Even the safest drivers will encounter surprising situations on the road now and then. But newer drivers have encountered fewer surprises, which can make them scarier, not to mention more dangerous.
During any surprise on the road, the most important thing to do is remain calm so that you can rationally think through the safest method of dealing with the situation. In addition to that, certain steps can be taken to manage specific scenarios.
Here are four of the more common surprises you might encounter and the safest way to handle them.
1. Low visibility from blinding sun, oncoming headlights, or fog
Impaired visibility while driving can occur in many situations. Don’t panic and slam on the breaks if you round a corner into glaring sun. Instead, break moderately to slow down to a safer speed and point your eyes down and to the right to follow the white line painted on the side of the road. That’s why it’s there. In foggy situations, turn off your brights and use your regular headlines instead. Bright light will reflect off the fog, further reducing visibility.
2. Rain, sleet, hail, or snow
You will definitely encounter inclement weather while driving, the type depending on where you live. In all situations where water, ice, or snow is covering the road, traction is reduced making sliding, skidding, or spinning out more likely. Drive at slower speeds during poor weather, even if other drivers aren’t.
Rainy conditions are the slickest during the first ½ hour of showers, as the dirt and oil sitting on the asphalt mixes with the water, creating a slick surface. Sleet and hail are inherently icy, so slow down or avoid driving altogether. If driving in the snow, try to stay in the tire treads of the car ahead of you and avoid changing lanes where crunchy snow can build up and reduce traction.
If visibility is poor, turn down music and open a window, which allows you to hear dangers like honking or skidding vehicles, and also helps reduce condensation inside your windshield, which can occur when exterior conditions are significantly cooler than inside your vehicle.
3. Skidding or hydroplaning from standing water or black ice
If you see standing water, slow down to a safer speed. Approaching standing water or black ice (ice that has frozen with no bubbles, making it invisible or appear black like the asphalt) at too high a speed will cause your tires to lose traction and skid across the surface.
If you do find yourself hydroplaning, take your foot off the gas and continue driving in a straight line (you won’t have the ability to steer anyway and turning the wheel could initiate an out-of-control spin). Do not apply the break, which will only encourage more sliding. Instead, slowly decelerate until you have regained traction.
4. Deer or other wildlife crossing the road
Hitting an animal while driving fast, especially a large one such as a deer, can be disastrous for both the animal and the driver. The first line of defense is to turn on your brights so that you can widen your view of the road. This will sometimes reflect off an animal’s eyes, making them more visible. Watch for deer or wildlife crossing signs, which are placed in areas where animals are known to congregate. Deer tend to travel in small herds, so if you see one near the road, assume others are nearby.
If you encounter an animal in the road, ideally, you should try to slow down and then veer around it. But if you only have time to pick one, slow down. Veering at too high a speed could result in hitting other objects like trees or parked cars, or flipping your vehicle. And hitting a deer head on at a high speed might send it crashing through your windshield. Overall, it’s smarter to reduce your speeds at night, particularly in rural areas.
Stay alert, stay calm, stay safe
Keeping general safety in mind is always smart, such as not speeding, wearing your seat belt, and minimizing distractions (no texting!). But when unexpected situations present themselves, keep a cool head and stay calm. You’ll stay safer and be better prepared for future surprises on the road.
DriversEd.com Contributing Writer Alexis David has kept an ongoing diary for us as she takes our California online drivers ed course. Here’s her fourth entry.
As my drivers ed experience comes to a close, I’ve been thinking ahead to the future driving lessons I’ll soon be able to take. Then, I’ll finally be able to drive! In the meantime, here are some of the major takeaways I learned in the final modules of the course.
“Driving Conditions and Emergencies” module
This module included what to do in any type of car failure. Drivers ed teaches you the steps to take for brake fails, tire blowout, steering wheel failure, a stuck accelerator, and overheating. In a tire blowout, the module instructs you to hold the steering wheel tight and drive straight, remove your foot from the accelerator and stop alongside the road, only applying the brakes when the car is almost stopped. This information helped me answer my examination test and my practice permit tests, which I’ll be talking about later.
