The Dangers of Drowsy Driving


Everyday, there are motorists on the roads operating on too little sleep. When a driver is drowsy, they put themselves and all other drivers in danger. Falling asleep at the wheel causes a car to drift into other lanes, onto shoulders or even into buildings. Besides falling asleep, drowsy drivers pose many other risks. These drivers are not as aware of what is going on around them, have a slower reaction time than normal, and tend to be more aggressive towards other drivers.

When a driver is unaware of their surroundings, their guard is down and they cannot prevent an accident as readily. Alert drivers are trained to keep an eye out in all directions for potential dangers. A sleepy driver is not as likely to notice these dangers and therefore may not be able to avoid them before an accident happens.

Having a quick reaction time is a key component to safe driving. When a driver is drowsy, this reaction time is much slower than usual. This makes it nearly impossible to avoid certain dangers in the road. If a car cuts in front of a driver, being able to apply the breaks quickly is necessary to avoid a collision. A driver operating on too little sleep may not have the ability to react quickly enough.

Nearly everyone’s temper is shorter when they have not had enough sleep. A quick temper and aggressive driving could cause an accident. Aggression can cause a driver to cut people off, chase a driver who cut them off, or take other unnecessary risks.

If possible, two drivers should travel together on a long trip. That way they can take turns driving if one or the other is too drowsy to drive. A driver traveling alone who has had too little sleep should not be on the road at all. If a sleepy driver thinks they will be okay to drive, but then finds that they are nodding off, they need to find a place to pull over. Stopping at a hotel for the night and starting over in the morning may cost some money and time, but it may very well save someone’s life.


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2011 Penske Racing Recap: Anticipation builds for a Great and Successful Year!

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There will be plenty of changes heading into the 2012 Sprint Cup season that begins next month with the Daytona 500, especially for Penske Racing.

Todd Gordon of Penske Racing will take over as the crew chief of the number 22 Dodge after a stellar Nationwide series performance in which his car had 6 wins and 6 poles. Roger Penske, perhaps the most revered name in auto racing, likes to develop and promote from within and he believes that Gordon is ready for this next big step, which is the equivalent of being a head football coach in the NFL. Driving the No. 22 will be AJ Allmendinger who is coming off a good season as he finished 15th in the standings.

Penske stayed in the news with the announcement that Kurt Busch will leave the organization after six highly contentious but overall successful years together. Penske said that the decision was mutual and that he was disappointed that Busch would no longer be racing for his organization. Busch won a total of 16 races for Penske.

The addition of Allmendinger in place of Busch for Penske Racing should be a long term positive for the organization as Allmendinger is a class driver and someone the organization can be proud of.

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Audi’s Safe Driving Pledge …Have You Taken It Yet?

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Better hurry – you only have until November 30th to “make sure it counts.”

Earlier this fall, Audi announced its safe driving pledge to unite Audi drivers in a goal to make roads safer. Drivers can visit and take the pledge by clicking on a link. According to the website, the German manufacturer set two goals: if it reaches 25,000 pledges by the end of November, it will donate $25,000 to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. At 100,000 pledges, it plans to donate an additional $50,000 to the AAA Foundation.

The company has already reached its first goal, as the counter on the site displays they have over 26,000 pledges. But they still have a long way to go until they reach 100,000.

Safe driving is something every driver can support and makes the roads better and more enjoyable for everyone. Accidents occur all year as drivers demonstrate risky behavior. It’s important to remember that no matter what kind of rush we’re in, or how many things we’re trying to juggle, practicing safe behavior while driving is not only necessary to protect our own lives, but the lives of others as well.

Audi pledges address a number of safety issues, including distracting behavior, tailgating, and speeding. It calls drivers to put down their drink and put their hands in proper position on the steering wheel, obey yellow lights and slow down, and yield to those crossing the road. To see the full list of pledges, check out their website.

Following Audi’s pledge will not only protect lives on the road, but it will make the road a more enjoyable place in general. Nobody likes getting stuck behind the slow driver in the left lane, or seeing someone speed through a red light because they didn’t slow down for the yellow one. Happier drivers are better drivers.

So what are you waiting for? Go take Audi’s Safe Driving Pledge, and make the road a better place.

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Top Five Signs You Need to Pull Over

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Sometimes it’s obvious you need to pull over, like if your tire blows out.  Other times, you might think it’ll be fine to power through and stop when you’re safely home.  Or you might even think you can take care of whatever the problem is while you’re driving.  Don’t make guesses when it comes to your safety.  Here are the top signs that you should pull over:

Smoke, flames or steam

Obviously if your car is on fire, you need to get off the road.  Smoke or steam can be just as dangerous.  If steam is coming out of your engine, it probably means that your coolant is leaking.  If it’s a small leak, it might not be that bad, but if it’s a large leak, it can overheat your engine.  Not to mention the steam can block your view and cause a fender bender.  Pull over.  Don’t open your hood to have a look though; when you open the coolant, it might spray up and burn you.  Call the mechanic and have them fix it.

