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Experience Toyota Teen Driver Safety Clinic #TeenDrive365

My family’s safety is important to me.  We stay on top of health care, eat well and wear helmets while bike riding. What I can’t do is monitor them when they aren’t home. This past weekend Sabreena and I attended the Toyota Teen Driver Safety Clinic to learn how to keep her safe on the road.

The clinic is an interactive program held at select Toyota dealerships across the US that teach teens and their families ways to stay safe behind the wheel. The program shows so much more than keeping your eyes on the road but also providing driver education, recognizing real life distractions and experiencing driving simulators to evaluate driving habits.Toyota Teen Driver Safety Clinic  #ad #stilletomedia #TeenDrive365

Sabreena has 2 years of driving experience under her belt and so far it’s been quite uneventful. This is a good thing but that doesn’t mean I don’t worry about her when she leaves the house. Whether she’s behind the wheel or a passenger in a friend’s car the stress level is the same. We went into the safety clinic prepared to learn something new.  Sabreena isn’t naive to think that she’s a perfect driver and she can’t learn something new. In fact she took a spot in the front row during the lecture part of the event.

Arriving at Holman Toyota we were greeting with an invitation to hop in the driving simulator to assess Sabreena’s driving performance while encountering distractions such as cyclists on the road, oncoming traffic and fiddling around in the glove box.  She scored ok, she didn’t hit any virtual cars or pedestrians but did exceed the speed limit a couple times and crossed her lane of traffic. Toyota Teen Driver Safety Clinic  #ad #stilletomedia #TeenDrive365

The program then led us into a presentation from a Toyota representative on the dangers of distracted driving, general vehicle maintenance and establishing good driving habits.  We were then introduced to different vehicles and given a scavenger hunt to look for specific items such as the spare tire, recommended tire pressure for the car, fuel door release, brake fluid and more.Toyota Teen Driver Safety Clinic  #ad #stilletomedia #TeenDrive365

We left the event agreeing that we would each be better role models for each other and for our family and friends. We can’t avoid every accident in life but we can take necessary steps to become more aware and defensive behind the wheel to prevent crashes.Toyota Teen Driver Safety Clinic  #ad #stilletomedia #TeenDrive365

I encourage you to research the upcoming events in your area and attend this FREE clinic. It’s only 2.5 hours of your time but could provide the needed education to keep you and your teen safe and alive while driving.

Toyota Teen Driving Safety Clinic #TeenDrive365

Teen Driving Safety Clinic with Toyota #TeenDrive365 #distracteddrivingHaving one of my children of legal driving age scares the crap out of me. Everytime she gets in the car I worry. I know she’s cautious and has hopefully been following our rules for the last 2 years but that doesn’t lessen the anxiety I have that one day she’s gonna call to say there’s been an accident. Signing up for the Toyota Teen Driving Clinic this weekend will help ease my mind and give Sabreena some new perspective into safe and defensive driving.Teen Driving Safety Clinic with Toyota #TeenDrive365 #distracteddriving

The Toyota Teen Driving Safety Clinic is open to teens and their parents at participating Toyota dealerships in the New Jersey and New York areas. Teens and their families will learn about vehicle dynamics and safety features, defensive driving, distracted driving and the importance of vehicle maintenance. This non-driving program offers parents and teens an opportunity to learn safe driving tips by professional instructors in a non-sales environment. Find a location near you to register.

The FREE 2.5 hour clinic will cover basic car maintenance, safety features, avoiding driving distractions and other topics that drivers encounter each day.

I have very high expectations for Sabreena during this experience. She’s not a new driver but still a young driver. I believe any help and education she can take in can only be a good thing. Kids are given driver’s licenses to easily these days, without much training or real world experience. Distracted driving accounted for  an estimated 421,000 injured individuals in motor vehicle crashes in 2012 ( I don’t want Sabreena or another family to be part of those statistics.Teen Driving Safety Clinic woth Toyota #TeenDrive365 #distracteddriving

I want to be a part of creating the next generation of drivers. Drivers that are aware of the world around them not just what’s happening in the car. I took the pledge to be a better example behind the wheel. I pledge to be a better driver by being a safer driver. My families safety is priority number one.



