How to Keep Your New Driver Safe on the Road

When your child gets their driver’s license, they will probably be ecstatic about their newfound independence. While this is a milestone to be celebrated, it can cause anxiety for parents. The road can be a dangerous place, and it makes sense that you would want to protect your new driver.

There are a few ways you can make this stage of life easier. With the following strategies, parents will feel assured they have taken the right steps to keep their child safe on the road.

Get Insurance

Before your child drives for the first time, make sure they have an auto insurance policy. Accidents can happen, and if an incident does occur, the right insurance coverage will offer financial protection. Look for a solution that covers both the vehicle and bodily damage, regardless of who is at fault. You may also benefit from coverage for fire, theft and weather damage.

Reputable insurance companies will often have a family discount and protection for uninsured passengers.

Choose a Safe Car

The vehicle your child drives is just as important as their driving abilities. A safe, well-maintained car will help them get from A to B without the fear of breaking down. If your child is lucky enough to have access to the family car, you can avoid the arduous task of shopping for the perfect first car.

For those who are helping their child find a preloved set of wheels, look for a car that has low miles on the odometer. Before you commit to the purchase, you may like to find a mechanic who can look over the vehicle to ensure it does not have any underlying issues.

Give Them Training

New drivers can benefit from additional training. Formal safe driving programs can give them the skills and confidence they need while on the road. Participating in driver training could even save you money on your auto insurance policy.

In addition, you can help your child by giving them opportunities to experience different roads and weather conditions. A road trip is a chance to spend time together while they practice driving long distances. When you are in the car, make sure they are following the road rules, wearing a seatbelt and checking their blind spot. 

Have a Discussion

Before your child starts driving independently, take the time to discuss the risks. Remind them to get enough sleep before traveling, and to avoid alcohol if they are planning to drive. You can show them the right way to behave while driving by being a good role model.

Distractions can cause accidents, and you should reinforce this with your child. For example, you can suggest they turn their phone to silent or place it out of reach when they are behind the wheel. Driving can be stressful, but with your support, your child can learn to be calm while on the road.

Keeping Your New Driver Safe

Getting a driver’s license is an accomplishment, but driving requires maturity. If you are worried about your new driver on the road, you can help to keep them safe.

Have an open dialogue about the dangers of distractions, and make sure they have adequate auto insurance. Find a safe vehicle for your child to drive, focusing on reliability rather than looks. To increase their skills, you can sign them up for a driver training program and take a trip together to give them time to practice.

Be Aware of the Rising Number of Car Accidents as You Travel This Summer

All 50 states began some process of reopening after the COVID-19 pandemic caused the country to enter lockdown in March and April. Even while several states have begun to impose restrictions again, as you travel the country this summer, you will notice that the rate of car accidents is on the rise.

This expected rise in car accidents comes after reports of relatively low numbers of car accidents during the coronavirus lockdowns. As many states begin to resume operations, officials predict that there will be a sharp rise in car accidents and injuries over the next few summer months.

 Expect Summer 2020 to See an Increased Number of Car Accident Fatalities

 Summer often brings an increased number of car accidents. Not only is the weather often more suitable for driving, but people also tend to travel more during long holiday weekends like Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Labor Day. Additionally, many holiday celebrations as well as other summer festivities will involve the combination of alcohol and an increased number of vehicles on the road, which will lead to more accidents.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports more car accidents occur daily between July and August than any other time of the year. Some experts even refer to the period between Memorial Day and Labor as the “100 deadliest days” due to the large number of car accidents that occur then. When these factors are combined with antsy drivers eager to hit the roadways once again during the COVID-19 reopening’s, travelers should be aware that the number of deadly car accidents that occur in the U.S. this summer is likely to be higher than ever.

How a Re-Opened Economy Will Lead to More Car Accidents

Many people anxiously await the day when the United States can begin moving past COVID-19 and we can travel the country as freely as we once did. In the interim, however, we are seeing a sharp increase in car travelers this summer, as many are not yet ready to board an airplane.

