How many responsible, well-informed, and sincere individuals you know who suddenly transform into careless, abusive, and dangerous drivers when they get behind the wheel?
An ancient Walt Disney cartoon featuring Goofy comes to mind. This was an otherwise extremely upright character that wouldn’t hurt an ant when walking on the pavement. But as soon as he got behind the wheel, he would mutate into a screaming, abusing, impatient driver, taking pleasure in hitting those who got in his way even if that meant suffering damage to his own car.
Fortunately, real life is slightly more sedate than that. In real life, how we do something is usually (though not always) how we do everything. A responsible and reliable person can be counted on in his job, when filing taxes, as well as in his relationships. Same is the case with the irresponsible and unreliable persons.
The point of this preamble is that our habits, of which driving is a part, are largely a product of our overall approach to life.
And how we live our lives, not just how we drive, sets a very profound example for our children.
Here are five traits that you’d do well to imbibe in order to give yourself the best shot of raising responsible children.
A Responsible Conduct
If you want to influence your teen for the better and want him to become a responsible driver, you will first have to become a responsible person yourself, and not just when it comes to driving.
This is what responsible behavior looks like in practice on the road:
You observe all the rules when you are driving. That means resisting touching the phone, tailgating the vehicles in front of you, exceeding the speed limit, pushing your luck with alcohol in your system, or relishing bending a rule or two and celebrating that you got away with it.
Off-road, responsible behavior looks like this:
- Being sincere in your job
- Paying your taxes on time
- Speaking to your wife and kids respectfully
- Taking good care of your possessions
- Taking good care of your health
- Being smart with money
Even many adults struggle with self-accountability. We seem to have it in us to see how far we can push something and get away with it. We tend to cut corners. We lie to ourselves, don’t change our harmful habits, don’t keep our word to our families and don’t even keep our word to ourselves!
In short, we let ourselves off the hook rather easily.
The problem with this is that it inhibits our growth. And it conveys the message to our kids that daddy doesn’t think it’s important enough to be exercising every day. Daddy never leaves for work on time. I’ve never seen daddy take good care of his car. Daddy always leaves the most important work for the last.
If it’s alright for daddy, it’s alright for me too, I guess.
Self-accountable people hold themselves responsible for their behavior, and generally don’t do stupid things on the road (or anywhere else).
But what’s the purpose of being so responsible or doing the right thing, when one can get away with the wrong one?
The purpose is to keep you out of harm’s way, and to prevent a negative habit from forming. Yes, people may get away without any accountability on a few occasions, but they will likely get into big trouble at some point because of it.
Your kids need to see why self-accountability is important.
A High Degree of Self-Regard
Peer pressure makes people do a lot of stupid things. It makes women go against their body type to lose oodles of weight and fit into a society-approved size. It makes men want to chase ambitions that are not truly theirs. And it makes teens want to dress, drive, or party a particular way just so that they are able to “fit in” and impress others.
But giving in to peer pressure so easily points towards insecurity within us or our inability to stand up for ourselves.
So what is self-regard and how does it help us?
For starters, it helps us by making us do things that benefit us, stops us from engaging in self-harming behavior, or putting ourselves in harm’s way -- regardless of how others see us.
People assured of their worth usually shy away from doing things that could harm their well-being, even at the risk of sounding ‘uncool’. Those with a troublesome relationship with themselves on the other hand are more likely to engage in behavior that could jeopardize their safety or happiness, without even knowing why they are doing so.
Your regard for yourself needs to be complete and your actions towards yourself need to reflect that, if you want the same to rub off on your teen.
Respect for the Law
It’s important to respect authority (without being obsequious) even when you disagree with it. What this does, apart from keeping you out of trouble, is cultivate a mindset that there is a right way and a wrong way to deal with things.
We may not feel all the rules and regulations are necessarily for our good, and we may even find certain laws silly. That is ok. But finding something silly and acting silly because of it are two different things.
Teens often have a hard time comprehending this. So help your child out with your own conduct and the rationale behind it.
Consideration for Others
There are a millions ways to be considerate. Not just to those you love but also to people in general. A very simple example is not to play music loudly after a certain hour, instead of (again) pushing it and waiting for someone to complain before you could be bothered with turning the volume down.
