Witting by Tom Harkness
As written recently on the resqme blog the way we use phones has changed dramatically in just the past decade. Gone are the days of simply using it to talk with a friend or loved one. Now, we’re sending texts, picture messages, and emails all the time, with some of us doing so while driving. This is, as some of you surely know, an extremely dangerous activity with truly staggering statistics supporting the fact that drivers need to keep their eyes on the road—and off of their smartphones!
The Realities of Texting and Driving
If you are of the thought that too many people are texting/emailing and driving at the same time today, you’re not alone. According verizon wireless to, 89 percent of adults feel the same way and believe it should be outlawed. No surprise, then, that a majority of the United States—41 out of 50 states—has banned the practice. With good reason, as you are apparently 23 times more likely to get in an accident if you’re texting/emailing while driving. Why? Well, part of the reason is that, as Verizon notes, you end up driving blindly for (at least) 4.6 seconds. At 55 mph, you’ll have gone the length of a football field while sending that text—so don’t do it. Put the phone down and focus on driving, you (and everyone else on the road) will be thankful that you did.
There’s An App For That
Going without your phone while driving doesn’t mean you need to ignore or lose communication with your contacts. Verizon actually teamed up with the Safely company to provide a free smartphone app for Android users. The way it works is simple: the Safely Go app automatically responds to any calls or texts you receive, which allows your contacts to know you are driving at the moment. As a result, you’re still “in touch” but also focused on the much more important task at hand: driving with your full attention. You can download the app <a href=”https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.safely.go.driver.safety.
What Else Can Be Done
Despite everything you can do to keep yourself from causing a collision, there’s no accounting for the very real possibility of an accident still occurring. With that in mind, it’s important to be properly prepared for such an incident. By having a resqme device nearby, perhaps even on your keychain, you will always be ready for an accident where getting out of your vehicle seems almost impossible. As reported by CBC, this was a reality for a Saskatchewan mom who drove her SUV into a pond. She had reached back to give her young child a snack when the car travelled off the highway and into the water.
She and her husband were prepared for exactly this situation, though, and had researched how to escape drowning vehicles. This led her to acquiring a resqme device, which she used to smash the window and safely exit the vehicle with her family. The woman told CBC News: “One of the first things we did when we got home, was I wanted to buy one for all of my friends and family. So we called around the, city, and you’d be surprised, nobody even knew what we were talking about.”
Writing by Social Monsters
Remember how we used to use phones to talk to people? Now we use it for everything else, or at least that’s how it seems. Balancing your checkbook, paying bills, playing a game, surfing the Internet, there’s so much you can do with a smartphone. So why not use it for different emergencies as well? Here are just a few apps the can help prevent or deal with car accidents.
Preventing Car Accidents
A driver with a phone is four times more likely to get into a serious, if not fatal accident, claims Automotive Fleet. Statistics detailing horrific accidents caused by someone who was texting while driving have been released over and over, yet people keep doing it.
But, there’s an app for that. Textecution is an app designed to disable texting on the phone as soon as it recognizes that it’s traveling faster than 10 miles per hour. Texts cannot be sent or received during this time so you don’t have a choice but to focus on driving. It’s available for Android devices for $9.99.
Car Accident Navigation
There are roughly 10 million car accidents each year in the U.S. Because of this, apps like iWrecked have been released that help in case of one.
This app has many features that help to navigate a car accident. On the main screen you have separate labels such as Send Accident Report and Accident History. For example, if you get in an accident, you can take an unlimited amount of pictures of the damage and then send the accident report with the pictures to the insurance company. In addition, using GPS, the app provides you with nearby towing companies and taxis and gives you a fully detailed accident log to fill out. Plus, all emergency contact numbers are stored right on the screen.
For the future, the app is looking to add a Pro Version, which will include a GPS location of the accident and GPS maps that you can add to a report.
