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Safety Tips for Driving in Rainy Conditions

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Defensive driving skills are a must when traveling the busy roads of Texas. They are even more important to have when you are navigating busy roads during rainy weather. Driving in rainy conditions are different than driving with a clear sky. Here are some tips from your friends at Comedy Defensive Driving to help you stay safe on the road when the rain starts falling.
 
• Make sure your car is weather-ready. This means replacing your wiper blades if they are worn, and making sure your tires are properly inflated and have good tread. You also want to make certain that all of your lights are working, including turn signals and brake lights.
 
• Leave plenty of room between you and the cars around you. You may have more difficulty coming to a quick stop under wet conditions, so leave lots of space between you and surrounding cars. If the car in front of you suddenly hits the brakes, you have a much better chance of stopping with lots of room.
 
• Don’t use the cruise. Setting the cruise makes it much easier to drive on the open road, but when it’s wet outside, cruise control can be dangerous. If your car begins to lose traction on the wet surface, the cruise may cause an increase in acceleration, which can lead to hydroplaning. Use your own foot power for accelerating when it’s raining.
 
• Speaking of hydroplaning, you can avoid this by being cautious. Don’t hit your brakes hard when driving on a wet surface, and take corners with care.
Contact us today at Comedy Defensive Driving for more rainy weather tips and find out how you can get started in your first defensive driving course.
 

Tips for Remembering Children in the Backseat

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When you enroll in a defensive driving school, you are going to learn all of the skills you need to stay in control on the road. However, there are some things that even the best instructors cannot control. It seems as if we are hearing more and more about children being left in hot cars, often leading to their death. Comedy Defensive Driving wants to take some time to share some tips for remembering your children in the backseat, no matter what.
 
• Put something else in the backseat. A cell phone or a purse in the backseat is an easy way to remember your little one. You probably don’t go anywhere without your phone or purse, so if it is in the backseat, you are going to look for it. This doesn’t mean the phone, purse, or other item is more important than your child. It just means that the habit of carrying the item will trigger your memory.
 
• Make it a habit to check the backseat every time you exit your car. Even if you are the only one in the car, get into the habit of opening the back door after exiting and having a quick look around. It only takes 30 days of doing something for it to become a habit — and this habit could mean the difference between life and death for a small child.
 
• Avoid being distracted. Distracted driving has led to parents forgetting their children in the car. Talking on the phone, eating, etc. can put your mind on auto-pilot. If you normally do not have your child in the backseat, driving on auto-pilot could lead to a forgotten child. Keep the distractions away and stay alert while driving, whether you have a child in the car or not. This will keep you safe and help keep your mind on driving and taking your child out of the backseat.
 
Contact us today at Comedy Defensive Driving to learn more about our offering of courses — and remember to check the backseat!
 

The Dangers of Drowsy Driving

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Our Florida driving school is a great option for learning how to drive defensively on the sometimes-crazy roads. You will also learn about different situations that can put you at risk for an accident, even when you don’t realize it. One of these situations is drowsy driving. There are many dangers involved with driving while you are tired.
 
• A decrease in the awareness of your surroundings, which means you may not notice that pedestrian in time or that car slowing down in front of you.
 
• A decrease in reaction time, which means when you do finally notice the pedestrian or the car, it may take you longer to react and hit the brakes.
 
• An impairment of your judgment, which means you may mistakenly think you have time to pass another car when you don’t.
 
• Problems with your vision, which can include blurred vision and watery eyes. When you are not seeing clearly, you are not driving safely.
 
• An increase in moodiness, which can lead to road rage and driving erratically. When you are tired, you are irritable, and other drivers can quickly annoy you, causing you to drive in ways you may not normally drive.
 
Here at Comedy Defensive Driving, we know all too well about the dangers of driving while you are sleepy. We don’t want you driving drowsy — we want you driving with an alert mind, clear sight, and defensive skills. Contact us today to learn more about our driving courses and how you can stay alert on the road.
 

