Driving News – A-1 Driving School

Drivers in Georgia Rank Five on Rudest Drivers List

After analyzing more than 2 million insurance applications, Insurify data scientists determined the rudest driving violations as failure to yield, failure to stop, improper backing, passing where prohibited, tailgating, street racing, and hit-and-runs.

According to the Insurify’s data analysis, 41.4 out of 1,000 drivers were cited for rude driving behavior, specifically for their affinity for tailgating.

“Tailgating citations are 3.25 times more frequent in the Peach State than the national average. Failure to yield the right of way and passing violations are more common than average in Georgia, at 84.0 and 64.7 percent higher than the national average, respectively,” according to Insurify.

Photo: Google Images

Ruder than Peach State drivers is drivers in New York, Wyoming, Idaho, and Virginia, which earned the top spot with 48.5 out of 1,000 drivers doing their best at being the worst on the road.

The Insurify data scientists revealed that across the country running red lights ranks as the “most common offense.” Street racing is at the opposite end of the rude-behavior driving spectrum, with it occurring “90 percent less frequently.”

Tailgating is the cause of innumerable accidents, many of them serious. No matter how fast you’re going, you should be able to stop safely if the car in front of you were to slam on its brakes.

More space gives you:

  • More time to react and brake or steer if something unexpected happens;
  • Better visibility around the vehicle ahead;
  • More room to maneuver and lane change if there is a delay or obstruction in your lane;
  • A smoother ride because you no longer need to brake abruptly;
  • Better fuel economy and reduced vehicle wear because you are now driving more smoothly.
  • Keep a safe distance. While it is never safe to tailgate any vehicle on the highway, following too close is particularly dangerous around large trucks and buses because the size of these vehicles prevents you from seeing the road ahead and having sufficient time to react to slowing or stopped traffic or another obstacle.

Following too closely is always the cause of multi-car pileups on freeways and other roads.

The same safe driving practices that are taught in A-1’s Defensive Driving Class can apply to be a safe driver in a car and on a motorcycle. There is a lot of very useful and informative information in the class and it will apply whether you have been driving for years or you are a brand new driver.

For more information about class schedules or to see A-1’s 19 convenient locations call (770)962-9555 or visit us at www.a1drivingschools.com!

Hall School Board Member Charged with DUI

Mark Pettitt, who was originally arrested in December 2018 by Gainsville Police, was charged in a Sept. 13, 2019, accusation with driving under the influence of alcohol-less safe and failure to maintain lane.

Photo: Google Images

He was stopped near the intersection of EE Butler and Jesse Jewell parkways.

The Forsyth County Solicitor’s Office filed an amended accusation Aug. 21, changing the charges to reckless driving and failure to maintain lane. The file became available earlier this month from the Hall County Clerk of Courts.

According to a Gainesville Police report, he declined a standardized field sobriety test and a blood test.

When an officer is investigating a suspected DUI case, the officer must read the Georgia implied consent law.

“Georgia law requires you to submit to state-administered chemical tests … for the purpose of determining if you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs,” according to the law. “If you refuse this testing, your Georgia driver’s license or privilege to drive on the highways of this state will be suspended for a minimum period of one year.

Tests can include breath, blood, or urine, and refusal of the last two forms can be used against the person in court.

A 2019 Georgia Supreme Court ruling said refusing a breath test could not be used against you in court. Law enforcement can ask a judge to issue a warrant for a blood draw.

The case has moved multiple times to different jurisdictions, from Gainesville Municipal Court to the Hall County Solicitor’s Office. Hall County prosecutors then recused themselves and sent the case to the Forsyth County Solicitor’s Office.

Georgia State law also requires a clinical evaluation and the attendance of a DUI / Risk Reduction Program that’s certified/licensed by the Georgia Department of Driver’s Services before your driver’s license can be reinstated if you have been charged with any of the following:

  1. DUI
  2. Drug Possession
  3. Other drug offenses
  4. Under-age possession of drugs or alcohol

Before getting behind the wheel after having a few, consider the many reasons why you should not.

For more information about DUI School visit www.a1drivingschools.com or call (770) 962-9555!

What to Know About Medical Marijuana Cards

The number of Georgians with cards allowing possession of medical cannabis has soared more than 70 percent in one year.

Photo: Google Images

Currently, 14,511 people in Georgia have permission to possess ‘‘low THC oil,’’ officials of the state’s Department of Public Health said this week. That’s up from 8,402 about a year ago.

THC is the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, the one that gives users a “high.” The increase in cardholders comes despite the fact that it’s currently illegal to bring medical marijuana into the state.

Since 2015, Georgia has allowed people with several medical conditions to possess the oil, and it maintains a list of “permitted conditions” that can qualify a patient to do so. Last year, the state Legislature approved a bill allowing the production and sale of medical marijuana in Georgia.