Built for iPhones, iRezQ is a road safety app that starts working when your car starts going over 15 miles an hour. Using adjusted algorithms and sensors already built into the phone, the app automatically monitors certain parameters and can determine if the person who has the phone was involved in a car accident. In that case, the app will notify emergency responders using its emergency alert system. It also can notify nearby traffic if they have the road safety app installed. And, of course, live operators are there to give assistance 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This app is free at the iTunes Store
These safety apps also work for the occasional car accident that happens near water. If you frequently drive near the ocean or lakes, you might want to consider a water-proof phone in case of an accident. Using technology for games and bills is great, but make sure you have the right tools when it really matters.
Writting by: Andre Smith
Approximately 6 million automobile accidents occur every year, and negligent drivers cause more than half of them. Negligent drivers are people who operate vehicles without considering the health and welfare of other people on the road. Examples of such people include drunken drivers, traffic violators, and people who intentionally violate traffic rules. The United States has laws in place to protect drivers who obtain injuries from negligent drivers in car accidents. However, a driver will want to prevent getting into an accident in the first place. The following contains information on ways that drivers can protect themselves from negligent drivers.
Add Extra Length to Following Distance
Various organizations advise motorists to allow two to four seconds of stopping distance in between cars. A 10-second distance is reserved for extreme conditions such as an icy road. A driver who wants to give himself or herself extra protection against negligent drivers can implement a five-second following distance in between himself and herself and the next vehicle. Increasing following distance will allow the following driver adequate time to stop his or her vehicle if an inebriated driver makes a sudden irrational move with the other car.
Drive During the Day on Holidays
Holidays are the most dangerous times for any drivers on the road. Many drivers perform irresponsible acts such as drinking and driving without designating a sober person to operate the vehicle. Such conditions are often much less likely to occur during the daytime hours. Therefore, a driver who wants to avoid an accident with a negligent driver can elect to travel during the day on holidays. The earlier the driver does the traveling, the less likely he or she is to run into a drunk person on the highway.
Report Erratic Driving
Drivers can help other drivers and passengers by reporting erratic driving as soon as it occurs. Erratic driving indicates that the driver has lost his or her sense of judgment. It could mean that person is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. It can also mean that the person is distracted. Either way, the police will investigate a complaint from another driver. If they discover that the driver in question is indeed driving erratically, then they will take steps to stop the vehicle and prevent that person from operating the car any more that day. A person who reports erratic driving can save lives. Examples of such driving is swerving, speeding, stopping and starting the vehicle, and repetitive lane drifting.
Peer to the Left and Right
Just as pedestrians need to look to the left and right before crossing the road, drivers need to look to the left and right before pulling off from a traffic sign or signal. Many drivers place their faith in the lights and the signs when true safety comes from all drivers conducting themselves in a responsible fashion. A stop light can tell a driver to stop, but that does not mean that he or she will do such. Therefore, a driver my use all the resources that he or she can to evaluate the surroundings. Using peripheral vision can help, but it does not always work as well as a complete head turn works.
Honk the Horn
A loud horn and a long honk can be a lifesaver in a situation in which a driver is falling asleep at the wheel. Some drivers try to drive for too many hours without getting proper rest. Inadequate rest can lead to severe automobile accidents. A driver who notices that another driver is falling asleep can try to alert that person with a complimentary wake-up honk. It just might startle the driver enough to wake him or her.
The best way for a driver to protect himself or herself from negligent drivers is to avoid being a negligent driver (the penalties for which can be severe, you can find penalties on this traffic offences page (scroll down)). A person who does not have his or her full attention on the road might miss an opportunity to use a defensive driving technique. A driver can avoid negligence by turning off cell phones, DVD players and other distracting objects. The driver should keep intra-vehicular conversations to a minimum and avoid turning his or her head to speak to people in the rear of the car. Additionally, a driver should not operate a vehicle while he or she in under the influence of illegal drugs, alcohol or prescription drugs.
Image credit: Public Domain Pictures (Pixabay)
Andre is a marketing consultant from Brisbane, Australia. His two great passions are cars and football. He is also a blogger and has written a number of automotive articles that you can read on his Google+ page.
Over time, many people have been led to believe that winters are the most dangerous times to drive. This is because of the icy and wet winter conditions that are commonly associated with slippery roads. This could however be lesser in magnitude if the details of the Department of Transportation data depict the reality on the ground. The data indicates that summers are the most risky times to drive. It goes ahead to give statistical evidence that between the summer period of June and August 2012, eighteen percent more accidents occurred that the winter months of December through to February.
