What is an unsafe or reckless driver? Think of it this way, is it someone who speeds or someone talking on their cell as they blow through a stop sign? It’s obvious the latter.
I’m not going to preach to anyone that ‘Speed Kills’ when it has been proven that speed on it’s own is not the killer. We all exceed the speed limit. It’s when you mix in your in ability to control your vehicle because you lack focus. Basically, it’s speed combined with any of the following
1) Drink or Drugs
2) Dangerous Driving
3) Reckless Driving
…. this is what causes the accidents and kills.
Please, always remember. Be safe, be alert, be cautious and arrive alive.
Now the general tone of this video was humorous, but trust me when I tell you that there are plenty more reckless driving videos on the net that I could have pulled up that would have ruined your day. For the time being I hope this video puts some people back in touch with reality when they get behind the wheel.
Focus. Be alert. Know your surroundings, including vehicles, pedestrians and objects. If you refuse to stay vigilant behind the wheel, then you are driving recklessly by default. Please drive carefully.
This is just a friendly reminder from your me and the rest of us at Freeman Grapevine.
I found a perfect example of the how important it is to not only use a protective child seat, but to understand how to install it properly. Read below. I found this story at consumer reports. Not only does it emphasize the importance of child restraints, but also wearing YOUR seat belt as well!
You never think it’s going to happen to you. I was driving up to visit a friend for a playdate, both kids, 2 and 4, in the back. This was a tough winter in the northeast, and the roads were not perfect.
I was trundling along at the speed limit, not talking on the phone, not texting, when I hit some ice on the road. I completely lost control of the car, which hit the snow bank on the side of the highway. The car rolled one-and-a-half times and ended up upside down on the side of the highway.
I was trapped in the seatbelt (thank goodness!) and the kids were suspended from their carseats. Four or five cars stopped, reaffirming my faith in human nature, and helped us all out of the car, which was totaled. The kind strangers stayed with us until the police and ambulance arrived. Bottom line, we were all OK (except for the car).
This is what I took away from the incident: We were very lucky, but it wasn’t just luck that protected us that day. I was driving a Consumer Reports recommended vehicle. The kids were in Consumer Reports’ top-rated, carseats, which happen to be inexpensive. The seats were properly installed. The kids were correctly buckled in. My 4 year old, being just under 40 pounds (he’s a skinny one), was still using the 5-point restraint.
Things could have been, and likely would have been, very different if I didn’t use Consumer Reports ratings and follow Consumer Reports advice. My kids and I walked away from a horrific accident without a scratch. It’s not an exaggeration to say that I owe my life and my family to the people here who work day in and day out to provide this information to the public.
This is just one story out of the 1,000’s of serious accidents that happen every year. Luckily, this one had a happy ending, but not all are as lucky.
A properly used and installed car seat is paramount when driving with children. Further, you can teach them the importance of using their seatbelts as they get older. Hopefully, by the time hey start driving, using their seatbelt will be automatic.
Just have a baby? If you have any questions on how to properly install your car seat, swing by and we’ll show you!
If you’ve never experienced a tire blowout, let me just tell you that it’s beyond scary. This is especially true if you don’t know how to handle the vehicle in this situation. There are several reasons a tire may blow out. The two most common reasons have to do with the air pressure. Too low of pressure causes the tire to flex more than they are designed to, and if the pressure if too high, the tires a stressed beyond the designed limits.
The easy way to avoid a blowout, is to check your tire pressure at least once month (especially during the summer). However, checking the tire pressure is not a sure-fire way to avoid a blowout. There could be a defect in the tire itself or the wheel, in which case you’d be none the wiser.
The best thing I can suggest to you is to be prepared. Know what to do and what to expect when it happens.
Step 1: Stay cool.
Ignore your natural instinct to hit the brakes or jerk the steering wheel when you have a blowout.
Step 2: Accelerate slightly.
Accelerate slightly to maintain control of the vehicle. Keep going straight.
Tip: Hold the steering wheel firmly with both hands at 10 o’clock and two o’clock on the wheel to avoid losing control.
Step 3: Decelerate.
Ease off the accelerator slowly.
Step 4: Coast.
Maintain your course while the vehicle slows.
Step 5: Apply brakes.
Apply the brakes gently when your car slows to 30 miles per hour.
Step 6: Turn on right turn signal.
Tip: Never stop on the left side of the road, if possible. This is the most dangerous place to be.
Step 7: Pull over.
Pull your vehicle off to the side of the road, and breathe a sigh of relief…you’ve just survived a blowout.
