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4 Safe Driving Tips For This Holiday Season

4 Safe Driving Tips For This Holiday Season

The American Automobile Association (AAA) is warning drivers of potential road dangers this Thanksgiving holiday, as more than 1.2 million residents are set to travel 50 miles or more.

“AAA Mid-Atlantic predicts that 1.2 million area residents will travel 50 miles or more for the holiday. That’s a 6 percent increase over the number who left the area last year and the largest amount since 2007,” The Washington Times reported.

As experts warn, a significant of those people who will be commuting through an automobile will likely be teenagers, which is why the concern is at its highest this year. Earlier this month, the media also reported on another research study by AAA, confirming that teen driving deaths have hit an all-time high.

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Researchers have pointed out that teen drivers are three times more likely than adult drivers to be involved in a fatal crash, according to the study. So yes, young drivers are among the most dangerous on the road. But that’s not to say there’s no hope for improving your chances of getting into an accident.

While it may not always be your fault, here are fiour tips you can follow to help prevent a collision – and even possibly fatalities – during the holidays.

1. Eye Balls On The Road

When it comes to teenage drivers, one of the principal factors of a horrific accident is the mobile phone. As technology has improved, so has our dependence on these devices. Utilizing the GPS can take your eyes off the road for a few seconds, but that’s all it takes for a fatal accident to occur.

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If you don’t have one already, investing $11 in a magnetic phone mount – like this one, for example – can not only save your life but probably prevent you from totaling your precious car.

2. Hands Off The Booze!

In the United States, about 30 percent of fatalities involving car accidents, are caused by impaired drivers under the influence of alcohol. In 2008 alone, there were more than 11,000 deaths because of drunk drivers. All these senseless tragedies could’ve been avoided in the first place if, to begin with, none of the perpetrators had their car keys.

Even at low levels, alcohol is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant that can slow down reaction time, sparking foolish choices that may lead to a life or death scenario.

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3. Hide All The Car Keys

Despite what’s written in this piece, irresponsible binge drinking is going to occur anyhow. So here’s how to make sure everyone is safe: Have the responsible individual who will not be consuming alcohol take all the car keys and hide it from sight before the binge drinking starts. This way, responsible person in charge will be able to keep track of who is leaving and their mental state.

Do you have a friend or relative that is unfit to drive and has no way home? Call Uber. However, if for some reason —and I highly oppose to this decision — you had a couple of drinks, have no ride home, and might be in danger, try the following tips from the instructors at Texas Drivers Ed.

“One of the best ways to prevent accidents is to keep your eyes scanning the road ahead of you. Watch how traffic is moving – this boosts your reaction time and helps you prepare in case the car in front of you swerves or makes a sudden stop.”

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4. Prevent Your Teen From Driving

This one is for all the parents who have teenage kids: It’s easier said than done. Giving strong advice to teenagers will likely enter one ear and travel out through the other. It’s important to prevent your teen from driving out of your sight during the holidays. The line, “Young drivers, are among the most dangerous on the road,” should speak volumes. Additionally, peer pressure also plays a factor in your teen ignoring the advice you gave a few hours ago.

Bottom line: Understand that every single decision you make in life has consequences, whether they are good or bad. As a person who lost friends and relatives to drunk drivers, I always stand by one quote: “Make it a night to remember – not a night to forget.”

Featured photo credit: Joe Bielawa via flickr.com

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Jose Florez

Mental Health Writer

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Last Updated on November 11, 2019

How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

Have you ever noticed that some people are able to effortlessly remember even the most mundane details and quickly comprehend new things? Well, you can too!

To unlock the full potential of your brain, you need to keep it active and acute. Wasting time on your couch watching mindless television shows or scrolling through facebook is not going to help.

Besides getting out flashcards, what can you do to help remember things better and learn new things more quickly? Check out these 10 effective ways on how to improve memory:

1. Exercise and Get Your Body Moving

Exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain. Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain.

Furthermore, without regular exercise, plaque starts to build up in your arteries, and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood. Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks and it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain. When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised.

To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day. Even if it’s just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking, swimming and dancing are all excellent activities. Take a look at these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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2. Eliminate Stressors and Seek Help If You’re Depressed

Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.

If you can’t concentrate, then you might feel like you are constantly forgetting things. Depression increases the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream which elevates the cortisol levels in the brain. Doctors have found that increased cortisol diminishes certain areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus which is where short-term memories are stored.

Prolonged depression can thus destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new. Seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.

3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Take Naps

Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information.

Getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours. Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer.

4. Feed Your Brain

Fifty to sixty percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used to insulate its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.

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This is precisely why parents are advised to feed their young children whole milk and to restrict dieting – their brains’ need fat to grow and work properly. Skimping on fats can be devastating even to the adult brain.

Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory. Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables. Here’re more brain food choices: 12 Foods that Can Improve Your Brain Power

Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat but their lack of nutritional value is not going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.

5. Eat Breakfast and Make Sure It Includes an Egg

According to Larry McCleary, M.D., author of  The Brain Trust Program, an egg is the ideal breakfast. Eggs contain B vitamins which help nerve cells to burn glucose, antioxidants that protect neurons against damage; and omega-3 fatty acids that keep nerve cells firing at optimal speed.

Other foods to add to your breakfast include fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Trans fats diminish the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other and HFCS can actually shrink the brain by damaging cells.

Having a healthy breakfast in the morning has been shown to improve performance throughout the day. If you’re too busy to have a healthy breakfast, this maybe just right for you: 33 Quick And Healthy Breakfasts For Busy Mornings

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6. Write it Down

If there’s something you want to remember, writing it down can help.

It may sound like a no-brainer, but do you really know why? Writing it down creates oxygenated blood flow to areas of your brain that a responsible for your memories and literally exercises those parts of it. Here’s How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life.

You can start a journal, write yourself emails or even start keeping a blog – all of these activities will help to improve your capacity to remember and memorize information.

7. Listen to Music

Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories. Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally. Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.

8. Visual Concepts

In order to remember things, many people need to visualize the information they are studying.

Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook; or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember. It might also help to draw your own charts or figures, or utilize colors and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.

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Here, you can learn How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.

9. Teach Someone Else

Reading material out loud has been shown to significantly improve memory of the material. Expanding further upon this idea is the fact that psychologists and educators have found that by having students teach new concepts to others, it helps to enhance understanding and recall.

Teach new concepts and information to a friend or study partner, and you’ll find you remember the information a lot better.

10. Do Crossword Puzzles, Read or Play Cards

Studies have shown that doing crossword puzzles, read or play cards on a daily basis not only keep your brain active but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia.

So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book or enjoy a game of solitaire.

Pick one to two of these tips first and start applying them to your everyday life. Very soon you’ll find yourself having better memories and a clearer head!

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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