When you take other people’s convenience into account, you are telling your child in no uncertain terms that it’s important not to be a nuisance to others.
How does all this affect a teen?
Someone once said don't worry that your kids don't listen to you, worry that they are always watching you. In order for your words to have any credibility in the eyes of your children, you need to first walk the walk.
If our actions are screaming a lack of care and accountability, even the most beautifully phrased lectures to our teens about how to behave (on the road or off it) will likely fall on deaf ears, and it’s not difficult to see why.
How we drive is not just about how well we can parallel park or maneuver a car, but also a reflection of our underlying philosophy behind how we approach being in control; the regard we hold the law in; whether we truly cherish ourselves enough not to put ourselves in harm’s way (by getting drunk behind the wheel, for instance); and whether we have any consideration for other passengers in the car, or those on the road whom we could accidentally hit because we aren’t quite in our senses.
Will the above guarantee that your teen never gets into trouble with regards to her driving? No, it doesn’t. But this will ensure you’ll have done all you could have in order to set a very good example for your children to emulate. That is the best you can do as a parent.
Michael Georgiou M.A of Business Communications, Marketing/Advertising University of North Carolina at Pembroke Michael Georgiou is a dynamic business and marketing professional in the marketing division of Wilson Law, PA based in Raleigh, NC. He is an entrepreneurial guru with a proven success record in creative strategy, online branding, project management, and communication projects in both public and private sectors.
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It was a foggy Sunday afternoon in late March last year, when almost a hundred cars piled up in a horrific crash near the Virginia-North Carolina highway killing three and injuring dozens others. In all of 2013 there were at least 107 pileups on US roads;this brings it to about two such crashes a week.
Pileups do not usually have high fatalities but leave a long trail of injuries, medical bills, lost wages, damaged vehicles and endless paperwork. In 2011, the American Automobile Association analyzed that a fatal crash costs about $6 million in associated economic costs and an injury-only crash about $126,000. This research, based on the financial toll of traffic crashes in 99 cities, should be regarded as a warning to take better precautions to not get caught up in such pileups.
Causes for Pileups and Basic Precautions
Pileups usually cluster in winter, with more than a third of all the pileups occurring in 2013 happening in the months of January, February and December. These conditions often render the drivers to proceed in near blinding conditions. Dust storms and mountain fog too can produce the same results. Poor visibility is one of primary reasons for pileups, especially when combined with average-to-high car speeds.
One of the biggest reasons for a crash during bad weather is over-speeding. Trying to race home to get out from under the unforgiving sky might just delay you more. Unusual weather conditions like a snow squall or a duststorm often require slowing down, or stopping altogether. Driving in a pack-like formation can also easily cause a pileup. Avoid packs and keep a fair distance between your car and the next.
North Carolina often faces severely foggy conditions that affect all forms of transport and often render driving a car impossible without fog lights. Here are some tips when you need to drive in the fog.
- Keep your headlights dipped at all times.
- Know how to use your front and rear fog lights and keep them well maintained.
- Keep a gap of at least three seconds between you and the car in front.
- Make sure that you drive in a way that you can stop within the distance you can see ahead of you.
- When you reach a junction with low visibility, stop and roll down your windows to keep an ear out for approaching traffic.
What to Do When Caught in a Pileup
- Conserve the fuel of your car when you realize that you have gotten caught in a pileup. Your car's battery may be the only thing keeping you warm, make sure you use it judiciously. Let the vehicle run for 3-5 minute intervals to ensure the interiors are warm and that fuel is saved. If any accessories are plugged into the vehicle, remove them as they may drain the car battery.
- Keep your phone fully charged and call 911 as soon as you have checked on yourself and your passengers.
- Make sure you and your passengers still have the seatbelts on.
- Stay alert for any oncoming cars. While every crash is different, pileups usually have cars ramming into each other in intervals causing repetitive impacts. During the initial moments of the pileup stay in the car. Once the situation has stabilized step out cautiously and make your way to higher ground and warn oncoming cars. Try and stay out of the way of emergency crews trying to get past.
- Make sure that you always carry a water bottle and some snacks with you. Having a blanket or a warm coat when you leave the house could be a life-saver when caught in a pileup.