A new commission has been formed to figure out how to produce or import the low THC oil.

The leading health condition among cardholders is “intractable pain,’’ which was added to the list of permitted conditions in 2017. That’s followed by peripheral neuropathy, cancer, seizures, post-traumatic stress disorder, multiple sclerosis, autism, and Crohn’s disease.

Georgia’s medical marijuana law allows qualified patients to legally possess up to 20 fluid ounces of low THC oil, derived from the marijuana plant.

Colin Smith, clinical assistant professor at Georgia State University’s School of Public Health, said Wednesday that the increase in Georgia cardholders probably reflects current pain management practices.

“Physicians are moving away from prescribing opioids,’’ Smith said. Doctors are seeing low THC oil as an “alternative solution’’ to opioids, he said, even though it’s illegal to import the product into Georgia.

Currently, almost 1,000 physicians have registered to prescribe medical marijuana in Georgia.

DUI Laws | What You Need to Know

The laws make it illegal for drivers of all ages to operate motor vehicles if they have BAC percentages of:

  • 0.08% or higher, if they’re 21 years old or older operating regular passenger vehicles.
  • 0.04% or higher, if they’re operating commercial vehicles.
  • 0.02% or higher, if they’re younger than 21 years old.

Georgia State law also requires a clinical evaluation and the attendance of a DUI / Risk Reduction Program that’s certified/licensed by the Georgia Department of Driver’s Services before your driver’s license can be reinstated if you have been charged with any of the following:

  1. DUI
  2. Drug Possession
  3. Other drug offenses
  4. Under-age possession of drugs or alcohol

Before getting behind the wheel after having a few, consider the many reasons why you should not.

For more information about DUI School visit www.a1drivingschools.com or call (770) 962-9555!

 

Former Georgia Offensive Lineman Arrested on DUI Charge

Photo: Google Images

Isaiah Wilson was arrested and jailed on a DUI, according to the Nashville Tennessean.

Wilson, a first-round pick of the Tennessee Titans, was booked into jail.

The Tennessee Titans released the following statement:

“We are aware of the situation. This is not conduct that is indicative of the character of our football team and we are working through details on how to proceed.”

The 6-foot-5, 350-pound Wilson has made his fair share of headlines in Nashville, and not all for the right reasons.

Wilson’s name came up in a police report last month and received a trespass warning after he violated Tennessee State campus visitors policy.

Wilson is the second former Georgia first-round NFL pick arrested this offseason.

Georgia State law also requires a clinical evaluation and the attendance of a DUI / Risk Reduction Program that’s certified/licensed by the Georgia Department of Driver’s Services before your driver’s license can be reinstated if you have been charged with any of the following:

  1. DUI
  2. Drug Possession
  3. Other drug offenses
  4. Under-age possession of drugs or alcohol

Before getting behind the wheel after having a few, consider the many reasons why you should not.

For more information about DUI School visit www.a1drivingschools.com or call (770) 962-9555!

Bus Rules Amid COVID-19

Many Georgia students began returning to in-person classes this week for the 2020-21 school year, following statewide school closures in March that prompted students to complete courses online.

Across the nation, school districts have been struggling to find the safest, most effective way to return to class this fall.

Putting your child on the bus for the first day of school is always a leap of faith for a parent.

Now, on top of the usual worries about youngsters adjusting to new teachers and classmates, there’s COVID-19.

Many districts will require their drivers to take on even more responsibilities during the 2020-21 school year, including completing student health screenings before children board, taking temperatures, enforcing mask requirements, and determining whether students need to be isolated if they show signs of illness during a ride.

Photo: Google Images

Always Stop for a School Bus, when…

  1. Approaching behind a school bus when its’ lights flash yellow and red.
  2. Driving on either side of a 2-lane highway, both sides of traffic must always stop! for a stopped school bus.

Never Stop for a School Bus, when…

  1. Driving on the opposite side of traffic, on a 4-lane highway.

This is the common mistake most motorists make when approaching a stopped school bus.

If you are driving on the opposite side of the traffic of a school bus, on a 4-lane highway, always proceed with caution, but always keep moving! Stopping will impede traffic and may cause accidents.

To combat careless driving in school zones and bus routes, law enforcement has increased between 6:00 am to 9:00 am and 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm.

For more safe driving information or safe driving practices, A-1 Driving Schools has 19 convenient locations around metro Atlanta that all offer defensive driving courses!

For more information please call (770)962-9555 or visit us at www.a1drivingschools.com!

Americans Are Saving by Not Commuting

The pandemic lockdown has ruined the work commute. As the number of miles people travel every day has collapsed, commuters have found themselves saving.

In June, Americans traveled nearly 37 billion fewer miles than in the same month last year, according to the Federal Highway Administration.

Usually, the number of miles traveled peaks in the summer when people go on vacation, but of course, this summer is different.

