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Distracted Driving – Not Just Your Cell Phone!

Dangerous Call

While distracted driving includes the use of cell phones, there are many other dangerous driving distractions.

In a web post (https://www.travelers.com/prepare-prevent/auto/distracted-driving/distracted-driving-statistics.aspx ), Travelers Insurance talks about the many distractions we face while driving.  The bottom line is that anything that takes your eyes off the road is a driving distraction.

Here is a list of some of the distractions and consequences mentioned in that article:

  • Cell phone use – Did you know during the average text your eyes are off the road the length of a football field? You are 23 times more likely to have an accident if you text while driving.
  • Eating – You are 2 times more likely to have an accident if you eat while driving.
  • Dropping a water bottle – Find a safe place and pull over to retrieve the water bottle. You are 9 times more likely to have an accident when you try to retrieve something.
  • Personal Grooming – Wait until you are in the parking lot. You are 3 times more likely to have an accident if groom yourself while driving.

There are many other distractions like reading, checking your GPS, changing the radio channel or CD, reviewing your IPod and looking at people in the back seat.

All of us need to be careful with driving distractions.  As summer approaches more teen drivers will be on the road.  Make sure you review the dangers of distracted driving with your family.  Driving is not the time to multi task.

For more tips for the parents of teen drivers check out our Teen Driver Website!

We are excited to announce our Re-Designed Website for the Parents of Teen Drivers

We are excited to announce our re-designed Spencer Insurance Teen Driver Website designed for the parents of Teen Drivers!
This Website is designed specifically to help the parents of teen drivers. I remember the highs and lows of teaching my four children to drive.  Actually my wife, Tammy did a much better job of teaching our children how to become safe drivers.  I wish we had the tools available to you when Tammy and I were teaching our four children to drive.
On the website we have many tools to help you:

Make sure you talk to us about reviewing your auto insurance policy to make sure you have the proper coverage now that you have teen drivers.  I would also recommend you purchase an umbrella policy.  Call us today at 215-885-2200for a review of your coverage!

Your friends at Spencer Insurance Agency, Inc.,

Teen Driver Lesson #4

Picking up the keys

Lesson 4

(Sometimes you have to go backward to go forward.)

Your teen feels comfortable behind the wheel and with the basic operation of the motor vehicle.  In order to demonstrate this skill, have your teen back the car out of the garage.  Many teens fear they will scrape the side of the garage while backing the car out because they are not truly comfortable with the vehicle dimensions.

Safety Tip:  Make sure the garage door is all the way up!

 

 

You are now ready to take your teen on the road and put to use some of the skills they have learned.  This lesson should be performed in a small neighborhood where there is minimal vehicle and foot traffic.

For the first time they may encounter another moving vehicle or a vehicle parked at the side of the road.  Try to remember the anxiety you felt the first time you approached an oncoming vehicle.  It is imperative the teen have a “feel” for the dimensions of their car.

Practice defensive driving.  Teach your teen to anticipate probable problem situations.  For example, scan the sides of the road for small children that may dart onto the road.   Anticipate that a parked car may suddenly pull out in front of you from the side of the road.

Turning is much different on the road from an empty parking lot.  Practice making turns at an intersection both from a stop and while moving.  Many teens struggle with gauging when to start turning, applying brake pressure and accelerating out of a turn.  Again, finish the lesson with your teen acting as the instructor.

Lesson #4

(Neighborhood with minimal traffic)

Orientation

(15 Minutes)

Grade

(A, B, C)

Comments, Praise   and

Areas of   Improvement

 

Review   Previous Lesson

   
 

Safety   Check

   
 

Discuss   Today’s Lesson

   

Driving Experience

( 1 Hour)

Grade

(A, B, C)

Comments, Praise   and

Areas of   Improvement

Introduce   New Skill:

Garage   Parking

   
 

Backing   Out of Garage

   
 

Parking   in Garage

   
 

Backing   Down Driveway

   
Introduce   New Skill:

Driving   in Neighborhood

   
Approaching   an Intersection    
 

Passing   a Parked Car

   
 

Oncoming   Car

   
 

Turning   a Corner

   

Review

(15 Minutes)

 

Comments, Praise   and

Areas of   Improvement

 

Garage   Parking

   
 

Neighborhood   Driving

   
 

Parking

   

Call us at 215-885-2200 for more tips for the Parents of Teen Drivers. Check out our Parent of Teen Driver Website.

 

 

Tools for the Parents of Teen Drivers – Lesson #3

Picking up the keys

Lesson #3

(Parking… and we don’t mean at the drive-in!)

Most new drivers are afraid to park the car because they are not comfortable judging the distance from their bumper to the other car.  If the braking exercises were effective in Lesson 2, your teen may be doubly apprehensive.  However, before they can venture onto the road, they must be comfortable with all the dimensions of the vehicle.

