How to Encourage Teen Driver Safety

Traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers in America.  That is why we need to take teen driver safety seriously.  There are many tools available to help keep teens safe on the road.  The Graduated Driver License program, parent involvement and awareness are important aspects to tackling this issue.Hyundai Teen Driver Safety

The Graduated Driver License program was implemented by the State of Tennessee in 2001.  This program requires three stages to obtain an unrestricted driver’s license.  The learner’s permit is a supervised driving stage requiring a written test for permit issuance.  Next is an intermediate driving stage requiring a driving test for licensure.  This stage has two levels – restricted and unrestricted.  It was implemented to give young drivers the ability to drive within safe guidelines while they continue to gain experience.  The final stage is a full privilege, standard driver’s license.  You must be 18 or older to obtain this Class D license.

Although the State enforces these laws to counter the inexperience and immaturity of teen drivers, parents are a key influence in their young adult’s safe driving habits.  For example, it is proven that cell phone use while driving reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37%.  In addition, a third of teens self-report texting or emailing while driving, a deadly distraction for all drivers.  However, when asked to choose the people who would be able to influence their use of a cell phone while driving, 66% of teens said their parents would.*  Parental involvement is a main component in keeping everyone safe on the roads.

Teen driver safety is an issue that affects the entire community.  Speeding, drinking and driving, not wearing seat belts, distracted driving (cell phone use, loud music, other teen passengers, etc.), drowsy driving, nighttime driving, and drug use aggravate this problem.  Laws, insurance discounts, parents and friends all work to combat this problem and keep our teens safe.  It is important for the entire community to raise awareness and support for programs that guard against accidents involving teenagers.

Hyundai of Cool Springs has several tools available to families to enhance the safety of young drivers.  They have Parent/Driver contracts available at their dealership.  These contracts contain sections regarding passenger limits, limited daily hours of driving, talk/text pledges, and other important areas for agreement.  They are available for pickup Monday – Saturday 8am-8pm at 201 Comtide Court, Franklin TN  37067.  They also host an annual Safe Driving Experience which has several hands-on exhibits to influence young drivers to be safe.  Last year’s event hosted a Seat Belt Convincer, Drunk Driving Course, Governor’s Highway Safety Office liaison, insurance discounts, and other activities to facilitate family discussions about safe driving habits.  Look for information coming soon about this year’s event.

In the meantime, remind your teen driver about safe driving habits.  Utilize the restricted license guidelines to encourage good driving habits such as defensive driving, road hazard response, speed maintenance and remaining alert and undistracted.  As parents, stay involved in the learning process required to be a good driver.  Encourage your teenager to be a safe passenger as well.  Buckle Up!

*Information obtained from

Frankly Speaking – Teen Driver Safety (94FM The Fish Audio Post)

Finding Just the Right Vehicle

Spend Time on Your Test Drive

Sometimes the simplest things are the most important.  When it comes to car buying, things that seem trivial can really make a big difference in the end.  The point is, when picking out a car, it is very important to spend enough time test driving the vehicle.  Most people think of a test drive as driving around the parking lot or around the block.  The truth is that you do not know a car until you have used it for a while.

Make sure you leave enough time to spend really test driving the vehicle.  You might plan as much as an hour.  You can use this time reversing, making U-turns and parking the vehicle in a typical parking space.  Go out on the interstate and merge with traffic.  Check to see how well you can see the road, especially out the rear window.  In addition, if you are going to have another family member using the vehicle, it would be helpful if they came with you to the test drive.Hyundai Genesis Coupe test drive for new Hyundai

Get a good feel for the car’s interior.  Open the trunk and visualize how your luggage, groceries, and sports or music gear will fit.  Some people are influenced in what car they buy from something as simple as how many cup holders it has or the option of seat warmers.  You might want to sit in the rear seat.  Will other passengers feel comfortable in the vehicle?  In doing a thorough test drive, you can be assured that this is the car for you and your family.  Most of us spend a lot of time in our vehicles, so it is important that our cars fit our needs as perfectly as possible.  Next time you go to buy, make sure you get a chance to really try out your new car.  Then, you can be sure you have found just the right vehicle!