Tips on Staying Safe While Road Tripping this Summer

Some of the helpful strategies that you can follow to reduce your risk of ending up in an accident while on a road trip this summer include:

  • Routinely check your vehicle’s tire pressure. Well-maintained tires can protect motorists from unexpected breakdowns.
  • Pack safely, which includes not exceeding your vehicle’s payload capacity.
  • Take steps to manage both glare and heat. This could always include keeping sunglasses nearby or using a sun shield beneath your vehicle’s windshield.
  • Rain showers can occur suddenly in the summer. If you find yourself driving through the rain, remember that roads become particularly slippery soon after rainfall.
  • There is often an increased number of bicyclists and motorcyclists on the roads during the summer. Remember to safely share the road with these drivers.

Speak with a Knowledgeable Car Accident Attorney

Even if you try your best to stay safe while traveling this summer, the risk of car accidents is still likely to go up over the next few months. While the moments following a car accident can be overwhelming, it can help greatly to speak with a knowledgeable car accident attorney from the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe. Contact our law office today to schedule a free case evaluation.

It’s Important For Your Kids to Feel Safe on Winter Road Trips

Winter road trips present a host of challenges. Of course, the weather can be a factor, considering where you’re driving, but there are so many other elements to consider as well. Especially when you’re traveling with your family and with your children, it’s important that everyone feels safe to have a smooth and seamless road trip.

 

Safety is one of the basic fundamental human needs, and children are especially affected by this need. Here are the main reasons why it’s important for your kids to feel safe on winter road trips.

 

Safety encourages rest

 

When kids feel truly safe, they are able to relax and rest. In the case of road trips, this means they’re able to sleep, or just relax to a level of calmness that keeps everyone happy. Especially when you are driving long distances, it’s necessary that kids find time to sleep – and this can only really happen if they are incredibly tired, as well as if they feel safe.

 

So, make some preparations to make sure that your kids feel safe and comfortable. Encourage them to bring along their favorite books and toys, bring some familiar snacks, play soothing and enjoyable music. Especially for the first hour or so in the car, creating an environment of safety and support is crucial. Bring travel-friendly pillows and blankets as well (or maybe their favorite pillow or stuffed animal), so your kids feel as safe and secure as possible.  

 

Safety encourages happiness

 

When you feel safe, you are then able to experience a broad range of other emotions, including happiness. The same applies to children. While road trips, especially road trips with children, are not typically an experience that we associate with happiness, there’s no reason why your winter road trip can’t be a happy one!

 

Take extra steps to find the joy in embarking on a road trip as a family. Practice mindfulness and be open to making memories along the way. Safety is your primary concern, but don’t forget about happiness. Plus, if you have young children and can teach them early on that road trips are fun and something to look forward to, then this will help create a long-term positive association.

 

Safety creates a calm environment

 

There are many things you can do ahead of time to make sure your road trip goes as smoothly and calmly as possible. For example, when you plan out your route, make sure you have at least one or two backup routes in case of inclement weather and road closures. This will help prevent last-minute frustrations that can then stress all car passengers.

 

Another important thing to do before hitting the road is to make sure your car has been recently serviced and is fully prepared for any environmental hazards that may come up as a result of your winter road trip. Make sure that your tire pressure is sound, and that tire treads are up to par for winter conditions. Quality vehicles will set up you up for the best safety conditions, but even they need to be serviced regularly.

 

You should also bring necessary supplies with you: This means bringing tire chains, windshield cleaners, and even packing an emergency road kit like this one recommended by AAA just in case. Wherever you happen to be traveling, be aware of all potential winter elements that you could encounter, and prepare accordingly.

 

Another thing that’s important to do is not over-pack the car. This can be tough on winter road trips, especially if you are bringing along ski equipment or other winter gear, but you need to find a balance of how much stuff is “too much stuff” in your car. When you over-pack, stored items can impede on passengers’ personal space, which creates an underlying sense of annoyance and frustrations that are likely to bubble over at some point. Prevent this from happening by packing strategically, and investing in a rooftop carrier is needed to transport all your winter items safely.

 

When children feel safe, they are able to function, flourish and grow at their highest capacity. Prioritize safety as a fundamental need in life, and especially any time that you are traveling with your kids.

Child Passenger Safety Week #STORKS #TheRightSeat

The Right Seat Isn’t The Only Thing Keeping Your Kids Safe! Let’s Talk About Child Passenger Safety Week!

