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Columbus, Ohio
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Filtering by Category: driving

Make safety a habit all year long

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Little steps can add up to big impact. Taking a few minutes every week to think about safety is a habit worth creating.

 

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Talk to your teen about "5 to Drive"

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Car crashes are the #1 cause of death for our country’s teenagers. The “5 to Drive” campaign takes on some of the biggest risk factors for teen drivers, such as distracted driving, extra passengers, and speeding. Click here to learn more about the program, and then talk to your teen about following the rules of the road.

 

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Replace an old tradition with a new one

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Riding on a tractor or lawn mower with Mom, Dad, Grandma, or Grandpa might be time-honored tradition in many parts of the country, but it’s simply not safe to have extra passengers, so it’s time to find a new tradition. Cultivate Safety offers a list of farm and garden tasks that are right for kids’ ages and abilities. Pick an activity to do together to replace an old tradition with a new one.

 

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Find a certified car seat technician to check your child’s seat for safety

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Is someone else (like Grandma or Grandpa) your baby's designated driver? Trips to the store, day care, the park, and back home again may not seem like a big deal, but those miles add up. With many car seats installed incorrectly, it's important to get every car your child rides in checked for safety. Use this site to find a certified car seat technician near you, or call your local fire department to see if there's a technician on staff.

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Learn and enforce your state’s graduated driver’s license laws

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Many states made changes to graduated driver's licensing laws in the past few months. Stay up-to-date on the rules your teen must follow to stay safe--and legal--on the road. Click here for a complete list of state laws on graduated driver's licensing.

Once you know the law in your state, enforcement is the next step. Talk to your teen about why the laws are important, and have your teen sign a driving agreement (such as this one from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) that lays out rules, expectations, and consequences.

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Be a cool parent: don’t leave the kids in the car

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You stop at the store for a quick trip inside, and the question pops into your head: “Should I take the kids in or just leave them out here in the car?”

As this video demonstrates, it doesn’t take long for your car to heat up like an oven, even on colder or cloudy days. And kids are more sensitive to heat because their skin is thinner than ours, so they start getting sick from the heat much faster than adults.

Yes, it will take some extra time, but be a cool parent and take the kids with you, even if it’s just a quick trip inside.

 

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Assign your child to be “safety monitor” in your car

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If you have a child in your car, it’s easy to be distracted. Why not let your child help you stay focused instead? In the same way that school teachers assign students jobs around the classroom, assign your child to help keep you safe. Your child can remind you of the speed limit, or keep other children from being too loud, or even check to see if you have important text messages.

As a bonus, while your child is helping you, you’re also able to talk about the rules of driving. Because one day, your safety monitor will be a driver too.

 

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Have the drivers in your home pledge to drive phone free

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The fight to end distracted driving starts with you and your family. Sign the nation-wide pledge here.

Reading a text takes a driver’s eyes off the road for 5 seconds. At 55 miles per hour, that’s long enough to travel the distance of a football field. And using a phone – reaching for it, dialing on it, texting – triples a driver’s risk of having a crash.

 

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Complete a cold weather vehicle checklist

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The holiday travel season is coming. This tip sheet and checklist will help you see if you’re ready.  Do you have an ice scraper in your car? Blankets in case you get stranded? Are your tires at the correct pressure?

Winter weather can bring dangerous driving conditions, but many people don’t think about that until it’s too late. Prepare now to help make your travels a little safer. 

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Take your teen on a commentary drive

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Have your young driver-in-training call out every detail about the traffic situation: the speed limit, the weather, what’s in the rearview mirror, who has the right of way, and on and on. A good example is here.

A commentary drive helps show a teenager how complex driving really is. It’s a good reminder for experienced drivers too, so you may want to demonstrate first.

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