tips for senior drivers
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5 Driving Tips for Seniors

Senior drivers present unique safety challenges brought on by the aging process itself.  If you’re an older driver or know one, here are 5 ways that seniors can help improve their odds of not being involved in an accident:

1. Get Regular Hearing and Vision Tests.

Hearing and vision loss tend to occur as we age, so for seniors it’s wise to have a doctor test those key senses every year.

  • Impaired hearing could cause an older driver to not hear an emergency vehicle or train
  • Compromised vision can interfere with their ability to see oncoming vehicles, pedestrians and traffic signs

See an audiologist to confirm you don’t need hearing aids and an optometrist to confirm your vision is where it should be for driving safety.

2. Stay Physically Fit to keep your Reflexes Sharp.

Regular exercise helps improve strength and flexibility and the ability to react quickly in a vehicle if needed. Walking and water aerobics, are healthy low-impact exercises for older people to engage in, with the added benefit they could help avoid accidents later.

3. Know Your Limitations.

Seniors should listen to their bodies when it comes to driving limitations. For example, if their hands hurt while gripping the wheel due to arthritis, using a steering wheel cover will make holding and turning it more comfortable. And, a vehicle with a larger and easier-to-read dashboard display might be safer for someone with a visual impairment. Most newer cars now come with safety advancements like lane change and blind spot sensors that alert older drivers when dangers are present.

4. Check out the Road Conditions.

When there’s snow, ice or poor visibility, it’s probably best for seniors to stay off the road. Bad night vision means avoid driving after dark. Driving when one is tired or upset is never good, and when it comes to “conditions”, drivers of all ages should never get behind the wheel while under the influence of mind-altering substances like alcohol and some medications.

5. Keep Your Driving Skills Sharp.

Just because someone has held a driver’s license for 50 years doesn’t mean they’re still capable. It’s not a bad idea for drivers over 65 to take a driving refresher course periodically to keep their skills sharp, and doing so could also possibly earn them a car insurance discount.

COLLISION REPAIR IN NASHUA NH FOR DRIVERS OF ALL AGES.   

Even when using these safe driving tips, drivers of all ages can still be involved in accidents. When one happens to you near Nashua, NH contact St. Laurent Collision Center. Our I-CAR certified technicians will restore your vehicle to like-new again promptly and reliably. We work directly with insurance companies, so you don’t have to.

St Laurent Collision Center, 149 Amherst St, Nashua, NH 03064 603-882-6822

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NH Bans Cells Phones Usage in Cars

Distracted driving is a major traffic safety issue.

With more than 220 million people on cell phones today it’s no surprise that using your cell phone while driving is commonplace.

New Hampshire is one of many states that has now banned hand-held phone use by all drivers. Legislatures in other states have prohibited cell phone use by younger drivers or school bus drivers, improved data collection or limited local authority on the issue.

Texting and driving accidents are still prevalent in NH because of the attention texting requires. According to the Driving Toward Zero Program, a single text can distract a driver for up to five seconds. Over 5,000 drivers, passengers and pedestrians in the U.S. are killed annually due to inattention while on the road, an unfortunate statistic for a preventable issue.

Distracted Driving Laws in New Hampshire for Handheld Devices

The most common type of distracted driving law that exists is the use of handheld devices like GPS, cellphones, tablets and more. Passed in 2014, the hands-free law in NH addresses drivers’ use of handheld devices except for the below exceptions:

  • An an emergency call to public safety agencies for legitimate reasons.
  • The driver is using a two-way radio.
  • A hands-free bluetooth device is being used.

Note: If the driver is younger than 18 years old, hands-free devices are not permitted at any time while operating a vehicle.

Texting and Driving Laws in New Hampshire

Unlike in other states, NH’s texting and driving laws allow police officers to stop drivers they suspect are texting or using a cellphone unsafely. Because texting and driving is classified as a primary offense under state law, drivers do not have to commit other traffic violations to be pulled over.

New Hampshire safety officials take texting while driving laws seriously, so drivers need to know when it is appropriate to text in a vehicle to prevent fines and accidents.

The law applies to all drivers while they are behind the wheel in the flow of traffic. This means that texting at stop lights and stop signs, even if the vehicle is completely stationary, is also illegal. No texting and driving is permitted until the vehicle is parked or not in a moving traffic lane.

Newer Drivers New Hampshire Laws on Distracted Driving

The NH Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) states that drivers younger than 18 years old with a youth operator license can not:

  1. Operate a vehicle from 1 to 4 a.m.
  2. Drive with more than one non-relative passenger who is younger than 25 years old unless accompanied by a licensed adult aged 25 or older
  3. Drive with more passengers than seatbelts in a vehicle
  4. Use electronic devices of any kind unless reporting an emergency

While these laws do not stop distracted driving altogether, they may dissuade novice drivers, particularly those with a learner’s permit, from adopting some dangerous driving habits.

CDL Holder New Hampshire Distracted Driving Regulations

Commercial drivers have different rules. Commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders receive stricter distracted driving penalties when they perform hazardous actions while driving. As CDL holders operate larger vehicles they must follow higher driving standards.

The Large Truck Crash Causation Study (LTCCS) indicated that about 8 percent of crashes involving large trucks were caused by CDL holders getting distracted. Motor carriers cannot require CDL holders to use hand-held phones in any fashion. Cell phone distraction resulting from dialing, pressing a button or reaching for a phone is illegal under NH law. Txting and driving is prohibited for commercial drivers.