I’ve also learned what to do when driving at night. I know driving at night is way more dangerous and accidents happens three to four times more at night than during the day. As a driver, you need to be more alert knowing that there can be vehicles in places you can’t see and that there can be tired drivers. When I grew up, the only lights on a car that I thought there were the brake lights in the back of a car and headlights in the front. But now there are low-beam lights, high-beam lights, fog lights and parking lights, each with their own specific purposes. In particular, I now know that low-beam lights are the best to use in fog or rain. In order to drive, you should know the parts of the car, how to control it, and expecting anything the road may present, and night driving tests all of these.
“Sharing the Road” module
Sharing the road doesn’t just include cars, it includes every vehicle and living thing; trucks, trains, LRVs, motorcycles, bicyclists, pedestrians, and animals. Sharing the road in the right way ensures other people’s safety and the driver’s safety. These are some basics and rules I’ve picked up from sharing the road.
Since trucks are bigger and have a heavier load than cars, they can cause wind drafts, they take a longer time to stop, and the drivers of trucks have bigger blind spots. Trains can cause a lot of damage with the speed they’re going. No vehicle should cross the tracks if they know their whole car can’t pass or if red lights are flashing. No one should turn in front of light rail vehicles, or LRVs. Motorcyclists can hide in a driver’s blind spots, so you should always check if there are any coming your way. Motorcyclists are typically allowed to lane split with you – something that’s really sharing the road – and it is preferred to follow with a four-second following distance. Bicycles are also small and can easily fit inside a driver’s blind spot. Pedestrians always have the right-of-way at any marked or unmarked crosswalk. By following these acts, any driver can keep the flow of traffic proper and harm free.
Nearing the end
Finally, after all 12 modules, I’m at the examination. The final test that’ll determine if I understood what the course taught me. I was incredibly nervous to take it, even if it does just give a certificate of my completed course. So, before taking the test, I took extra steps to study before I took it. No one is prohibiting me from taking notes, so that’s exactly what I did. I went back on each module to reread and took notes on main ideas laws that I need to remember. After taking notes to refresh myself when I was ready. So, I took the final examination, and found that I didn’t really have anything to worry about. I passed with a 93%! After seven months, I’ve finished the course, and I was insanely overjoyed to have finished it! It was like relief and content filled my whole body. A few days later, I got my certificate of completion.
During the course, I didn’t think it would take so long. However, there were other things I had to take care of like school, sports, and family events. I got confused on some modules and others were a simple, refreshing reading. If anyone is going to take the course soon, I suggest going at a pace that suits you so you can let the knowledge you’ve learned sink in, but don’t leave the course too long. I’m completely blissful and thankful to have had the online drivers ed to shape me into a soon-to-be driver.
Learn more about DriversEd.com:
- Read Alexis’ previous California online drivers ed diary entry
- How Does DriversEd.com Develop the Best Online Drivers Ed Courses?
- Parents: Enroll your teenager in DriversEd.com’s Online Teen Drivers Education
- Parents: Refresh your driving skills and sign up for DriversEd.com’s In-Car Driving Lessons
The busy days of summer are here, putting more cars on the road and drivers behind the wheel. But before you get into the driver’s seat, ask yourself—who’s in my car?
It sounds funny, but it’s important to be aware of who you’re driving with. Not only are you battling more-congested-than-normal roadways this summer (see “Parents, it’s time to review your family’s summer driving habits,”) but adding passengers to the mix only ups the likelihood that you’ll get distracted and crash. And at this time of the year, that could prove to be a dangerous mistake.
Driving with passengers
Dealing with passengers is one of the most frequently reported causes of distraction for drivers, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Compared to driving with no passengers, a 16- or 17-year-old driver’s risk of death per mile driven increases 44% when carrying one passenger younger than 21. The more passengers, the greater the risk.
“We know that carrying young passengers is a huge risk, but it’s also a preventable one,” said Beth Mosher, Director of Public Affairs, AAA Chicago. “These findings should send a clear message to families that parents can make their teens safer immediately by refusing to allow them to get in the car with other young people, whether they’re behind the wheel or in the passenger seat.”
All 50 states and the District of Columbia have a three-stage Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) system, which institutes a set of restrictions to gradually build up driving experience under lower-risk conditions in young drivers. Several states, such as California and Indiana, prohibit young drivers with intermediate licenses from driving with peer passengers, but other states, like Florida and Iowa, have no legislation at all. While GDL laws can target the problem of distracted driving, not all states have implemented them to do so.