- Try and get as many details of other people caught in the crash and get as many accounts of the pileup as you can. This will help you in giving a statement to the police and also aid you when filing your insurance claim.
- Inform your insurance agent immediately after the crash.
- Try and make a note of the registration numbers of all the cars involved in the pileup.
- Make a note of the road and weather conditions and especially if there was anything noticeably out of place in terms of the road quality or lighting.
- It can be useful to take photos of the car and the pileup, but make sure the danger has passed before you attempt to do anything like that.
Who Is Responsible?
When a car hits the vehicle ahead of it, the car would be held liable. The assumption here is that the car travelling behind must stay at a safe braking distance from the vehicle in front of it. Multi-car crashes are complex because of the sheer number of vehicles, individuals and factors involved. Assigning blame to one party can become a hassle.
Law enforcement officers will take details of each car, its position, its driver, as well as the weather conditions. Common questions they consider are "Whose negligent actions set off the chain reaction?" and "Were other drivers speeding or driving too close?" Their report will cite which car is at fault and would explain what according to them were the precipitating factors leading to such a crash.
It is usually one car going off the rails that causes such pileups; however, it is possible for more than one car and driver to share the blame for the pileup. The amount of fault will be decided by the police officer who writes up the final report, or by the insurance adjusters negotiating for an optimum solution. It is possible for several people to share in the fault, or everyone involved sharing some responsibility for the pileup. The more elements involved in such a scenario, the more complicated it becomes.
Review the liability limits on your auto policy and have a discussion with your insurance agent about an umbrella policy if you haven't already. Getting in touch with an automobile accident attorney in Raleigh would be an obvious next step to help you represent your side of the argument in the best possible format to get the compensation you deserve.
Driving out for a snack does not necessarily sound dangerous until it actually turns out that way. Taking the right precautions will help you stay sound when caught in such hazardous situations.
The soaring heat and the high temperature can’t make you to sit back and stay at home during summer; you can make your summer driving a merry one in case you follow the summer driving tips and implement them practically. High temperature is always a problem for the drivers mainly at the summer season; this will affect both the car as well as the driver. To enhance the car driving potential you have to invest in quality Car products as they will ensure you safety in every drive you make.
You should always make sure to check the vehicles components including the brake pads in case they need a replacement you can do so as the brake pads cost will not be too high and so you can consider changing the parts before you head for your summer trip or journey. Here are some of the best summer seasonal driving tips that will help you in coping with the journey by avoiding breakdowns and heat:
- Check your tyres before you head for your summer trip as the tyre threads and the wear may not be intact, check for the cracks or uneven surface or bald patches. The high temperature at summer may damage your rubber and thus lead to puncture too. So it is better to see that you have a spare tyre and that it is in condition. Check for the air pressure on the tyres before heading out for a summer journey.
- Check up regularly the coolant level too and if needed you have to top it up as this will avoid overheating. Also check up the working of the coolant fan as this is crucial in maintaining the engine temperature. Check up the power steering fluid, clutch and brake. Fill the steering fluid oil before you head for the trip.
Now that you are done with the checking of the vehicle here are some summer driving tips for the drive:
- Never be in a hurry to start without planning anything well ahead. You should plan well in advance and give sufficient time to take rest before you start on the long journey. A summer drive will make you tired and exhausted soon, so you need to have sufficient rest and sleep before you start the long summer trip.
- When you are into the steering for the drive relax by listening to soft slow music and take in some fresh air as this will help you to relax naturally.
- You should always take a break of 15 to 20 minutes in every two hours. This break is needed for both you and your vehicle engine.
- Suppose you are parking your vehicle in between the journey, see to it that you park your vehicle in a shady area or use the windscreen shade as this will help you to keep the temperature low inside the car.
While entering open the car doors so that the low temperature in the car can be retained.
Going on a long road trip will be a test for your car. The smallest of the problems can easily escalate into a big one. As such, it is absolutely necessary to get your car checked before you get on the road.
Getting your car serviced before the trip is important. Take your car to a trusted mechanic. He will be able to take care of all the small bits. If you got your car serviced just some time back, you can inspect your car for minor problems.