The Right Seat Isn’t The Only Thing Keeping Your Kids Safe! Let’s Talk About Child Passenger Safety Week!

If you are a parent, it is very likely that you have spent countless hours researching your new baby’s car seat, or which car seat you need to buy next as your child grows and grows. I know that my son is constantly growing it seems, and sometimes I look at him and think maybe he is getting to that age where he doesn’t need a seat. But that just isn’t the case. Many parents take their kids out of a car seat or booster seat way too early. While a good car seat is vital for protecting your child in the event of a crash, it is not enough on its own. Even the best car seats cannot force you to properly install them or buckle your child in.

Every 33 seconds one child under age 13 is involved in a car crash— but safety seats, if used correctly and installed correctly, dramatically reduce the risk of fatality or injury to children.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PbkjToOqJ3Q]

 

Is Your Child In The Right Seat?:

  • Your child under age 1 should always ride in a rear-facing car seat.
  • Children ages 1-3 should be kept rear-facing as long as possible.
  • Keep your child in the back seat at least through age 12.
  • Be certain you’ve installed your car seat correctly by having it checked at an inspection station or by a certified child passenger safety technician. Bring the Car Seat Instructions AND the Vehicle Owner’s Manual with you to a seat check appointment!

Is Your Seat Installed Properly?:

  • Installation Resources:If a car seat is not installed correctly, your child’s safety could be in danger. Every car seat has different installation instructions. You can find resources and tips here to help you get “the right fit” on your car seats:     http://www.safercar.gov/parents/RightFit.htm
  • Free Car Seat Checks: During Child Passenger Safety Week, there will be more than 600 events in 45 states across the country, where certified child passenger safety technicians will inspect car seats and show parents and caregivers how to correctly install and use them. In most cases, this service is free of charge.  Locate a car seat check event here:http://www.safercar.gov/cpsApp/cps/index.htm

The Right Seat Isn’t The Only Thing Keeping Your Kids Safe! Let’s Talk About Child Passenger Safety Week!

As a parent, you are your kids’ strongest influence when it comes to modeling safe driving practices, including buckling up every time you get in the car. Teach your family that safety is the responsibility of all passengers as well as the driver.

Get this message out to your friends and family!

  • Twitter – Many parents do not realize their child is in the wrong car seat. Visit gov/TheRightSeatand make sure your child is riding safely. #therightseat.
  • Facebook – Storks know how to keep kids safe. Do you? Visit safercar.gov/therightseat to know for sure that your child is in the right seat for their age and size. #STORKS #TheRightSeat

Is Your Child in the Right Car Seat? #therightseat

Did you know that motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for children age 1 to 13 in the USA? In 2013, a child under 13 was involved in a crash every 33 seconds.
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During Child Passenger Safety Week, please visit SaferCar.gov/TheRightSeat to determine your child is in the right seat for his or her age and size and to locate a car seat inspection event in their area.  Additionally, parents and caregivers can register their child’s car seat with the manufacturer so as to be informed in the event of a recall.
  • If a car seat is not installed correctly, your child’s safety could be compromised. Every car seat has different installation instructions. You can find resources and tips here to help you get “the right fit” on your car seats:     http://www.safercar.gov/parents/RightFit.htm
  • Free Car Seat Inspections: During Child Passenger Safety Week, there will be events across the country where Certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians will inspect car seats and show parents and caregivers how to correctly install and use them. In most cases, this service is free of charge.  Locate a car seat check event here: http://www.safercar.gov/cpsApp/cps/index.htm

 Car Seat Safety Tips:

  • Find a car seat that fits your child. As children grow, how they sit in your car will change. Make sure the car seat you purchase is designed to fit your child’s current size and age and allows some room growth.
  • Not all car seats fit in all vehicles so test the car seat you plan to buy to make sure it fits well in your vehicle.
  • Before putting your child in a car seat, read the manufacturer’s instructions so you know how your car seat works and how to install it.
  • All-in-One car seats offer you the advantage of using the same seat for the following positions: rear-facing, forward-facing with harness, then booster. These seats typically have higher height and weight limits for the rear-facing position, allowing you to keep your child rear-facing for a longer period of time, which physicians and safety experts strongly recommend.