Passengers are YOUR responsibility
When you’re driving, your passengers’ safety is your responsibility. They are relying on you to get them to their destination safely. This means you have an obligation to drive with care – and take steps to keep passengers safe. Here’s what to look out for:
- Seat belts reduce the risk of fatal injury to front seat car occupants by 45%, but National Highway Traffic Safety Administration figures show that more than 27 million people don’t buckle up. Enforce a rule – if they’re in your car, they wear a belt!
- Children 12 and under are safest when seated in the back seat. Young children must be correctly secured in an appropriate, fitted car seat, and the National Safety Council says child restraint systems should go beyond state requirements. Check that your child’s car seat hasn’t expired; the typical use life of a car seat is six to eight years. And check for recalls, too.
- Occupy small children during the drive with entertaining items such as books, quiet toys, or a DVD player with headphones. If you need to tend to them, stop at a safe place first.
- Properly restrain your pet when driving with one in your car. Looking away from the road for only two seconds doubles your chance of being in a crash. AAA found that 18% of surveyed dog owners admitted to reaching into the back seat to interact with their dog, and 17% said they’ve allowed their dog to sit in their lap – all huge distractions.
DriversEd.com offers these resources to help you drive safely with various passengers:
- Learn how to safely road trip with your dog
- Read our guest post about driving with teen passengers
- Visit DriversEd.com’s Distracted Driving Center
- Learn safe driving from the experts. Sign up for DriversEd.com’s In-Car Driving Lessons
[Amy Tarczynski, eDriving's contributing teen writer, details her driving experience since completing One More Second.]
I screamed in my car the other day when I was driving. It wasn’t a yell, and it wasn’t an “AHH!” It was a full-bellied shriek. My voice probably scared my passenger more than the inciting incident did.
Here’s what happened: I was driving on one of the most horrible, poorly designed freeways in Oakland (like I would on any normal afternoon), when an oblivious driver suddenly pulled straight out of his lane and into mine–right into where my car was going. I honked, and swerved over into the adjacent lane unscathed, luckily. No paint was exchanged and no one was hurt, aside from my passenger’s ringing eardrums.
Here’s the thing: This incident (and near collision) did not happen suddenly, nor was it luck that I was able to pull over into the other lane. But I was lucky to have recently taken eDriving’s defensive driving course, One More Second. A few key takeaways from that course stuck with me, helping me avoid a collision that day and on other days since. Here are those three big lessons.
1. What Can Go Wrong, Will Go Wrong
Picture the scene that I observed, pre-scream: I am approaching my exit at highway speed and need to get over, but the two right lanes are full of cars trying to merge onto the freeway before my exit. I’m trying to get right; they’re trying to merge left. I’m going fast, and they’re going slow. Before I even overlap these cars, I am actively aware that this is a hazardous situation (the course’s lesson on hazard identification helped me to recognize this).
As soon as I am next to the lane of merging cars, not only have I reduced my speed, but I also have my exit strategy planned out. I know from my rear-view mirror that there’s a car tailing close behind me, so slamming on the brakes is not an option. However, the lane to my left is clear for the time being.
With my emergency exit on my left, I direct my attention the cars on my right. I know they’re all trying to get out of the traffic and into a faster lane, so here is where I assume Murphy’s law: what can go wrong, will go wrong. I have a feeling that one of these drivers will forget to check his or her blind spot. If that happens, I won’t technically be the one at fault, but that doesn’t mean I won’t suffer from it with car damage and risk a serious injury. Defensive driving involves realizing that people make a lot of mistakes, and anticipating those mistakes before they have dire consequences.
2. Make It a Game of Strategy, not a Game of Luck
I have a bad feeling about these cars on my right, so not only have I slowed down and planned an escape route, but I am also now covering my horn–just in case. I’m using this strategy as a defensive move in my game plan for this merge.
When one driver juts out of his lane and right into mine, I do scream, but I am not taken by surprise. As soon as he budges, I am both laying on the horn and moving into the next lane. Once safely away from the other car, I calmly merge back right into my exit lane and apologize to my friend for screaming.