The misconception is that the wind associated with a tornado is confined to within the visible funnel cloud. Unfortunately, a tornado is not a vacuum cleaner hose hanging out of the sky. One possibility why many people think that being under an overpass offers protection is that with something above them, the bridge will prevent the wind from going ‘up’ underneath the overpass. This simply is just not true.
There is no doubt that essentially living at the southern tip of tornado alley we get to see our fair share of destructive tornadoes. Being in your home is one thing, you can take shelter in an interior room. However, what do you do if you are caught out on the road? I know every one’s first instinct is to protect their car and themselves and their first instinct is to take shelter under the nearest immovable object like an overpass. If you know anything about physics, you should rethink this tactic. The fact of the matter is that you may have just made your situation much worse.
Actually, the interaction between a tornado and an overpass is much more like this.
…and here’s a visual reference behind the science.
This is why one of the first and foremost rules in general tornado safety is to get as low as possible, because that is where the wind speed is the lowest! By climbing up underneath the overpass, you are moving into a place where the wind speeds are typically higher. In addition, under an overpass, it is possible in some situations that when air is forced through the narrow passage underneath the bridge, this might cause an increase in the wind speeds (as mentioned earlier). Further, under different circumstances, the area beneath and just downstream of an overpass might become a debris deposition zone, where piles of debris accumulate. Think a hard rain is uncomfortable? Try being pelted with glass, shards of metal, splintered wood, hail and everything else that’s been hurled into the air.
If on a road, hide under an overpass if a tornado approaches.
The sad fact is this idea has caused many deaths of motorists already. The worst thing you can do is hide under an overpass. Winds can actually be worse under an overpass which makes it a bad place to go. Please listen, never use an overpass for protection.
Open your windows during a tornado? Scientists once thought that the low pressure in a tornado caused the normal air pressure in
houses to explode out. It turned out that the strong winds from the tornado destroyed the
houses, not the pressure change. If the tornado wants your windows open, it will open them for you.
The southwest corner of a basement is the safest place to go during a tornado.
The best place to go during a tornado is in a center room of the basement, like ones that are usually found under the stairs that lead down to the basement. I was once thought that the SW corner was the best place to go, but it was found the debris collects it the corners which makes it a bad place to go.
Tornadoes can’t cross water or where rivers meet. Many tornadoes have crossed rivers & lakes, with out any effect to the tornado.
Tornadoes can not cross big hills or mountains.
Tornadoes have made damage paths up and down the side of 10,000 foot mountains, in Wyoming so the hills in eastern Kansas will not protect you.
Tornadoes can’t/don’t hit big cities. Miami, FL, Nashville, TN, Wichita, KS, Fort Worth, TX, and Oklahoma City have all been hit by tornadoes in the past few years. Take shelter if a tornado warning is issued for your city.
To see what happens when you take shelter under an overpass take note of the people the pass before under the overpass and again after they drove back through.
So far, this has been the deadliest year for tornadoes across the US. North Texas and specifically DFW (none of us forget the tornado that his Fort Worth) are susceptible to extreme weather. It’s my responsibility to make sure that all of you are provided with the best information possible about your car, driving, etc. However, it’s just as important , if not more-so, that you understand the appropriate action to be taken should you ever encounter a tornado while on the road…What you decide to do or not do can potentially have fatal outcomes. I hope you will remember this article if you ever are in this situation.
Researching information regarding safety for children, I came upon an article written by the American Academy of Pediatrics on car seats and wanted to share it with you.
All parents have the same worry when traveling with children – safety. What happens if I am in a car accident, will my child be safe? Every year we have accidents that injure or kill young children. It goes with out saying that the proper use and installation of child safety seats have helped keep children safe. Now, the question is, with so many safety seats being sold, which no doubt overwhelms most new parents, which seat is the right one for your child? The article helps with many questions a parent may have regarding safety seats.
The right safety seat for your child depends on several things like child’s size and type of car you have. Below is a quick guide produced by the American Academy of Pediatrics on the different types of car safety seats to help you start your search. But you still need to read more about the features and how to use your car safety seat.
Type of seat
Infant seats and rear-facing convertible seats
Infants should ride rear-facing until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by their car safety seat’s manufacturer. At a minimum, children should ride rear-facing until they have reached at least 1 year of age and weigh at least 20 pounds. When children reach the highest weight or length allowed by the manufacturer of their infant-only seat, they should continue to ride rear-facing in a convertible seat.