Here are some things to pay attention to.
Tires are prone to failure. You will need to inspect each tire properly. If the tire threads are extremely worn out and the tire needs to be replaced, get it done before the trip. All the tires need to be inflated. The spare wheel will need to be checked and inflated too. Don't forget to carry a jack along.
The tires may need to be balanced or rotated as per their condition. Get your wheels aligned a few days prior to the journey.
Windshield and Wipers
Checking your windshield and wipers for damage or functioning problems is important as you need to see what's ahead to be able to drive carefully. A damaged or dirty windshield can impair your vision considerably. If your windshield has chips or cracks, you need to get it inspected by a professional. A Reno auto glass specialist will be able to repair or replace your windshield depending on the damage.
While traveling, do make sure you don't leave your car out in the sun for prolonged periods. If the temperature outside is too hot or too cold, avoid turning the air conditioner or heater on to the maximum setting.
Such temperature extremes can cause cracks to form in an otherwise damage-free windshield.
If the wipers aren't functioning properly, get them repaired. If the wiper blades aren't cleaning the windshield efficiently or smearing dirt in both directions, clean the blades and the windshield properly. It's a good idea to unclog the spray nozzles using a toothpick or a pin. Make sure there's adequate fluid in the windshield washer tank.
This includes checking all the lights in your vehicle-head lamps, tail lights, indicators, parking lights. They are all crucial while driving, both to you and other drivers on the road. Have someone stand outside the car and give you a thumbs-up as you apply the brakes and activate the indicators.
While there's no say on when your car battery may conk out, you can take some steps to make sure it works fine. Acid leaks or cracks on the battery need to be dealt with immediately. Battery terminals need to fit tightly and should not be corroded.
If you have been having charging problems with the battery for some time, you need to ask a mechanic what needs to be done about it. Perhaps the battery gets drained due to faulty electrical wiring. If you can't do without a new battery, get it replaced instead of taking chances. A battery shouldn't generally cause trouble unless it's over 3 years old.
A lack of coolant will cause your vehicle to overheat. This may cause serious damage to the vehicle and may even leave you stranded in the middle of the road. Make sure there is adequate quantity of coolant in the overflow tank. You can add extra coolant-water mix if the level is low. It is advisable to check for leaks in the cooling system.
Failing to change the engine oil at regular intervals is the main cause of a lot of engine problems. If an oil change is due, get it done before the trip. Also, don't go over the recommended mileage during your trip; it will be better to get the oil changed ahead of schedule instead.
You can check the engine oil by yourself. Park the car on a leveled surface and wait for a couple of minutes before you pull out the oil dipstick. Wipe it clean, insert it back completely and pull it out again. The level of the oil should be close to full. Also, the color of the oil shouldn't be dark.
Take care of your brakes and they will take care of you! If your car displays a brake warning light, you need to check the car for brake fluid leaks or other brake-related problems. The brake fluid needs to be adequate. You can check it by yourself and add more of it as needed.
If your brakes are always making a grinding or squeaking sound, don't ignore it. Perhaps you need new rotors or brake pads. Your mechanic should be able to see through the problem.
Going on a road trip means an endless amount of fun. Don't let the fun come to a disappointing halt just because you overlooked a little fault. Just as you'll be prepared with food, clothes and travel accessories, your car needs to be prepared for the trip too.
This stellar 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302 is finished in Grabber Blue paint brilliantly accented by a White luxury interior. This Sports Roof Fastback is powered by the 302CI V8 engine mated to a 4 speed close ratio manual transmission. Over $110,000 was spent on the ground up restoration. The body is laser straight and the paint is fantastic. This Mustang features the shaker hood scoop, power steering, power brakes, traction loc differential, Hurst shifter, luxury interior, bucket seats, center console, decor group, stereosonic cassette player, Marti Report, and Magnum 500 wheels wrapped in Goodyear Poly Glas tires. Prepare to turn heads everywhere you go in this incredibly well optioned Boss 302.
