Space Cushioning

September 8th, 2014 | Posted by Billie R in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Space Cushioning)

Almost all rear-end collisions are avoidable if you maintain a safe distance between you and the cars around you. The consequences of such an accident could include increase in your insurance rates, responsibility for the expense of the damages, the time that this will take to get this handled, not to mention the aggravation.

All too often we see vehicles following too closely on our local roads. If cars maintain a safe following distance, however, the number of rear-end accidents would drop. It’s just a matter of keeping in mind 3 things: following distance, reaction time, and stopping distance. An appropriate following distance allows for a good reaction time, which makes for safer stopping distance.

A good way to calculate following distance is to find a fixed object on the road ahead or an overpass on a highway, then when the back tires of the car ahead of you clear it, you count 3 seconds, by then you should be crossing the same spot. Making sure there are 3 seconds between you and the car ahead should give you enough reaction time and stopping distance to respond to problems in the lane ahead of you. In inclement weather you’ll want to add a couple of seconds.

Reaction distance is the amount distance traveled from moment you notice you need to stop, to moving your foot to the brake. Traveling too closely, you will not allow you to apply the brake in a timely manner, consequently your stopping distance is shortened.

Stopping distance is the distance you needed to stop the car completely. No matter how good a driver you are, without enough room to stop, you’ll most likely make contact with the car ahead.

Maintaining a safe following distance also allows you to look ahead (instead of at the rear lights of the car in front). This enables you to pan and scan for possible hazards farther ahead. It also gives you the freedom to begin to brake sooner, communicating to the car behind you, thus, allowing them to prepare to stop from farther away. This will help you to not get hit from the back. The cushion created between you and the cars around you could be the difference between having a collision or not.

Applying for a Driver’s License

February 23rd, 2014 | Posted by Billie R in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Applying for a Driver’s License)

So your teen has turned 15 and 6 months and wants to drive. What to do now. The truth is that since every family is different, each will decide whether or not their child is ready to handle the responsibility at any age. But when the family has decided to begin the process we find many do not understand the steps, so we are going to lay them out for you.

A teen under the age of 18 years will be obtaining a Graduated Driver’s License. This means that there are certain requirements and restrictions associated with their driving privileges. An applicant for a graduated license must first obtain a Learner’s Permit. This is done by preparing for and passing a written test. Study the Driver’s Manual and when they feel ready, we encourage them to take some quizzes online to get a feel for the type of questions they will be asked. Next, they need to go to the MVD office with a parent or legal guardian who will sign the application. This person assumes legal responsibility for driving conduct of minor and needs to be the same person who will also sign again when applying for driver’s license. They will pay he fee and present the necessary identification documents, which are listed in Driver’s Manual and on MVD’s website.  Don’t worry you have 3 attempts in 1 year to pass. More than that, you simply pay the fee again. After you pass the test and pay the fee, they will take your picture and issue the permit that day.

Now it’s time for driver’s training. While holding a Learner’s Permit, a minor must accumulate a minimum of 30 hours of supervised, behind the wheel practice, 10 hours of which must be at night. This practice may be done with a driving school, or an adult 21 years or older licensed driver who must sit in the front seat, or a combination of both. Teens may not apply for their license until they have held the permit a minimum of 6 months. The Learner’s Permit is valid for 1 year and can be renewed without re-taking the test if renewed before it expires. I say this to take the pressure off the parent and give the new driver enough time to feel they are ready to handle the serious responsibility of driving independently.

Once they’re ready, the applicant goes to the MVD, with the same person who signed the Permit application, to take the behind the wheel driving test. The supervising adult will sign an affidavit indicating that the applicant has met the minimum requirements. If they pass, the minor is issued his Graduated Driver’s License. This license is issued with restrictions for the first 6 months. They are listed in the Driver’s Manual.

Well, there you have it. Don’t forget we offer behind the wheel, driver’s training. We hope this information is helpful. As always, if you found this article helpful, leave us a note on out contact form or facebook page, thanks. Next month we will be offering tips for practicing with your teen. See you then!

 

 

 

Holiday Driving Tips

November 21st, 2013 | Posted by Billie R in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Holiday Driving Tips)

 

AAA projects 43.4 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home for the Thanksgiving. The estimated average total travel by automobile being 601 roundtrip, for the whole weekend.* (AAA 2013 Thanksgiving Holiday Travel Forecast, November 20, 2013)

 You don’t need to be bombarded by statistics to remind you that the Holidays bring with them cheer as well as challenges. Crowded airports, crowded restaurants, crowded homes and, of course, crowded roads. We’d like to offer some driving tips that could help to keep the joy in the journey through this special time of year.