For this exercise practice all types of parking.

Safety Tip:  Begin your parking exercises by using empty plastic trash cans to designate the other vehicles.

 

Don’t forget to show your teen how to set (and take off) the parking brake when parking on a hill.

 

Lesson #3

(Parking Lot)

Orientation

(15 Minutes)

Grade

(A, B, C)

Comments, Praise   and

Areas of   Improvement

 

Review   Previous Lesson

   
 

Safety   Check

   
 

Discuss   Today’s Lesson

   

Driving Experience

( 1 Hour)

Grade

(A, B, C)

Comments, Praise   and

Areas of   Improvement

Introduce   New Skill:

Parking

   
 

Straight   In Parking

   
 

Angled   Parking

   
Parallel   Parking (Use Trash Cans as Cars)    
 

Parking   on a Hill

   
 

Practice   Backing

   

Review

(15 Minutes)

 

Comments, Praise   and

Areas of   Improvement

 

Parking

   
 

Scanning   the Road

   
 

Blind   Spot

   

 

 

Additional Comments:

 

 

Skills to review for next lesson:


Tools for the Parents of Teen Drivers – Lesson #1

Picking up the keys

Lesson #1

(Letting Go is hard to do!)

Safety Tip:  MAP or visually locate the POLES and other FIXED obstacles in the parking lot.  Locate pedestrians, bikers and boarders. DO not forget, you might be sharing the parking lot.

Start slowly by taking your teen to a deserted school or church parking lot.   The first day should be conducted under ideal driving conditions.  Find a place with wide open space and no traffic.  Limit their speed to no more than 15 mph.

Make sure your teen is comfortable accelerating, braking and turning.  The object of this lesson is for them to become comfortable behind the wheel and feel in control of the vehicle before driving on a public road.  It is imperative that you correct any improper use of technique before a habit can be formed.

This is a learning experience for your teen as well as for you, as an instructor.  Determine your teens’ skill level and observe how your teen learns.  One of the most common mistakes you can make as an instructor is to assume your teen is familiar with driving or the operation of the vehicle.

Safety Tip:  Driving instruction is NOT just while the teen drives. YOU should be engaging the teen driver while you drive (even the pre-teen).

Start the lesson with you acting as the instructor and end the lesson with your teen acting as the instructor.  One of the best ways to learn a subject is to teach the subject.  By reversing roles, your teen will be demonstrating their full comprehension of the lesson.

This lesson may need to be repeated several times before both of you are comfortable venturing onto a public road.   There is no need to rush this phase of the process.  Make sure your teen is comfortable behind the wheel before moving on to the next set of skills.

   Safety Tip:  Use games to teach your teen about driving.  For example:

  1. Spot the loser – Identify the worst driver on the road.  Have your teen explain the errors the driver is making.
  2. Count the errors – See how many errors you can see other drivers make.
  3. Predict the move – try to predict the next move of the other vehicles on the road.

Your teen is and HAS BEEN thinking driving is easy. They do NOT know all the decisions you make as you drive down the road.  Don’t just tell them; tell them WHILE you are processing the decisions.

 

Lesson #1

(Parking Lot)

Orientation

(15 Minutes)

Grade

(A, B, C)

Comments, Praise and

Areas of Improvement

 

Vehicle Safety Check

   
 

Adjust Seat & Mirrors

   
Review Vehicle Controls & Gauges    

Driving Experience

( 1 Hour)

Grade

(A, B, C)

Comments, Praise and

Areas of Improvement

 

Starting the Engine

   
Engaging the Transmission    
 

Use of Mirrors

   
 

Moving Forward

   
 

Acceleration

   
 

Braking

   
 

Stopping Distance

   
 

Turning

   
 

Orientation on the Road

   

Review

(15 Minutes)

 

Comments, Praise and

Areas of Improvement

 

Stopping Distances

   
 

Orientation on the Road

   
Scanning the Road (Anticipating Problems)    
 

Good Points

   

 

Additional Comments:

 

Skills to review for next lesson:


Tuesday’s Teen Driver Tip: What car should you buy or give to your teen driver?

Picking up the keys

In case you’re planning to buy your teen a car for Christmas this year, or you’re
trying to decide which of your existing cars might be the best one for her to drive,
recognize that the car that provides the greatest amount of safety should be your
first choice.

To determine which vehicles avoid and withstand crashes best rely on the Top
Safety Picks from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).  This nonprofit
organization, which is funded by auto insurers, tests and rates the safety of vehicles
based on their performance during several critical tests.

Now the IIHS is not the organization that provides the safety rating on a car’s
window sticker where you also see fuel ratings, list of features and price.  Those
ratings are provided by a federal agency, the National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration (NHTSA).  So you can’t rely on that data to determine which cars
earned the Top Safety Pick and Top Safety Pick + rating which was introduced
in 2013 to recognize models with the best crash protection.  Go here to get a
complete list of the 2013 Top Safety Picks  and Top Safety Picks + winners by
type/size.

