Driver Distraction: Texting While Driving

When you are behind the wheel of your car, the most important responsibility is safe driving. 

Driving is a skill that requires your complete attention to not only control your vehicle but also respond in case something happens up ahead or around your vehicle. It involves continuous and complex coordination between your body and mind. Anything that prevents you from operating your car safely is considered a distraction.  This video from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows just how scary it can be to drive a car while texting.

Railroad Crossing Safety

Today marks the start of a three week Rail Grade Crossing Campaign reminding motorists:

Stop. Trains Can’t.

Between 2015 and 2019, there have been 3,460 collisions between rail transit trains and motor vehicles, resulting in 60 motor vehicle fatalities and 1,078 injuries. Ignoring rail grade lights and caution signs could cost you your life. Always observe all railroad signals and signs, and proceed when it is appropriate to do so. Never attempt to cross railroad tracks until you have enough space to successfully clear all tracks.

Parking Safety

No time to read a long-winded BLOnG? Welcome to the Three-Second-Stop mini-Blog.

Today’s Three Seconds: Parking on a Hill

3 Second Stop

When parking on a hill or steep incline, it is important to take the necessary steps to ensure that your vehicle doesn’t roll into the flow of traffic. If you are parking next to a curb facing uphill, turn your front tires away from the curb, then gently let your vehicle roll back so your front tire is touching the curb. In all other hill parking scenarios (downhill with curb, uphill without curb, and downhill without curb), turn your front tires towards the curb or side of the road.  Always set your parking brake. It is separate from your regular braking system, so both systems don’t fail at the same time. Also, leave your vehicle in gear if you have a standard transmission (stick-shift), or in “park” position if it is an automatic. Remember, the goal when parking on a steep hill is to make sure your vehicle doesn’t roll into other traffic, potentially causing a collision.

New Year, New Laws

Each year, the California legislature passes hundreds of new laws. Keep reading to learn about new laws that impact the California Vehicle Code and California drivers.

Points for Distracted Driving

Current vehicle code law prohibits a person from driving a motor vehicle while using a wireless telephone in a handheld manner and the offense is already punishable by a fine. Beginning July 1, 2021, a point will also be added to a driver’s record for each hands-free cell phone violation occurring within 36 months of a prior hands-free conviction.

Approaching Stationary Emergency Vehicles

The existing “Move Over, Slow Down” Law that requires drivers to move over or slow down for road maintenance crews and emergency personnel on freeways, will now be extended to include highways, local streets and roadways. This law essentially states that drivers approaching a stationary emergency vehicle displaying emergency lights, including tow trucks and Caltrans vehicles, must move to another lane when possible, or slow to a reasonable speed.

Unattended Children

Known as “Kaitlyn’s Law”, existing vehicle code states that you may not leave a child that is 6 years of age or under unattended in a motor vehicle if there are conditions that present a risk. Effective January 1st, 2021, this law has been updated to exempt a person from civil or criminal liability for trespassing or damaging a vehicle when rescuing a child who is 6 years old or younger and who is in immediate danger from heat, cold, lack of ventilation, or other dangerous circumstances.

Evacuation Siren

Effective September 29th, 2020, law enforcement agencies, upon obtaining a permit from the California Highway Patrol, may use a distinctive audible “Hi-Low” warning siren to be used to notify the public of an immediate need to evacuate an area in an emergency. This distinct warning sound has already been proven effective and will help save lives as California deals with the ongoing wildfire threat.

The state legislature must continually look at existing laws and make changes to continue advancing safe driving practices.  You, as a driver, must stay informed on new laws that have passed as well as evolving driving technology and defensive driving techniques to better equip yourself for the driving task.

Have a Happy and Safe New Year from all of us at TrafficSchool.com!!

Drowsy Driving Prevention

Sunday, November 1st marks the end of daylight saving time and kicks off the being of National Sleep Foundation’s Drowsy Driving Prevention Week. In a study, AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety estimated that in the United States drowsy driving is responsible for 328,000 crashes annually and that of those drowsy driving crashes 109,000 resulted in injuries and about 6,400 were fatal crashes.  National Sleep Foundation urges everyone to put sleep first and drive when alert and refreshed.  Check out the news clip below for great safety reminders and tips on avoiding drowsy driving!

Intersection Safety

No time to read a long-winded BLOnG? Welcome to the Three-Second-Stop mini-Blog.

Today’s Three Seconds: Judging Time to Make a Maneuver

3 Second Stop

Judging time to make a maneuver requires you to estimate the distance and speed of other vehicles, and then proceed when you believe you have enough time to execute the maneuver safely. Whenever you drive in city traffic, you should always look a block ahead. It takes approximately 10 to 15 seconds to travel one block. If you are traveling on a highway with several lanes, or on a divided highway, check for vehicles in all lanes that you have to cross. Don’t forget to look for smaller bicyclists and motorcyclists and check crosswalks for pedestrians. You should cross or turn only after you have determined that you can complete the movement safely without impeding other road users.

Stop On Red 2020

National Stop on Red Week starts this Sunday, August 2 and runs through August 8. Red-light running is extremely dangerous.  Red-light runners cause hundreds of deaths and tens of thousands of injuries each year. Together, we can put a halt to the crashes, injuries and fatalities. Make the choice to stay alert and help people stay alive.