 

  • Drive with purpose.   No one wants to feel as if they have wasted time, especially around the Holidays. So make a list of the places you need to go and then prioritize them. This way you’ll not be racing from one end of town to the other multiple times because you forgot something (or someone) on your list.
  • Drive without distractions.   This time of year there are many things to distract you outside of your car. Why add to them by having distractions inside the car? Give yourself a break and set the phone aside while driving. There’s a great 99 cent app out there that allows your phone to send an automated response when you want people to know you’ll contact them back later. It allows certain numbers to be answered (in case you’re on-call). Check it out here: http://www.drivereply.net/
  • Drive predictably.    Believe it or not, some folks just get so wrapped up in what they are thinking or doing that they simply forget to communicate to the cars around them. Be sure to use your blinkers, and to shut them off when you’re not using them. Show your intention when you want to change lanes, turn left or right onto a street, or into a driveway. Drive the posted speed limit, cars around you expect you to do so. Stop at the correct place on the road, not in a crosswalk. At the yellow lights, stop if it safe to do so. Don’t try to “beat them”.
  • Drive courteously.    Follow at a safe distance using the 3-second rule. Don’t tailgate. Share the road, pick a lane and stay there. Don’t zig-zag. Remember to give the right of way when appropriate, and to go when it’s your turn to do so. Pay attention when at a signal. Don’t be the person who holds back the rest of the cars because you weren’t watching for the light to change.
  • Drive defensively.    Always fasten your seatbelt. Be sure your car is in good running order before travelling. Scan the roads for possible hazards. If you see a car weaving ahead of you, avoid them. Turn your headlights on when the sun begins to set. Get out of the way of aggressive drivers. Keep an emergency road kit in your car.
  • Never drink and drive.    Need we say anything more?????

These holiday driving tips are intended to help you to reduce the risks while on the road. We want to help you to be safe when you get behind the wheel. We hope you’ll join us in our effort to make the roads safer one driver at a time.

Seniors, Driving and Choices

October 16th, 2013 | Posted by Billie R in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Seniors, Driving and Choices)

To many people driving is symbol of true independence, which began in the teen years. As time goes by, however, the effects of aging may influence the ability to maintain the skills needed to remain safely behind the wheel. It’s important to remember that when you’re driving, you have others around you who may affected by the sharpness of those skills. Vision, hearing, flexibility, reflexes, and the effects of certain medications, change as people age.

Here are some things for mature drivers and their loved ones to consider when discussing if it’s time to stop driving.

  1.  It is important to realize limitations when it comes to safe driving. AAA provides a couple of great evaluation tools for this. Check the possible effects of medications on the ability to drive at: http://www.roadwiserx.com/index.aspx
  2. They also offer self-rated evaluations which check to see if you are engaging in any risky behaviors while driving.
  3. A licensed professional driving school could also provide you with an in-car evaluation of driving skills.
  4. There are clinical assessments that can be done by trained specialists to identify medical causes of driving challenges.

Discuss the results of assessments in an open and honest way. If in any way you feel you are unsafe to continue doing so, please choose to not drive.

If you have decided to continue, remember that driving involves the mind and body working together, and both should be kept healthy. Consider these additional tips to help you be safe.

  1. Get regular physical check-ups, including vision and hearing checks.
  2. Plan your route ahead of time, so you don’t have to make last minute decisions. Don’t use freeways when you feel they are confusing or too fast moving. Find alternate routes using surface roads. Keep focused, look for trouble before you reach it. Listen for objects which may not be immediately noticeable.
  3. Leave a greater distance between you and the car on front of you, which will allow for more time to stop.
  4. Read all prescription bottles, if there is a warning against driving while using the medication let someone else drive, or use public transportation.

Buying a Car for a Teenager

August 4th, 2013 | Posted by Billie R in Chandler Driving School - (Comments Off on Buying a Car for a Teenager)
  • They’ve successfully completed a professional (in car) driving course. ✔
  • They’ve demonstrated good decision-making skills, when making “real life” choices. ✔
  • They take the responsibilities of being an independent driver, seriously. ✔
  • They’ve completed the 30 hours required by M.V.D. (and then some we hope). ✔
  • Now they are asking about (enter sound of screeching tires here) having a car of their own.

