Educated drivers = safer roads

We’ve been teaching people how to drive for almost 25 years now, during this time we’ve seen a lot of technological changes in vehicles. Innovations like keyless entry, rearview cameras, satellite radio, sensor operated windshield wipers and others are just a few examples of what I’m talking about.

But today’s pace of technological evolution in the automotive industry goes far beyond those relatively simple innovations and is accelerating rapidly. Vehicles today are smarter, safer and more productive than ever – provided that drivers are aware of new technology and understand how to get the most out of it.

Vehicle manufacturers will fight to get you inside their products offering everything possible out of the combination between comfort and technology, readiness for communication, safety and others to be ahead of competitors.

But here’s the question: Do drivers know about everything available there and understand how to get the maximum use out of it?

I have no doubt most drivers don’t know all about these features and understand the benefits they offer; the reason is simple, many people don’t read the operator’s manual. Even worse, many people go to the dealers to ask questions about different features on their new vehicles and representatives at the dealer don’t know how to use them either.

This is why I think that the problem is lack of education, in many levels. It takes time to produce such innovations and to be incorporated to vehicles, but everything could b just a waist of money if we pay for a vehicle with X number of features that we’ll never use because we don’t know how to use them.

It’s a tough nut to crack knowing all aspects and systems in your vehicle,  but it’s worth the effort. There’s no question new vehicle systems can make you safer, more productive and better rested. More importantly, many of these systems are proven winners when it comes to saving time and crashes – and nothing affects the bottom line as dramatically as having what it takes to be safer on the road.

Proper education about your vehicle as well as defensive driving techniques will be able to get you on the road for the years to come easily and safe. See you out there folks!!!

Driving instructions are not for everybody

The driving training industry has been gradually losing its quality over the last 10-15 years, in many ways because law makers are not overseeing how the industry is facilitating under-qualified people to this very important job, also because driving schools in many cases are using 20-30 years old materials and teaching techniques.

Most parents decide and choose the driving school for their teens based on one factor only (the price of the lessons), while the quality of them or years in business seems to be not important. Therefore, most of the driving schools out there are simply offering the minimum instruction needed just to pass the driving test, essentially helping people to get an operator license when they are not ready to safely operate a vehicle, through this very insufficient “quick fix” method.

The sad statistically result of combining poor authorities supervision, low quality instructions aiming to pass the driving test only and parents concern more about getting the cheapest option instead of the best driving school are the deadly stories for sure you have heard.

Average 3500 teens die every year in USA while another teenager was behind the wheel, the crash rate per mile driven for 16-19 years old is sadly four times higher than crashes where the driver was 20 years old or older.

The driving exam can be passed with very basic legal knowledge of driving and very basic skills to control the vehicle. The average time of this exam is less than 20 minutes, making the overall standard low causing our roads highly unsafe.

Sadly we need to admit, the low passing rate in previous years has led to the exclusion of very important maneuvers and unwillingness to implement real changes to the current system, knowing that implementing higher standards to pass the test will translate in a direct decrease of customer in our license offices, and this revenue has clouded the consideration of public safety in general.

Despite vehicles to be equipped with systems like ABS, traction control system, dynamic cruise control, lane departure sensors, blind spot sensors and others, almost 50K people die in USA every year and 5 million get hurt in crashes.

Next time you (or someone you know) is going to use a driving school, keep this in mind, you can help lower these numbers and be a part of safer roads for everybody. Take care.