Look Mom! I’m Driving!

Two years ago the big announcement about Sabreena was she was getting braces. Yesterday Sabreena drove for the first time. This really snuck up on me. I know she’s 16 now but driving didn’t really enter my mind until signing the Driver’s Ed forms last week. Then I get a phone call Tuesday morning from her Driver’s Ed teacher telling me he’s adding her to the schedule the next day. I was a bit surprised. I fumbled some words and then just said UH OK. My first instinct was this tweet

reaction to teen driver

UGH the teen is driving

Sabreena was a little surprised too. She had only had 1 class and didn’t feel prepared to actually get behind the wheel. Since she is already 16 she was 1st in line to drive.

After her first lesson I asked her how it went, she said “Ok, I didn’t hit anything which is a plus”. That’s my positive thinker!

So we’ve entered into new frontiers and I’m not sure it I’m ok with it.

I Disclose

The Time Is Almost Here

Driving is expensive to begin with these days considering the price of gas, maintenance, etc so needless to say I’m not looking forward to the day when Sabreena gets her drivers license which is right around the corner.

Getting a car insurance quote has to be a parents biggest fear when their teen obtains there drivers license. I know right now Melinda and I pay a fortune for car insurance as I am sure a lot of American families do. I can remember not getting my drivers license until I was close to eighteen and I am not sure what my parents reasoning was behind this considering I already had a car that was given to me by my aunt. Maybe they weren’t enthused with getting a car insurance quote for their eighteen year old son. I am sure as soon as they added me to their insurance the rate doubled. I understand new drivers are a higher risk and more of a liability but are they a rate doubling risk/liability?

The good news here is that we have a few things in our favor. Sabreena is a girl and a straight A student so I am hoping that when we go to add her to our car insurance they will take those factors into consideration and have pity on us.

I Disclose

Dad Is Stressing Big Time Here!!!

Sabreena just turned 15 which means next year she will take drivers ed in school (unless DE changes the law) and getting her drivers license and to be honest I am stressed big time.

Getting insurance, a car and just the fact that she is 16 and will be driving scares the crap out of me.  She is an extremely smart kid but that doesn’t comfort me when she is out on the road.  With friends in the car and text messaging young drivers have so many distractions on top of the fact that are just learning to drive makes me nervous to let Sabreena behind the wheel.

I think I was 17 maybe 18 before I got my driver’s license and to me that still seems young.  I know I am probably blowing this out of proportion but this is my baby girl we are talking about and letting her get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle alone with NO supervision worries me.  Maybe it is the father in me but who knows but I just want her to be safe and responsible when behind the wheel of a car.

No wonder I have so many grey hairs at the age of 36. LOL.

Do you have a child that is about to start driving in the next year or two? If so what are your feelings? Am I crazy to feel the way I am feeling?

Why Is DMV Like The Dentist?

Everyone hates to go. Well at least everyone I know hates to go to DMV. My father in-law hates the DMV so much I swear he buys a new car right before his registration is about to expire which is 5 years in Delaware.

So yesterday DMV was open from noon until 8pm and Melinda and I needed to go because our vans registration was going to expire on July 15th plus we needed to do an address change for our driver’s license as well as the registrations for both cars. The first thing was to get the van inspected which didn’t take as long as we thought considering the sign we stopped at said 60 minutes from this point. Total time in the inspection line was probably 30 minutes. The next step was to go inside and that is when the hell began. We received number A003 and they were on A190 and once that number hits A299 it then resets to A000. So we were about 113 people away and that was just to do an address change on our DL. After that we needed to wait in another line to renew the vans registration and to change the address on both cars registrations.

So I went back up to the person who was giving the numbers out and asked could I just renew my vans registration and he told me I needed to do the address change on the DL first so that my DL and registration addresses matched. While speaking to the man Shaun comes running over and said “Dad they just asked if anyone was doing an address change from one DE address to another DE address” which we were so I ran over to see what was going on. DMV pulled aside the people who were doing an address change which was about 7 of us and put them in one line. Thank goodness because this allowed us to bypass 100 other people or so that have been waiting for hours. The funny thing here if you call this funny was while in line the system at the DMV went down. Are you freaking kidding me!!!!!! Thank goodness it was only down for 10 minutes. So Melinda and I finally got our address changed on our DL and they transferred me over to the registration area which I didn’t even have to wait for. We got our registrations in order and we were gone. It took about 2 hours total to get this done. Thanks goodness I got a two year registration on the van but I need to go to the DMV in 2011 for my car. I am looking forward to visiting the DMV again real soon. NOT!!!!!!!

