Nov 21 by Andy Gillin

Thanksgiving Drivers Increase Risk of Car Accidents: Driving Tips to Stay Safe

Are you getting ready to hit the roads next weekend to reach your Thanksgiving destination? Well you’re far from alone, as AAA predicts that the number of this year’s road warriors will exceed 42 million, an 11.4 percent increase over last year’s total of nearly 38 million. This effectively ends a three year lull in road travelers over Thanksgiving weekend. AAA says the predicted up tick is likely the result of an improving economy, which enables travelers to brave gas prices and other costs associated with travel this holiday season.

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Jun 10 by Andy Gillin

Weekend Roundup: Bay Area Teen Safety

Teenagers generally drive more during the summer, and as a result, studies have shown the summer to be most dangerous for teen drivers. Earlier this week, for example, AAA reported that seven of the ten most dangerous driving days for teens fall between Memorial Day and Labor Day, and a total of 7,300 teen drivers were killed in summer accidents between 2005 and 2009. But summer has also proven more dangerous for teen cyclists and teen motorcyclists. Now that summer is here to stay, we wanted to highlight the week’s best articles and blog posts related to teen drivers and cyclists here in the Bay Area and across the country.

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Jun 07 by Andy Gillin

Parents: Summer Months are the Most Dangerous for Teen Drivers

Summer is great. The weather is warm enough for shorts and t-shirts, the water is (in some places) warm enough for swimming, and teens get a whole three months off of school. But it turns out summer is incredibly dangerous for teen drivers and motorcyclists. This week, AAA released a new report showing that seven of the 10 most fatal teen driving days occur the summer months between Memorial Day and Labor Day. So in addition to enjoying to their summer, teen drivers can take the summer to improve their knowledge of driver safety and even study to take their California drivers license test.

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May 31 by Andy Gillin

California Teen Driver Summer Safety Statistics & Resources

Teen drivers throughout the country are faced with countless dangers on city streets and highways. Teens are the demographic most likely to cause car a accident, technology poses the temptation for distracted driving, and scientific studies have even shown that the teen brain may not have developed the motor skills and emotional maturity to drive safely. As California teens hit the road more during the summer holiday, they should take precautions to stay safe and aware at all times. And since California teens receive their restricted license at 16 and their unrestricted license at 18, they can take the summer to boost their knowledge of state driver laws and practice safe driving techniques.

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May 18 by Andy Gillin

Bike to Work Week Promotes ‘Share the Road’

For a holiday is popular as National Bike Month, it’s no surprise that the range of great bicycle safety organizations overlap when it comes to hosting bicycle awareness events. Last Thursday was California Bike to Work Day, as sponsored by bicycle coalitions throughout the Bay Area. Last week’s Bike to Work Day was a huge success, and although the Bay Area is experiencing worse weather this week, the League of American Bicyclists’ national Bike to Work Week, May 16 through May 20, has already made a strong impact as well.

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May 03 by Andy Gillin

National Bike Month Focuses on Reducing Youth Bicycle Accidents

As National Bike Month rolls around, we’re reminded that too many cyclists currently on the road maintain bad habits on city streets. Many adult cyclists don’t wear helmets, obey traffic signs, or use reflective gear at night. Some states have bicycle safety laws that require appropriate bicycle safety behavior for children and teenagers. But as Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood writes on his blog this week, National Bike Month should encourage smart bicycle safety from the top down. If you have children, be a good “Roll Model” during May as National Bike Month.

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Dec 20 by Andy Gillin

Holiday Drivers Increase Risk of Car Accidents

Due to the increased likelihood of drunk driving and adverse road conditions, winter holidays always carry an extra risk of car accidents. This year, warns the auto advocate AAA, that danger could be even more pronounced, as more drivers are committed to traveling long distances thanks partially to an improved economy. This year, AAA predicts, 92.3 million Americans will travel more than 50 miles from their homes, a boost of 3 million over last year’s Christmas holiday period.

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Dec 08 by Andy Gillin

Insurance Industry Continues Opposition to Campaign Against Distracted Driving

The insurance industry is at it again. Addressing the fact that distracted driving causes more than 6,000 deaths and 500,000 injuries each year, Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood has made cutting down on the practice a top priority. But he has consistently run into knee jerk opposition from the insurance industry and anti-regulation advocates. This week, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reignited its opposition to such laws with the following tweet: “Nevada and Florida are latest states to discuss texting while driving bans – Meantime research shows no evidence of effectiveness.”

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Nov 02 by Andy Gillin

Aging Drivers React to Increase in Car Accidents

When is it time for aging drivers to put the keys away due to declining vision and reaction time? That’s the subject of yesterday’s great Oregonian story probing the effects of new laws on Oregon’s aging driver population. A number of states have implemented laws to determine when drivers have lost the skills important for road safety. Oregon requires that drivers over 50 take a vision test to renew their license. California requires in-person license renewal after the age of 70. It’s always a difficult discussion, since taking away the keys can mean the loss of important freedoms.

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Oct 18 by Andy Gillin

Parents Are Focus for National Teen Driver Safety Week

It’s natural that National Teen Driver Safety Week would ignite discussions about teen safety issues related to distracted driving, reckless actions, and graduated licensing laws. What’s unusual about this year’s NTDSW is that it comes on the heels of an AAA study which puts some of the blame on some parents for their children not being prepared to drive unsupervised, especially in heavy traffic or rain. Although more than half of parents don’t consider their child prepared to drive after a yearlong learner’s stage, a third of those families allow their son or daughter to get their license within a month of being eligible.

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Sep 21 by Andy Gillin

California Distracted Driving Rate Jumps Before Annual Summit

As elected leaders, transportation officials, and safety advocates converge in Washington DC today for the second annual distracted driving summit, the level of impact existing anti-distraction laws have had will be front and center. The numbers in California, the numbers are less-than-encouraging. Since the state’s cell phone ban went into effect in January 2009, the number of distracted drivers has actually increased, to 2.7 percent of drivers at any given time, according to the Automotive Club of Southern California.

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Sep 20 by Andy Gillin

Distracted Driving Targetted by AAA, Seventeen Magazine, & Ray LaHood

It’s a big week for raising awareness about the dangers of driving while distracted. On Friday, AAA and Seventeen Magazine teamed up with the Department of Transportation to urge teenagers to take two seconds to turn off their cell phones before getting behind the wheel. And tomorrow, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood will host the second annual Distracted Driving Summit in Washington DC. LaHood has been a tireless advocate against distracted driving, and I hope this month’s events will contribute to the movement to make distracted driving as taboo as drunk driving and ignoring seat belts.

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Aug 03 by Andy Gillin

Seventeen Magazine Spearheads Contest to Combat Distracted Driving

Gearing up for its second annual distracted driving summit in September, the Department of Transportation has teamed up with Seventeen Magazine and AAA to sponsor a contest to promote safe driving. The coalition will choose the best anti-distracted driving video among thousands submitted to YouTube, publish the winning video on all three websites, and award the winning producer $2,000. The complete rules for the contest are posted at

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