Important Things to Remember for Safe Teen Driving

A new teen driver, as well as an experienced driver, can prevent collisions by reducing driver distractions and maintaining control of their vehicles.

The following list will help all kinds of drivers with varying levels of experience drive safely.  First of all – buckle-up. And, be sure all of your passengers are buckled up.

Are You Worried Now That Your Teen Is Driving? “When it comes to ‘New-Driver’ and ‘Student Driver’ car magnets, Rookie Driver products are the Preferred Choice of New Teen Drivers”

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1. Keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel! Driver distraction is reaching epidemic proportions in drivers of all ages, but especially in young, inexperienced drivers.  Driving is not a multi-functional task. It requires the driver’s full attention.

2.  Check mirrors and seat position as soon as you get into the car, not as you are driving. Fasten your safety belt and adjust your mirrors, the radio or CD player and the climate control settings. Keep music at a low level so you can hear a horn or siren.

3.  Do not talk on a cell phone while driving. Don’t make calls while driving. Let your voicemail pick up incoming calls. Return calls later when the car is safely parked in a parking lot.

4. Know the type of braking system that your vehicle uses. If your vehicle uses an anti-locking braking system (ABS), keep your foot firmly on the pedal if you stop suddenly. Do not pump the brakes in an emergency situation.  If your vehicle is not equipped with anti-lock brakes, press the brake pedal firmly, just short of locking the wheels. If your wheels lock, indicating a skid, let up slightly on the brake pressure. Then, reapply pressure to the brake. Continue this squeezing action until the vehicle stops.

 5.  The speed limit is the speed MAXIMUM not the speed requirement.  Reduce speed and keep a safe following distance. Slow down in bad weather or other poor driving conditions, such as rain, fog, snow, ice, and heavy traffic. If you are uncomfortable with the speed limit, for whatever reason, slow down.

6.  Don’t speed. Speeding will not get you to your destination faster. Speed influences a crash in four ways: 
    ■ It increases the distance your vehicle travels from the time you recognize an  emergency until you can react. 
    ■ It increases the distance it takes to stop your vehicle. The faster you go, the more distance it takes to stop your vehicle. 
    ■ It increases the crash severity. For example, if your speed increases from 40 to 60 miles an hour, your speed increases 50 percent while the energy released in a crash more than doubles. 
    ■ Higher speeds reduce the ability of seatbelts, air bags, guard rails and barriers to protect vehicle occupants in a crash.

7. Avoid jerky movements or overcorrecting. A sudden response or overcorrection, such as jerking the steering wheel to the right or left or slamming on the brakes can cause the vehicle to skid, swerve into oncoming traffic or veer off the roadway. You can avoid sudden surprises that lead to reactive moves by watching the traffic and roadway ahead, behind and around you.

8. Don’t drink and drive, and never be a passenger with a drinker.

source:  allencountydrivealive.org

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Car magnets alert motorists to young drivers

Are You Worried Now That Your Teen Is Driving? “When it comes to ‘New-Driver’ and ‘Student Driver’ car magnets, Rookie Driver products are the Preferred Choice of New Teen Drivers”

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SPRING LAKE — Corinne Fortenbacher’s drive to keep her son safe behind the wheel without cramping his style has grown into a business gaining national exposure.
The Spring Lake family last year designed a sporty magnet decal reading “Rookie Driver” to put on the rear of their car when their son, Austin, was driving with his learner’s permit.This would alert other drivers to give the car some space.

The car swerved, and the Fortenbachers barely escaped an accident.

“He about crashed into the barrels. It was simple inexperience,” said his father, Jeff.

Corinne decided to do something about it.
When they got home, she got on the Internet and found bumper stickers that said “student driver in training.”

“Austin thought they were stupid. He said, ‘If I have to put that on my car, I just won’t drive.”‘

So they agreed to design one that Austin and his friends would think was cool. Austin said “student driver” just seemed lame. But since he is a sports fan, “rookie driver” passed the test.

Just to be sure, they ran it through the ultimate coolness test: They showed the design to young women in his class.

“They all said, ‘Yeah, that’s way cooler than the lame ones out there,’ ” Corinne said.

They ended up with three versions. A 10-by-7-inch model says Rookie Driver in Training and sells for $9.95, while the 7-by-4 1/2 inch magnets say Rookie Driver or New Driver, for $8.95.

With that, RookieDriver.net was born.

“It has helped a lot. When they recognize that I’m new, they give me a lot more space. And if I mess up, they don’t get road rage and stuff like that,” Austin said.

His mother agrees.

“It certainly makes the new driver more relaxed, because people are not so aggressive toward them. So, yeah, I do think this could save a life.”

An out-of-town company manufactures the magnets, but the family handles all other aspects of the business.

Corinne does the marketing, mailing and customer service, while Jeff Fortenbacher runs the Web site. That is on top of the couple’s other job as regional directors for the Maui Wowi coffee and smoothie franchise.

Austin, now 16, no longer uses the sticker. But he recommends them to friends and classmates who are rookie drivers.

“He got to the point where he had the confidence, and we had the confidence in him,” Corinne said. “He’s a full-fledged driver right now.”