The prospect of releasing responsibility of being the taxi, for your teen, can be bittersweet. The idea of buying a car for your teenager, can bring back the memories of watching them peddle down the sidewalk on their first, solo, two-wheel bike ride. You might think back to how you gradually worked them up to it, by starting them off riding a tricycle. Next, they used training wheels for a time, and when your child was well prepared, you removed them.Your family established certain safety rules, such as wearing a helmet, boundaries of travel, and about being able to be in communication. You even taught them how to keep their bike in good working condition.

These same principles apply when buying a car for a teenager. Look at it this way. If you have decided that they are ready, then you just need to tweak the safety rules to apply to driving. Let’s face it, haven’t you been gradually been doing this all along? Just as you did their bike, you need to know how to pick the most appropriate vehicle for them. Here is what is recommended.

Safety is essential.

  • Anti-lock brake system (ABS): Readily available, anti-lock brakes prevent the wheels from stopping completely during hard braking. Because the wheels don’t lock up, even during emergency braking on slippery surfaces, they enable the driver to retain steering control.
  • Electronic stability control (ESC): This feature prevents a car from rotating, such as when going through a turn a bit too fast for the conditions. ESC can be especially welcome in bad weather. All new cars and light-duty trucks are now equipped with ESC. On older cars, ESC may have been optional. Make sure the specific used car you’re buying, has it (if buying used).
  • Head-protecting side air bags: Side and side-curtain air bags have been shown to provide real protection in a side impact.
  • Adjustable/Lockable head restraints: Adjusted properly, they offer protection against whiplash.

Consider crash worthiness:

You’ll want to consider crash test results for the vehicle. IIHS’s annual “Top Safety Picks” list reflects its most recommended choices, and to qualify, models must receive a “Good” rating in all crash tests. With NHTSA ratings, parents should select vehicles with five-star (or mostly five-star) crash test scores.For more information visit either of these sites. http://www.iihs.org/ratings/ or http://www.safercar.gov/Safety+Ratings         OR       http://www.safercar.gov/Safety+Ratings

Just enough speed:

This means, find a car that will not tempt your teen to speed. V-8s have more power than a new independent driver needs. Most have learned on a V6, and know how to control the car with that much power. There are some good recommended V4s out there if you really want to limit the lead footed driver.

Size does matter:

Midsize vehicles are best because of their ideal mix of crash protection and maneuverability. “Big cars are too hard to handle, and small are too vulnerable, so we prefer midsize,” says Automobile Club of Southern California research manager Steve Mazor. AAA recommends that parents avoid SUVs when shopping for teen drivers, saying that the vehicles are “more prone to roll over in extreme driving conditions.” Still, the organization concedes that newer models are safer than older ones, because they offer stability control. If you think you need the roominess of an SUV, AAA recommends that parents purchase a newer model. These days the cross-over SUV’s offer some good selections.

Used or new:

Keeping standards in mind, it is not impossible to find a reasonably priced used car, one that’s safe and in good shape. Consumer Reports recently released their list of “The Best Used Cars for Teens”. They want to remind you that you should check their crash test results. You can check out the list on the site below. http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/2012/07/best-used-cars-for-teens/index.htm

Reliability goes with responsibility:

It’s ok to compromise on some things, but not on general upkeep. All vehicle owners should know how to do routine maintenance like changing a tire, how to check tire pressure, checking fluids, and even know how to wash it correctly. They should have an emergency road kit in the car, and know how to use it too. No matter if you decide on a new or gently used car, the better maintained, the lower the risk that it will breakdown on the road. It will also last longer, saving money on repairs.

When it’s all said and done and the car is parked in the driveway, we want to remind you to have a discussion about safety and responsibility. If you don’t already have one, establish a “Parent-Teen Driving Contract”. If you want, we have some here at the driving school. Call, we will be happy to get it to you.

Remember, adequate driver’s training is an essential first step in instilling safe driving habits. If they haven’t checked that off the list yet, call us. We are here to create safer roads, one new driver at a time. Buying a car for a teenager is the next step in their growing independence. When you and your teen know what to look for, the process will be a smoother and more enjoyable one.

Please leave your comments on our Facebook page, we’d love to hear from you!

Your Independence Day

July 3rd, 2013 | Posted by Billie R in Chandler Driving School - (Comments Off on Your Independence Day)

Fourth of July has long been the day to commemorate not only the official decision to end our dependence on the British, but the plan to do it and the execution of that plan. This year will be no exception. Most folks will celebrate the day barbecuing, picnicking, going to concerts or a ball game, and of course, watching fireworks.