Every vehicle will need a proper braking as the normal wear and tear will affect the functioning of the car brake system; the vehicle has to be regularly inspected and if needed any components that are damaged or rusted should be changed immediately so that the car’s durability will increase. You should never skip the vehicle maintenance or put off the minor repairing of the vehicle as this will lead to some major expensive problems or repairs. Even the driving habits of the vehicle will affect the braking system of the car.
If the car is a single owner car then there will not be any issues but on the other hand if this is multiple driven one the car will need frequent servicing or repairing. When you drive carefully you can extend the life span of the car and this will also enhance the life span of the callipers and the rotors. Balance the shocks and struts in a conditioned way as this will not put any unnecessary strain upon the brake discs, but a mintexbrake will increase the strength and the life of the vehicle. Here are some reasons that state that your old braking is not good and you need a good and genuine brake for your vehicle:
The warning light of the brake is activated: The car will give an alert sound stating that the system is in trouble, the solution for this is that the car should be inspected and serviced by a trained mechanic, the car will need a repair or servicing and the damaged part should be changed there will be a need of regular inspection and the maintenance is needed for having a smooth running.
There will be some grinding sound or squealing sound from the car: when you have this problem the car will have problem in the brake, you will hear some sound or squealing or grinding sound that show that the brake is not proper. The pads and the shoes will have to be changed due to the wear and tear or sometimes also replaced. The solution for this is to replace the worn pads and the shoes immediately.
The brake pedal is spongy or doesn’t respond: in this case the brake is weak and the braking should be changes, the car may work or function but the result will not be satisfactory, the pedal will go all the way down and have no braking power. The solution for this problem is to replace the pads and the fluids have to be filled for getting the adequate braking pressure. You have to replace the pads at the earliest and the fluids have to be checked for the contamination. If needed the fluids have to be replaces. The brake boosters should be volume controlled and the failed master cylinders have to be replaced.
When you have the above mentioned problems it clearly states that the car will need a servicing and the car brakes also need a change immediately.
While having a brand new shiny car is always appealing to any person, it could be a financial expense that most should not take on. It should especially not be taken on if you are in possession of a perfectly well running vehicle. There is no need to keep looking for the bigger and better if you spend that money on upgrades and improvements for your current vehicle. Instead of investing your money in a brand new vehicle and taking on a monthly car payment, invest it in your paid off vehicle. For those who might not have money ready to spend on their current vehicle, there are many companies that offer TitleBucks that will allow you to make the necessary updates on your used car. Here are a few ways to make your used car like new.
Cleaning and Checkups
The first step to making your car like new is to make sure there is regular maintenance performed. Getting a thorough check on your vehicle and fixing any problems that might be keeping it from performing at its full potential. Once all the hiccups are fixed, routine vehicle checkups will keep your car running like new.
An extensive cleaning of your vehicle is the second way to keep it sparkling like new. Scrubbing your vehicle and cleaning every nook and cranny in the car will make a huge improvement to any used vehicle.
The interior of the vehicle is another thing to focus on. Fix little tears in the seat fabric or cracks on the dashboard. Recover all the seats with updated interior fabric. Spend some money updating the interior of your used vehicle to make it visually pleasing to you.
Investing in a new stereo system is also a large improvement to a used vehicle. A better sound system that integrates Bluetooth, a phone connection, and even a GPS system are affordable for many to help update any car.
Much like a person’s outer appearance speaks for them, so does the exterior of any vehicle. It is important to fix any dents or scratches that are visible on the vehicle. Fresh paint will also give the car a brand new feel. Getting new tires for any vehicle will also give it that update it might have needed. These tires can also be accessorized with new rims. Over time the lenses over the headlights of a vehicle can give a clouded and foggy appearance. Getting a good lens cleaner will brighten your headlight shine as well as make the lenses on the headlights look brand new.
New vehicles are extremely expensive and add a high monthly expense. Your paid off used vehicle can be made to look as if it was fresh off the assembly line with just a little bit of work. Instead of investing money into a brand new vehicle, put that money into giving your vehicle a little TLC. A good cleaning, regular maintenance, interior, and exterior updates are all you need to turning your old vehicle into something like new.