What are the Penalties for Distracted Driving in New Hampshire

Anyone found to violate laws will be fined. Distracted driving fines are determined by the number of offenses drivers have committed. Below is a list of fines:

  • First offense: $100 fine
  • Second offense: $250 fine
  • Third offense within two years: $500 fine

However, distracted drivers who cause collisions, injuries or deaths will be subject to fines of up to $1,000. Special consequences for distracted driving for commercial drivers include license suspension. After two or more distracted driving convictions within a certain period, CDL holders’ licenses will be disqualified for up to 120 days. Their employers may also face penalties like fines.

How to Prevent Distracted Driving in New Hampshire

To ensure road safety, drivers should abstain from all cell phone use while driving and refrain from other distracting tasks such as eating, reading, smoking and talking emotively. Quick tips:

  • Turn off all electronic devices. 
  • Make sure all passengers and pets are buckled in for safety. 
  • Avoid eating or responding to work email. 

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Automotive Sensors and Cameras in Today’s World

It is true that sensors and Cameras are an important new tool in the automotive industry. They help detect objects in our blind spots while driving, if your vehicle is getting too close to the vehicle in front of you, if there is something behind you when you are backing up, and so much more. They are there not as a full proof but as an additional precaution to help improve our driving.

Please make sure you use these as a tool to assist in your driving but do not solely depend on your sensors and cameras to keep you safe and your driving in check. It is still important that you look around, keep fully engaged, and are aware of your surroundings when operating a vehicle. To many times here at St. Laurent Collision we have had people come into the shop with collision damage who are blaming the sensors in their vehicle for the accident.

Also when ever your vehicle is in for collision repair and you have sensors that are located in the area of collision damage being repaired be sure that you are getting a pre scan and post scan for your sensors and cameras to make sure they are functioning properly. It is easy for a sensor or camera to get out of calibration in an accident or even for the paint to be applied to heavily over your sensors during the repair so always ask your repair facility to show you the pre and post scan data from your repair.

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Tips for Safer Driving

In America alone, there are thousands of car crashes every day. Car crashes can be as mild a fender bender to as serious as death. Inattentive drivers and adverse weather conditions cause a lot of this. After getting into an accident, the first thing you should worry about is your safety. The next thing to worry about is your car’s safety. Following a car accident, your vehicle will need auto body repair in Amherst NH. While there are auto repair shops out there, here are a few tips to safer driving to lessen your chance of accident.

Collision Repair Nashua

Designated Driver

Drunk driving has been a massive cause for concern, if not the primary cause of concern, in driving since the first automobiles started popping up. Sometimes you’re out with your car and don’t expect to have a few drinks at a rest stop. In this case, be sure to have a designated driver who has not been drinking take you and your car home. If your entire party is too far gone to drive safely, car-share services like Lyft and Uber are a solid back up plan.

Do Not Disturb

Texting and driving are right up there with drinking in driving in the unsafe category. The only difference with texting is that more people do it. When every driver starts taking two-three seconds at a time to stop looking at the road and check their phone, the possibility of a car collision skyrockets. Be sure to put your phone in Do Not Disturb mode to avoid distractions.

Keep Your Distance

Patience is a virtue. We in New England aren’t very virtuous when it comes to driving. We get in the car, we get where we’re going, and then we’re done. Especially in areas with fast drivers, be sure to keep your distance from the cars around you. If you notice the vehicle ahead of you driving slower than you’d like, either take the time to pass them or slow down to give them space. Riding their tail won’t make them happy and will increase your risk of an accident.

Take Your Time

Taking your time goes hand in hand with keeping your distance. No matter where you’re going, it isn’t worth getting into an accident for. Speed limits exist for the safety of drivers and pedestrians alike so be sure not to exceed the posted speed limits. This tip is especially important in bad weather. Taking the time to drive safely in bad weather may be the difference between making it home safely and auto body repair in Amherst NH.

Accidents happen. When you take the right precautions, accidents happen a lot less. These tips and tricks are meant to help you stay out of car collisions. For those who have experienced car crashes, find auto body repair in Amherst NH. Contact St. Laurent Collision Center or visit them online today.

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Preparing Your Car For Summer

Finally, spring is here and we can enjoy the warmer weather.From auto detailing in NH to subtle body improvements, there are plenty of options to make your vehicle summer ready. Plenty of people focus on cleaning their homes, but there is plenty you can do for your car.

Auto body shop in Nashua NH

Check Oil

Temperature can affect oil’s texture, function, and other components. If oil does not work, it compromises many functions of the vehicle and can lead to plenty of issues down the line. When seasons shift, it is best to be sure your oil is working and that you have plenty of it.

Car Detailing

Ready to give your vehicle a fresh look? St. Laurent Collision Center offers a few quality packages for auto detailing in NH. Your vehicle will look its best and be ready to withstand the elements. Snow can leave debris, and a deep cleaning will remedy any unsightly marks from the colder weather.

Window Tint Installation

While they may not be legal across the country, there are definitely plenty of areas where it is approved. A sleek window tint reduces heat, conserves energy, and offers a sleek look to your car.

Keep An Eye On Services

If it has been about a year since you received an inspection, it is time to get your vehicle looked over. This also goes for oil changes, minor repairs, or any other things that need some fixing. Make sure all of your parts are in order before you break down on the way to the beach!

With a little bit of TLC and updates, your car will be ready for all summer has to bring. Be sure to contact St. Laurent Collision Center for all of your detailing in NH needs! Give us a call at (603)-882-6822!