Posts

driving-school

Curfew Restrictions in Virginia for Teens

If you are under age 18, Virginia law prohibits you from driving midnight to 4 A.M. except when driving:
  • to or from a place of business where you are employed;
  • to or from an activity that is supervised by an adult and is sponsored by a school or by a civic, religious, or public organization;
  • with a licensed spouse age 18 or older, parent or other adult acting in loco parentis who is occupying the front passenger seat,
  • in case of an emergency, including responding to emergency calls as a volunteer firefighter or rescue squad personnel.
texting

Public and political opinion on texting laws

The first distracted driving laws in the United States began being implemented in 2008. In Europe, laws began being implemented even sooner. There has been some resistance to these new distracted driving laws, but most have welcomed them with open arms. And so, there has also been little resistance from politicians to pass such laws.

But over the past several years, even while new texting laws are taking effect globally, texting and driving rates have only increased dramatically. People are simply ignoring the laws. Instead, they just try to hide the practice. And this is where we start running into problems.

Why driving while texting laws are dangerous

Very little research has gone into these laws. Most people believe it’s just common sense to have these laws in place. What proponents didn’t take into account was the consequence of these new regulations. Allow me to explain…

Drivers are even more distracted than ever

You see, before driving while texting became illegal, motorists didn’t have to hide the activity. Even if they performed texting in plain view of a police officer while driving through a school zone, there was nothing the police could do. But things have changed. Now that the practice is illegal, people keep their phones hidden while they text and drive. So now, instead of the phone being up above the steering wheel where drivers can still see the road, they hold the phone down by their lap or under the steering wheel. This allows them to read or write a text out of view from the police.

The result of this behavior is deadly. Before driving while texting laws were implemented, drivers were only partially taking their eyes off the road. Now, since they must hide the behavior, their eyes are off the road completely. A very deadly combination.

teendriving002

Helping Teens Learn to Drive

Seatbelts are buckled, mirrors are adjusted, and the engine is purring. As your car backs slowly down the driveway you can’t help but look into the side mirror to make sure the tires aren’t on the lawn. You start down the street, white knuckles firmly clamped around the door handle and feet bearing down on imaginary brakes.

It’s your son’s first time behind the wheel and you’re riding shotgun — who knows which one of you is more nervous?

Learning to drive can be nerve-wracking for teens and parents. It’s likely to be your first experience putting your safety and auto investment in your teen’s hands. And since you know all the risks of the road, this can be pretty scary. But parents play an important role in helping teens practice their driving skills and develop confidence behind the wheel.

To help prepare for this critical time in your teen’s life, you might want to refresh your own driving knowledge by taking a defensive driving course (many of these can be completed online). You’d be surprised to see how much has changed since you learned to drive. You also can look into resources like the “Teaching Your Teens to Drive” handbook and DVD from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

Practice, Practice, Practice

When it comes to driving, experience is an important teacher. The more time young drivers spend building a variety of skills in different road and weather conditions, the more calm and confident they will feel and the better they’ll be able to react to challenging situations.

Before each practice session, plan the specific skills you want to go over. If possible, make your lessons coincide with what your teen is learning in driver’s education at school. Consider your teen’s temperament — and your own. If the lessons are too long, nerves might get frayed and it may be difficult to stay calm.

 An empty parking lot is an ideal place for teens to:
  • practice simple car control skills like turning and braking
  • get a feel for how the car handles
  • learn the location of some of the basic controls, like windshield wipers, defroster, and lights
  • get a feel for how anti-lock brakes work in wet or slick conditions

After practicing the basics of moving in drive and reverse, try to work on these skills on quiet back roads, where there’s little traffic:

  • practicing an aggressive visual search (looking for potential road hazards)
  • slowing down around curves
  • coming to a full stop at a stop sign
  • understanding the rules of a four-way stop
  • keeping a safe following distance
  • making a left turn on a two-way road
  • keeping a constant speed when going uphill
  • recognizing and understanding street signs
  • navigating around pedestrians, animals, bikers, and runners
texting

Public and political opinion on texting laws

The first distracted driving laws in the United States began being implemented in 2008. In Europe, laws began being implemented even sooner. There has been some resistance to these new distracted driving laws, but most have welcomed them with open arms. And so, there has also been little resistance from politicians to pass such laws.

But over the past several years, even while new texting laws are taking effect globally, texting and driving rates have only increased dramatically. People are simply ignoring the laws. Instead, they just try to hide the practice. And this is where we start running into problems.

Why driving while texting laws are dangerous

Very little research has gone into these laws. Most people believe it’s just common sense to have these laws in place. What proponents didn’t take into account was the consequence of these new regulations. Allow me to explain…

Drivers are even more distracted than ever

You see, before driving while texting became illegal, motorists didn’t have to hide the activity. Even if they performed texting in plain view of a police officer while driving through a school zone, there was nothing the police could do. But things have changed. Now that the practice is illegal, people keep their phones hidden while they text and drive. So now, instead of the phone being up above the steering wheel where drivers can still see the road, they hold the phone down by their lap or under the steering wheel. This allows them to read or write a text out of view from the police.

The result of this behavior is deadly. Before driving while texting laws were implemented, drivers were only partially taking their eyes off the road. Now, since they must hide the behavior, their eyes are off the road completely. A very deadly combination.

teendriving002

Helping Teens Learn to Drive

Seatbelts are buckled, mirrors are adjusted, and the engine is purring. As your car backs slowly down the driveway you can’t help but look into the side mirror to make sure the tires aren’t on the lawn. You start down the street, white knuckles firmly clamped around the door handle and feet bearing down on imaginary brakes.