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Truck accidents are nasty occurrences. A giant vehicle hits you out of the blue and leaves a trail of destruction in its wake. Injury, and sometimes even death, is inevitable. The NHTSA and other national organizations have repeatedly provided us with the statistics. What we are looking at today, however, are not the numbers but the most evident, most registered and the most disturbing cause of truck accidents -- human error. Why are truck drivers erring? Apparently, the most common reason behind truck accidents is excessive fatigue among the drivers. But why are our drivers so fatigued? Who or what is causing it? Let’s find out.
Demanding and Exhausting Schedules
The Hours of Service rules clearly stipulate the number of hours a truck driver can spend behind the wheel each day, and the mandatory periods of rest he must take in between. Log books are kept to maintain a record of the same. However, the trucking or transport company, the truck owner and the truck driver all function within a vicious system that ultimately leads to an overworked and tired driver.
Transport companies set unrealistic targets for truck drivers and put pressure on them to meet these targets. The delivery dates promised are unrealistic and difficult to achieve legally. So the trucking companies themselves teach and encourage drivers to make fake entries that do not reveal their real hours of work.
The driver on the other hand forces himself to make those extra hours to get that extra money. And that is how it continues. But when a road accident occurs, and a fatigued truck driver is found to be the cause of it, both the driver and the trucking company can be held liable for the accident and the injuries caused to the other party.
Substance Abuse Leading to Poor Judgment
There is a strong reason why I equated this dangerous phenomenon of fatigued truck drivers with a vicious circle earlier. When somebody is overworked and underpaid in a job like driving, or for that matter in any job, it leads to a build-up of resentment. Driving requires you to stay alert and focus on the roads for long hours at a stretch. That gets difficult when you are overworked. Moreover, roads are lonely and driving gets monotonous. This leads to drivers resorting to consuming drugs and stimulants, both legal and illegal. While this may help them stay awake and alert for a while, the later effects can be hazardous - ranging from hallucinations and delusions to shortness of breath and complete confusion and paranoia.
Under the influence of such drugs the probability of an accident rises considerably. Poor judgment and delayed reaction lead to dangerous driving decisions on the road.
We cannot generalize that all truck drivers resort to substance abuse; however, distracted driving is an undeniable aspect of fatigued driving. If you are not consuming alcohol and drugs to dull your emotions and fight exhaustion, you are indulging in other activities to keep yourself awake and interested in your job of driving.
Drivers seek distractions to fight the monotony, and are increasingly resorting to texting, calling, or watching videos while driving. The Arizona truck accident last year, caused by a truck driver who was allegedly looking at photos on Facebook when he rammed into a police vehicle killing two officers, is a glaring example of the dangers of distracted driving.
Listless Roads and Slumberous Noons and Nights
While the long hours on the road are obviously the main cause of fatigue among truck drivers, it is the nature of the occupation itself that carries scope of fatigue within it. Driving on roads for such long durations can get extremely boring and even frustrating at times. One is bound to feel sleepy and lethargic. Taking confused decisions at such a time when your mind is not alert can lead to accidents.
Afternoons and nights also see a high occurrence of truck accidents. The time between 2 pm and 4 pm (just after consuming a meal and alcohol) or the late night hours from 2 am to 6 am are dangerous hours. Your body demands sleep during these hours. Drowsiness and dozing off behind the wheel is common during these hours. And we all know what that can lead to.
Not Having Two Assigned Drivers
When long distances need to be covered by a single driver and there are rigid deadlines to meet, it puts huge pressure on the driver and takes a toll on his mental and physical health. Therefore, assigning two drivers for long journeys is a good idea. Not only can they take turns at driving, but also be a source of company for each other and keep a check on one another. But transport companies avoid doing this to minimize costs.
What Needs to and Must Be Done
• First and foremost, trucking companies need to think beyond profits and ensure that truck drivers are not overworked or exhausted. In fact, they should take all the required steps to prevent drivers from falling asleep behind the wheel.
• On the part of the driver, avoiding alcohol during driving will make the drive a lot less risky for himself as well as for others on the road.
• Organizations and individuals who hire trucking companies to ship their goods must hire companies with care. They must ensure that the contracted company follows the FMSCA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) rules.
• Victims of truck accidents who have suffered injuries and damage due to the negligence of truck drivers must seek legal assistance from trucking accident attorneys and file for proper compensation.