Before taking One More Second, I would have shaken off that moment with, “Well that was close–lucky nothing happened.” My next thought, however, was more along the lines of, “that was too close, what could I have done differently?” The One More Second course challenged me to take luck out the equation. If I hadn’t known already that the left lane was clear, it would have been lucky for me to merge into it safely and not into another car. If I hadn’t realized there was a car behind me, it would have been lucky for me to have slammed on the brakes and not been rear-ended. In my case, my strategy was as simple as anticipating a potential danger and having a way out. It’s a simple idea to understand, but One More Second helped me put it into practice.
3. Seriously, No Phones
If I had even glanced at my phone at the same moment that the other driver wasn’t checking his blind spot, there’s no way I would have avoided him. What’s equally scary is that if I had been checking my phone in the moments leading up to the situation, I would have been too distracted to even notice the hazard or anticipate the potential danger.
It’s so easy to think, “I can just check it really quick.” I know because I catch myself thinking that exact thing constantly. The problem is that even “really quick” is plenty of time to miss something. The One More Second course made a compelling argument; and is what finally convinced me to find the discipline to not check–not even once.
Read Amy’s previous guest post, “One More Second: A Teen’s Review of eDriving’s New Defensive Driving Course.”
Want to be a defensive driver? Our course teaches advanced defensive driving skills–including freeway driving–to make sure you are ready for whatever the road brings. Learn more about the One More Second defensive driving course in the short video below.
Two Ohio state representatives are looking to expand existing requirements in the state’s young driver licensing system.
Ohio State Reps. Gary Scherer (R-Circleville) and Michael Sheehy (D-Toledo) unveiled House Bill 293 to the public June 29. The bill would implement two changes to teen driving laws in Ohio if passed:
- Require teens to hold temporary instruction permits for one full year instead of only six months as it stands now
- Modify the nighttime driving restriction to begin at 9 p.m. instead of midnight as it stands now
“Modernizing young driver licensing will give teens more protection and their parents peace of mind,” Scherer said during the announcement. “This will make our roads safer for drivers all across the state of Ohio.”
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 17% of teenage motor vehicle crash deaths in the U.S. in 2015 occurred most frequently from 9 p.m. to midnight. And although teens age 15-19 only account for 7% of the population, they also account for 11% – or $10 billion – of the total costs of motor vehicle injuries in the U.S.
House Bill 293 must pass the House, as well as the Senate, by the end of 2018. It’s currently awaiting assignment to an appropriate committee.
Learn more about DriversEd.com
- Teens! Enroll in DriverEd.com’s Ohio Drivers Ed Online
- Test your driving knowledge with DriversEd.com’s Ohio practice permit tests
- So, How Does DriversEd.com Develop the Best Online Drivers Ed Courses?
DriversEd.com Contributing Writer Grace Keller has kept an ongoing diary for us about her drivers ed experience. In her latest installment, she details how she feels now that she’s passed her road test.
The end of my drivers ed experience came quicker than I had anticipated – it flew right by! After sitting in a classroom every night for two weeks in order to meet the Maryland Vehicle Association’s (MVA) requirements while also working to complete my online drivers ed course, not to mention my mandatory six hours of in-car lessons with an instructor, I went to the MVA and took my Maryland road test.
The in-car lessons were a unique experience. On three separate occasions, I met an instructor outside my driving school, and proceeded to drive around main roads, surrounding neighborhoods, and I even got a lesson on parking. Though the lessons were long and tiring (not to mention a bit stressful since I was driving with a stranger each day) I learned a lot during these lessons. There’s something very different about learning how to drive by actually doing it hands-on. Even though I found drivers ed interesting and helpful, I didn’t realize how much I had learned until I passed my road test! This means I now have my provisional license.
Road test nerves
Although I wish I had started my license process much earlier (I could have had my license in March) I’m glad I waited until a time where schoolwork and extracurriculars eased up a bit so that it wasn’t as stressful. When I went to take my road test, I was so, so nervous. I was actually shaking as I sat in the building waiting for my name to be called. Luckily, I had scheduled an appointment – because of this, I didn’t have to spend the entire day waiting.
