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2 years ago · by · Comments Off on It’s Almost The End Of Summer

It’s Almost The End Of Summer

The end of summer is almost here and that means millions of Texas children will soon return to school. TxDOT reminds drivers to always stop for flashing red lights on a school bus. Be safe, drive smart.

Last year, 663 vehicle crashes occurred in school zones in Texas, resulting in zero deaths and 21 serious injuries. August and September of 2014 alone saw 107 crashes in school zones. The most common factors contributing to these crashes were driver inattention, failure to control speed and failure to yield the right of way at stop signs.

Following these simple tips can help Texas children reach school safely and help drivers avoid costly fines and tickets.

Image result for stopped school bus

Tips for Driving in School Zones

  • Put away your cell phone. Cell phone use is banned in active school zones, and violators face fines of up to $200 in school zones where signs are posted.
  • Always obey school zone speed limit signs. Remember, traffic fines usually double in school zones.
  • Drop off and pick up your children in your school’s designated areas, not the middle of the street.
  • Keep an eye on children gathered at bus stops.
  • Be alert for children who might dart across the street or between vehicles on their way to school.

Tips for Children Walking or Biking to School

  • Always cross at intersections and designated crosswalks. Look left, right and then left again before proceeding.
  • Look for traffic when stepping off a bus or from behind parked cars.
  • Make eye contact with drivers before crossing the street.
  • Always obey crossing guards.
  • Always wear a helmet when riding a bicycle.

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2 years ago · by · Comments Off on Left Lane

Left Lane

We’ve heard many of you didn’t know: The left lane on a divided highway is a PASSING lane. After you pass someone, move into the right lane so you don’t hold up traffic. Impeding the flow of traffic by continuing to drive in the left lane is punishable by a fine of up to $200.

A passing lane is commonly referred to as a “fast lane” because it is often used for extended periods of time for through traffic or fast traffic. However, a passing lane should be used only for passing, thus allowing, even on a road with only two lanes in each direction, motorists to travel at their own pace.

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2 years ago · by · Comments Off on Traffic Jam Tips

Traffic Jam Tips

Below are some useful tips for the next time you are in traffic.

Image result for traffic

Make smart driving decisions:

  • Avoid aggressive driving and weaving from lane to lane.
  • Keep a safe distance at least three seconds between you and the vehicle ahead of you. This will help you avoid frequent braking and rear-end collisions.
  • Watch the traffic ahead closely. When cars in front brake, take your foot off the accelerator to slow down gradually before you brake. Be cautious not to brake abruptly.
  • Stay focused. Keep your mind on driving by avoiding distractions such as eating or using your cell phone.

Follow driving fundamentals

  • Use your blinkers when changing lanes or merging. Most state laws require activating blinkers at least 100 feet before merging or turning, but some states require at least 200 feet.
  • Use your mirrors to monitor the areas around your car. Perform head checks to check your blind spots before changing lanes or merging.
  • Use the length of the acceleration lane to merge safely into traffic.
  • Be responsible with technology, and plan ahead. Before you start your trip, check traffic apps on your phone or listen to radio reports to avoid congested areas. If you’re worried about encountering heavy traffic during your commute, take time before you leave to map out an alternate route on your GPS.

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2 years ago · by · Comments Off on Check The Back Seat

Check The Back Seat

As the heat rises so does hot-car death rates. New technology may be able to help cut these down.

Drivers get reminders to wear a seat-belt, turn off the headlights and close the gas-tank door. Now, they’re also getting alerts to check the back seat for young passengers.

Nissan’s rear-door alert system will become standard on all four-door trucks, cars and SUVs with power locks by its 2022 model year. The system has door sensors, a dashboard message and horn ‘chirps’ that remind drivers to check the back seat.

This year 29 children have died from heatstroke while in a hot vehicle.  This makes 2018 one of the deadliest on record. Heatstroke is the leading cause of non-crash related vehicular deaths.

Nissan plans to announce  a system that will remind drivers to check for occupants in the back seat. Nissan’s system will become standard on all four-door trucks, cars and SUVs with power locks by its 2022 model year. Nissan is believed to be the first to make such an alert a standard feature across its fleet of applicable vehicles, a move safety-advocates have long recommended.

You have reminders for seat-belts, but should you really have a reminder not to leave your children in the hot car?

 

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2 years ago · by · Comments Off on Smart Irrigation Month

Smart Irrigation Month

When you water your lawn this summer, keep these things in mind:

As much as 50% of water used for watering is wasted because of inefficient methods. July is Smart Irrigation Month, a great time to make smart changes to save water and money!

What is Smart Irrigation Month?

Smart Irrigation Month is a public awareness campaign to promote efficient water use. Using water wisely:

  • Saves money on your utility bill.

  • Nurtures green spaces that deliver real environmental benefits.

  • Protects your community’s water supply for generations to come.

  • Minimizes needed investments in infrastructure to store and carry water, which must be paid for by property taxes or municipal bonds.

Automatic watering or sprinkler systems — known in the trade as irrigation systems — deliver exactly the right amount of water at the right time. Efficient irrigation systems:

  • Minimize overwatering while keeping your lawn and garden beautiful and healthy.

  • Adjust watering automatically to account for rain and other conditions.