For many people, driving is a milestone in their personal growth. This is an activity that helps to solidify a person’s sense of independence.

I remember as a teen having to depend on others for a ride to certain activities. Whether or not I could attend, was usually decided by whether or not I could find a ride. There were certain places my parents would not drive me to, and other places where I didn’t want them to drive me. The bus, my bike, and my friends with licenses, were my “go to’s” for transportation. My parents believed we needed to be 17, and have adequate and professional driver’s training before allowing us to apply for a driver’s license.

As a young adult, if you’re not driving yet, that feeling can be just as tough. Depending on others to get you around, just doesn’t feel right when you hit a certain age. Many still don’t have a license because their life is too busy to take driving lessons. In our society where everyone seems to be going and coming at all times of the day, it’s difficult to imagine life without a driver’s license.

If it’s time for you to end your dependence on others to get you around, make the decision to drive, make the plan to take driving lessons, and execute that plan! We can help you gain your personal independence this year.  We offer driver’s training when the student is available, because we know how busy most people are. Call us soon, and next Fourth of July you’ll be celebrating Independence Day with a new sense of freedom!

Driving tips for Monsoon Season

June 17th, 2013 | Posted by Billie R in Chandler Driving School - (Comments Off on Driving tips for Monsoon Season)

The monsoon season of 2012 was filled with extreme weather.

Because driver safety is always the main concern here at Chandler Driving School, we’d like to remind you that it’s just about that time of year again.

Dust storms normally occur between May and September. They only last a short time, and usually come with little warning. Avoid driving through or into a dust storm. The Arizona Department of Transportation recommends the following tips if you do encounter one.

  1. Completely pull off the paved portion of the road. If on a freeway, get off at nearest exit if possible. Do not stop in a travel lane.

  2. When pulled over, turn off your lights, set emergency brake, and keep foot off brake pedal. This avoids misleading a moving vehicle into thinking they are following a path of travel, and possibly colliding with the stopped vehicle.

  3. Remain in the vehicle with your seatbelt buckled. Stay alert.

  4. Be aware that rain frequently follows a dust storm, so be aware of road conditions when returning to the pavement.

Monsoon season, which usually goes from late June through September, brings brief, but more intense storms. Did you know it supplies almost one-third of the annual rainfall in Maricopa County? Our professional driving school and ADOT suggest following these suggestions.

  1. Be sure tires are inflated to the correct air pressure. Also, check for correct tread depth. This can help prevent skids and hydroplaning.

  2. Turn on your headlights. This makes it easier for other motorists to see you.

  3. Accelerate slowly to get the best traction from your tires.

  4. At the beginning of the rainy season the grime and oils are being picked up and mixed with the water, the roads can be very slick, so drive a bit slower than normal.

  5. Make sure your wipers are in good working condition. Use your defroster to keep your windows clear.

  6. Allow extra space between you and the traffic ahead.

  7. If a large puddle is up ahead, go around it if at all possible. You don’t know if there is a hole under there!

  8. Do not drive through fast-moving water. This may cause you and your vehicle to be swept away. Remember the possible consequences of the “stupid motorist law”. It could cost you up to $2,000.00.

  9. If you have driven through standing water which was high enough to wet your brakes, gently apply them after you get out.

  10. Avoid panic braking by being alert to your surroundings.

  11. Use short, gradual steering movements, to change lanes and steer around traffic hazards.

At Chandler Driving School we want to make you aware of ways to drive safely on today’s roads.

Six Habits for driving SAFELY

June 11th, 2013 | Posted by Billie R in Chandler Driving School | Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Six Habits for driving SAFELY)

Six Habits for driving S.A.F.E.L.Y.

There is a lot involved in driving a motor vehicle on our Arizona roadways. A complete driver’s education consists of not only knowing the road rules, but also having Behind the Wheel driver’s training. After the education is completed, and with license in hand (or wallet), there are six good habits to always follow to increase your driving safety. We here at Chandler Driving School recommend:

S          Speed control. No speeding, drive the appropriate speed for the situation. abide by the posted speed limit.

A         Anticipate what other drivers might do, or are about to do. Also, anticipate what you may need to do in a given situation.

F          Following distance. Allow a 3 second following distance. This increases your view of potential hazards and gives you more time to  react in a bad situation.

E          Eyes on the road. Don’t let yourself be distracted by things such as cell phones, other passengers, etc.. Roadway conditions will change in an instant.

L          Look twice when yielding to oncoming traffic or pedestrians, and when changing lanes.

