3 Safety Tips for Driving Long Distances

Hopping behind the wheel for a cross-country trek is very different from driving to a local restaurant or making your weekly commute. Long-distance driving requires forethought and preparation to combat its unique dangers. For those eager to learn more, read these safety tips for driving long distances.

Get Your Defensive Driving Down

One fact about long-distance driving is, the longer you’re on the road, the more likely you’ll experience a compromised driving situation. Whether it involves a roadway obstacle that requires sudden stopping, navigating around an erratic driver, or something else, long drives are unpredictable.

Equip yourself with defensive driving skills to address these unknowns safely and calmly. Maintain a safe following distance—never follow too closely. Always keep space in one direction—left or right, preferably—into which you can move to evade another driver. Getting stuck in one place limits your options and puts you at the whim of other drivers, who can sometimes be careless.

There are so many elements of defensive driving to learn. Arizonans, consider brushing up your skills with a dedicated defensive driving school in Glendale, AZ, meant for any experience level.

Don’t Go It Alone

Next, don’t drive alone, even if you can’t have passengers with you. Now, if you can have passengers with you, that’s the safest option. A friend in the passenger seat serves as a valuable second set of eyes, there to help you navigate a complicated situation appropriately. Beyond this, while others in the car can distract, they also help fight a formidable enemy to safe driving—drowsiness. Having someone to talk to stops you from dozing off, and when you do start to doze, you can pull over and have them drive instead.

If you are traveling alone, there are other ways to stay safe. Giving someone your intended destination—perhaps even sharing your location through your phone—helps them know where you should be. Also, recruit your favorite music or an interesting podcast to maintain your attention. This is a quality simulation of having a passenger next to you.

Obey Freeway Etiquette

Also, because long drives typically mean long stretches on the freeway or expressway, obeying traditional freeway etiquette is another long-distance driving tip. If you drive slower, stay in the right-most lane, reserving the middle lanes for moderate speed and the left-most lane for passing purposes only. Also, always use turn signals to indicate a lane change. When other drivers inevitably need to merge, allow them space to do so, rather than blocking them. Following these etiquette tips isn’t just polite; they keep you and your passengers out of harm’s way by preemptively limiting risk factors.

3 Considerations When Choosing a Driving School

Driving schools—like every other product or service—vary in quality. While some schools employ veteran drivers gifted in instruction, other programs focus on churning their students through quickly (and carelessly). When paired with solid support from home and school, a successful driving school promotes the best outcomes for student drivers. Not only that, but the best programs also take on all ages and abilities due to their instructors’ readiness and ability to teach anyone. To learn more about the considerations when choosing a driving school, read on below. (more…)

The Difference Between Active and Passive Safety

The best-case scenario in a potentially risky driving situation is the driver avoids an accident altogether. That said, some collisions are impossible to avoid, necessitating careful engineering to mitigate their damaging consequences. These two safety categories—preventative and responsive—are active and passive safety measures. Here’s a brief guide to the differences between active and passive safety and each’s function.

Active Safety

First, a car’s active safety features alert the driver to unfavorable driving conditions or automatically implement steps to avoid an issue. Rather than enacting after a collision, active measures are utilized in the hopes to stop one. There are many longstanding, conventional active safety measures, including electronic stability control (ESC), anti-lock braking (ABS), and many more.

The ESC and ABS systems work in tandem to correct for lost stability and maintain your ability to maneuver when braking. Electronic stability control senses when you begin to slide laterally out of control, and powers individual wheels differently to compensate for this slide and restore control. Meanwhile, anti-lock braking prevents your wheels from completely locking up and eliminating your steering options in an emergency. It does this by quickly releasing and reapplying your brake many times in quick succession to maintain your braking force yet retain the ability to shift your direction. ESC and ABS actively engage when your car detects unusual conditions and work to keep you from colliding with another vehicle or obstacle, hence the active nature of these active safety controls.

In general, every dashboard alert is an active feature in that it alerts you to a less than ideal condition—low oil, high engine temperature—and gives you a chance to address it. Also, modern cars have many more active features, including blind-spot detection, lane departure warnings, and even driver-attentiveness monitoring and alerts.

Passive Safety

At the same time, cars have other response-driven strategies for limiting the effects of a collision, called passive safety controls. These include, among others, seats and seatbelts, airbags, and crumple zones.