This spike in summer crashes can be attributed to many factors including congested roads, unroadworthy vehicles and stress driving. Driving safe during winter is a collaborative effort but you must do all that is within your capacity to ensure that you play your role. Below are some tips to help you drive through summer safely.
Ensure Your Vehicle is in Good Condition
Different seasons come with different weather conditions. Summers are generally hot and sunny. This in itself is enough to strain the mechanical parts of your vehicle. Doing a vehicle check up before you embark on your vacation drive will guarantee you safety and peace of mind. Some of the major car systems to inspect include:
• Cooling system- Inspect the radiator for leaks and cracks while at the same time check the rubber cooling system hoses to ensure that they have no swellings or leaks.
• Battery- the car battery should be checked for loose connections and terminals. This will enhance performance and prevent costly breakdowns.
• Tires and suspension- ensure your tires have no dangerous sidewall breaks or excessive wear and tear. This will guarantee you excellent road traction even in slippery roads. Check the suspension and make the necessary alignments
• The braking system- The salts used on roads during winter can cause substantial damage to the braking system. After every 20,000 kilometers, you need to have your brakes inspected. Brake failures have caused a significant portion of road accidents.
• The exhaust and lighting system should also be checked to ensure that everything is running smoothly before you turn the ignition key.
Heat and Glare management
When driving, glare can affect your eyes making you see imaginary dark spots. These can cause poor visibility and ultimately accidents. Having sun glasses on while driving in sunny weather can help you decrease the effect of glare. A sun shield can also come in handy when you park your vehicle. This shield will keep the interiors of your vehicle free from the excessive summer heat. This heat can also cause dehydration especially during long trips. To counter this, ensure you carry enough drinking water to last you through the journey.
Exercise Good Road Use
It is commonly said that while driving, you have to assume that everyone else is not a good road user except you. You therefore need to be extra vigilant on the road in order to avoid accidents. Summers are characterized by many road users, a situation that can lead to congestions and traffic snarl ups. To maneuver in these roads, you need to know how to share the road with others. For instance you should have enough following distance when behind motorcycles. Also you need to be extremely careful when driving through construction zones. Never ignore even a single road sign it could mean a lot for your road safety.
Always Be Alert and Sober
Driving over long distances can cause fatigue and stress at the steering wheel. Avoid the temptation to drive for long distances without a break even if your destination is tucked far away. The nature of the roads can also reduce your concentration level. Before you start driving, ensure that you get sufficient sleep. In the course of driving, be sensitive to your body and stop when you feel fatigued. Having regular breaks will enhance your blood circulation and make the trip more enjoyable.
Always Carry Emergency gear
Imagine suffering a tire burst in the middle of nowhere. This will not only inconvenience you but endanger your life as well. It is always good to carry an emergency gear such as rags, flashlights, reflective warning signs, extra coolant and oil and even food. For communication purposes, ensure that you always have your cell phone full charged and with an extra battery.
In addition to the above tips, you also have to confirm that all the car occupants are properly buckled up before you set off. Children under the age of 12 should always be in the back seat and not at the front. The airbags can easily cause injury or even death to young children.
Brenda Panin is a full time mom of two beautiful girls and a great car lover.
Useful information for this article has bee kindly provided by Berwick Motor Group.
Michelle Lee is a student intern working with Maggiano, DiGirolamo and Lizzi, a law firm based in New Jersey.
If Reddit has taught us anything it’s that when traveling—even in familiar locations—paying attention to your surroundings, being cautious and wary of other drivers and trusting your instincts can be invaluable.
However, it’s worth noting that even with a steadily increasing number of single occupancy drivers it’s still relatively safe to travel alone. That being said, planning in advance so you’re capable of handling a dangerous situation could keep you safe in an unlikely or extreme circumstance.
Good planning can save you from a bad situation
In the UK you can join the National Breakdown and Recovery Service, in the US AAA to keep you from being stranded if you break down or run out of gas—as long as you have cell phone service.