Source:  By Chad D. Lerch and Cami Reister

The Grand Rapids Press

Young driver creates cool way to get drivers to back off

Are You Worried Now That Your Teen Is Driving? “When it comes to ‘New-Driver’ and ‘Student Driver’ car magnets, Rookie Driver products are the Preferred Choice of New Teen Drivers”

CLICK HERE
to see.

SPRING LAKE — Corinne Fortenbacher’s drive to keep her son safe behind the wheel has grown into a business that is gaining national exposure.

The Spring Lake family has designed magnet decals for cars that identify teen drivers. But they aren’t just any magnets. They are “cool,” said Fortenbacher’s teenage son, Austin, unlike many of the other student-driving magnets on the market.

Supporters say the magnets let other drivers know to back off — and that helps teens develop confidence behind the wheel.

It all started with a near-collision in May 2006.

Fortenbacher’s son, Austin, had just received his learner’s permit in Grand Haven. He asked to drive home from the Secretary of State’s office.

With Corinne in the passenger’s seat, they approached a construction zone on U.S. 31 near Jackson Street when an impatient truck driver rattled the 15-year-old’s nerves.

The truck driver pulled up on Fortenbacher’s rear bumper and honked his horn. That forced Austin into a rookie mistake: He took his eyes off the road when he turned to see the truck.

The car swerved, and the Fortenbachers barely escaped an accident.

“He about crashed into the barrels. It was simple inexperience,” said his father, Jeff Fortenbacher.

Corinne decided to do something about it.

When they got home, she got on the Internet and found bumper stickers that said “student driver in training.” The Grand Haven YMCA also issues student-driver magnets.

“Austin thought they were stupid. He said, ‘If I have to put that on my car, I just won’t drive.’ ”

So they agreed to design one that Austin and his friends would think was cool. The mother-and-son team brainstormed slogans — some passed the test, others didn’t.

Austin said “Student Driver” seemed lame. But since he’s a sports fan, “Rookie Driver” sounded better because he could relate it to rookie athletes.

To be sure, they ran it through the ultimate coolness test — they showed the magnet design to girls in his class.

“They all said, ‘Yeah, that’s way cooler than the lame ones out there,’ ” Corinne said.

They ended up with a sporty design with white, red and black block letters. There are three versions. A 10-by-7-inch model says “Rookie Driver in Training” while the 7-by-4 1/2-inch magnets say “Rookie Driver” or “New Driver.”

With that, RookieDriver.net was born. And Austin is reaping the benefits.

“It has helped a lot. When they recognize that I’m new, they give me a lot more space. And if I mess up, they don’t get road rage and stuff like that,” Austin said.

His mother agreed.

“It certainly makes the new driver a lot more relaxed because people aren’t so aggressive toward them. So, yeah, I do think this could save a life,” Corinne said.

She said the product has received positive feedback. The magnets have been sold to customers in 44 states and Canada. The company has been featured in several national publications.

Kadi Brown, an 18-year-old student at Grand Haven, said she liked the magnet idea. “I think it would help make student drivers feel less targeted out there,” she said.

But getting all young drivers to buy into the concept can be a tough sell.

“The older kids would mess with you,” said Alex Chapman, 17. “Adults might lay off, and it would work if you had a parent in the car with you. But I wouldn’t drive around with one. As soon as I’d leave the driveway, I’d take if off.”

Shelbie Frifeldt, 17, agreed: “People are idiots — they’re not going to listen to a bumper sticker.”

Corinne said she has seen firsthand how the decal works. One night, she was heading to the high school and the driver behind her “backed way off.”

“I said to myself, ‘I’ll bet I have one of those magnets on.’ And sure enough, I did,” she said. “And I’ll tell you, it works.”

An out-of-town company manufactures the magnets for the family. But the family handles all other aspects of the business. Corinne does the marketing, mailing and customer service while Jeff Fortenbacher runs the Web site.

Austin, now 16, no longer uses the sticker. But he recommends them to friends and classmates who are rookie drivers.

“He got to the point where he had the confidence and we had the confidence in him. He’s a full-fledged driver right now,” Corinne said.

Source:  Muskegon Chronicle

By Chad D. Lerch

clerch@muskegonchronicle.com

Teach your teen to be a safe passenger

Are You Worried Now That Your Teen Is Driving?  “Finally, a ‘New Driver’ car magnet my teenager is willing to accept….”
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Almost half of traffic accident deaths are passengers, not drivers. This means your teen has the same fatality risk riding with a teen driver as she does driving.

Local teens surveyed said that they carry other teen passengers in the car more than 50 percent of the time when they drive. The risk of a deadly crash increases dramatically when there is a teen passenger in the car with a teen driver; the risk increases with each additional teen passenger. The reason? Friends distract the driver. It’s as simple as that.

Consider delaying the time when your teen starts driving other teens around. Think of the awesome responsibility on your shoulders when you authorize your teen to drive with friends in the car. Statistically, the risk for both the driver and the passenger are increased. So it may make sense to wait a year or more before allowing your teen driver to have passengers, and even then to limit the frequency and circumstances.

At the same time, teach your teens to be smart passengers.

Teach them to speak up if the driver is going too fast, or doing something hazardous or reckless. Let your teen know that a passenger’s words carry a lot of weight with most teen drivers. So urge your teen to speak up or even get out of a car that is being driven dangerously. If more teen passengers would speak up, we’d have fewer tragic deaths on county roads.

Source:  http://allencountydrivealive.org/safe%20passenger.htm