A 36 year old female had an accident several weeks ago and totaled her car. It was raining, though not excessively, when her car suddenly began to hydro-plane and literally flew through the air.

She was not seriously injured but very stunned at the sudden occurrence! When she explained to the highway patrolman what had happened he told her something that every driver should know –

She thought she was being cautious by setting the cruise control and maintaining a safe consistent speed in the rain. But the highway patrolman told her that if the cruise control is on when your car
begins to hydro-plane and your tires lose contact with the pavement, your car will accelerate to a higher rate of speed making you take off like an airplane. She told the patrolman that was exactly
what had occurred.

The patrolman said this warning should be listed on the driver’s seat sun-visor – NEVER USE THE CRUISE CONTROL WHEN THE PAVEMENT IS WET OR ICY, along with the airbag warning.

We tell our teenagers to set the cruise control and drive a safe speed – but we don’t tell them to use the cruise control only when the pavement is dry.

NOTE: Some vehicles (like the Toyota Sienna Limited XLE) will not allow you to set the cruise control when the windshield wipers are on.

Please share this information with everyone you can!

Parents, Drive Safely; Your Teens Are Watching

(NAPSI)-When behind the wheel, parents may want to think twice before picking up their cell phones. New survey results reveal that parents unknowingly may be contributing to their teens’ risky driving behaviors by not practicing what they preach, such as talking on their phones while driving.

The results showed that before parents hand over the keys to their young drivers, many enforce driving restrictions to help curb unsafe behaviors. However, the majority of parents are not following the safe driving advice they give their teens in many situations:

• 65 percent of parents talk on cell phones at least sometimes while driving; however, 95 percent restrict their teens from doing the same

• 68 percent of parents are in a hurry at least sometimes when they drive

• 65 percent of parents drive when they are tired at least sometimes.

“Distracted driving is a leading cause of teen driver crashes and it’s crucial parents talk to their teens about avoiding such distractions, like talking on cell phones,” said Laurette Stiles, vice president of strategic resources at State Farm. “To help instill these safe driving habits in teen drivers, it’s even more important parents follow their own advice, especially when their teens are riding with them.”

The parent survey identified how parents approach their driver’s education roles and work with their young drivers to avoid behaviors that commonly lead to vehicle crashes, the No. 1 killer of U.S. teenagers. The survey is a follow-up to the 2007 National Young- Driver Survey, conducted by State Farm and The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, which examined driving through the eyes of teens and found that they are driving under dangerous conditions:

• 89 percent of teens said they see their peers talking on cell phones while driving at least sometimes

• 91 percent of teens said they see their peers driving in a hurry at least sometimes

• 75 percent of teens said they see their peers drive when they are tired at least sometimes.

For tips and tools to help teach teens to drive, visit State Farm’s teen driver safety Facebook page.


Teen Driving Safety: A National Priority

In the United States, motor vehicle fatalities are the leading cause of death among those ages fifteen to twenty. Approximately 4,000 teens died and 300,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes in 2006. Even though they drive less than other age groups, mile for mile, teenagers are involved in three times as many fatal crashes as all other drivers.

Teens driving on rural roads face a greater challenge. Even though rural roads carry less than half of America’s traffic, they are home to over half of the nation’s vehicular deaths. Worse, the fatality rate for rural crashes is more than twice the fatality rate in urban crashes. For teens, the mix of speeding, not wearing a seat belt, driving while distracted (on cell phones or with other teens in the car), driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, and driving inexperience, often times has a deadly consequence.

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”

to see.

As part of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Rural Safety Initiative, we have partnered with National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS) to develop a new generation of advertising and educational materials to encourage teenagers to drive safely. To do that, we called on the one group in America that actually understands how to talk to teenagers and knows how to get them to do something different….other teenagers.

Last month, I invited six extraordinary teenagers living in rural areas around the U.S. to exchange ideas on new ways to communicate with teens about safer driving by teens. Their enthusiasm and passion for advocating traffic safety issues was clearly apparent. We discussed why teens were not using seat belts each and every time they are in a car, ways to prohibit retailers from selling alcohol to minors, how to better target teen drivers through media and communication campaigns, why teens do not perceive distracted driving (such as text messaging while driving) as a dangerous and also what can be done to better prepare teens through driver education to drive on rural roads which are often gravel instead of paved.

Hearing their personal experiences with traffic safety in rural communities and why they are so passionate about the issue was inspiring. I have asked them to share these experiences and their thoughts on the best way to educate other teenagers on traffic safety issues:

Jason WesterheideFamily, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA), Minster, Ohio

Today was an awesome experience for us: six youths, coming together with a Deputy Secretary and passionate traffic safety activist, to collaborate and highlight the underlying traffic safety issues that are not being discussed. Hopefully we can move forward after today to stimulate the youth, to convince the adults, and empower everyone to take positive actions for traffic safety with both youth and adults! Through education, communication, and collaboration, we will make a difference in the lives of many Americans to come.

Eric Dixon– Technology Student Association (TSA), Knoxville, Tennessee

Communication is the key to solving rural traffic problems. This communication needs to be youth-to-youth in order for the youth of our nation to accept these traffic safety issues into their lives and to remember them when the time comes. We are tired of hearing stories and receiving commands from adults twenty years our senior. We want to hear from responsible youth our age, and we want to know we are not alone in our efforts for traffic safety.

Whitley Shae Hill– Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), Grayson, Kentucky

I hope that our focus today on the issues and the explanations of why they are issues will create awareness, as well as legislation to prevent rural traffic fatalities. In an effort to eliminate preventable traffic incidents we must raise awareness to youth, as well as adults across the nation about the impact these collisions have on lives, families, and communities. We must also pioneer for future generations the ability to step outside our “normal” boundaries to advocate for safer, more productive roads.

Kristi RuthFarm Safety 4 Just Kids, Chariton, Iowa

I believe that rural traffic safety is a very important issue. This is something that affects millions of people across the U.S. Coming from a very rural area, I understand the importance of being able to drive on safe rural roads. I have had many close calls that could have had a deadly outcome. Thousands of teenagers lose their life every year due to traffic incidents. Teens need to know they are not alone in standing up for traffic safety.

Elise Strahan Youth Crime Watch American and (YCW) and National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS), Hubert Heights, Ohio

Having the honor to speak to Deputy Secretary Barrett gave me a chance to voice my views on teens and traffic safety today. I hope that America’s leaders today can better relate to the leaders of tomorrow through education and communication.

Jacob Holm– Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD), Valley City, North Dakota

It was an honor being involved in the discussion with Deputy Secretary Barrett. This is a prime example of how teens can become involved in traffic safety issues. When youth get together with a common voice we have the opportunity to truly make a difference. I challenge you all to let your passion flow and make a difference in our world. We are the generation that will make a difference in policy and social norms. If we band together we will make a difference. Just remember that standing up for what you believe in is never uncool or nerdy. It takes a lot of strength to do what is right so I applaud you for taking the first step in the right direction. Always remember that you are never alone in doing the safe and right thing.


Source:  Deputy Secretary Barrett:  Welcome to the fast lane – the official blog of the U.S. Secretary of Transportation