Take precautions though just in case you do happen to run into trouble when you’re out of cell range, especially when traveling long distances and in the dark. Tell a close friend or family member what time to expect you, or what time you should be reaching your destination.
Always check the interior and exterior of your car before getting in, and plan for emergencies by having a full cell phone battery, emergency cash or card and phone charger.
Assess the situation if you do break down
If you do breakdown or have car troubles, you probably assume the worst has happened, but in some unfortunate cases a breakdown or tire blowout can just be the beginning if you’re not careful about how you proceed.
If you think there is something wrong with your car pull over as far as possible and turn your hazard lights on. Before getting out of the car make sure you look for oncoming vehicles, especially large trucks. In some instances cars have been hit or doors have been ripped off when they are opened into traffic.
Additionally, if another motorist is flashing their lights or signaling you to pull over do not stop your car and do not get out of the vehicle until you are in a high traffic well lit area. If the vehicle appears to be a law enforcement vehicle you are legally required to pull over, however, you are well within your rights to request to see identification before rolling down your window.
If something seems ‘off’ about the situation, call local law enforcement and explain you are being pulled over and ask if it is a legitimate officer.
Take precautions against carjacking
The final threat you don’t generally expect but need to take measures against is carjacking.
Lock your doors while driving and stash your valuables out of sight with your windows closed when possible. If you insist on keeping your window down keep the gap minimal so bag snatchers or a carjacker can’t get access to your car when you’re stopped at a light or stop sign. Carjacking is on the rise in the UK making it increasingly important to keep yourself from appearing as a viable target.
You can deter carjacking by driving in the middle lane as far from the sidewalk as possible and by not wearing expensive looking jewelry and watches while driving—especially late at night when going through towns or city centers.
If you stop for gas or food don’t leave your car unlocked, even if you are just going inside for a moment. Carjackers will sometimes frequent these types of places looking for an easy target.
Finally, pay attention to what maintenance your car needs. The chances of a tire blow out are probably more likely than a carjacking but could put you in an equally dangerous position.
Written by: Matt Milstead
Summer is here and it is time to pack your bags for that long awaited trip or vacation. Regardless of whether you are traveling by plane and planning on renting a car or taking a road trip, you always want to make sure you are traveling safely. Traveling safely includes more than just knowing your destination, keeping your items together, and not looking too much like a tourist; traveling safely also means making sure that you take the right traffic precautions. The issue with this though is that it can be very difficult to do this when you are unaware of your destination’s roads and traffic standards. Luckily though, there are still a number of things you can do to make sure you’re staying safe on the road.
Local Point of Contact – Just in Case
No matter where your destination is, one truly helpful thing that you can do when you are on the road is to have a local point of contact. Whether it is a hotel, police department, friend, or family member, choosing an establishment or an individual to contact in case of an emergency can be extremely useful. Emergencies include car accidents, faulty car issues, and even getting lost. In addition, because of your proximity to your contact, you can get the help you need much faster. If you do not have a friend or family member or do not know of any establishment, one idea is to reach out to your friends to see if they may know someone. Chances are that they will.
Stop Driving When You are Tired – Even with No Hotel or Motel in Sight
Some of the most serious car accidents are the result of tired drivers. Being on vacation does not mean that you need to push yourself too hard when you drive. If you find that you are tired while on the road, then do the right thing and pull over immediately, which means not driving until there is an accommodation. Just because you’re pulling over does not mean that you need to suffer either. With the right planning, you can stay safe and comfortable. Before leaving on your trip, take with you a pillow, blanket, and just in case you come across a camp ground when you stop, take a tent too. If you do decide to sleep in your car, keep it locked and the windows rolled up.
Some Things are Best Kept Quiet
One of the most important safety tips for traveling on the road is to not advertise your travels. Walking into a hotel or restaurant and making friends is fine, but letting people know that you are traveling on the road can lead to a dangerous dilemma. People can realize you have valuables in your car, which can cause you to become a target of some unwanted attention.
Be Prepared for an Emergency
Car accidents happen, and so do other situations where you need to immediately exit your car. If you do find yourself in a flood, mudslide, or car accident, you can use a nifty tool that helps you safely break the window and get you and other travelers to safety. Once you do exit the car, call emergency services and speak to a relative to inform that you are ok.
