DRIVING: Tips On Road Safety #MyCarDoesWhat4Me
“At the end of the day, the goals are simple: safety and security.” Jodi Rell
Welcome to MyCarDoesWhat.org
MyCarDoesWhat is a national campaign to help educate drivers on new vehicle safety technologies designed to help prevent crashes. These technologies range from increasing the stability and control of cars to providing warnings about crash threats to automatically intervening to avoid or reduce the severity of a crash. The campaign’s website, MyCarDoesWhat.org, includes educational videos and other information about a variety of safety technologies including back-up cameras, blind spot monitoring systems, forward collision alerting and other systems that help drivers avoid or reduce the severity of a crash. The National Safety Council and the University of Iowa partnered to launch MyCarDoesWhat to educate the public on how to best interact with these safety features to have better, safer driving experiences. MyCarDoesWhat.org
Fatigue & Driving: Are you prepared for the roads this summer? June is National Safety Month and the National Safety Council and MyCarDoesWhat.org want us all to do our utmost to stay safe both at home and on the road. I live in the suburbs and driving is part of my daily routine. I drive almost everywhere and one fundamental rule of the road is to not drive when fatigued. Driving demands our focus, skill, and alertness; if we fall short on any of them, we stand a chance of becoming a statistic in a local road or highway accident. Whenever I take a long road trip with my family, I make sure that all my car safety features are in order and that I have a co-driver to keep me alert. When I start to feel tired, we pull off at the next exit, get some rest and refreshments, and switch drivers for the next leg of our trip. In the last five years, we have seen more safety features installed in cars and, even if we have an older car, we can upgrade certain features to help us stay safe. My Anti-lock Braking Systems (ABS) help me steer in emergencies by restoring traction to my tires and I’ve had them kick in when I hit an ice patch in the winter.
Years back, on a road trip to Canada, we blew a tire and were fortunate that the car wasn’t totaled. If I had the Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS) back then, it might have warned me that my tires were under or over-inflated, and helped prevent our tire blowout. But keep in mind that even the best road safety technologies demand our effort and awareness so, when we enter our cars, we must make sure that we’ve had enough rest, that our cars are fully operational and serviced, and that we are familiar with our car safety technologies to ensure we/our families are safer on the roads. As you probably know, the summer can be a treacherous time for teen drivers who forget to obey traffic rules and road race while chatting/texting with friends. As parents, we want our kids to be safe and we must do something about it. What can we do? This is an important time to remind them to familiarize themselves with all the safety features on the car(s) they drive, to get enough rest and to be attentive on the road.
Each week in June, The National Safety Council will provide downloadable resources highlighting a different safety topic:
Week 1 (through June 12): Stand Ready to Respond
Week 2 (June 13-19): Be Healthy
Week 3 (June 20-26): Watch Out for Dangers
Week 4 (June 27-30): Share Roads Safely
“Patience is something you admire in the driver behind you and scorn in the one ahead.” Mac McCleary
30 second “Quick Guides”
New car safety features help keep you safe. Car technology may even prevent a crash or save a life. Do you know how to use these features? Which ones are already in your car? Plain spoken instructions, animation and graphics are at MyCarDoesWhat.org. – From back-up cameras to automatic braking to traction control and beyond. Knowing more will help keep you, your family and others safer on the roads MyCarDoesWhat.org
New Safety Features: Every time we lease or buy a car, we spend some time reviewing the car manual and talking to the dealer’s technicians to help us understand all the features that come with our car. Some of these features are intuitive, while others are new to us; we have to learn what our car safety features can do and how they can save a life. We no longer live in an analog world where Dad drove a manual stick shift car with minimal technology, seat-beats were optional, and babies were carried on a mother’s lap or in poorly designed carriers. In the 21st Century, car safety technology is paramount at all price points; be it for a Tesla, a Nissan or Hyundai. All manufacturers, in an increasingly competitive car buying landscape, are determined to improve safety features. They want their customers to feel safe and become loyal repeat buyers. When a car is recalled for problems, the manufacturer uses the opportunity to take a closer look at its features and to fine tune them.
Do you know what safety technologies and features your car has? Some fairly common safety technologies and features that we see in cars today are: Back-up Cameras that allow us to see more than our peripheral vision, expand our view of the driveway, and warn us of obstructions. Blind Spot Monitors warn us of cars that we can’t see from our rear-view mirror and remind us that indicating and turning our head are equally important when we plan to change lanes. Forward Collision Warning helps us maintain a healthy distance from cars in front and are a reminder that tailgating is not wise on the road and best saved for those tailgate parties when the vehicle is stationary. Anti-lock Braking Systems (ABS) help us steer in emergencies by restoring traction to our tires. Rear Cross Traffic Alert warns us when an inattentive driver and car are about to enter our backing path.
Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) is the advanced version of cruise control and it not only maintains our set speed but the speed we follow other cars too. An Automatic Emergency Braking System will apply the brakes to their maximum to avoid a stalled or stationary car ahead. Lane Departure Warning systems alert us when we start to drift from our lane, and the Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS) warn us when our tires are under- or over-inflated, and can help prevent a tire blowout. Push Button Start helps us to turn our car off correctly when parked in the garage so that carbon monoxide fumes won’t enter the home. But how would you know if your car has any or all of these features? Read your manual, ask your car dealer’s technician, update your old car, and take the time to learn how to use the anti-lock brakes in your car and how each component works. Get your teen drivers to learn them too. Learning how everything works in your car can save your life.
“The dangers of life are infinite, and among them is safety.” Goethe
Every day in the United States, more than 100,000 people suffer unintentional injuries. All are preventable. Learn how to stay Safe for Life. Safe4Life
Defensive Driving Classes: We are never too old nor is it ever too late to take a defensive driving class. In addition to the car insurance benefits you might enjoy, a DD class helps you refresh your knowledge of road rules, and teaches you how to drive smart on local roads and the highway. Car safety technology and all the new features I mentioned earlier can help us navigate the world of driving safely but, we must also be attentive on the road and use our heads. Some days on the road, I see drivers weaving in and out of traffic without indicating, barreling through intersections with nary a thought to safety, and race each other into oblivion as if their vehicles are invincible. One way to sober up from feeling like a misguided king of the road is to take a DD class, learn safe driving measures, and watch their educational videos that show the horrific reminders of what cars can do when drivers act recklessly. So drive safely by learning all you can about car safety technology and by keeping the following common sense tips in mind:
♥ Drive safely within requisite speed limits
♥ Reduce speeds in poor weather conditions
♥ Make sure you and all passengers have seat-belts on
♥ Pay attention to the road, cars and surroundings
♥ Don’t drink, do drugs and drive – you need your wits (calmness/logic)
♥ Don’t text or chat on cell phones while driving
♥ Make sure car and tires are checked
♥ Stay focused, calm and confident on the road
♥ Make sure you have had enough sleep before driving
♥ Pull off the road when necessary and call immediately for assistance.
Positive Motivation Tip: Road safety technology and common sense can save lives; stay vigilant.