Key Aspects of Our Defensive Driving Course In Summer

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The Texas defensive driving course in summer is in full-swing, which means temperatures — and tempers — are rising on the roads. While you may not be a “road-rager,” other people may not have your calm demeanor. Knowing all about defensive driving in Texas — the right way — is the best way to avoid setting off another driver’s temper and potentially putting yourself in danger. There are many aspects of defensive driving that you need to learn. Comedy Defensive Driving is here to help you learn them all and stay in control of your road trips.
 
• One of the most important things you will learn is how to react and defend yourself against all the “road-ragers.” When someone is driving erratically, whether they are drunk, distracted, or just angry, it puts you in danger. Knowing how to react in situations, such as being cut-off or tail-gated, will help keep you safe until you are well away from the problem driver.
 
• Another important aspect you will learn is expecting the unexpected. You have to be sharp while you are on the road; you have to expect things to happen, such as changing weather conditions or sudden brake lights in front of you, so you know how to react. Being unprepared is the fastest way to get into an accident. We will teach you how to expect the unexpected and stay on your toes while driving.
 
• Distractions are a big reason why drivers get into accidents. Learning how to minimize distractions in your car is another key feature of our course. From hands-free phone calls, to leaving the snacks at home, it is essential that you always have your hands on the wheel and your mind on the road. You must be aware of your situation at all times, and distractions, such as phone calls, sandwiches, and changing radio stations, can reduce your ability to react to sudden changes.
 
Comedy Defensive Driving is here to help you become a strong, prepared driver on the Texas highways. Contact us today to learn more about the different things we will teach you and to sign up for your first course!
 

Ways to Improve Night Driving Visibility & Safety

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Driving at night can prove to be a difficult task, especially considering other variables like sleep deprivation, road fatigue, demanding nighttime road conditions and general navigational obstacles through nighttime traffic. Of course, these are only a few examples of road symptoms which may affect driving, yet when these are combined with the visual difficulty of night driving, there is an adaptation required to take extra precaution in alertness and attention to the road ahead.
 

 
In fact, a driver’s depth perception, ability to distinguish color, movement, and peripheral vision are all reduced in low-light conditions. Here at Comedy Defense Driving, we are happy to give out smart tips to our fellow drivers. In order to better prepare for nighttime driving, there are plenty of techniques to remember to avoid potential dangers while traveling at night:
 
Clean Headlights and Windshield
As time goes on, your headlights and windshield are exposed to weather, which can incur a bit of weathering and tinting. Cleaning your windshield is generally a more obvious maintenance task because it is in direct line of sight. Headlights, on the other hand, can easily go unnoticed since the yellow tinting caused by sun exposure degrades the headlamp in a very slow manner. Cleaning your headlights and windshield with a formulated product of polish and/or wax can help remove existing tints and prevent any yellowing from occurring in the future.
 
Adjust Mirrors
It is a common technique to adjust your interior mirror to reduce headlight glare from behind you, but be sure to adjust your side mirrors as well. If you tend to drive at night the most, reducing glare caused by other cars can be a lifesaver. Although angling your side mirror slightly downward will require you to lean forward slightly for a good view before switching lanes, it is worth the benefit of protecting against a blinding glare from the car behind you.
 

 
Use The White Line
It is a bit of an antiquated tip, but a notable one nonetheless. At times when we are navigating ourselves through nighttime traffic, oncoming headlights or passing lights can indirectly catch our attention. A simple yet understated tip is to always keep your eyes on the road. Yet, being flashed by oncoming traffic can still divert our attention, even if we aim to keep attention on the road. Keeping your eyes straight on the white line can be a great way to guide your direction if you start to feel overwhelmed by flashing or distracting oncoming traffic lights.
 
Overview
 

In order to improve your visibility and safety when driving, there are few things to remember:
If visibility is reduced while driving, be cautious and limit your speed ahead. Practicing patient and disciplined lane changing can, quite literally, be a life saver, too. In clear weather, headlights should allow you to see about 350 feet ahead. This distance should give you time and room to adjust to any obstacles that may appear ahead. This also means that keeping all headlights, tail lights, signal lights, and windows clean is essential to nighttime safety.