Bring Back the Old School Map
As much as you and others are constantly inclined to use cell phones and tablets for directions, not every car is able to charge your technology and you may sometimes find yourself in an area with limit resources. To be better prepared and to protect yourself, one of the best things you can do to be safe when driving is to take an old school map with you – and learn how to use it. This way, if your technology does give out, you can still reach your destination safely.
Travel with the Right Information
If an accident does happen or if a cop does pull you over, you also should make sure you have the right travel information on you. For example, you should keep your license on you at all times, your ownership deed of your car, and your car insurance. According to Itrek, it is also necessary to keep your own travel insurance in your vehicle when you drive, as it is especially useful if an accident does happen.
Traveling on the road is meant to be a fun and adventurous experience. By taking the right precautions above, like checking your car for issues, keeping a first aid kit for you and your vehicle, taking emergency tools with you, and having the right paperwork in your vehicle, you can ensure that your car travel is as safe as possible. You shouldn’t have anything in your way but the open road and good experiences.
Written by Adrienne Erin
Driving your car may seem like such a routine task that it’s easy to overlook the potential of an emergency. The types of emergencies one can experience while driving are plentiful, including engine failures, flat tires, fires, weather-related havoc and accidents. Properly preparing for any emergency requires that you store essential items in your vehicle. Here’s a list to get you started.
Spare Tire, Tire Jack and Tire Iron
It’s always useful to carry a spare tire that’s in good condition, along with a tire jack and tire iron. Flat tires are one of the most common issues a driver can experience. Having a tire jack and tire iron ensures even a solo driver can get the job done, so they can fix the issue smoothly and quickly.
Also recommended are a tire inflator and sealer, if you’d prefer a temporary fix that can get you to the auto shop.
Flashlight, Duct Tape and WD-40
Available at most retail locations, duct tape and WD-40 can prove especially useful for leaky vehicles or otherwise clunky machinery. With the process aided by a flashlight, the short fix can prove just enough to get your vehicle to an auto shop. Read about some duct tape/WD-40 vehicle survival stories here.
Regardless of how durable your car is, dead batteries happen to everyone. Your best bet in this scenario is to jump-start your vehicle. You’ll need jumper cables and a fellow driver with a vehicle to lend a hand so you can charge your battery via their car’s power. You can also purchase an emergency battery booster if you’d prefer not to rely on the help of a stranger.
Materials to keep warm, such as coats, blankets and a pair of warm gloves, weigh little and don’t take up much space, so there’s no excuse not to store them in your car in case you’re stranded in the cold for an extended period. They could mean the difference between a comfortable wait and frostbite.
The resqme tool is designed to serve as a rescue tool during vehicle entrapment, in case you get trapped in your vehicle during a car crash or malfunction. The tool can cut you free from tangled seat belts and break windows with its strong blade and spring-loaded spike, respectively. It’s a small tool every driver should have.
Water, First Aid Kit and Non-Perishable Food
In the case of an injury, be sure to purchase a first aid kit to help alleviate any injuries or pain caused by an accident. Similarly, you should store energy bars or other non-perishable food items in case you’re stranded or tipped over. This is in addition to water; you should have two bottles stored at all times, prioritized above food.
You never know when an on-road emergency may happen, so be sure to stock your vehicle as soon as possible with the items above to ensure the safety and recovery of you and your loved ones in the case of any emergency.
Our purpose is to give all motorists peace of mind on the road with our innovative auto rescue tool. We are committed to continuing our leadership in providing the latest safety technologies for drivers across the country.
We value our customers’ satisfaction as we continue to provide reliable products that improve automobile safety in our communities. Safety awareness is a primary goal of our company and we are dedicated to educating drivers and sharing information that can save lives on the road “when seconds count…”
We are proud of our product and we wish to convey to others that our customers feel this way. The resqme team
Last week, the Department of Transportation launched its first national advertising campaign ever. What issue compelled them to launch such an expansive campaign, reaching out over TV, radio, and the web? The dangers of distracted driving, of course.