During the road test I actually messed up the one thing I thought I had mastered: reverse parking. I thought I’d be better under pressure, but I was wrong. Thankfully the car I used, my mom’s Lexus, had a back-up camera and parking sensors. If it wasn’t for both of these installations, I don’t know if I would’ve passed my test. Both the back-up camera and the sensors allowed me to tweak the angles of the car until I could successfully park.
“You’ve passed the road test!”
After I had parked, the test proctor told me to pull out of the space and continue around the course (the MVA has a closed course that you drive around first, in order to see if you’re a fit enough driver before going onto the local roads). I was able to successfully complete the closed course, allowing me to move onto the road portion of the test. It felt more natural than I had anticipated, and my nerves were mostly calmed by the time I pulled back into the MVA lot and parked. My test proctor finished marking off his papers, then turned to me and said “Congratulations, you have passed the Maryland road test,” just like I had wished many times before!
Since passing the road test and receiving my license, I’ve helped my mom with the driving on an eight-hour road trip, ran errands here and there for my grandmother, and I’ve even filled my own gas tank! Of course, this has all happened while I’m on vacation in a small beach town, so the roads are much quieter and less busy. It’ll be much different driving back home in the city, but I’m looking forward to it.
Ready to learn to drive?
The most dangerous driving season of the year is here—what you and your teen should know
From grad parties to family trips, reasons to be on the road this summer are plentiful. But as your family – and your teenagers – get behind the wheel, realize that the summertime is the most dangerous time of the year for young drivers.
According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the number of fatal teen driver collisions increases by 15% between Memorial Day and Labor Day. This means more than 1,600 people have been killed in summertime accidents over the last five years involving inexperienced teen drivers. And while it’s impossible to blame one specific trend or issue, GuardChild conducted a survey that may clue us in: 69% of 16- to 18-year old teens have admitted to speeding, running lights, or texting while driving during the last month. Now is the time to properly train – and monitor – your young drivers.
There is some good news, however: Fatal teen collision rates are down. The number of fatal crashes per 100,000 licensed drivers dropped by 44% over the last decade for teens, compared to a smaller decrease of only 27% for the 35- to 40-year-old adult group.
“This is very, very significant,” transportation safety consultant Pam Fischer said during a recent Governors Highway Safety Association event. “We’ve made some tremendous strides here, absolutely.”
What is the good news attributed to? Graduated driver license (GDL) laws and lower teen licensure rates, Fischer said.
“No one can dispute the fact that GDL is the most effective tool we have to address teen crash risk,” Fischer said, adding that at the same time, “an estimated one in three teens is not licensed by age 18. The cost to own and operate a vehicle, we know, can be significant.”
The not-so-good news
“Teens are still 1.6 times more likely than the comparison group, older adult group, to be involved in a fatal crash,” Fischer noted. “That’s down from 1.8 times in 2005, but it’s up slightly from 1.3 in 2013. We’re still seeing teens have a high crash risk.”
Distracted driving is one of the top factors involved in teen collisions.
Between 2007 and 2015 the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety recorded more than 8,200 videos of teen driving incidents. After reviewing the footage, the foundation found:
- There was a significant, year-over-year increase in the number of teens involved in rear-end crashes
- More than half of all incidents recorded involved potentially distracting behavior, including attending to passengers, cell phone use, and attending to other items inside the vehicle
In fact, passengers serve as some of the most dangerous distractions for young drivers – the risk of getting into a collision for the driver increases with each additional passenger. However, at the same time, only 44% of teens say they feel confident enough to speak up if riding in a car driven improperly by another young driver.
- Keep an eye out for eDriving’s soon-to-be-released app Mentor, coming out this fall for consumers. Install the app on your teen’s phone to monitor their driving behavior
- Enroll your child in drivers ed at the time that’s best for them. Read “Is my teenager ready to drive?” on DriversEd.com
- Be a good example. DoSomething.org reports that 56% of teenagers rely on their parents to learn how to drive
- Talk to your teenager about the friends they ride with. While states’ GDL laws impose restrictions on teen passengers, ensure your child feels empowered to be vocal about dangerous driving behavior with their friends
- Enforce curfews. More than 40% of teen auto deaths occur between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.