Alternative Tips for Cellphone Drivers

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It is no doubt that our world today is fast-paced. Thanks to the advancement of technology and interconnectivity, having a cellphone today means being able to do a multitude of things besides good ol’ fashioned calling. Checking e-mail, browsing social networks, changing music, and — more popularly — texting, has given us more mobile power than ever before. This has helped accelerate our modern world into a global community of high speed multi-taskers.
 

 
However, this new lifestyle has also heavily impacted road safety by providing drivers with more distractions than ever before. Younger drivers especially are prone to these distractions, which puts everyone at risk for injury or fatality. It is no surprise to find texting and mobile phone distraction at the forefront of road safety concern and policy. Below you’ll find some alternative tips from your friends here at Comedy Defense Driving to staying connected, but more importantly, staying safe on the road.
 
• Check before Departure – It’s a reactionary effect to check your cellphone once it makes a sound. To avoid reaching for your phone immediately, a smart and safe precaution is to simply leave your phone on silent mode before departure. Any important check-ups or calls you need to make should be made before you depart. This way, you can dedicate your attention to the road without having to be bothered by phone alerts or calls that you need to make.
 
*In addition, setting up music playlists or GPS routes before departure is a smart idea. Again, this helps keep the road distractions at a minimum. Set up what you think you will need to adjust during travel before leaving so that you can keep yourself alert, safe, and comfortable.
 
• Consider Hands-Free Devices and Headsets — The basic problem with cellphones and driving is not committing full control over your steering wheel. As a popular alternative to many cellphone drivers, hands-free devices and headsets help keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road. They also help in preserving your peripheral vision, which otherwise would be comprised with a cellphone to your ear. Not to mention, headsets, in particular, help improve the sound quality of your conversation. This balance helps you remain attentive to the road and the conversation.
 
• Stop When You Need To — Of course, we can’t avoid unexpected situations. No matter how much we prepare, there will be something to catch our attention off guard while driving. If you receive a call or text during your route, remember that it is okay to stop. If it is important enough, it requires your undivided attention. By pulling over or making a quick stop, you can take on an emergency matter without compromising yourself or other drivers on the road.
 
• Is It Urgent or Habitual — Cellphone use, although a popular contributor to road distractions and accidents, is only one danger out of an unlimited amount of distractions available to us as drivers. The point is to stay alert and dedicated to the road.
As responsible drivers, it is our duty to keep the distractions to a minimum, and if you are as connected to your phone as are millions of other drivers on the road, why not simply turn it off before turning on the ignition? It is the same principle for applying make-up, eating, drinking, or checking texts. Re-evaluate the urgency of these habitual activities in contrast to the real-life, often fatal consequences associated with road distractions.
 

Your Summer Road Trip Checklist

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Most people would agree that the gorgeous summer season is best spent outdoors and on the road, exploring new places, or maybe visiting long distance friends and family. Before embarking on your trip, there are a few defensive driving precautions to keep in mind to stay safe while making the most out of your road trip.
 
Staying safe should always be our main focus on the road. At Comedy Defense Driving, we’re happy to share some summer road trip tips and must-haves to keep your road trip fun, exciting, and safe. Allow us to include some essential food-for-thought on this year’s summer road trip checklist:
 
✓ Always Plan Ahead — Everyone who begins a road trip knows their destination, but do you have a thorough understanding of your route? Being aware of potential road obstacles like construction or heavy traffic areas can not only help save you time, but can keep you safe from high-risk areas. A fun benefit to understanding the route prior to departure is being able to plan fun stops along the way. This can help you keep refreshed, while also getting to visit some exciting spots in between.
 
✓ Perform a Maintenance Check — In most cases, a road trip is quite demanding to a vehicle. No matter the amount of distance you plan to travel, it is always a smart idea to do some basic maintenance check-ups on your car. You definitely don’t want to learn the importance of this procedure the hard way by breaking down unexpectedly or creating other safety risks while on the road. Save yourself the money and time wasted in backtracking or car maintenance and perform a simple check-up before hitting the long road.
 
