Every town has its traffic trouble spots. On this episode of Traffic Troubles, The Next Street visited Officer Soccio with the New London Police Department. We talked about what some of the department's major concerns were when it came to traffic within New London and went to visit them. One thing to keep in mind about New London, which is something that happens to a lot of other smaller cities, is that the roads were built a long time ago. Meaning, when built, the growth of the city was not a major concern, so being able to handle so much traffic was not expected. Officer Soccio went over why these areas were concerning and how, and when, to avoid trouble in these areas.
Long trips in the car can get boring. Liven things up for yourself and your passengers by playing one of these simple but fun car games!
Driving in the fall can see a lot of strange weather here in New England: from early snowfalls to sudden sunlight and dreadful downpours out of the gloom, driving can not only be a chore but also dangerous! Some of the most dangerous conditions are made when a rainy day turns from a drizzle to a deluge and you’re stuck out on the roads.
Here are some tips from The Next Street to help you get through this autumn’s rainfalls.
Don't block the box and make sure you move over!
Parents might not know either of these laws, but students taking our driver's ed classes are well versed in them because we teach both concepts.
Both the “Blocking the Box” law and the “Move Over” law passed in 2009, and many people who were licensed before that are still unaware of their existence.
Everyone likes money, correct? You don’t want to waste it, you want the most value from the amount you have, and for the most part you don’t want to spend it. Vehicles will be the second most expensive investment we make in our lives next to paying for housing (for us that can’t afford to buy an island).
Cars are a rite of passage, but they don’t come cheap.
Here are some life hacks that can not only extend the life of your vehicles, but could also save a life down the road!
They're everywhere when you drive. It could be something simple like a car on the other side of the road. It may be something complex like a kid walking his dog on your side of the road and an 18-wheeler on the other side. It may be something as terrifying as a deer jumping out in front of your car. It's virtually impossible to be on the road and not encounter some type of hazard. But you do have tools to help you, such as:
- Adjusting your vehicle's speed
- Adjusting your vehicle's position
- Communicating with other road users
Experienced drivers know how important scanning is while driving. Knowing what's around your vehicle helps you to recognize potential hazards. For new drivers, regardless of age, scanning is one of the last skills they develop. If you're teaching someone how to drive, there's a drill you can use to help them not only get better at scanning, but also to make sure that they are processing that information correctly. It's called "commentary driving".
Commentary driving is a technique where the driver talks about everything they see while they are driving. The first couple of times you do this drill with them they should be talking about EVERYTHING. Make sure they mention signs, lights, pavement markings, other cars, pedestrians, telephone poles, airplanes, cats, dogs, lions, tigers, and bears (oh my!). You want them seeing and talking about everything. They should be talking a lot. Everything they see and comment on won't be important, but that's ok. The goal in the beginning is to get them better at scanning. Looking as far in front of them as possible and looking to the back and to the sides as often as possible.
When they get to the point where they are seeing everything, or almost everything, have them comment on only what is important and stop talking about the unimportant stuff. At this point, what they say to you is more important than what they see. If they are still mentioning the unimportant stuff, then they are doing the drill wrong. The ultimate goal is that they are scanning, recognizing what is important, dealing with it and ignoring everything else. By focusing on only the important stuff, they can make adjustments to their speed and/or their position to help them deal with potential hazards.
It is very important that your comments to them while they are doing this drill are positive. If they fail to see something that they should have, point out to them the thing(s) that they didn't see and then ask if it is something that they will have to deal with or if it is something that is unimportant. Ask them simple questions like "What do you see in your left side view mirror right now?" or "What do you see beyond the next intersection?" or "Why do you think that's important?" Be generous with positive comments. Also make sure that they don't take their eyes off the road for too long as they check a mirror or a dashboard control.
Commentary driving is a great tool to use with those new drivers who have a good grasp of the basic controls of the car. It will take them to the next level of their driver training and help to make them safe, responsible drivers.
It's no secret that teen driver restrictions in Connecticut can get confusing. When can I drive? Who am I allowed to drive with? Is my brother allowed to ride with me? It is easy to forget the details, but unfortunately if you do, you can be in some trouble. Keep these restrictions in mind the next time you hit the road.
Merging onto the highway is likely the most obviously dangerous thing the average American does on a daily basis. Higher speeds, blind spots hiding cars, and the stress of heavy traffic can all lead to collisions out on our roadways. As with all types of driving, merging onto the highway can be made infinitely easier by understanding the basics of what is going on.
Lots of people dread driving at night, which is completely understandable because darkness puts you at an increased risk of getting into an accident. Studies have shown that a disproportionate number of fatal auto accident injuries happen at night too, often due to poor vision, inadequate roadway lighting, traffic density, and alcohol consumption.
However, most people do not need to entirely avoid driving after dark; they just need a few reminders about night driving risks and some safety tips to keep in mind.