Tag Archives: Car Safety

5 Tips to Help Keep Your Teen Safe On the Road

Getting a license is one of life’s major milestones. There’s no doubt that FINALLY being able to drive on your own is something every teen cannot wait to do. But how sure are you that your young driver is ready to take on the road all on their own? We look for the best car seat, the best daycare, but when your kids are ready to learn to drive, parents should help them the best drivers they can be. Safe driving is really about judgment. At the start of their driving career risk management and decision making while driving has not developed yet. Your teens biggest threat is their inexperience.

Did you know that the #1 threat to your teen’s safety is driving or riding in a car with another teen driver? (cdc.gov).

Here are 5 tips to help keep your teen safe on the road:

  1. Utilize the Graduated Driver License (GDL) Program– this gives a driver the opportunity to improve their driving skills over time. Phase One is the learners permit. Which must be held for 6 months prior to obtaining a provisional license. Phase Two is the provisional license. Drivers education and time behind the wheel are required prior to taking the driver’s test. Once these are completed a driver can graduate with a provisional license. At this stage, drivers are allowed one passenger under 21 who is not a family member in the vehicle and must be off the road between midnight and 5:00 a.m. unless certain circumstances. Individuals under 18 are restricted from using a cell phone including hands-free devices until they reach 18. The graduate program is required by law for drivers under the age of 18. To get all the details on the program click here.
  2. Let Your Teen Drive– the best thing you can do for your teen is let them drive! Young drivers need to gain confidence behind the wheel. This is the perfect opportunity to discuss different driving scenarios and to pass on your driving knowledge. Practice driving in different weather conditions in large parking lots to get a feel for driving in rain or snow. Parents play a key role. When asked whose opinion they listen to, teens mostly said their parents. The biggest challenges are inexperience and distractions.
  3. Set Rules and Expectations– from the get-go your teen needs to know that you want them to the safest driver they can be. Sit down together and set some ground rules and expectations. For example, no cell phone use while driving, no food in the car, no passengers for a certain period of time, setting a driving curfew, always wear a seatbelt, no reckless driving, and no impaired driving. Being involved in their driving development holds your child accountable. When they show progress, good skill and driving maturity certain privileges can be added over time.
  4. Set Up Consequences– Your teen needs to understand that driving is a privilege. Go over the rules and expectations together. Write them down and set up consequences. Your teen will respect the rules and expectations when they know they are being monitored and there are consequences. As parents, it’s important to show your teen you care about their safety. Lose of driving privileges is a big one. Come home after curfew and you lose the right to drive. Whatever the consequences are, stick to them.
  5. Be an example, set up an agreement and be open– the best thing we can do for our new drivers is be the best example. Kids learn from their parents. Set up an agreement with the expectations and consequences. Refer and adjust it when necessary. Kids understand that there is a major risk when driving a vehicle. The challenge is when they are at the moment they may make the wrong decision. Be open and transparent with them, ask them their fears. Help them practice their driving even after graduating periodically. Copy of an agreement can be found here.

Parents play a key role in their child’s driving progress. Overall, showing you care, offering them guidance, listening to their concerns, setting expectations and being authoritative can be the difference in life and death. Progressively give them privileges as they show they can handle the responsibilities. Your teen will feel more confident behind the wheel and in return be a safe driver. For more details on how to be the key in your teens driving visit https://www.cdc.gov/parentsarethekey/

Visit us online at thanksal.com or gives us a call at 1-800-thanksal to see what kind of safe teen driver discounts we offer.


5 Safety Tips for Driving at Night


We’re a little over a month into the end of day light savings and it’s fair to say that most people are still trying to adjust to the time change. No matter how well or how safe you think you can drive, driving at nighttime always poses many challenges. Because of this, it’s a good idea to keep some safety tips in mind to make sure that you avoid any mistakes that can lead to an accident. Here are 5 tips for safely driving at night!

Stay Awake – This may be a very obvious tip, but you’d be surprised at how many people think they’re good to drive and then end up falling asleep at the wheel. Sitting still in dark environments naturally makes us sleepy, so it’s important to keep your mind moving to prevent dozing off. You can do this by chewing gum or ice, opening your windows or singing along to a great track on the radio.

Make Good Use of Headlights – This is another obvious, but vital point that ensures your safety while driving at night. Do whatever is necessary to make sure your headlights are operating efficiently. Replace your bulbs, clean them and test their levels so that you can see the road in front of you as well as all of the other drivers around you.

Keep Your Distance – Try to avoid tailgating the car in front of you as much as possible while driving at night. Depending on how close you are, your headlights could serve as a distraction to the driver in front of you and may blind their mirrors. Also, your visibility is lessened during the nighttime even with headlights, so it’s better to regulate your speed and drive defensively, so you’re ready for a quick reaction.

Stay Alert – Distractions pose a serious threat to your safety during the day and it’s only intensified at night. Make sure that you stay off your cell phone and give the road and other drivers your full undivided attention. With your visibility impaired, your chance of having an accident with your eyes off of the road is increased substantially at night.

Check and Use Signals – Signal and break lights are a key component to notify other drivers of your actions at night. Without them, they won’t know when you’re stopping or turning in the pitch black of night. Inspect your lights to make sure that they’re all working properly so that you can avoid any incident down the line.

The holidays are a great time to make sure that all of your insurance needs are up-to-date. Give us a call at 1-800-Thanks Al to have an agent make sure that your auto insurance has the right amount of coverage for your family and your needs. We can also ensure that you are getting the best rate for your policy. You might even qualify for additional discounts, especially if you have your home insurance with us.

We hope that these tips find you well and keep you safe during the upcoming months!

Common Car Seat Mistakes

Everybody loves to take road trips during the summer. Whether it’s to the beach or your favorite theme park, nothing beats a pleasant getaway. These drives can be extremely stressful, but you’ll be more relaxed knowing that your child is safe and secure in the backseat. Your child’s safety is the number one priority when traveling any distance and it’s extremely important that they are properly fastened into a stable car seat. Car seat safety professionals will tell you they see a lot of car seats installed incorrectly, and very few done right. Here are some helpful tips on proper car seat installation!


  • It’s vital that you always place your car seat in the backseat. The front seat air bag can pose a serious threat to your child’s safety – should you get involved in an accident. Determine whether you’ll use the seat belt or lower anchors for your fastening method.
  • Make sure you pull the end of the belt tightly from the top of the car seat instead of the side after you connect the straps.
  • If you use seatbelts, they should be self-locking if your car was made after 1997. If they’re not, look to see how to use the metal locking clip that came with your seat or the seat belt lock-off found within your car seat.


  • If you use the lower anchors, read your manual and find out if you’re using the right anchors for whatever position you choose to place the car seat. Contrary to popular belief, most cars do not have lower anchors for the center seat and people often mix up anchors on side seats for ones located in the center. Make sure you tighten the straps once you lock the clips into place!
  • The tether is one of the most important components of a car seat, yet roughly 42% of parents use it. The tether holds the child in place and decreases the risk of head whiplash if involved in an accident. All forward facing car seats should be tethered to the appropriate anchor for the car seat’s position in the back seat. Refer to your manual and install the tether properly to both sets of directions.
  • When you’re finished, grab the car seat where the car or latch belt is holding it and pull it a couple of times to make sure that it’s secure. If it moves more than an inch, check your manual and restart the process.



We value the safety of our customers and especially their little ones. Before you head out on that summer getaway, now is the perfect time to make sure that you’re covered. Give us a call at 1-800-Thanks-Al to make sure that your auto insurance policy is up to date and you’ve got the best rate and coverage possible!