  • Put every drop of water to work by minimizing evaporation and waste.

  • Make maintaining your yard easy and convenient.

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2 years ago · by · Comments Off on Things To Check On Your Car In This Heat

Things To Check On Your Car In This Heat

We know it’s hot outside. We want you to stay in your AC as long as possible. 4 things to check on your car before you hit the road in this Texas heat:

1.Coolant and fluid levels

2.Water in battery

3.Belts & hoses

4.Tire pressure

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2 years ago · by · Comments Off on Thunderstorm Tips

Thunderstorm Tips

No place outside is safe when a thunderstorm is in the area. It is best to seek shelter in a building or hard-topped metal vehicle as fast as you can. If you can’t, use these lightning safety tips to reduce the probability of you or someone else being struck by lightning.

Always be prepared if the worst should happen. A thunderstorm is considered severe if it produces hail at least 1 inch in diameter or has wind gusts of at least 58 miles per hour. Every thunderstorm produces lightning, which kills more people each year than tornadoes or hurricanes. Heavy rain from thunderstorms can cause flash flooding, and high winds can damage homes and blow down trees and utility poles, causing widespread power outages. During a thunderstorm make sure you stay away from windows, electrical equipment, and telephones. Make sure your insurance covers damage that can be caused by storms.

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2 years ago · by · Comments Off on Tips For Road Trips

Tips For Road Trips

If you’re planning a road trip with your family, you’ll want to start checking off this safety list at least a few days before you hit the open road.

Image result for road trip

1. Go for a tune-up. For smooth sailing (and overall sanity), make sure your car is in good working order. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends that you have your tires, battery, belts, fluids, and air conditioner checked by a qualified mechanic. If you’re driving in a hot climate or towing a boat or trailer, you may need a motor oil with a higher viscosity.

2. Get a good night’s sleep. According to the NHTSA, driving while drowsy is a contributing factor in 100,000 accidents annually. Drive only when well rested, and switch off with another driver every few hours, if possible.

3. Give your car seat or booster seat a boost. If you are travelling with a child and you are not sure if your car seats or booster seats are installed 100 percent correctly: eight out of 10 aren’t, putting children at a serious risk for injury or death. Call 866-SEAT-CHECK to find a nearby location for a free safety seat inspection.

4. Gear up for safety. The NHTSA recommends packing an emergency kit that includes:

    • Water
    • Warm blankets
    • A flashlight
    • Jumper cables
    • Flares
    • Tools to change a tire
    • A fully charged cell phone
    • A first-aid kit
It’s also wise to subscribe to a roadside assistance plan—just make sure you know where to call in an emergency and what kind of assistance your policy includes. Give John a call to make sure you are covered and if you do not have insurance with us, let us quote you.
5. Keep the weight down. Store heavy items low in the seat wells so they won’t become projectiles during a sudden stop. For the same reason, suitcases, strollers, and anything else stowed in an open cargo area should be battened down.
6. Adjust your posture. Make a conscious effort to sit up straight, because slouching can make you drowsy. “People often sit too far away from the steering wheel and pedals,” says Ben Collins, a former NASCAR and stunt driver and author of How to Drive. “Your legs should be bent so you can exert strong pressure on the brake pedal, and your elbows need to be slightly bent so that you can use all your strength to turn the wheel if necessary.”
7. Look away from lights. Thanks to bright headlights of oncoming cars, you can be “blinded by the light,” as the old song goes. The eyeball has two types of receptors, and the ones working at night are extremely sensitive, says Collins. “Avert your gaze to the lower right shoulder of the road. Your peripheral vision will allow you to continue driving in the correct direction.”
8. Ignore phone calls. Even if you’re hands-free, talking on the phone is dangerous. The region of the brain that processes moving images decreases its activity by up to one third when you’re listening to the other side of the line. Talking on the phone and driving at the same time is like talking on the phone and watching TV—you’re going to miss something on one end or the other.

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2 years ago · by · Comments Off on Driving At Night

Driving At Night

If you must drive during the peak sleepiness periods, stay vigilant for signs of drowsiness, such as crossing over roadway lines or hitting a rumble strip, especially if you’re driving alone.

Fatigue While Driving

A National Sleep Foundation poll says 60% of adults have driven while they were tired, and another 37%, or 103 million people, have fallen asleep at the wheel. Of those, 13% say they fall asleep while driving at least once a month, and 4% say they have caused a crash by falling asleep while driving.

The reasons are many – shift work, lack of quality sleep, long work hours, sleep disorders – and it doesn’t only happen on lengthy trips.

These staggering numbers are backed up by a report by NHTSA that 100,000 police-reported crashes are a result of driver fatigue. Most crashes or near-misses happen at the times you would expect drivers to be tired: 4 to 6 a.m., midnight to 2 a.m. and 2 to 4 p.m., according to NSF.

Drowsy driving puts everyone on the road at risk. Losing two hours of sleep has the same effect on driving as having three beers, and tired drivers are three times more likely to be in a car crash if they are fatigued.

The National Sleep Foundation offers this advice for driving:

  • Get seven or more hours of sleep a night
  • Don’t drive if you’ve been awake for 24 hours or more
  • Stop every two hours to rest
  • Pull over and take a nap if you’re drowsy
  • Travel during times you are normally awake

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