Y          Yellow traffic signal means stop if you can do so safely. When approaching a yellow light don’t ask yourself “can I make it” but ask “can I stop safely” .

At Chandler Driving School, we believe these six habits will greatly increase your driver safety and make getting behind the wheel a more enjoyable experience.

If you’re not driving yet, what are you waiting for? Call us to register for your driving course. Our staff is happy to answer your questions about driver’s training today!

Summer Time is Here!

May 31st, 2013 | Posted by Billie R in Chandler Driving School | Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Summer Time is Here!)

As the weather turns to 3 digits, talk about graduation events begins, and shorts become the uniform of the day, we all know what is around the corner. Summer!

Parents begin to plan what the family will do to fill the months that lie ahead. Will it be hanging out around the pool, take a family vacation, a staycation, entertaining relatives, or staying at the beach for a week or 2? Maybe we will take our teens  to visit college campuses to which they may want to apply?

As the school year ends, have you considered continued learning? Maybe summer school is an option. Online classes are a good way to stay on top of the G.P.A. Studying and/or tutoring for S.A.T. exams. Or maybe taking a class simply for just enjoyment like ceramics, or dance, or swimming, or any number of other recreational activities sounds good.

Summer is a perfect time for teens to study the Arizona Driver’s License Manual. A bit of time each day to study and understand the rules and responsibilities of being an independent driver, is all that’s usually needed. When you feel you have a good understanding, then take a couple of practice quizzes. They can be found, free, on line. When you are confident, take your identification documents to the M.V.D. and take the written test. When you pass, your Learner’s License will be issued that day. Now you are ready to get behind the wheel!  Or, if the student already has their Learner’s Permit, to give them some driving lessons.

That’s where we can help. With a valid Learner’s License (Permit), we can put a brand new student in our car and begin the process of teaching them to drive. With the help of our professional driving instructors, new students advance through 5 days of training, 2 hours each day. Beginning with basic understanding how a vehicle should be handled, through a number of maneuvers and techniques that will be applied throughout a driver’s lifetime. We teach driver’s how to apply the rules of the road to everyday driving. This course is designed to enable a new driver to continue practicing on their own until they are ready to apply for their permanent Driver’s License. Beginners who have some experience can register for the 6-hour course, designed specially for them.Remember that teens are required to have completed a minimum of 30 hours of supervised driving, 10 hours which are to be at night. They must also have held their Learner’s License no less than 6 months.

Our Professional Driving School is here ready and able to serve your family’s needs. Call us for more information.

National Distracted Driving Awareness Month

April 4th, 2013 | Posted by Karen Cummings in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on National Distracted Driving Awareness Month)

April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Be a part of the solution to this ever growing problem.

NDDAM
According to the preliminary data provided by GHSA (Governor’s Highway Safety Association), the number of teens involved in car accidents is expected to increase this year. This would make 2012 the second year in a row that the numbers have gone up. There are ways, however, to promote safe driving practices.

 
Safe driving practices are the responsibility of all drivers. This includes everyone from the novice who is just learning, to the beginner who just got their driver’s license, to the most experienced.

 
When it comes to teens driving, we recommend a parent/teen contract be used the day a new driver earns their driver’s license. This agreement would help to lay out the rules, so that there are no questions about what is expected, and what the consequences are for not staying within the family rules. The contract we give our driving families includes things like seat belts, texting, alcohol use, passengers, and curfews.

 
Be a good example by not turning on the car until everyone has “clicked” in their seatbelt. Also, never use your cell phone when driving. Remember that your family will, most likely, learn from your example.

 
Bring up safe driving topics at dinner, or other quiet times when the family is together. Remind them that there are natural consequences to not obeying the law and that you understand that there are a lot of other things that their mind might be on, but that safety has to be a priority when they get behind the wheel, because you love them.

 
Remind your teen that nothing texted can be worth risking their safety, and the safety of the others on the road. The job at hand is to get from point A to point B. A good practice is to leave the phone in the glove box, or back seat. Have them let their friends know that they will be out of reach until they have completed their journey. Remind your teen that their friends will understand, because they probably care about them too.

 
Finally, reinforce good choices. Acknowledgement goes a long way. Simply saying “thank you for not using your cell phone”, when the driver has a choice to answer a call or a text, may be just the reminder that they need. For more details and statistics, please visit: www.distraction.gov

 

Please join us in putting an end to distracted driving, by spreading the word that “One text or call could wreck it all”.

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