These systems require a bit less explanation, but their function is vital. Seatbelts, coupled with spring-loaded passenger seats, bear and lessen the effect of the body’s inertia in a certain direction. Seatbelts keep people in place upon crashing by locking at a certain force threshold, preventing someone’s ejection from their seat. Further, they lie along your chest and abdomen to best distribute the resistance force and avoid an injury. In an accident, pressurized airbags deploy from many angles within the car to cushion the head and body at exactly the point of impact, improving overall health outcomes after a crash.

Additionally, there are several crumple zones built into a car to respond to collision forces by absorbing them and leaving the passengers unharmed. These crumple zones are at the front and back of the vehicle, while the cabin remains comparatively intact due to its rigidity. This and other passive safety measures do not prevent an accident, but they simply respond to a collision to lessen its effects.

If you have further questions about the difference between active and passive safety, consider enrolling in one of Driving Arizona’s helpful driving courses. We operate a driving school in Chandler, AZ, as well as many other locations across Arizona, and our professional instructors know the ins and outs of active and passive safety. Not to mention, you’ll get insight on hundreds of other important driving topics and practices.

How to Conquer Your Fear of Driving

One traumatic event on the road can shatter your comfort behind the wheel. You may dread going somewhere, cancel plans, and lose freedom and enjoyment in the process. To break free of this cycle, consider these strategies for conquering your fear of driving. (more…)

3 Advantages of Driving School That May Surprise You

Driving school has an undue negative association in people’s minds. They may think it’s only done after you break the law or only beneficial for teenagers learning to drive. In reality, however, there are many advantages to driving school that may surprise you when you enroll. (more…)

4 Safety Tips for Driving on Country Roads

Driving is risky in general, but country roads present unique dangers for drivers, especially those not versed in how best to navigate them. If you keep several factors in mind as you drive in rural areas, you’ll be much safer. To learn about these factors, read these safety tips for driving on country roads. (more…)

What’s Included in a Basic Defensive Driving Course

Some skills, such as painting or athletic prowess in a sport, are valuable but don’t determine your physical safety day-to-day. Your driving preparedness is quite different—your risk-management skills behind the wheel may determine whether you’re injured in a collision or able to walk away unscathed. If you want to strengthen your driving or your child’s, defensive driving classes are a logical option for increasing your knowledge and preparing your response to danger. If you want to learn about its specific benefits, read our guide to what’s included in a basic defensive driving course.

Traffic Collision Information

To avoid a crash, you need to understand how, how often, and why they happen. When discussing how they happen, an instructor will detail the three different kinds of collisions that occur when your car strikes a car or an obstacle. These collisions are vehicular, bodily, and internal. The vehicular type involves what you think of when you consider a crash—the car colliding with another vehicle, light pole, or another structure. The bodily collision occurs because your body is still in motion and “tries” to travel in the direction the car was moving. The final collision is between your body and your internal organs, which also remain in motion when the car stops. Your teacher will illustrate how the bodily and internal collisions cause bodily harm, such as whiplash, head injuries, and bruising or laceration around the midsection and talk about your body’s protective response when you sustain an injury.

Collision Causes

Instructors also go into crash statistics to raise awareness of certain driving dangers. Students will hear about the connection between alcohol consumption, sleep deprivation, and distraction and driving fatalities. They will also learn how to prevent endangering themselves when these and other variables are present. For example, they’ll learn how to rest to recover from fatigue, how to understand their own intoxication, and how to avoid looking at their phone while driving. They’ll also learn to look for warning signs of others’ impaired driving and how to avoid unsafe drivers.

Crash Prevention

When presenting why collisions occur, a defensive driving course is particularly useful because instructors and students can navigate hypothetical driving scenarios rather than communicating broadly. Especially for a young person without experience in a compromised driving situation, these applied lessons are invaluable. There are many prevention techniques included in a defensive driving course along with these hypotheticals, including scanning, increasing following distance, sharing the road, safe passing, obeying right of way, and more.

Getting Enrolled

If you see the benefit of growing your defensive driving skill, consider enrolling yourself or your teenage driver in Driving Arizona’s Phoenix Defensive Driving School. Our experienced teachers will help you navigate challenging driving situations and give you hands-on practice behind the wheel that ups your general driving confidence.

5 Defensive Driving Tips to Keep You Safe

If all it took to be safe on the road was your own adherence to traffic laws, driving wouldn’t be as dangerous. The reality is, with so many people capable of making mistakes around you, you need to defend yourself in case another driver threatens your safety. To improve in this area, read these defensive driving tips to keep you safe. (more…)

4 Tips for Parents of Teens Learning to Drive

Driving is not something teens learn by watching. Setting a good example with your own safe driving is helpful, but ultimately your child needs to learn while behind the wheel. The prospect of your child driving may be scary, but there are specific steps you can take to ease them into it. Here are four tips for parents of teens learning to drive.