It’s your son’s first time behind the wheel and you’re riding shotgun — who knows which one of you is more nervous?

Learning to drive can be nerve-wracking for teens and parents. It’s likely to be your first experience putting your safety and auto investment in your teen’s hands. And since you know all the risks of the road, this can be pretty scary. But parents play an important role in helping teens practice their driving skills and develop confidence behind the wheel.

To help prepare for this critical time in your teen’s life, you might want to refresh your own driving knowledge by taking a defensive driving course (many of these can be completed online). You’d be surprised to see how much has changed since you learned to drive. You also can look into resources like the “Teaching Your Teens to Drive” handbook and DVD from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

Practice, Practice, Practice

When it comes to driving, experience is an important teacher. The more time young drivers spend building a variety of skills in different road and weather conditions, the more calm and confident they will feel and the better they’ll be able to react to challenging situations.

Before each practice session, plan the specific skills you want to go over. If possible, make your lessons coincide with what your teen is learning in driver’s education at school. Consider your teen’s temperament — and your own. If the lessons are too long, nerves might get frayed and it may be difficult to stay calm.

 An empty parking lot is an ideal place for teens to:
  • practice simple car control skills like turning and braking
  • get a feel for how the car handles
  • learn the location of some of the basic controls, like windshield wipers, defroster, and lights
  • get a feel for how anti-lock brakes work in wet or slick conditions

After practicing the basics of moving in drive and reverse, try to work on these skills on quiet back roads, where there’s little traffic:

  • practicing an aggressive visual search (looking for potential road hazards)
  • slowing down around curves
  • coming to a full stop at a stop sign
  • understanding the rules of a four-way stop
  • keeping a safe following distance
  • making a left turn on a two-way road
  • keeping a constant speed when going uphill
  • recognizing and understanding street signs
  • navigating around pedestrians, animals, bikers, and runners
texting

Public and political opinion on texting laws

The first distracted driving laws in the United States began being implemented in 2008. In Europe, laws began being implemented even sooner. There has been some resistance to these new distracted driving laws, but most have welcomed them with open arms. And so, there has also been little resistance from politicians to pass such laws.

But over the past several years, even while new texting laws are taking effect globally, texting and driving rates have only increased dramatically. People are simply ignoring the laws. Instead, they just try to hide the practice. And this is where we start running into problems.

Why driving while texting laws are dangerous

Very little research has gone into these laws. Most people believe it’s just common sense to have these laws in place. What proponents didn’t take into account was the consequence of these new regulations. Allow me to explain…

Drivers are even more distracted than ever

You see, before driving while texting became illegal, motorists didn’t have to hide the activity. Even if they performed texting in plain view of a police officer while driving through a school zone, there was nothing the police could do. But things have changed. Now that the practice is illegal, people keep their phones hidden while they text and drive. So now, instead of the phone being up above the steering wheel where drivers can still see the road, they hold the phone down by their lap or under the steering wheel. This allows them to read or write a text out of view from the police.

The result of this behavior is deadly. Before driving while texting laws were implemented, drivers were only partially taking their eyes off the road. Now, since they must hide the behavior, their eyes are off the road completely. A very deadly combination.

teendriving002

Helping Teens Learn to Drive

Seatbelts are buckled, mirrors are adjusted, and the engine is purring. As your car backs slowly down the driveway you can’t help but look into the side mirror to make sure the tires aren’t on the lawn. You start down the street, white knuckles firmly clamped around the door handle and feet bearing down on imaginary brakes.

It’s your son’s first time behind the wheel and you’re riding shotgun — who knows which one of you is more nervous?

Learning to drive can be nerve-wracking for teens and parents. It’s likely to be your first experience putting your safety and auto investment in your teen’s hands. And since you know all the risks of the road, this can be pretty scary. But parents play an important role in helping teens practice their driving skills and develop confidence behind the wheel.

To help prepare for this critical time in your teen’s life, you might want to refresh your own driving knowledge by taking a defensive driving course (many of these can be completed online). You’d be surprised to see how much has changed since you learned to drive. You also can look into resources like the “Teaching Your Teens to Drive” handbook and DVD from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

Practice, Practice, Practice

When it comes to driving, experience is an important teacher. The more time young drivers spend building a variety of skills in different road and weather conditions, the more calm and confident they will feel and the better they’ll be able to react to challenging situations.

Before each practice session, plan the specific skills you want to go over. If possible, make your lessons coincide with what your teen is learning in driver’s education at school. Consider your teen’s temperament — and your own. If the lessons are too long, nerves might get frayed and it may be difficult to stay calm.

 An empty parking lot is an ideal place for teens to:
  • practice simple car control skills like turning and braking
  • get a feel for how the car handles
  • learn the location of some of the basic controls, like windshield wipers, defroster, and lights
  • get a feel for how anti-lock brakes work in wet or slick conditions

After practicing the basics of moving in drive and reverse, try to work on these skills on quiet back roads, where there’s little traffic:

  • practicing an aggressive visual search (looking for potential road hazards)
  • slowing down around curves
  • coming to a full stop at a stop sign
  • understanding the rules of a four-way stop
  • keeping a safe following distance
  • making a left turn on a two-way road
  • keeping a constant speed when going uphill
  • recognizing and understanding street signs
  • navigating around pedestrians, animals, bikers, and runners