AAA Safe Driving in Winter Weather – A Timely Topic for Cluster Meetings

On November 10th the Baltimore cluster attended a presentation given by Myra Wieman, Manager of Safety Services, from AAA, on safe driving practices, with a focus on driving in winter weather conditions. Host Families were very enthusiastic about their au pairs attending this important meeting, as evidenced by the high turnout!

In a clear and concise manner, Myra gave us 45 minutes of potential life saving tips. Following are some of them:

*When clearing off snow from your vehicle, do not leave snow piled on top of the roof of the vehicle. This large “cake” of snow will eventually slide off while you are driving and can be a hazard not only to you, but other cars around you.

*Know the danger spots for ice: bridges, elevated highways, off and on ramps, and shaded roads.

* SKIDDING – if your car begins to skid, 1) ease up on the gas, and do not put foot on the brake, 2) keep a  tight hold on the steering wheel, 3) steer in the direction you want the car to go.

Words of Wisdom – Know when to say “No”..know when to just stay home and not attempt to drive if the weather is not good. It is not worth risking your life!

Regarding Distracted Driving – Here are some important things to know. As of October 1, 2011 Texting while driving is ILLEGAL in Maryland. This means no writing, sending or reading a text message while operating a car. EVEN while at a stop light. The fine is $70 + 1 point on your driving record for a first offense, and a second offense will cost $110 + 3 points.  We learned that since October 1, over 730 tickets have been given in Maryland to drivers who were texting while driving. 

Related to the Texting Law is the No Hand- Held Cell Phone While Driving law. A driver may still talk on a cell phone while driving in Maryland, however it needs to be a “hands free” cell phone. Either a blue tooth device or earphones connected to the phone will suffice. The fine for a first offense is $40 and subsequent offenses are $100. No points are assessed on the driver’s record, unless the violation contributes to a crash, and then 3 points are given.

The last portion of our class was about Child Passenger Safety. Remember that AAA will gladly assess the safety of your car seats. To find a technician to help you correctly install your child safety seat – visit www.seatcheck.org or call 1-866-SEAT-CHECK.

To schedule a safety presentation for your group, contact Myra Wieman at mwieman@aaamidatlantic.com

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