Learn more about DriversEd.com
- Visit DriverEd.com’s Distracted Driving Center
- In their own words: Read “Teens in the Car: What’s Most Distracting (and What Can We Do About It)?” on DriversEd.com
- Parents: Enroll your teenager in DriversEd.com’s Online Teen Drivers Education
- Parents: Refresh your driving skills and sign up for DriversEd.com’s In-Car Driving Lessons
Top Missed Questions on Texas Driver Permit Practice Tests According to DriversEd.Com
The Texas Department of Public Safety (TxDPS) administers approximately 1,000 road tests per weekday, on average. While the typical wait for a road test can take a few weeks, TxDPS’ busy summer season can extend that wait to a few months. For parents looking to make sure their teens are licensed to drive before going back to school, the time is now.
To help new drivers secure a learner license, DriversEd.com by eDriving, the No. 1 provider of driver’s education in the U.S., has revealed the top questions Texan teens get wrong on its practice permit tests. To determine the questions most frequently answered incorrectly, DriversEd.com analyzed the answers to thousands of practice test questions. Interested teens can test their knowledge and prepare themselves to ace the test on the first try, getting them one step closer to obtaining a license this summer.
Texas Drivers Education
Drivers 25 and younger are required to complete Texas drivers ed before applying for a license. The traffic signs and rules of the road exam provided during the course serves as the official state knowledge exam. Each drivers ed student has up to three chances to pass it with score of at least 70%. If the student does not pass the test by the third time it is taken, the student must retake the course or that portion of the program.
Because of TxDPS’ “three strikes and you’re out” rule, and given the wait for road test appointments, it’s important for students to pass the knowledge exam on their first try. No student wants to do double the work, pay additional fees, and retake drivers ed.
“We know parents feel a real sense of urgency this time of year to make sure their teens are prepared to pass the official exam on the first try,” explained Justin McNaull, a traffic safety advocate and DriversEd.com spokesperson. “We know how valuable practice can be, which is why we offer our students free, practice learner license tests when they take our Texas online drivers ed course.”
The Inside Scoop
Of the nine questions most frequently answered incorrectly on DriversEd.com Texas practice permit tests, five relate to turning, overtaking or passing, and giving right of way. One question highlighted Texas distracted driving laws, and the remaining three questions focused on road signs, liability insurance requirements, and applicability of speed limits.
- Only one out of every five students correctly identify when a driver may cross a solid double yellow line in the center of a roadway
- 75% of students fail to recognize the correct highway sign used to identify a short highway in a city or urban area known as a “Loop”
- 70% of students are unaware that a posted speed limit of 55mph does not allow drivers to maintain that speed during inclement weather or other unfavorable driving conditions
Top Three Missed Questions on Texas Practice Permit Tests (Source: DriversEd.com)
1: Dos & Don’ts of Turning Left from Center Lane
“When making a left turn from a center lane (which is bordered by a solid and broken line on each side), you may enter this lane to make a left turn no more than ___ feet from the location of the turn.” This question appeared on more than 1,800 practice TxDPS permit tests studied by DriversEd.com. Only 342 students (18.85%) selected the correct answer of “300.” Most test takers chose shorter distances, which can affect safe turning practices as well as impact traffic flow.
2: Dos & Don’ts of Crossing a Double Yellow Line
“You must not cross a solid double yellow line in the center of a roadway to:”. Appearing on 3,071 of the practice tests analyzed by DriversEd.com, the correct answer, “Overtake another vehicle,” was selected by only 618 students (20.12%). Students often incorrectly chose answers related to turning safely.
3: Dos & Don’ts of Cellphone Use in a School Lane
“A driver is using his cell phone while passing through a school zone. Is it legal?’. Appearing on 2,225 of the tests, just 518 students (23.28%) selected the correct answer of “It is illegal unless the driver is at least 18 years of age and using a hands-free device.” Texas law prohibits drivers of any age from texting or talking using a handheld cell phone while driving in a school zone. Moreover, it is illegal for drivers under 18 to text or use a mobile device while operating a vehicle. And effective Sept. 1, 2017, texting while driving will be illegal for all Texas drivers.
Learn more about DriversEd.com and eDriving:
Teen Blogger Jett Roberts Picks up Defensive Driving Tips in his Interview with a DriversEd.com Instructor
DriversEd.com’s newest teen blogger Jett Roberts, 16, is a junior at Bishop O’ Dowd High School in Oakland, California. He’s in the process of getting his drivers license, and currently drives under adult supervision with a California permit.