If you’re looking for a 2014 model, those safety picks will be announced in December;
so watch for updates.  See Officer Poer’s article below for more details on what it
takes to achieve these designations.

Thank you for doing everything you can to promote teen driver safety.

Wishing you safe and happy holidays!

Charlie

PS Please feel free to call our office at 215-885-2200 to get more information on how to teach your teen to be a safe driver.

Tuesday’s Tip for Parents of Teen Drivers

Picking up the keys

It is important for the parents of teen drivers to have an ongoing discussion with their teenage driver about the importance of teen driver safety. Coming up with strategies to assist your teen driver is a big task.  However, we can help you.

We have several tools for you to help with teen driver safety and teen driver education. One of our best is the “Teenager-Parent Driving Contract” and the “Family Driving Rules & Consequences.”  Both of these documents are related to each other.

Driving is a privilege not a right.  This should be drilled into your teen driver.  This is State law and should also be the law in your household.  You can take the keys away from your teen driver if necessary.

By reviewing the Teenager-Parent Driving Contract and the Family Driving Rules & Consequences both you and your teen will have an understanding of their responsibilities when driving and the consequences should they not follow the rules.

Get a copy of these documents from our website or call us at 215-885-2200  and we will be glad to send you a copy.  Feel free to edit and make changes to these documents so they fit your household.

The least that is accomplished through this process is that you and your teen driver will have no questions about the consequences of unsafe driving.  There will be no surprises when consequences are handed out.  Hopefully, the process will have your teen driver review safe driving tips that could help avoid a costly accident and protect your child. Call us to find out other ways we can assist you when discussing Teen Driver Safety.

Share with ideas you used while training your teen driver.  Comment below.

Help your local Home and School Association, PTA or PTO win $500 and win $250 for yourself

school-busWin $500 . . .

for your favorite PTO, PTA or Home and School Association!

Do you want an extra $250 to help with your Holiday Shopping? Everyone who votes gets a chance for a $250 Gift Card!

Vote for your favorite Parent/Teacher Association (PTA), Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) or Home and School Association (H&SA) and help them win $500.

enter_now_carlyOr go to our Contest Page

Spencer Insurance Agency will donate $500 to the PTA, PTO or H&SA that receives the most votes.  All those who vote will have a chance to win a $250 Gift Card.  Spread the word to your friends and family to vote for their favorite Home and School Association. Share this contest with your PTO, PTA or H&SA members. Spencer Insurance Agency believes that parent support of our schools is a key to their success and wants to show their support by rewarding an active PTO, PTA, or H&SA.

Rules: By voting, you agree to the following rules:

  1. Contest period starts October 25, 2013 and ends December 6, 2013.
  2. Your PTO, PTA or H&SA must be located in Pennsylvania, New Jersey or Delaware.
  3. The PTO, PTA or H&SA that receives the most votes during the contest period will receive $500.
  4. You can only vote one time.
  5. Each person who votes will have their name entered into a drawing for a $250 Gift Card.
  6. Winning organization and the  winner of the $250 Gift card agree to have their photo taken with  employees of Spencer Insurance Agency and used in Spencer Insurance Agency’s Marketing.
  7. All decisions made by Spencer  Insurance are final.

Good Luck!
ps_lisaSpread the word to your friends by sharing this post.

NHTSA unveils “5 to Drive” Teen Safety Campaign

This is Teen Driver Safety Week.  The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) unveiled a new campaign that challenges parents to discuss five critical driving practices with their teenage drivers that can have the greatest beneficial impacts in the event of a crash.

The “5 to Drive” campaign encourages parents to visit here and discuss with their teens
one safety topic each day during national teen driver safety week. The “5 to Drive” campaign topics are:

  1. No      cell phone use or texting while driving,
  2. No      extra passengers,
  3. No      speeding,
  4. No      alcohol, and
  5. No      driving or riding without a seat belt.

The objective of the campaign is to counteract poor driving decisions that have contributed to the high death rate among teen drivers.  Visit their website to help you start the discussion with your teen drivers.  Their life could depend on it!

Remember, our teens learn by our example.  Make sure you are setting a good example by following these 5 topics yourself.

For more tips for the parents of teen drivers go to our website and click     teen-driver                    .

Tips for Parents of Teen Driver

This week is Teen Driver Safety Week.  Here are some tips for Parents of Teen drivers.

Here is some great advice form Flaura Winston, MD, PhD about why Postitive Reinforcement from parents if far more effective than scare tactics in teaching teens to drive.  Listen to her from National Public Radio’s Morning Edition.

Check out our website and click theteen-driver for more tips for the parents of teen drivers. Get information on Teen Driver Safety, Teen Driver News and Tips for parents of teen drivers.