Are you counting down the days until you can get your learner’s license in Florida? If so, you’ll need to take a Drug and Alcohol course and permit exam to quality for your Florida driving permit. GDL Institute offers an online course that not only meets state requirements, but is also fun, informative, and best of all… no annoying timers!
Want to learn more about the course and its features? Check out our YouTube channel, and let us know what you think. We give students the opportunity to preview the course introduction video, and learn more about the course. Our short videos will give you all the details you need to get started on the road to driving independence.
We often hear from our students that they not only learned a lot from their Drug and Alcohol driver training, they enjoy the additional driving tips, news and videos we share socially. Connect with us on YouTube, Facebook or Twitter and share your review of the course!
The holiday season has arrived, and it is a great time to start thinking about creative holiday gift ideas for the new driver in your life. Have a teen driver at home? GDL Institute is happy to share some suggestions for fun and useful gifts that the recipient will enjoy, and that the giver would be happy to give!
Car-themed stocking stuffers. Fill up a stocking with some useful tools. Ideas include sunglasses, key chains, tire gauges, air fresheners, stick-on blind spot mirrors, ice scrappers, or gas station gift certificates.
Gift Certificate for a package of car washes or detailing service. Rain, snow, sleet, mud and dust all leave a vehicle looking less than shiny and new. Any driver would enjoy a gift certificate for a car wash or detailing service. A coupon booklet for free car washes makes a nice gift for the holiday season. Check with your favorite local car wash provider, many offer coupon booklets or package discounts for multiple washes this time of year.
Emergency car kit. One of the most important things to remember about safe driving is that you should always be prepared for emergencies. It can happen to anyone; you could end up with a flat tire, run out of gas, breakdown due to engine trouble, or become stuck due to adverse weather conditions. Put together a box of items that a new driver can keep stored in their vehicle in case of emergency. For ideas on what to include, check out our blog post, “Rules for the Road: Be Prepared With a Roadside Emergency Kit for Your Car.”
We’d like to wish you a happy holiday season from everyone here at GDL Institute! Remember, our Drug and Alcohol course and permit test are available online 24/7. An online course is the perfect option if you wish to complete the course over the busy holiday season, or it even makes a great gift for a teen who is ready to begin driver training. Florida Drug and Alcohol course online!
School is almost out! And with that, teens are taking advantage of the break from studies to take their Drug and Alcohol course and permit exam. It is a great time to get started on driving practice. There’s nothing wrong with taking advantage of the extra time off and summer sunshine to practice new driving skills. However, summer isn’t quite as carefree as it seems. There are more fatal accidents during the 100 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day than any other time of the year. All drivers, especially new drivers, should take extra care to drive defensively this summer.
If you are a parent, consider setting important driving guidelines for your teens. To set expectations, you and your teen can sign a parent/teen agreement to lay out any consequences for violating rules. This sample agreement and other helpful parent resources are available on our website.
If your teen is planning to practice behind the wheel this summer, help them to focus on basic driving techniques and good driving habits:
- Buckle up for safety.
- Practice driving in different weather conditions, and times of day: sunny and rainy driving conditions as well as some practice driving after dark. For more tips on driving in wet weather, check out our blog post Spring Has Sprung – Drive Safe in those April Showers.
- Hazard recognition is important. Keep your eyes on the road and practice scanning ahead to prepare for upcoming hazards such as animals crossing the road, potholes, construction zones and more.
And remember, teens often look to their parents or guardians for examples and will pick up on any of your own bad driving habits. Set a good example by turning off or silencing the ringer on your phone, keeping your eyes on the road and hands on the wheel, and maintaining a safe speed and following distance. Practice makes perfect!
Teens have returned to school, and Fall is right around the corner. As the days get shorter, it’s a great opportunity for new drivers to reflect on the dangers and challenges of driving at night, and practice their defensive driving techniques after dusk.
Night time driving accounts for about 25% of all driving, and there is usually significantly less traffic during these hours, but approximately 55% of all driving fatalities occur after dark. Night driving presents additional challenges due to reduced visibility, driver fatigue, and even a higher number of intoxicated drivers on the road:
- Traffic death rates are three times greater at night than during the day.
- The rate of alcohol impairment among drivers involved in fatal crashes was four times higher at night than during the day (NHTSA).
- Nearly 3 out of 4 pedestrian deaths occur during the nighttime (70%), and many involve alcohol (NHTSA).
Florida officials recognize that new drivers need to practice night driving after mastering defensive driving basics. In Florida, if you hold a Learner’s License, you may only drive during daylight hours during the first three months, and until 10 p.m. thereafter, always with a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old and occupies the front passenger seat. To earn your Intermediate License (operator’s license) at 16 years old, a parent or guardian must certify that you have at least 50 hours of behind the wheel driving experience, of which 10 hours must be at night. For more information on graduated driver licensing requirements in Florida, visit the Florida DHSMV website.
Now that you understand the risks, here are some safety tips for driving at night:
- Make sure all of the lights on your car are visible and working. Check to make sure that lights are working properly; make sure they aren’t caked with mud, snow or other debris that can make you less visible to other drivers on the road.
- Reduce your speed and following distance, just as you would in bad weather. It can be more difficult to judge distance or other vehicle speeds at night.
- If you are drowsy, do NOT drive at night. A drowsy driver may have slower reaction times, and falling asleep at the wheel can be deadly.
For even more tips on night driving, review these safety tips from Popular Mechanics. What other tips would you give new drivers for safe night driving?