Jett says: “I’ve been driving for almost four months now, and I love it! I went through the California online drivers ed training on DriversEd.com, and I have done three lessons with a teacher.”
Despite being new to driving, Jett is already showing an awareness of the importance of being a SMART driver.
“When you are driving you have a responsibility to everyone else to be safe and respectful,” he says. “Living in the San Francisco Bay Area is probably one of the hardest places to drive because there are so many people. Our house is also by “the maze”, which is where eight highways meet! You can see people get mad while driving, and my mom always tells me to assume that no one else knows what they are doing, which keeps you at your sharpest.
Jett completed his California online drivers ed course a few months after he turned 16.
“I didn’t know a lot of the things that were covered in the course, including almost all of the traffic laws, so it’s needless to say I learned a lot. The best part about DriversEd.com’s online drivers ed training was the little movies where I got to choose the outcome! I thought that was a great way to help me figure out what to do.”
Jett will be interviewing drivers and writing blog articles for DriversEd.com as he goes through the process of earning his drivers license.
Here is his first interview with DriversEd.com driving instructor Africa Ishodi, in which he picks up a few defensive driving tips:
How many students have you taught?
I’ve taught over 300 hundred students while working with DriversEd.com. Teaching new drivers is all about adapting to different students and their learning styles. Not all kids are the same, so they don’t all learn the same way.
Have you done anything like teaching drivers ed before or is this your first job like this?
I used to work with people who have special needs; I did that for seven years. This helped me develop my teaching skills and the ability to find the best learning style for each student.
Is driving different than it was when you learned?
When I learned how to drive I was taught be an older person, who had a great deal of experience. I remember the main thing that I didn’t get the hang of was braking properly.
I pulled from what I learned while driving, and use this knowledge when teaching others. The main point being to look over your shoulder when turned, ALWAYS!!
How long have you been driving; when did you get your license?
I got my license about 19 years ago, when I was 16. I got it in San Francisco, which is extremely hard to navigate!
What are some defensive driving skills, that will make me a better driver?
SMOG! This is what will prepare you the most for the driving test.
Signal when turning,
Mirrors, check them every 10 to 15 seconds,
(Look) Over your shoulder when turning, always scan your surroundings,
and last but not least Go when its safe!
How will those defensive driving skills help me in my driving test?
Traffic laws are key, and knowing what you can or cannot do. SMOG prepares you so much for the test!
What is your favorite food?
Pot roast and healthy foods, like quinoa, and chicken.
What is your favorite thing to do in your spare time?
I take Martial Arts, Sanshou, a fighting form of Kung Fu. It was originally developed by the Chinese military based on traditional Kung Fu and modern combat fighting techniques.
What is your favorite TV show and/ or movie?
TV – Big Bang Theory, Movie – I Am Sam
What is your favorite season in the year?
Summer! I love the weather, and going on vacation!
What kind of music do you like?
No favorite genre, I love them all!
Are you ready to take your California online drivers ed? Learn more: California online drivers ed
More than 44 million Americans are expected to travel at least 50 miles from home over the weekend, which is 1.25 million more travelers than last year. With July 4th falling on a Tuesday, it is believed people will make the most of the long weekend.
“Strong employment, combined with rising incomes and higher consumer confidence bode well for the travel industry,” said Mary Maguire, AAA Northeast Director of Public and Legislative Affairs. “This historic number of travelers will add to an already bustling summer travel season.”
AAA estimates that 85% of all holiday travelers will opt to drive to their destinations, an increase of nearly 3% over 2016’s numbers. Only 3.27 million travelers are expected to look into other forms of transportation, including trains, buses, or cruises.
Slow Down, Move Over
The AAA reminds travelers that every state has a law requiring motorists to move over and slow down when approaching first responders such as police officers and tow truck drivers.
“First responders are killed or injured every year throughout the country, and the Slow Down, Move Over laws are designed to protect those who are working to protect us,” Maguire said.
Prepare Before You Go
Are you one of the millions of drivers taking to the road at the beginning of July? Read our Car Upgrades for Road Trips to see how else you can make your drive the safest – and most comfortable – possible.