That’s translating to a lot of cost savings: Workers who once commuted by car but now work from home are saving a total of $758 million per day, according to research from freelancing platform Upwork. Over the months since the pandemic hit the US, that figure amounts to a cumulative $90 billion.

The savings comprise gas, car maintenance, and repairs, as well as the costs that driving imposes on society, such as congestion and polluting, said Adam Ozimek, chief economist at Upwork.

Photo: Google Images

 

 

If you want an additional way to save money and you also have a clean driving record for 3 years, you may take the 6-hour Defensive Driving Program to receive a 10% -15% discount on your auto insurance premium. The insurance discount percentage is determined by your insurance company.

Whether you have been driving for years or you are a brand new driver, A-1 offers classes that will help you brush up on some rules and regulations before it’s too late.

For more information about class schedules or to see A-1’s 19 convenient locations call (770)962-9555 or visit us at www.a1drivingschools.com!

Teen Driver Safety

The 100 days that fill the gap between Memorial Day and Labor Day may be known as some of the most fun for teens, who spend their summer breaks traveling from one destination to the next, but for public safety experts, those 100 days signify something much different.

For public safety experts, those 100 days represent the most dangerous, or deadliest, days for teen drivers. The Michigan State Police Office of Highway Safety Patrol’s latest campaign is taking aim alongside AAA — which created the nationwide campaign — to educate teen drivers and decrease the risk they face on the road.

“Here in Michigan we’re using social media to reach these young people and their parents. Through Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, we’re sending social media messages to reach out and help educate these teens to become safer drivers and to make fewer risky choices,” said Office of Highway Safety Patrol Communications Manager Kendall Wingrove.

Motor vehicle crashes are the No. 1 killer of teens nationwide, Wingrove said, adding that 129 teens ages 15-20 died from car collisions in 2019. Preliminary data compiled by MSP’s Traffic Crash Reporting Unit shows 13 teens ages 15-20 have passed away since Memorial Day this year.

Adding to that statewide overview, a press release from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety indicates more than 8,300 people have died between 2008 and 2018 in car collisions that involved teens during the 100 most dangerous days.

The reason teen drivers are at such greater risk over their adult counterparts can’t be boiled down to just one risk factor.

“It’s things like inexperience, critical decision errors, distractions, nighttime driving (and) low seatbelt use. There’s no one single thing, just a variety of all these factors,” Wingrove said.

Michigan Auto Law attorney Brandon Hewitt echoed the risks that inexperience can pose for teen drivers.

“The understanding of how even a slight increase in speed can affect the impacts of a crash; their lack of experience in understanding traffic patterns; understanding and perceiving speeds of other vehicles,” he said. “It really comes down to a lack of experience and appreciation for how dangerous vehicles are.”

But Troy Police Sgt. Meghan Lehman might argue those points. As one of the first municipalities in metro Detroit to pass a distracted driving ordinance back in 2009, she said her department commends young drivers in the city for their attention to safety, particularly now, when school, activities and other structure is somewhat shaken by the pandemic.

“Compared to previous years, we’re seeing less risk taking and dangerous driving among teens,” she said.

The summer isn’t over quite yet, so the statistics aren’t in for 2020. But in 2019, the Troy Police Department issued 543 citations and warnings for distracted driving to drivers of all ages.

And the offenders often aren’t who you would think.

“On the whole, distracted driving remains a problem. We mainly see adults — experienced drivers — using texting and driving,” Lehman explained. “Teens have received more education about distracted driving and understand the risks. In some cases, teens could give their parents some advice.”

Tom Mitchell, the lead instructor at Top Driver Driving School in Farmington, said he teaches his students about the 100 dangerous days and how to avoid the potentially fatal risks.

The biggest risk factor Mitchell finds with his students these days is cellphone use on the road. He teaches his students that even though they’re paying attention, they’re still vulnerable if another driver is on their phone and not paying attention. With higher traffic volumes today and more people in a rush to get from point A to B, he reminds his students that “you really have to be focused all the time.”

Mitchell said he also teaches his students about the distractions caused by having food in the car, having too many passengers and daydreaming. He keeps them updated on new safety features in vehicles and how they should be used.

“You have all kinds of distractions in a car on a daily basis. You could just be driving two or three miles and you could be distracted the entire time.”

The COVID-19 pandemic adds yet another factor Wingrove and Hewitt are anticipating will have a number of impacts on the data surrounding the 100 deadliest days.

It may be too early for Wingrove to predict exactly what outcomes will be seen, but he noted that despite there being fewer crashes this year, the severity of the crashes has kept the fatality rate pretty close to equal that of last year.

There’s also a false perception that fewer cars on the road means it’s OK to drive faster, Hewitt added. As teens are no longer cooped up inside under Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Safer at Home order, Hewitt believes their pent up energy and the lack of traffic may leave teens “feeling emboldened to drive faster.”