Remember, the best car seat is the one that fits your child properly, is easy to use,  fits in your vehicle correctly, and which you’ll use every time…

  • The information here can help you choose the right seat for your child. Keep in mind that:
    • Your child under age 1 should always ride in a rear-facing car seat.
    • Children ages 1-3 should be kept rear-facing as long as they fit the car seat.
    • Keep your child in the back seat at least through age 12.
    • Be certain you’ve installed your car seat correctly by having it checked at an inspection station or by a Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician. Bring the car seat instructions AND the vehicle owner’s manual with you to a seat check appointment!

Sarah Tilton’s Car Seat Installation Tips and WIN a Britax Advocate ClickTight car seat

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Car Seat Installation Tips:

  • It is important to follow the user manuals from both the child car seat manufacturer and the vehicle manufacturer in order to achieve a proper installation.
  • Use a car seat that makes installation as simple as buckling a seat belt. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, three out of every four car seats are installed incorrectly. To address this concerning fact, the new ClickTight installation technology in Britax convertible car seats gives any caretaker the confidence to correctly and securely install these seats in just a few easy steps.
  • The safest place for your child in any vehicle is in the back seat. The center of the rear seat is preferable to outboard (window) positions — as long as you can achieve a tight installation — because it is the farthest from a side impact. Research has shown that children under the age of 3 have a 43 percent lower risk of injury when restrained in the center of the rear seat compared with the rear outboard positions. However, keep in mind that if you’re not able to install your car seat in the center position, a properly installed car seat in an outboard position will still provide excellent protection for your child during a crash.
  • Tips to avoid loose car seat installation:
  • After installation, grasp the seat near the belt path to check for excessive movement, which is movement of more than one inch side-to-side or front-to-back at the belt path.
  • If you have trouble installing your car seat securely, try the following:
    • Install the car seat in another seating position in your vehicle. For example, if you can’t install it securely in the rear center seat, try an outboard position.
    • Install the car seat using another installation method. For example, if you’re not able to get a secure installation using the LATCH system, try to install with the vehicle seat belt and tether.
  • The process of seating and removing your child along with the motion from your vehicle moving can shake your child seat loose over time. This makes it critical to check the fit often and reinstall your child seat periodically.
  • Using a technology like ClickTight, which uses seat belts for installation, also eliminates any parental worry about the 65-pound LATCH capacity and when to switch a growing child away from it.
  • [Read more…]

5 Things Parents of Teen Drivers Can Do to Keep Them Safe on the Road

There comes a time in every parent’s life when their children are going to get behind the wheel and start driving. This is a nerve wracking time for many parents, but you can make it easier on your self and your kids. Follow these 5 suggestions to keep your teen drivers safe on the road when they start driving.

  1. Enforce a No Phone Rule
    One of the biggest dangers to teens and older drivers alike on the road is cell phone use behind the wheel. Mobile phones have worked their way into almost every aspect of life for many of us, and the risks of talking and texting behind the wheel have led legislators in many areas to pass laws against drivers using cell phones. Set your own ground rules about using phones while driving. Your teens shouldn’t be answering any calls while they’re driving–not even your calls.
  2. Talk About Intoxication
    Like many parents, you may be shocked to learn that kids are partaking in underage drinking all over the country. This isn’t a new phenomenon, but it is one that parents rightly rail against in every generation. Talk to your teens about the dangers of driving under the influence. Not only is it illegal, [Read more…]

Child Passenger Safety Tips

Unless you regularly check the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website like me, you probably missed Child Passenger Safety Week in September. The Department of Transportation does their best to raise awareness about keeping kids safe in the event of a crash, but sometimes the message gets lost under banal stats and minimal fanfare.

What made this public service announcement notable was the release of a survey detailing the five most common mistakes made in child safety by parents. About one in five parents don’t bother to read the installation instructions for their child’s car seats. Regardless, 90 percent were totally confident of their safety restraints. Here are the top five mistakes:

1. Wrong harness slot: Often, children were strapped in using a slot that’s too low or too high for optimum safety in the event of a crash.

2. Chest harness disregarded: The survey found the chest harness was commonly clipped over the tummy instead of the chest or just not clipped [Read more…]