Convertible seats and forward-facing seats with harnesses
It is best for children to ride rear-facing as long as possible to the highest weight and height allowed by the manufacturer of their convertible seat. When they have outgrown the seat rear-facing, they should use a forward-facing seat with a full harness as long as they fit.
Booster seats are for older children who have outgrown their forward-facing car safety seats. Children should stay in a booster seat until adult belts fit correctly (usually when a child reaches about 4′ 9″ in height and is between 8 and 12 years of age).
Children who have outgrown their booster seats should ride in a lap and shoulder seat belt in the back seat until 13 years of age.
If you have any questions about proper car seat installation, you can always swing by and I’d be more than happy to show you the right way to secure the seat and keep your child safe.
This is something we hear on the news from time to time. A car loses control, crashes through a retaining barrier and into a body of water. Would you know what to do if this happened to you?
This type of accident is rare, but that doesn’t mean it can’t happen to you. Thinking back on what you know or what you’ve heard, do you think that you would have the presence of mind to recollect the escape tactics that you’ve “heard” about and not panic? For sake of argument, I’m going to say “no”, you won’t. That’s OK, because until I did a little refresher research, I would have fallen into the same category as you: Knowing the theory of escape, but that’s about it.
Check out the video for a visual refresher:
Here’s a website dedicated to this very subject written from a person who’s experienced being trapped in a submerged car first hand. It’s definitely worth looking at.
The bottom line is that you have to remember to stay calm and memorize this simple course of action:
Here’s one more thing to consider. There are small, inexpensive, and convenient-to-carry tools available to the public that are made specifically to shatter a car window to free a trapped victim. I suggest you look into getting one for your vehicle.
One is called a LifeHammer. It is only 7 ½ inches in length and weighs 4.9 ounces. It is shaped like a small hammer but with a dual conical shaped hardened steel point at one end. A strike with medium force will shatter a side window. I had my 10 year old daughter try it and she broke the window on the first try. The LifeHammer also has a seatbelt cutter built into the other end. The LifeHammer should be mounted in the vehicle either on the side of the console or anywhere it can be easily reached in an emergency. You can view one by clicking anywhere you see the word “LifeHammer”.
The other tool is called ResQMe. It performs the same functions as the LifeHammer but it is only 3 inches long, weights just over ½ oz. and easily attaches to your keychain. One advantage of ResQMe is that it can go with you wherever you go as long as you have your keys. You can view one by clicking anywhere you see the word “ResQMe”. The Life Hammer is a little more robust and can be used to clear out some of the shattered glass once the window is broken. I keep ResQMe on my key chain and a LifeHammer in my car.
Be prepared, stay calm and know your escape routes. If you have any questions or comments, let me know. If you’d like to share any experience you may have had that is similar, tell us that too…you may save some one’s life one day with your information.
Sooner or later it’s going too happen to you, the dreaded “SKID”. Losing control of your vehicle suddenly is never any fun, but with a little reeducation you should be able to react without thinking and come out of the spin unscathed.
There is no secret to successfully navigating your way out of a “fishtail”. I’ll bet the phrase “turn into the skid” jumps to mind and that is absolutely correct. Take a look at the video below for a good reminder
Better yet, if you have a new driver in the family go and grab them and watch the video together. There is no substitution for having a good grasp on defensive driving and evasive maneuvers.
Remember, when you lose control of your vehicle staying calm is absolutely essential. Losing your composure could lead to over-correction and a total loss of control of your vehicle…at that point you might want refer back to this blog for a refresher. If you have any question, comments or need the number of a good body shop (kidding), give me a call.
How many times am I going to feel compelled to write about this subject? Does it take the death of someone with some fame to get the public’s attention? Apparently not, because once again Hollywood is setting a prime example of what not to do.
Following the horrific 2011 car crash of “Jackass” star Ryan Dunn, police uncovered that he was driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .196-two times the legal limit.
Dunn was purportedly driving 140 mph on a 55 mph road when he crashed his Porsche 911 GT3 through a rail and into the woods where it crashed into a tree and erupted into flames. Dunn and his passenger, Zachary Hartwell, died at the site. Wrecks similar to this serve as a tragic reminder of the risks of driving intoxicated.
It appears that, Dunn had an earlier DUI accident a few years before, but was in a position to clean up his record through court requirements and was not required to install an alcohol interlock machine on his automobile. If he had survived this collision, Dunn’s upcoming cars would’ve been mandated to possess this piece of equipment for at least one year following his license was reinstated.