Strange Noises

You should be familiar with the sounds your car typically makes.  Turn off the radio now and then so you can learn what your car sounds like on a normal day.  That way, if anything out of the ordinary suddenly pops up, you can take your car to the mechanic and prevent serious damage.  If you hear any sudden loud noises, pull over and address it.  You might have just run over something harmless in the road, like a milk jug or other trash, or there might be something seriously wrong with your car.

Medical Emergency

If you’re in pain, don’t try to hold out until you get home or to the hospital.  Driving during a heart attack will put your life even more at risk.  Even smaller concerns can still be dangerous – like a headache, or something in your eye.

Lack of Visibility

Sometimes storms come out of nowhere, and suddenly it’s pouring buckets and you can’t see the road.  Don’t try to keep going, it’s useless.  If it’s foggy, or your wipers are broken, or the spray from the road is blocking you from seeing the car in front of you, pull over.


No, it’s not okay to bend over and pick something off the floor or change your jacket while you’re cruising at 65mph on the highway.  If your kids are fighting in the back, pull over.  Anything can happen, and it only takes one negligent moment to cause an accident. Those few seconds you take to reach over and grab your CD, or take your hands off the wheel to slip out of your coat, could make the difference between a safe stop and a fender bender.

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6 Tips for Driving in the Rain

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Tis the season for rain and weather so we thought it would be helpful to post some safety tips for driving in the rain.  Decreased visibility and slippery roads increase the chances of being in an accident while raining.  Stay alert and follow these tips to stay safe in the rain.

1. Leave Earlier

Traffic will move slower in the rain, so it will take longer for you to get to your destination. Plus, you don’t want to be in a hurry or rushing to get somewhere when the roads are slick. Give yourself extra time, and leaver earlier.

2. Brake Sooner

Sudden braking can cause you to hydroplane and lose control of the car. Brake earlier than you would typically, and use less force on the brakes.

3. Turn On Your Headlights

Even if its day time, turning on your headlights will not only help you see better, but it helps other drivers see you. However, avoid using your high beams; the light will reflect off of the water droplets in the air and make it even more difficult to see.

4. Watch for Pedestrians

A pedestrian might be too distracted fiddling with his umbrella to notice you, so it’s up to you to keep your eye out for someone crossing the road. With decreased visibility, they may be harder to see, so stay alert and keep an eye out for them.

5. Avoid Puddles

Stay close to the middle of the road. Puddles tend to form on the shoulder and the sides of the road, so hug the yellow line. Don’t try to cross large puddles in the road if you can’t tell how deep they are – your car could get stuck. Try to find a different way around.

6. Know how to handle Hydroplaning

Hydroplaning is when your car skids on the surface of the water, and could cause you to lose control of the car. If your car starts to hydroplane, do not brake suddenly or turn the wheel – this could cause you to lose control of the vehicle. Instead, slowly take your foot off the gas and steer straight. If necessary, tap the brake gently.

Forecasts predict scattered showers until Wednesday. A flood watch is in place through the evening, so please stay safe on the roads!

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Keeping Your Family Safe

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Whether you’re planning a long road trip this weekend or just driving to the soccer field, it’s important to keep your children safe. Here are some tips for families about how to protect your children while you’re on the road. Even if you don’t have a family, check out these tips and stay safe in your new Penske Automotive vehicle.

Wear Your Seat Belt

Always check to make sure that all passengers are buckled before starting the vehicle. Kids twelve and under should sit in the back. While they may protest, sitting “shotgun” can cause harm to the child during an accident if the air bags deploy. Air bags are meant for taller, adult passengers, and could injure a child. Infants less than a year old and/or 20 – 22 lbs should be in a rear-facing child seat in the back of the car.

Drive Hands Free

Texting and using the phone can cause distractions. Set an example for your children and never text and drive at the same time. If it’s important, ask a passenger to talk on the phone or text for you; if you’re alone, pull over before responding. Even if you think it’s “just this one time” or it will “take just a second”, you should still pull over. You never know what might happen in that split second that your eyes are off the road – someone could pull out in front of you or stop short.

Use Turn Signals

Your blinkers are your way to communicate with other drivers. While it may slip your mind, make an effort to use them as they let other drivers know what you plan on doing. Whether you’re changing lanes, making a turn or pulling over, it’s not too hard to flick the switch and put on your blinkers.

Don’t take chances with safety! Buckle up and enjoy your weekend!

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