January 2012 Archives

January 30, 2012

Teen Automobile Related Fatalities on the Rise in Virginia

eating while driving.jpgBetween January 1, 2012 and January 24, 2012 there have been 11 teen automobile related fatalities in Virginia. At the same time period in 2011 there were only three. This is a huge increase that could be avoided if certain precautions were taken. The most common factors in the fatal automobile crashes are speed, distractions, alcohol, no use of seat belts and cell phone use.

Virginia safety organizations are urging teen drivers, as well as their parents, to take precautions to prevent further tragedies. Some of the precautions suggested are:
Teens:
- Obey posted speed limits;
- Do not Text, Talk or use handheld devices while driving;
- Do not drive distracted by changing radio stations, eating or by having too many passengers in the vehicle;
- Commit to driving safely;
- Always wear your seat belt.

Parents:
- Talk to your teen about the dangers of speeding and driving distracted;
- Set clear rules for driving and let them know that it is a privilege and not a right. They need to earn the privilege and that there are consequences to their actions;
- Set curfews, passenger limitations and make clear the punishment if these rules are broken.

Schools and Safety Organizations:
- Discuss the increase in teen fatalities, so that they are aware;
- Educate students on safe driving practices through interactive methods. Use visual displays, videos, guest speakers and programs;
- Post seat belt reminders and no cell phone use signs all over school property and all parking areas.

For more safety tips and information, visit the following websites: www.yovaso.net and www.blueridgecrashteams.org

January 19, 2012

Electric Car Charging Stations Coming to an Area Near You

Electric Car.jpgIn the state of Maryland there are 202 plug-in electric vehicles registered, of which, 94 of them are registered in Montgomery County. The owners of these plug-in electric vehicles will now have more charging stations throughout the county. A national real estate and development firm, Federal Realty, is in partnership with Car Charging Group to install eight more electric charging stations on the east coast, seven of which will be right here in the metropolitan area. In Montgomery county there will be one at the Rockville Town Square and one at Bethesda Row. The charging stations will be of the category level II and 240-volts. Charging stations come in three levels, the higher the level, the quicker the electric car charges.

These charging stations work just like gas pumps. All you need to do is pull up, plug-in and pay for the electricity with a credit card. The cost per hour of electrical charging will be between $3.00 to $4.00. An electric car can travel an average of 100 to 200 miles between charges.

There are also a lot of tax benefits to owning an electric car. Anyone who registers and titles a plug-in electric vehicle in the state of Maryland through July 1, 2013, is eligible to claim $2,000 excise motor vehicle tax credit along with the already established $7,000 federal tax credit for owning electric vehicles. Also, owners of electric cars can claim a $400 tax credit toward the installation of electric vehicle charging stations in their homes.

For more information on the locations of charging stations in your area, please visit www.mychargepoint.net

January 4, 2012

Pedestrian Deaths Among Hispanics in Montgomery County, Maryland Is Alarming

Pedestrian.jpgThere were 11 pedestrian deaths in Montgomery County, Maryland in 2011 and five of them victims were Hispanic. Hispanics only make up about 17 percent of the county's population, therefore; this rate is alarming. According to the AAA Midatlantic and the Latino Advocacy group Casa de Maryland, the number of Hispanics that died as a result of pedestrian accidents is disproportionate when considering that Hispanics only make up a small percent of the County's population.

According to the AAA, Viers Mill Road is one of the deadliest and most dangerous streets for pedestrians. Out of the five victims in 2011, four of them were killed on Viers Mill Road.

Phil Andres, a Montgomery County Council member says that the county will continue its efforts to reach and educate Hispanics on traffic safety, but that it is also up to the pedestrian and drivers in Maryland to be more careful and follow traffic and safety rules more carefully.

Cell Phone use should be a minimum and texting while driving is now illegal in Maryland, therefore, one should not send, receive or view text messages while behind the wheel. Also, cell phone use is only allowed when using an ear piece/bluetooth or if your vehicle comes equipt with hands-free talking. If all drivers follow these rules and more pedestrians make sure and cross at intersections and crosswalks hopefully the number of pedestrian accidents and deaths will lower for all Montgomery County Residents.