This #DDAM – Don’t Let an Emoji Wreck Your Life

As anyone who has completed the Drug & Alcohol course knows, a texting driver is 23 times more likely to be involved in an auto accident than a non-texting driver. We all know that, in theory, a simple distraction – such as reading a text message or answering your cell phone can lead to devastating consequences if you’re behind the wheel. But, have you ever stopped to really consider just how much a few seconds of taking your eyes off the road to send a text can make a difference?

Just in time for Distracted Driving Awareness Month, the NHTSA has launched new videos to show us just how dangerous distracted driving can be (Distraction.gov).

Here is an example of one of the new videos, which drives home the point that if you are texting, you’re not driving. What do you think?

Visit NHTSA’s YouTube channel to view the rest of the videos in the campaign. Then, report back! Let us know in the comments – which do you think is the most powerful?

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Happy Thanksgiving – Holiday Phone Support Hours

Wishing a Happy Thanksgiving to all of our customers and friends this week! Please see below for our help desk hours around the holiday. The online Drug & Alcohol course and learner’s permit test are still available 24/7 at www.gdlinstitute.org.

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October 16-22 is National Teen Driver Safety Week – 5 to Drive Campaign

passengersParents, teens, and teachers: October 16-22, 2016 is National Teen Driver Safety Week, and it offers a chance to to raise awareness of teen driver safety and encourage safe teen driver and passenger behavior. Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for U.S. teens 15 to 19 years old. Promoting safe driving habits during this time period can help spread awareness of this alarming statistic and make a difference in teen driving habits.

GDL Institute is supporting the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)’s “5 to Drive” campaign during National Teen Driver Safety Week. The campaign aims to help parents talk to their teen drivers about the rules of the road. The campaign highlights the five necessary rules that teen drivers need to follow to stay safe behind the wheel. These rules address the greatest dangers for teen drivers: alcohol, texting, seat belts, speeding, and extra passengers.

The “5 to Drive” campaign addresses the five most dangerous and deadly behaviors for teen drivers. It is a great way to help parents prepare, and help protect teen drivers. The idea behind the campaign is to give parents the words to use when they talk with their teens about the rules of the road. Let’s get the conversation going!

The NHTSA’s “5 to Drive” rules for parents to share with their teens are:

  1. No Drinking and Driving – All teens are too young to legally buy or possess alcohol, but they are still at risk. Nationally in 2014, one out of five teen passenger vehicle drivers (15 to 19 years old) involved in fatal crashes had been drinking. Driving under the influence of any impairing substance could have deadly consequences.
  2. Buckle Up. Every Trip. Every Time. Front Seat and Back. – Wearing a seat belt is one of the simplest ways to stay safe in a car. Yet, too many teens are not buckling up and neither are their passengers. In 2014, there were 763 passengers killed in passenger vehicles driven by teen drivers, and 59% of those passengers who died were NOT buckled up at the time of the fatal crash.
  3. Eyes on the Road, Hands on the Wheel. All the Time. – Distractions while driving can be deadly. In 2014, among teen passenger vehicle drivers involved in fatal crashes, 10% were reported as distracted at the time of the crash. And remember, distracted driving isn’t limited to cell phone use. Other passengers, the radio and climate controls, and eating or drinking while driving, are all examples of dangerous distractions for teen drivers.
  4. Stop Speeding Before It Stops You – In 2014, almost one-third (30%) of teen passenger vehicle drivers involved in a fatal crash were speeding at the time of the crash. Staying within the speed limit helps keep everyone safe.
  5. No More Than One Passenger at a Time. – The risk of a fatal crash goes up with each additional passenger. According to data analyzed by NHTSA, teen drivers were two-and-a-half times more likely to engage in one or more potentially risky behaviors when driving with one teenage peer compared to when driving alone. And the likelihood of teen drivers engaging in risky behaviors triples when traveling with multiple passengers.

Reach out to the teen driver in your life and remind them that while driving is a privilege, and while driving independence can great, it also comes with great responsibility. For more information about National Teen Driver Safety Week and the “5 to Drive” campaign, please visit www.safercar.gov/parents.

Spring Has Officially Sprung – Drive Safe in those April Showers

Now that spring has officially sprung, it’s time to appreciate the longer days, warmer weather, and coming summer. Springtime in Florida brings rainy weather which can present a nerve wracking set of driving conditions for new drivers. Do you know how to drive safely in adverse weather conditions? Proper vehicle maintenance and extra caution on the road are both key. Here are a few tips to help you out:

  • Check often to make sure the wipers, lights, and other equipment work properly. Change your windshield wiper blades regularly. Old wiper blades can crack, split or tear and they won’t do an effective job of helping to improve visibility. Most wiper blades should be replaces ever six to twelve months as a part of routine maintenance. Making sure your wiper blades work properly is extremely important if you’re facing a downpour.
  • To be seen in the dark or in gloomy, rainy weather, check that all of your exterior lights are working properly. You should check your brake lights, signal lights, headlights regularly. You put yourself and others at risk if others are not able to see you and any of your signal lights. Additionally, if you have a headlight out, it can be tough to see in the dark or spot pedestrians, other vehicles, and any road hazards.
  • Check your tires for wear and tear and replace when needed. If your tires treads are worn down, you run the risk of slipping and sliding all over the road. Use a quarter inserted into the tire tread to determine the amount of tread depth left. Place a quarter with the top of Washington’s head down between the treads of the tire and check to see if you can see all of Washington’s head. If you can see all of Washington’s head, the tread is too shallow and the tire should be replaced.
  • Remember, it’s not a race, slow down in adverse weather conditions. Rain, snow, wind, can add an extra complications to driving. Your visibility may be reduced, and it can take you more time to stop on a slippery road. Make sure you are prepared, alert, and in control by slowing down and proceeding with caution.
  • If you do find yourself skidding or sliding, don’t panic. Don’t slam on the brake, ease off the gas, and steer into the direction you wish your car to go.

For more tips on how to drive safely, make sure to complete your Florida Drug and Alcohol Course with GDL Institute. Also remember to follow us on Twitter at @GDLInstitute for even more driving tips and tricks.

What advice would you give others for safe driving in stormy weather?

© 2013 GDL Institute.org