Talk Through Things With Your Teen

First, when your child receives their permit, talk with them about what learning to drive will look like. Acknowledge that the process is stressful for them and you, but that you want it to go smoothly. If you do this, they’re more likely to trust you and your directions. Because your child doesn’t have an intuitive sense of the car and the road, they’ll need to rely on you to react on a moment’s notice. To ensure safety, communicate about when to stop, go, and turn the wheel before you step into the car. That said, don’t overwhelm them with instruction too quickly—introduce new aspects to be aware of over time.

Don’t Go Straight to the Street

A new driver’s first experiences when driving frame his or her entire learning experience. Controlling a piece of machinery that weighs several thousand pounds is intimidating, and any early wrong moves will affect a teen driver. For this reason, take your child to an empty parking lot to start learning in a safe setting without other drivers present. You’ll find you’re more patient with them because there aren’t many serious consequences to a mistake here.

Address Errors Thoughtfully

Another tip for parents of teens learning to drive is to be calm in order to preserve your relationship with them. You must maintain your role as teacher, and you’ll be their best teacher when they trust you throughout the entire process. For this reason, provide constructive criticism for larger mistakes only. For example, not stopping completely at a stop sign is a more serious offense than braking several feet too early. When you comment on their driving, do so calmly and clearly. They’re still in control of the car after they make a mistake, and they may become more erratic if your reaction to their driving is extreme. It’s important that they remain somewhat confident in their abilities as they drive and remain receptive to what you have to say the whole time.

Enroll Them in Driving School

Your teen need not learn from only you, though. Enroll them in a behind the wheel driving course taught by an experienced instructor. If you choose well, the instructor will provide tips and feedback your child wouldn’t get from you. Also, this will take some of the load off your shoulders and perhaps preserve your relationship with your child. This driving school practice also helps them prepare for their eventual licensure test.

If you’re interested in a behind the wheel driving school in AZ, contact the expert team at Driving Arizona. We’ll discuss what driving package fits your teen best and then help them be as safe as possible on the road.

chandler driving classes

Over 6 million car accidents occur every year in the United States. Out of every driver demographic, teens and young adults are at the highest risk of being involved in an injurious or fatal accident. To help prevent this, Chandler driving classes and other driver education programs can help give young drivers the skills to drive safely and defensively. These driving schools can also help instill the weight of responsibility in teen drivers by teaching them the impacts of reckless driving. If you have a teen that is ready to start driving, here are five reasons to sign them up for Chandler driving classes.

  1. Safety: The biggest benefit of Chandler driving classes for teens and young drivers is safety. Without proper driving instruction, teens are 75% more likely to get ticketed, 24% more likely to be in an injurious or fatal accident, and 16% more likely to be involved in a minor accident. By getting proper instruction, teens can be better aware of how to conduct themselves and how to drive in the most responsible manner.
  2. Driving Etiquette: When sharing the road with other vehicles, cyclists, and pedestrians, there are specific rules of etiquette that can help drivers reduce potential issues. Certified driving instructors, like those who teach Chandler driving classes, can help teach teens these rules, in addition to the laws regarding how to legally share the road. Learning these steps is one way of the best ways to ensure your teen becomes a conscientious driver and may reduce incidents involving road rage or general confusion.
  3. Confidence: When a teen first gets behind the wheel, they may understandably be nervous. These nerves can cause new drivers to panic and cause accidents if they encounter a situation they are unfamiliar with. Taking a hands-on driving course allows teens to get comfortable behind the wheel and build confidence. As they learn how to handle a variety of different situations, they’ll feel better about heading out on the road and making their own smart decisions.
  4. Reduced Recklessness: Some teens think they’re invincible. However, this misguided feeling can translate to tragedy — especially when a fun night with friends results in a distracted driving accident. Taking a driving course helps curb reckless behaviors and can focus a teen’s mind on safe defensive driving techniques. Instructors will inform students of real-world consequences, allowing them to understand the full weight of responsible driving.
  5. Insurance Discounts: If your teen participates a drivers ed program, they might be eligible for deductions on auto insurance. While this varies from provider to provider, it is something to keep in mind when you sign them up for coverage. Not only can these programs help keep your teen safe behind the wheel, but they can also save your family money each month.

Chandler driving classes help equip teens for the responsibilities of driving. This helps them make informed decisions while on the road and can even allow them to avoid major accidents. You’ll set your teen up to become a highly skilled driver while providing yourself with valuable peace of mind.