What can you expect after a DWI?
Expect to prove you haven’t been drinking when you get behind the wheel! Alcohol interlocks are a technique the government is hoping will cut back the 11,000 deaths each year from drunk driving. Forty-nine states have some kind of interlock condition and 11 states have required provisions subsequent to the initial conviction. The driver has to blow into the machine to check for alcohol for their car will start.
What’s being done?
At this time, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is conducting their “Over the Limit, Under Arrest” operation through July 4th in an effort to tag intoxicated drivers before a deadly accident occurs. This week in addition to next week are filled with graduation events, 4th of July picnics, in addition to added summer revelry. Keep the streets safe by following these valuable tips…tips you should already know and be putting into practice.
If you are planning to consume alcohol, designate a sober driver ahead of going out. In the event you are impaired, don’t drive.
Hail a taxi, make use of mass transit, or phone a sober buddy or member of the family to get you home safely.
Plan in advance and stuff a bag to stay over someone’s residence should you know you might be drinking.
Report drunk drivers you observe out on the roads at once to the police by calling 911.
Always put on your safety belt while in a car or wear a helmet as well as protecting equipment while on a motorcycle.
If you happen to see someone about to drive intoxicated or travel with somebody who’s intoxicated, get the keys and aid them reach where they’re going unharmed.
..and I misspoke before…it’s not Hollywood’s problem…it’s all of ours!
First let me say that I hope you never get into an accident of any kind. They are monetarily and emotionally stressful. It’s not something that anyone looks forward to, let alone really prepares for. So what do you do, Fort Worth, if you get into an accident? I found a short, yet concise video you should take a look at. You might think, “Ozzie, it’s obvious what to do after and accident” that is until you actually get into one. Staying calm and keeping your wits isn’t always the easiest thing to do in that traumatic situation.
Here are 11 things to remember after you’ve been involved in a car accident I found here.
Save the apologies for another time – yes, politeness is an admirable trait, but in this situation, a simple “I’m sorry, I wasn’t paying attention,” can be seen as an admission of liability.
Start talking – to witnesses, that is. Get all the relevant contact information of any bystanders that may have seen the accident.
Call Your Insurance Company – report the incident to your insurance company, even if you are completely at fault. Also, keep track of the time and money spent pursuing your claim.
Take Pictures – having proof of the damage to the car will help with insurance, and serve as evidence if there is a dispute down the line. One helpful tip is to always keep a disposable camera in your glove compartment for these situations.
Get a Property Damage Figure from your Insurance Company – this valuation will serve as the amount you can recover or replace your car. If you are not happy with the figure from your insurance company, seek outside quotes.
Careful Who You Talk To – if the other party’s insurance company contacts you, your best response is to get in touch with your insurance company or attorney. Why? Because they are better equipped to handle the situation.
Don’t automatically accept the first estimate or offer you get – jumping the gun on the settlement can be a costly mistake.
Get an attorney – if there is a dispute with your insurance company, or the seemingly simple car accident suddenly turns complicated, then seeking legal counsel is your best bet.
Take a deep breath, everything is going to be ok.
Does anyone have any other advice to give? Remember if you need a little help after an accident, give us a call and we can walk you through the steps it takes to get you back out on the road again in a flash.
I think a lot of us have tried to beat the light and been caught by that dastardly “Red Light Camera Cop”. So it got me to thinking, if you are approaching a street light with a camera and you suddenly realize you don’t have time to make it through and you slam on your brakes to avoid getting that ticket, what do you think is going to happen to that car behind you that’s not ready for you to come to a screeching halt?
The camera proponents are going to be hard pressed to lavish praise on the results:
40 percent increase in total accidents
75 percent increase in injury accidents
37 percent increase in “t-bone” right angle crashes
83 percent increase in rear-end collisions
These disastrous results should really be no surprise. Independent studies (no financial interest) of the automated intersection ticketing programs have repeatedly shown an increase in rear- end collisions, more injuries, and contrary to the claims of ticket camera proponents, no reduction in right-angle crashes.
But, tomorrow, just as sure as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west there will be a government official or clueless reporter making the claim that red light cameras improve traffic safety.
Baytown officials are being presented with a petition to put ticket cameras to a vote .
These numbers are happening all over the United States:
There’s certainly two sides of this argument.
So, what do you think, Fort Worth? Are red light camera cops a good thing or a bad thing? Have you or anyone you know ever been involved in an accident due to the mere presence of a red light camera? I’m curious, drop me a line!