✓ Allow Yourself Cushion Time — Drivers who take on the road for more than eight hours nearly double their risk of crashing, compared to drivers who have been on the road for more than two hours. An easy way to avoid drowsy driving is to break up your travel time by making plenty of stops. This will allow you to refresh your road energy by stretching, using the restroom, getting some fresh air, etc. Alternating drivers if travelling by group is also a solution to cut break time if you are anxious to get there fast. However, it is absolutely crucial to remember:
 
✓ Sleep Is Essential — We know you don’t want to sleep your vacation days away. Yet, on the other hand, do you want to waste your road experience in a sleep deprived zombie-like state only to endanger yourself and others on the road? Although it will take some road time away from your trip, sleep is the most valuable safety precaution you have in long distance travelling. Try to give yourself about eight hours of sleep a night, or, alternately, avoid driving on less than five hours of sleep.
 
✓ Sharpen Your Driving — Driving long-distance means driving safe long-distance. Taking on a long stretch of road requires you to stay alert and safe at all times. Refresh your driving skills by taking on a fun defensive driving class or driving course. These classes are smart ways to remain enlightened on road, giving your more control and safety while on your road trip.
 

Pedestrian Safety Tips for Drivers

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At Comedy Defense Driving, we love to share tips on how to make the road a safer place for everyone. Pedestrian safety is still a concern within traffic safety circles, which are continuing toward educating the public on pedestrian safety for both pedestrians and drivers. In fact, there are many remaining concerns with traffic safety, in general; yet, with the percentage of pedestrian fatalities at crosswalks, crossroads are still of primary concern to the Federal Highway Administration and are regarded as a critical safety point.
 
As a driver, when you decide to operate a vehicle, you assume responsibility for your actions while on the road. Driving in the presence of pedestrians demands a certain amount of heightened awareness. Pedestrians who utilize crosswalks or shared roads must also assume a great amount of responsibility. It is no surprise that most pedestrian accidents take place in urban areas, where both drivers and pedestrians are in high volume. Pedestrian fatalities also occur in high numbers in rural areas, where high speed is a fatal factor in the accident. Here we will run through what we can do as drivers to meet in the middle for road safety, since the operation of a vehicle can present fatal consequences if certain habits are not established:
 
1. Follow the speed limit at all times. This may be a simple rule to some, but reminding ourselves of why the speed limit is in place can help reinforce a greater commitment to abiding by a safe speed for everyone on the road. Areas where there are lower speed limits are of even greater importance, since these are areas where pedestrians are likely to be crossing the road regularly; as seen in neighborhood areas and school zones.
 
2. Practice caution in bad weather. As we’ve all experienced, visibility is limited during turbulent, rainy, or foggy weather conditions. In regards to visibility, it is just as difficult for pedestrians to remain visible to drivers, as it is for drivers to remain visible to pedestrians. Use extra caution, when driving in these conditions, by using your lights and signals properly.
 
3. Be mindful of your surroundings. Another simple rule, but important, nonetheless. When we observe pedestrian fatalities on the road, it is often due to high speed and other neglectful habits on the road. Texting, eating, applying make-up, changing the radio, and other activities are under the umbrella of neglectful and irresponsible behavior on the road. Be mindful when entering and exiting driveways, approaching crosswalks, and at other critical junctures, which are all threatened when we decide to take our focus off the road.
 
Utilizing smarter, safer, more attentive habits within your driving can help save a life. By identifying critical safety zones on the road, drivers can begin to create a safer environment for pedestrians everywhere. Distractions, speeding, and driving under the influence are all contributing factors to a larger problem of unawareness in the issues of both pedestrian and general road safety.
 

Tips on Avoiding Road Rage

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Get Your Texas Driving Record the Easy Way

We’ve all experienced times when we are travelling on the road and find ourselves infuriated at the actions of another driver. In fact, it is quite easy to point the cause of our anger to others. This can be compounded by the burden of traffic, congested streets, and other factors off the road that help inspire hostility and road rage toward our fellow drivers on the road.
 