In Troy, that has actually turned out to be true, Lehman said. With most people working from home, overall traffic volume remains down, and as a result, violations and crashes are down too.

“Road patrol officers are still on patrol, and (they’re) ready to address dangerous driving,” she said. “Our focus is always on the violations that lead to crashes, like distracted driving.”

On top of that, Wingrove fears that teen drivers especially, but all drivers, may have inadvertently unlearned some of their good driving habits after being off the road for so long.

Hewitt’s message for teens is simply a reminder to be careful and to know they’re not invincible. For parents, Hewiit has a different message.

“When we ask (teens) if they think their parents drive unsafely or distracted, there’s a great majority who say yes. Teens are learning to drive distracted and speed from their parents,” he said. “Teens don’t want to be preached to, so our best advice to the parents is to model good behavior, have honest talks with your teens, (and) have a driver’s agreement with them that they’re going to be safe.”

DDS Receives Funding Dedicated to Teen Alcohol and Drug Awareness Program

Photo: Google Images

Department of Driver Services (DDS) Commissioner Spencer R. Moore recently announced the receipt of a grant award of $50,182.86 from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS) for the continued support of the State of Georgia Alcohol and Drug Awareness Program (ADAP).

ADAP is a course designed to increase awareness among teens of the harmful effects of drugs and alcohol and the consequences of operating a motor vehicle while impaired or distracted.

“We are grateful for the continued help and support received from GOHS to address the risks associated with operating a motor vehicle while impaired,” said Commissioner Moore. “This partnership allows us to bring this important program to teen drivers and their parents throughout the state and ultimately make our roads safer.”

Teens drivers, by law, under the age of 18 are required to complete ADAP to obtain their Class D Georgia driver’s license!

In 2019, 129,346 students completed the program either at their high school, as part of a driver training course, or online through eADAP.

This grant award will be used to fund an Operations Analyst who provides technical assistance related to ADAP and eADAP services, responds to customer emails and telephone calls, maintains close communication with instructors, assist teens with obtaining replacement certificates, produces comprehensive reports and trains instructors to teach the ADAP curriculum.

For more information about our alcohol and drug awareness class schedules or to see A-1’s 19 convenient locations call (770)962-9555 or visit us at www.a1drivingschools.com!

Safety Tips For Driving in The Rain

Photo: Google Images

Tips for Driving in the Rain

1. Double Check Your Car’s Equipment

Make sure that your car’s equipment is in working order before encountering rainy weather. Check your headlights, taillights, and windshield wipers to make sure that they will work efficiently when they are needed. Also, check the tread of your vehicle’s tires. Balding tires can severely reduce traction on wet roadways.

2. Slow Down

Not only should you adhere to the posted speed limit when driving in wet weather conditions, but you should also drive considerably slower than you normally would. Wet roads are very dangerous. Your vehicle’s reaction time is much slower when it is raining. Reduced speed is imperative in rainy weather.

3. Turn On Your Headlights

Most states require drivers to turn on their vehicles’ lights while driving in rain. Even if it is only misting, turning on your vehicle’s headlights will increase both your own visibility and other drivers’ ability to see your car on the road.

4. Maintain a Safe Distance Between Cars

Keep a greater distance between your vehicle and the car in front of you. Stopping your vehicle will be more difficult when driving in the rain. Maintain a distance of several car lengths between your car and other vehicles.

4. Avoid Heavy Breaking

Try to slow your vehicle by taking your foot off the accelerator earlier than you normally would in preparation to slow down or stop. Don’t use cruise control so your attention on using both the gas and brake is in tune.

5. Watch Out For Standing Water

Driving through standing water can cause hydroplaning to occur. Which is when you lose traction and skid across the surface of the road. To avoid hydroplaning, drive around places where water has collected by changing lanes or safely steering around such areas.

6. Let Off The Gas When Hydroplaning

Hydroplaning is one of the most common car accidents in the rain because drivers can lose control. If your car hydroplanes, calmly take your foot off the accelerator and steer in the direction that the front of your car needs to go. Avoid making sudden turns or slamming on your brakes.

Staying safe while driving in the rain is simple if you make a conscious effort to employ these safety precautions. Remember that reducing your speed and turning on your lights are two of the simplest and most effective ways of reducing the chances of an accident caused by wet weather!

Consider taking a driving course at A-1 if you are interested in learning more rules and regulations such as these. There is a lot of very useful and informative information in the class and it will apply whether you have been driving for years or you are a brand new driver.

The same safe driving practices that are taught in A-1’s Defensive Driving Class can be applied to be a safe driver in a car and on a motorcycle!

For more information about class schedules or to see A-1’s 19 convenient locations call (770)962-9555 or visit us at www.a1drivingschools.com!