Safe @ 16
Teen Driver

Road Rage - what to do if you're the target.

by Steve Mochel on 10/05/13

This week we've seen a rash of violent road rage incidents that have ended in violent encounters and arrests.

Road Rage

While the chance of finding yourself in one of  these extreme situations is low, do you know what you should do if it does happens to you?

Here are a few things we tell our students at Fresh Green Light during their driver education classes about how to handle Road Rage.

1. Roll up your windows and lock your doors.  Seems simple right?  But if someone is approaching your car, the last thing you want if for them to be able to open your door and engage with you.

2. Don't engage at all and call 911 immediately.  You want the police to know what's happening as soon as possible and to know where you are and which way you are heading.  You also want the attacker to see that you're taking action which might cause them to back down.

3. High speed chases are for movies and the police, so if possible, drive away from the situation at a reasonable speed and head to the nearest police department.  .  If you can't find a police station, try to find a very public location where there are lots of people so a confrontation is less likely.

A lot of this is common sense, but when something unexpected like Road Rage occurs, our emotions tend to take over.  Remember, driving is a serious activity that takes all of our attention when we're behind the wheel. 

The more alert you are, the better prepared you will be when something unexpected happens.

Have you encountered extreme Road Rage?  If so, how did you handle it?

Practicing with your new driver.

by Steve Mochel on 09/29/12

Parents are the key.
When it comes to keeping new teen drivers safe behind the wheel, the facts are clear. Parents who are actively involved in their child's driver education significantly reduce crash rates of new teen drivers. And the most important thing we can do as parents is practice driving with our new drivers - as stressful as that can be sometimes!.

But how and what should we be practicing?

There's an app for that.
State Farm Insurance has created a really great program called Steer Clear for new teen drivers and their parents. The coolest feature of this program is the Steer Clear app that they have developed for both iPhones and Android phones. It has 20 helpful practice drive scenarios, a timer to keep track of driving, and a number of other features. And the best part is that it's free!

Here are a few screenshots.

If you end up using Steer Clear with your new driver, I'd love to know what you think about it!

Teen Drivers with ADD

by Steve Mochel on 06/01/12

NBC Nightly News spent a day at Fresh Green Light recently while one of our students, Annie, went through her lessons both in-car with an instructor and in our state-of-the-art Driving Simulators. 

Annie is 17 and has ADHD. She's also a great example of how both teens and parents can partner to take on this challenge together.  Here's her story.


It took less than 2 seconds...

by Steve Mochel on 05/17/12


It took less than 2 seconds from the last moment her finger touched the screen of her iPhone to the time the first 911 call was made.

She never saw him. There were no signs of braking.

It took less than 2 seconds for a new, 16 year-old driver to kill a man by veering slightly to the right while trying to access the New Canaan High School website on her iPhone.

Two families are totally shattered. And it took less than 2 seconds.

This could be you or me. This could be my son or your daughter. This could be your brother or my sister. This could be anybody we know and love.

Please share this story with every driver you know and implore them to make the personal commitment to put their phone away and out of reach while they drive.

It took less than 2 seconds.

The Last Text

by Steve Mochel on 04/14/12

As part of Distracted Driving Awareness Month, several local High Schools have asked me to come in and speak to their students about texting and driving.  I'm always grateful that the schools recognize distracted driving as the real danger that it is to our young drivers. 

As part of my presentation, I always show this incredibly powerful documentary film made by AT&T that tells the story of 4 teenagers and how their lives have been permanently changed by texting and driving.

If you haven't seen it, please take 10 minutes and watch this with anyone in your home who is driving or learning to drive.   And then please share it with your friends and family who have young drivers.


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