Today marks the start of a crackdown on distracted driving that will run until April 15th. Officers around the country will be on the watch for drivers with their eyes on their phone instead of on the road. In earlier campaigns against texting and driving in California and Delaware, police officers handed out over 16,000 tickets over three waves of enforcement.
But if that’s not enough to motivate you to change those bad habits – after all, 666,000 drivers in the United States are using their phone while driving at any given moment – maybe some of these statistics will:
The average fine in the United States for texting while driving is $100, but some states charge thousands. Alaska knows this is no joke: their highest allowable fine is $10,000.
Parents might not always be setting the best example for their children – 53% of them text while stopped at a red light, and 41% text while driving. For comparison, 60% of teenagers text at red lights and 43% text while driving.
During the average 4.6 seconds it takes to send or read a text message, at 40 miles per hour your vehicle will have traveled the length of 16 cars.
Distracted driving was responsible for 3,000 car crashes, injuring 387,000 people in 2011. That year, over 3,300 people died because of texting and driving.
The message is clear: put your phone down to save lives. If you are a passenger, speak up against the driver’s decision to drive distracted.
It may just be the most important decision you ever make.
To help spread the word about the dangers of texting and driving, please share the infographic with your friends and family, or use this embed code to publish the infographic on your website. Thanks for sharing this important message.
Adrienne Erin is a writer and designer based in Pennsylvania. She designed this infographic for Katherman Briggs & Greenberg in order to help raise awareness about the dangers of texting and driving. You can see more of Adrienne’s work by following @adrienneerin on Twitter or visiting her blog, Design Roast.
A Social Monters author wrote this article for resqme:
According to the Governor’s Highway Safety Association, in 2012, motorcyclist fatalities were up nine percent nationwide. Operating a motorcycle safely goes far beyond wearing the proper helmet and safety clothing. These tips can help prevent a serious injury, keeping you safe on the road.
1. Get treated if you’ve been injured or experience back pain
Operating a motorcycle safely requires a healthy, agile driver. If you’ve been injured, especially if you’ve experienced a back injury or regular back pain, consider undergoing an evaluation before you continue riding. If you suffer from a sore back, how will you quickly—and safely—rotate or maintain equilibrium on your motorcycle? Common motorcycle injuries such as fractures and road rash can possibly be prevented by taking a proactive approach to back pain. Worried you’ll be laid up in bed unable to ride for months if you seek medical attention? New advancements can help put your worry to rest. Forward thinking medical centers such as Laser Spine Institute understand the importance of offering minimally invasive surgery options.
Surgery centers like LSI are great resources. They offer video tutorials that can help you focus on nutrition and stretches to help guide you to recovery quickly. Try a stretch that will open you up to help increase awareness of your surroundings:
- Stand with feet hip-width apart
- Raise arms over your hand, grasping hands together with fingers pointed upward, bring hands down into a “praying position”
- Bring one foot up to knee to make a triangular pose, then switch legs
- While holding, stretch head side-to-side
- With arms still overhead, stretch in an arc from side-to-side
2. Great vision matters
One of the most common accidents on the road is when a car or truck turns left in front of you and fails to see you. While drivers should be fully aware of their surroundings, drivers of cars are accustomed to look for the absence of other cars, not the presence of motorcycles. Keep your health in working order and take charge of preventing accidents the best you can.
Avoid as many accidents as possible by:
- Having your vision checked regularly to help you think fast on the road
- Consider taking nutritional supplements such as lutein, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids to support ocular health. A recent study in the Journal of Optometry showed that while these nutrients have been shown to elicit ocular support, few people are still aware of their benefits. These nutrients also help the aging eye, and that might spell staying on the road longer and safer if you start now.
3. Invest in anti-lock breaks
According to the Insurance Institute For Highway Safety, motorcycles equipped with an anti-lock break system were 37 percent less likely to be involved in a fatal crash than motorcycles lacking them. When a motorcyclist panics or has no other choice but to hit the breaks, they suddenly lose all maneuverability. Having steering ability could either prevent a crash or lessen the blow with driver guidance. Consider a high-end model that will likely feature the anti-lock break system—the extra splurge could save your life.