
The next step to getting your license is taking Behind-the-Wheel instruction. This is the practical portion of your driver training, and you must complete a minimum amount of hours with a driving instructor as specified by your state.

• Some states allow you to enroll in Behind-the-Wheel classes while you are taking Driver’s Ed; other states require you to finish Driver’s Ed first. Be sure you know the rules where you live.

• Be alert at all times, and listen to your instructor. Their guidance will help you improve your skills and be the best driver you can be.


Step 3: Get Your Learner’s Permit
Once you’ve made it through your driver’s education course and your Behind-the-Wheel training, you’re ready to take another step to getting your license and apply for your learner’s permit! But before you get it, you’ll have to pass both a knowledge test and a vision test.

• Study your driver handbook. It contains information that will be on your written test, and will refresh your memory on all those laws and traffic sign meanings you learned back in Driver’s Ed.
• Bring the correct forms with you when you apply. You’ll need:
• Birth certificate/proof of birth or legal presence
• Proof of U.S. citizenship
• Proof of your full name
• Social Security Number
• Certificate of Completion from your driving school
• Behind-the-Wheel completion form

Step 4: Get Plenty of Practice
Once you’ve got your learner’s permit in hand, you can begin behind-the-wheel practice with a supervising adult, such as a parent.

• While there is a set number of practice hours (60hrs in Maryland) you need to log to get your driver’s license, strive to go above and beyond this number. Practice makes perfect, and you’ll sharpen your skills by getting in extra drive time.
• Pay attention to things that happen on the road even when you aren’t the one behind the wheel. Consider how you would react to different situations, and treat any time in the car, even as a passenger, as valuable learning time.

Step 5: Apply for Your Driver’s License!

This is the final step! In order to obtain your driver’s license, you need to pass a driving test.
• Always stay calm. Though your driving test can be a nerve-wracking experience, you’ll think much more clearly if you take a few deep breaths before you begin and remain calm during your exam.
• Have the right paperwork with you. Remember that you are not only taking your road test, but applying for your driver’s license too. Show up to the testing center with:

• Proof of Driver’s Ed and Behind-the-Wheel Training completion
• Your learner’s permit, signed by a parent/guardian
• Valid vehicle registration
• Proof of insurance
• Proof of your birth date/legal presence
• Proof of your full name
• Your Social Security Number

Once you’ve passed your test and turned in the proper forms, you can call yourself a licensed driver! You will be issued a temporary driver’s license before receiving your regular license in the mail. Congratulations, and remember to always drive safely!

Teen Driver Safety: Seat Belt Use

The facts don’t talk, they shout:

 1. Out of any driving demographic, teen drivers are the least likely to buckle up. This despite having the highest accident rate out of any other driving demographic per 100,000 drivers.
2. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for 15 to 20 year olds in the United States. The majority of these deaths involve unbuckled teens, drivers, and passengers.
3. Use of a seat belt is the single most effective means of reducing fatal and non-fatal injuries in motor vehicle accidents.
4. When employed, seat belts reduce the risk of fatal injury to front seat passengers by 45%.

Yet, despite these alarming statistics, teens continue to ignore the grim facts after they get a driver’s license or driver’s permit. According to a research poll taken by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, teens cited seat belts as being “potentially harmful” as their main reason not wearing them.

To improve awareness, all states across the country have been ramping up seat belt laws.
Seat Belt Safety Laws Aimed at Teen Drivers

To date:

buckle-upThere are 32 states, including the District of Columbia, have primary seat belt laws. This means law enforcement can pull you over for not wearing a seat belt. The fines vary, ranging from $10 in Wisconsin to $120 in Connecticut.

There are 17 states have secondary seat belt laws. This means law enforcement cannot specifically pull you over for being unbuckled. There must be another reason (broken headlight, speeding, etc., etc.) before you can be ticketed for not wearing a seat belt. Some of these states, however, make it a primary offense for teen drivers. The fines for secondary offenses range from $10 in Arizona to $71 in Colorado.

In some states, a primary or secondary offense is determined by whether an unbuckled passenger is sitting in the front seat or back seat. New Hampshire is the lone state without a seat belt law for teens.

Seat belt laws prove effective. According to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) teens who reside in states with primary seat belt laws are 12% more likely to buckle up when driving, and 15% more likely when riding as passengers.