Too often those who are experiencing road rage forget that the car they drive can endanger many others if not driven responsibly. After all, a ton of high-speed steel can be extremely deadly if not operated with a clear and attentive mind. Here at Comedy Defense Driving, we’ll run through some of the few tips to help alleviate your mood before sharing the road with other drivers:
 
Get Some Sleep
 
Sleep deprivation is a known epidemic today. According to the National Sleep Foundation, lack of sleep is a major contributing factor to road rage scenarios. Sleep deprivation alters our judgment, as drivers, to practice more patience on the road. Instead, drivers who are tired on the road not only reduce their basic cognitive skills, but it also leaves them more prone to sharp feelings of annoyance and anger. The National Sleep Foundation recommends eight hours of sleep a day.
 
Plan Your Trip Ahead
 
The more we prepare our trip for the road, the less we have to feel like other drivers are taking away from our time and travel. As drivers, especially when we feel we are short on time, we can feel as if a slower driver has a personal vendetta against our schedule. Looking more objectively at the situation, of course, we find that this is certainly not the case. Often, the real problem is a time management issue combined with the navigation it takes to get to your destination in a safe yet timely manner. You can minimize these pressures by planning ahead and giving yourself some extra time when hitting the road.
 
Loosen Up
 
When noticing yourself beginning to experience road rage, try to loosen yourself up physically. For example, loosen your grip on the steering wheel, roll down the windows, and breathe. Many times simple physical decompression can be extremely helpful for your road rage. If need be, especially on longer trips, it is a smart idea to take breaks and stretch. Another great way to loosen up is to listen to music that relaxes you, let yourself catch some fresh air on your ride, and relax.
 
Overview
 
Practicing simple acts of kindness helps nurture a positive attitude on the road. The basic principle is the age-old saying “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Adopting this perspective helps reevaluate our attitudes on the road. All of us have experienced a time when we needed some extra leeway on the road due to an honest mistake in navigation. When we practice the same compassion that allowed us to adjust our route, we contribute in making the road a safer public space for all.

New Texas Traffic Laws Now In Effect In 2014

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At Comedy Defense Driving in Texas, we try our best to make sure you drive safe, responsible, and smart. On September 1, 2013, Texas introduced new traffic laws which could result in some hefty fines if not followed correctly. These updated laws help protect Texans on a greater scale, but are also implemented to discourage offenders through tougher penalties.
 

 
Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McGraw encourages all residents to educate themselves on these new laws and help do their part in keeping Texas safe. Here is a brief overview of what you can expect from Texas traffic safety laws:
 

Bus Stop Safety – Back to school safety is vital within any community. The Texas Department of Public Safety has made some changes in regards to school buses and zoning. The fine for not stopping while a school bus is stopped has gone from $200 to $500. Violators can expect a maximum penalty of $1,250.
 

Hang Up the Phone in School Zones – Texas parents will want to be sure that they are not on the phone and driving within any school zone. This also includes driving in parking lots or within the drop-off zones. This was implemented to ensure that drivers are completely aware of and alert to students who may be walking near these areas. The penalty for not adhering to the cell phone ban can land you a $200 fine. Drivers who are completely parked are not held to this law, so it is important to park before you make or receive any phone calls.
 

Hit and Run – Austin resident Courtney Griffin was killed in a hit and run accident in 2011, prompting Texas law enforcement to take serious measures to prevent and eliminate this disturbing trend in Texas. In fact, the charge for leaving the scene of an accident has increased from a felony of the third degree to a felony of the second degree — the same as intoxicated manslaughter. Punishment for hit and run in Texas now lands offenders with 2-20 years in jail and a fine up to $10,000.
 

Texas DOT Vehicles – In order to secure the safety of Texas DOT (Department of Transportation) workers, Texas law enforcement has now alerted drivers that DOT vehicles should be given the same consideration as other public service vehicles like police cars, ambulances, and fire trucks. Failure to yield to these vehicles can result in a $200 fine.
 

Learn more about your local traffic laws by signing up for our Texas defensive driving class today.