We all know that accessing the internet behind the wheel of your car is strictly on the do-not-do list, but are you aware that online resources to help people become better drivers (while they are safe at home) are gaining popularity? From websites offering certification to lower your insurance rates to defensive driving classes, the internet is a valuable tool to help people fine tune their knowledge of driving safety.
With no shortage of hazards and pitfalls on the open roads, everyone who pays attention to driving more safely helps all of us in the end. Distracted drivers, rude drivers, inattentive drivers, animal life, and inanimate objects all can cause trouble for a person who isn’t focused on driving and on what is around them.
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Here are 5 online driving resources that can help you and your family drive more safely:
The Dementia & Driving Resource Center of this website offers resources to the families and caregivers of people suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease and similar conditions when the time comes to ask their loved ones to stop driving.
- AARP’s Smart Driver Course
This is the nation’s first and largest online refresher course for drivers age 50 and older. In addition to helping people update their driving skills, this 4-hour course will introduce students to age-related physical changes that can affect driving performance and provide tips on how to compensate for them. Completing the course can make you eligible for an insurance discount.
This website has been state and court approved for insurance premium reductions, driving point reductions, and traffic ticket dismissal.You can start and stop anytime, and finish as fast as you like.
- Driver’s Ed Guru
Driver’s Ed Guru is not a driving school, but it offers free resources related to driver’s ed and learning how to drive. Use this resource to find things like written practice tests, instructional videos, and advice on teaching your teen how to drive.
- Larry Felazzo’s Website of the Day
Larry Felazzo put together his own list of the Best Online Resources For Drivers Education & Car Information that is accessible to English language learners. Check it out for more great resources.
[Find more great online resources for courses, degrees, and certificates at LearningAdvisor.com]
No matter how long we’ve had our driver’s licenses, we can all use a few reminders of good driving behavior. The following driving safety tips are provided by DefensiveDriving.com to help you reach your destination safely and without undue hassle. The best part is that none of these is difficult to follow, and when you make them a habit you make everyone around you, and those riding with you, safer on the road.
Don’t drive while tired.
Some people use coffee or energy drinks to keep themselves alert, but this is not a foolproof approach. Everyone responds differently to the effects of caffeine and the other ingredients in coffee and various energy drinks, and you may not be getting the boost you think you are.
Minimize distractions in your vehicle.
Cell phones, food, drinks, and even your passengers can cause unnecessary distractions that take your attention away from the road and the other vehicles around you. While you can ask that your passengers not cause you any unwanted diversions, using a cell phone can be particularly dangerous, as your eyes are not watching what is in front of you.
Keep your vehicle in good condition.
Worn tires, windshield wipers that smear or skip, or an improperly maintained engine can all contribute to unsafe conditions and even cause an accident.
Numerous studies and tests have shown that seat belts save lives. Airbags are a welcome safety feature, but they cannot hold you in place in the event of an accident, or if your vehicle rolls over. Insist that your passengers do so as well.
Use your turn signals.
Everyone is guilty of forgetting from time to time, but it should be a habit just like wearing your seat belt. If others around you don’t know you are trying to turn or change lanes, they can’t move and make room for you, and you may put them in a dangerous situation where they have nowhere to go.
Make use of your mirrors.
This is important both while driving in town and while on the highway. You need to be able to see what’s behind and beside you, and your mirrors are there for exactly that reason. Some newer cars and trucks have rear-mounted cameras to assist with rearward visibility, but they should be used along with mirrors, not instead of them.
Do not drive if you’re impaired in any way.
If you take medication that affects your vision or ability to react quickly, or if you’ve had any alcoholic drinks, you should ask someone else to do the driving.
Keep emergency supplies in your vehicle.
A flashlight, bottled water, ice scraper and jumper cables are ideal for most situations. Most vehicles have a spare tire; if yours does not, a can of tire sealant will usually be sufficient to get to a shop and have your tire repaired or replaced.
Don’t drive aggressively.
Following too closely, cutting other vehicles off and speeding can all cause accidents and possibly cause injury to you or others.
If you are in an accident…
Stay calm, make sure your passengers are okay, and call 911 if you are able.
Following these tips will ensure you are doing your part to keep yourself and others safe, and could possibly save lives. Don’t risk it; always drive safely.