Thursday, December 18, 2014

Allstate Foundation High School traffic Safety Challenge Winner

Check out the winning Instagram video from the Allstate Foundation's Social Media Contest ‪#‎AllstateFdn‬ Allstate Insurance. Congratulations to Brittney from Wasson's Early College High School, she won an IPad. A big thanks to the Allstate Foundation for supporting the 26th Annual High School Traffic Safety Challenge! (Click on this link to view)
#GetThereSafe @Allstate insurance #DriveSmartCO #WassonEarlyColleges Created by: Brittney Balestra

Friday, December 12, 2014

Distracted drivers: More than half use cellphones

From:  The News Star

According to research posted by, 52 percent of drivers admit they have talked on a cellphone while driving and 34 percent say they have texted while driving.

And that’s despite their understanding of the danger, according to State Farm Insurance Co.’s sixth annual distracted driving survey.

Eighty percent of the drivers surveyed by State Farm reported sending a text is “very distracting,” while 68 percent view reading a text as “very distracting.”

State Farm’s survey shows drivers believe cellphone usage can be more or less dangerous depending on conditions.

Sixty-three percent said they were more likely to use their cellphones while stopped at a red light, for instance, while 78 percent said they were less likely to use their cellphones in heavy traffic.

“It was interesting to see the overwhelming majority of drivers recognize some driving circumstances and conditions are more dangerous than others — ice and snow, foggy conditions, heavy traffic, rain, nightfall — and so they decrease cellphone use at those times,” said Gary Stephenson, State Farm’s Louisiana spokesman.

“That indicates they recognize cellphone use is a distraction,” Stephenson said. “However, if not in a perceived dangerous condition, cell phone use and distraction continues to be common among drivers. It’s important for every driver to always realize safe driving focus is important in good weather or bad weather and on an open road or a congested one.”

According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, 80 percent of collisions are caused by driver inattentiveness.

Eyes on the road?

52 percent: Drivers who admit to using cell phones.

80 percent: Collisions caused by distracted drivers.

80 percent: Drivers who own a cell phone, up from 52 percent in 2011.

63 percent: Drivers who said they are more likely to use their cell phone when stopped at a red light.

78 percent: Drivers who said they were less likely to use their cell phone in heavy traffic.

Sources:; National Highway Transportation Safety Administration; and State Farm Insurance Co.’s Sixth Annual Distracted Driving Survey.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Smart Phone Apps for Monitoring Teen Drivers

RoadReady: This powerful app is an extension to The Parent’s Supervised Driving Program. Sponsored by Ford Motor Company, RoadReady recently became available to parents of teen drivers just in time for National Teen Driver Safety Week (Oct 20-26). The RoadReady app allows parents to track and log driving experience during the Learner’s Permit process.

AT&T DriveMode: This free app for AT&T, BlackBerry, and Android users will send automatic “out of office” replies to texts and emails when in a vehicle moving faster than 25 mph. The app also sends incoming calls directly to voicemail. DriveMode is intended to ensure that drivers are not distracted by their cell phones when operating a vehicle.

Sprint Drive First: This app allows parents to be in control of their teen drivers by setting the parameters for their in-vehicle connection ability. Similar to the DriveMode app, Drive First will detect if the vehicle is in motion and send auto replies to text messages and direct incoming calls to voicemail. The app is intended to help improve driving habits and reduce distractions.

Steer Clear Mobile: This app focuses on teaching teens proper driving technique. After completing the Steer Clear course, the teen driver is eligible for insurance discounts from State Farm. Steer Clear Mobile is currently only available for the iPhone.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Research shows incorrect use of car seats widespread on first trip home from hospital

From:  American Academy of Pediatrics

Nearly all parents unknowingly put their newborn infants at risk as soon as they drive away from the hospital due to mistakes made with car safety seats, according to research to be presented Monday, Oct. 13 at the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) National Conference & Exhibition in San Diego.

A study of 267 families at Oregon Health and Science University Hospital showed that 93 percent made at least one critical error in positioning their infant in a car safety seat or when installing the safety seat in the vehicle. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has defined critical errors as those that put infants at increased risk for injury in a crash.

"Car safety seats can be difficult to use correctly for many families, and we need to provide the resources and services they need to help ensure the safest possible travel for newborns and all children," said Benjamin Hoffman, MD, FAAP, lead author of the study "Unsafe from the Start: Critical Misuse of Car Safety Seats for Newborns at Initial Hospital Discharge."

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

How a license plate letter could save some Maine teenagers’ lives

From:  Bangor Daily News

Christina and Corey Darveau have gone through the kind of grief no parent should have to. A year ago, their 15-year-old daughter Taylor Darveau was killed in a car crash in Bucksport. The driver, a fellow high school cheerleader, was, by law, not supposed to have Darveau in the car.

The Darveaus agonized over their decision to let Taylor Darveau ride with Samantha Goode, who served 10 days in jail after admitting she was responsible for her classmate’s death. How could they have known that Goode had only an intermediate licence, which restricted her from having passengers other than family members in her car for nine months?

They have a solution: a pink sticker to be placed on a vehicle’s windshield identifying the driver as an intermediate license holder. They are sending boxes of the stickers to every high school and police department in the state. The stickers, emblazoned with T.A.Y.L.O.R — Thinking About Your Life On the Road — also can be purchased, two for $10, with the money going to a foundation the Darveaus have established.

The Darveaus’ efforts could be boosted by lawmakers when they convene next year in the form of a bill to require a visible marking on a vehicle driven by a new licensee.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Understanding the Limitations of Drug Test Information, Reporting, and Testing Practices in Fatal Crashes

Since 1975, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has collected data from all 50 States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico on all police-reported fatal crashes on public roadways. NHTSA’s National Center for Statistics and Analysis (NCSA) includes data from these fatal crashes in the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS). This dataset provides a wealth of information on fatal crashes, the roadways, vehicles, and drivers involved.

See the Traffic Safety Facts: Research Notes from NHTSA for more information on this dataset.

Friday, November 14, 2014

A Record 27 Child Booster Seats Earn Top IIHS Rating For Safety

Among the 41 models of new child booster seats for 2014, 27 have been awarded the Insurance Insitiute for Highway Safety's (IIHS) BEST BET design -- more than in any prior year...

Boosters earn a rating of BEST BET, GOOD BET, Check Fit or Not Recommended, based on a protocol that involves measuring how 3-point lap and shoulder belts fit a child-size test dummy seated in the booster on a stationary test fixture. Measurements are taken under 4 conditions spanning the range of safety belt configurations in passenger vehicles. The evaluations focus on belt fit and don't involve crash tests.

Read the full article from Consumer Affairs