Do your Homework Before Making the Trade

Are you ready to trade in your old car for something new?  Should you just go into a local car dealership and hope they give you full value for your trade-in?  Here is some helpful information on the best way to get the most money for your current vehicle.

Your first step would be to look over your current vehicle.  Learn what things are worn and what look brand new.  This will help you determine the true value of your car.  It is most important that you are honest and real with the actual condition of your car.  Rate the overall condition of your vehicle.  For instance, if a car is considered in excellent condition, it will look almost new.  Also, miles play a big part in the worth of your trade-in.  If your car has high miles and is over 5 or 6 years old, that will change the value of your car.  Most cars look well on the outside, but it is the inside that is most important.  If your interior is spotless, that could pay in your favor.  Be sure to consider both when valuing your vehicle.

The second step would be to use a website like Kelley Blue Book, NADA Guides or any other appraisal site you find.  This will give you an estimate of your cars value, which will help you determine if you are close to the actual worth.

Third step is to go to a dealership you trust.  Find one that has been recommended by friends or family.  Another way to find a trustworthy dealership would be to do some research online.  Go on that company’s Facebook and see their reviews.  Dealer Rater and Google ratings are also good places to find reviews.

So, the best preparation for trading in your vehicle is doing your homework.  Taking the time to be an informed buyer should make you more confident in your next vehicle purchase.  Lastly, when making your new purchase, be sure you are satisfied with your trade-in value.  If not, feel free to ask how they determined the worth.  It is better to gain the knowledge before the purchase than leave unsatisfied.    May you have a positive buying experience on your next new car!

Safe Winter Travels

Here are some more tips for getting your car ready for the cold weather:

1. One of the most important things when driving is to make sure you can see. It is a must that you check your windshield wiper blades. Has it been a while since they have been changed? Most windshield wipers only last a year before they start to wear. Also, make sure your windshield wiper fluid is topped off, along with all your other fluids.

2. Check the air pressure in your tires to make sure they are properly inflated. As the temperature drops, the air pressure tends to drop.

3. You should create a small emergency kit just in case you break down. Things in it should include jumper cables, first aid kit, and working flashlight. It would also be a good idea to keep blankets in your car in case you break down or are in an accident somewhere that it may take help a while to get help.

4. Inspecting your belts and hoses are a good idea also. Most worn or ripped belts will not last the cold season. This simple tip can save you money later on.

5. Salt, snow and ice come along with the winter. Although things like road salt may help you keep traction, it is not good for the paint on your car. Using wax on your car will be a good way to protect your paint. Make sure you apply it before cold weather rolls in, however.

6. Car batteries are one of the things that people have trouble with during winter. The batteries themselves sometimes choose not to start. It would be a smart idea to have your battery checked to make sure its water levels are right and that the battery’s posts and connections do not have any problems. If your battery is over three years old, it is wise to you have it looked at in order to insure that it has the ability to hold a charge. The last thing you need is to be stuck in a parking lot with a dead battery.

7. Four-wheel drive is only on some vehicles. If your vehicle has four-wheel drive, make sure that it engages and disengages properly. It would also be a great idea to make sure that everyone who drives the vehicle knows how the four-wheel drive is operated.

We hope these tips have been helpful to you and your family. Safe travels, neighbor!

Welcome to

Frank Odrobina, is your inside track to everything automotive and your neighbor in the car business. Frank has over 25 years of experience in every facet of the automotive industry including new and pre-owned sales, finance, service and parts. He is passionate about every aspect of the car business and wants to share his knowledge with you so that you can be a more confident car buyer and a more capable car owner.

This site is full of valuable information. If you don’t see what you’re looking for, contact Frank and he will be glad to answer your questions, directly.

Be sure to tune in to the Frankly Speaking radio segments on 94FM The Fish every morning to hear more from your neighbor in the car business.

Frankly speaking is sponsored by Hyundai of
Cool Springs, located in Franklin, Tennessee.