Commuting Sucks

For the last month or two I have been commuting from MD to DE daily for work. In the beginning it wasn’t too bad but lately it is sucking big time. It takes about an hour to an hour and ten minutes to get to work which is about 55-60 miles one way. I am very thankful to have a job but not so thankful for the drive.

So the good news about this is that I only have 2 more days of this commute then we are back in DE. The great thing about where we are located in DE is I am 2 miles from the bus stop so it will take me less than 5 minutes to get to the bus then I will let Dart do the rest and get me into the city to work. Taking the bus and living in DE means less miles on my car, less gas to get to work and less stress due to traffic. I am counting down but I am sure the next two days in the car are going to feel like 10 hour car rides. Wish me luck.

Do you commute to work? If so how far one way?


Do You Think This Will Help?

I grew up in Southern New Jersey when you could get your learners permit at the age of 16 but it doesn’t seem to be that way anymore.

New Jersey is one of 23 states with a graduated license system, where new drivers under the age of 21 are required to have a probationary license for a 12 month period which grants restricted privileges. Some things probationary drivers are limited to is a curfew between the hours of 11 PM and 5AM and how many passengers are allowed to be in the vehicle.

Today I saw that a new driving law will be going into effect in the state of New Jersey beginning May 1st. Probationary drivers less than 21 years of age must affix a removable red sticker to the upper left corner of the license plate that can be taken off. Dubbed Kyleigh’s Law after Kyleigh D’Alessio, a New Jersey 16-year-old who was killed by a driver on a probationary license. This law requires the driver pay $4 for the sticker that is required through the 12 month probationary period. If caught without the sticker a $100 fine can be assessed. The sticker also gives police probable cause to search the drivers’ vehicle.

I am not sure if I am for or against this law. I am trying to figure out how the red sticker makes the roads any safer. The only way I see the sticker being useful is if the driver is caught driving after 11pm and before 5am. Other then that I feel the stinker is going to be a form of profiling by police and by other drivers. Everyone is going to know what a red stinker on the drivers’ license plate means and I feel this could be used against the driver in forms of road rage and other angry actions. How is a red sticker keeping accidents from occurring? I feel that this is just another way for the state of NJ to collect more fees at the DMV.

Do you feel this will help avoid accidents in any way?  Will this make the roads safer?  What are your thoughts?

Because I have a reason to complain

I’m taking a moment to defend myself against the accusations from Rob about harassing him about his driving. Rob is a good driver and he is correct in saying he’s never gotten into an accident BUT he does this little things to annoy me when he drives.

• He’s nosy. He wants to look at EVERY car that we pass or passes us. I’m not talking a quick glance either; he will turn his head just to see the what the driver looks like and what they were doing. It’s great when the driver is unattractive or doing something like picking their nose, then I get an update on that.

• He’s got road rage. We all have it to a degree but he feels the need to then tailgate then pass that car and again check them out and usually give them the finger.
• He’s distracted by the kids. Our kids are funny, they are always doing something that makes us laugh. Rob thinks its ok to turn around and watch whatever they are doing in the back of the car.

• He loves me too much.  His main objective in life is to annoy me as much as possible. He likes to stare at me knowing I’m going to yell at him. His response is usually, “but you are just so beautiful”; I call “bullsh!t. Keep your eyes on the road and admire me later.
• He’s obsessed with his Blackberry. I admit I am too but I don’t usually drive so I can spend a car ride checking email, twitter or playing a game. Unless the phone is ringing there is NO reason Rob should be checking his Blackberry every 5 minutes. Wait, he not only checks it he insists on reading whatever communication has come through.

So there. I’m not the bad guy Rob made me out to be, my complaints are justified, he’s a distracted driver not a bad driver.