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This Sunday we will be once again turning our clocks forward for daylight savings. While many look forward to the extra hour of sleep, for many of us on Long Island, daylight savings means driving home from work with the sun already setting. This along with other changing weather conditions can cause driving in the fall dangerous. No one wants to be in a car accident, especially if it could be prevented.

Daylight Savings Means Less Daylight

On November 4, the clocks will be moving back one hour. Unlike daylight savings in the Spring, we won’t be more tired or have a hard time waking up. This does mean however, that the sun will rise and set one hour earlier everyday. Unlike the gradual changes in the sunrise/sunset schedule that we adjust to naturally, many will suddenly be leaving work in the dark. On Monday November 5, the sun will now begin to set at 4:47pm in New York and will be completely dark by 6:20.

The difference between driving at night (let’s say 10:00pm) and driving in darkness in the late afternoon is the amount of people on the road. When it is late, there is generally much less drivers on the road and a lot less cyclists and pedestrians. After daylight savings, it will begin to get dark during a time when a lot of people are still out. It is even early enough for the sun to go down with some of these cyclists or pedestrians being students in school. We previously have spoken about accounting for school pedestrians in a previous blog post. Moreover, an adjustment needs to take place for drivers to be prepared for the change in road conditions. Here are some tips we suggest for the earlier sunset.

Leaves on the Ground

Fall is a beautiful time of year due to the changing of leaves. But we are reaching the time of the year where all of those leaves are falling to the ground. When a Nor-Easter hits, there are wet leaves everywhere. Some have even said that wet leaves on the ground are just as dangerous as black ice on the road. Wet leaves are dangerous in two ways; they are slippery and they cover up the roads.

It is a good idea to pretend that you are driving on ice when you see leaves on the road. Drive slower and increase your breaking distance. Do not make sharp or fast turns so that you don’t slide. Give yourself ample room behind cars. Do not quickly change lanes, especially if you can’t see the road lines. The leaves can cover up lines in the road so do your best to pay attention to the road lines when approaching a stop sign or at turning lanes.

Dropping Temperature

The days are only getting colder and drivers need to be prepared ahead of time as the temperatures drop. The first change you might notice is your tire pressure. The drop in temperature sometimes causes the tires to expand and contract. So take note of the tire pressure light and take care of that right away.

When it is very cold, it is a good idea to get in the habit of turning your car on before you head out. If it does frost, your windshield may be covered with ice that needs to melt before you start driving. Additionally, when the steering wheel is very cold, drivers often try not to touch it too much until the car warms up, and this can be dangerous. Turning your car just 10 minutes before you leave means that it will be nice and toasty when you are ready to go.


Deer on Long Island is always a real hazard, especially if you live out east. Long Island highways are “greener” than most so it is not uncommon to see deer grazing by the highways. This is especially important to note because autumn is the beginning of breeding season for deer, and are most active at sunset. So be prepared to see even more deer near the roads on your way home from work. If you see a deer road sign, you should slow down. You should also slow down if you see a deer on the side of a road, it could possibly mean that the rest of the family is nearby.

Keeping these things in mind could potentially avoid a car accident and would contribute to making the roads a little bit safer. Unfortunately, sometimes we get injured in accidents when someone else is not being so safe. That is why it is our priority at Palermo Law to help people who have been injured in a car accident because of someone else’s recklessness.

The end of August is often dreaded by many kids. With September right around the corner, they only have a couple of weeks to finish their summer projects or get those extra hours of sleep. This time of year can also bring a lot of stress to parents. Whether it be helping their kids gather new supplies or just getting back in the mindset of the school routine, parents want to make sure their kids are ready for the new school year.

Once the new school year begins, you can be sure that the Long Island traffic will get worse. Highways will be filled with a few more college students. Bus routes will frequent the morning and afternoons. Kids and teens will be walking on the sidewalk or riding their bikes and many parents will be dropping off their kids by the entrance. Whether or not you have kids, all drivers need to account for this traffic and take the necessary preparations so that everyone can be safe.

For Parents Driving Their Kids

If you are a parent driving your kid to school, there are a couple of things you can do to make the trip a little safer every day.

For Regular Drivers

It goes without saying that driver’s need to follow all the traffic laws regarding schools and school busses. Even though every driver knows this, these laws are often neglected. Still, one in five children (under 15) who were killed in a traffic accident were pedestrians.

Teach Your Kids Pedestrian Safety

If your son or daughter walks to school every day it is very important that you teach them the proper pedestrian safety so that they can prevent dangerous situations. Distraction is the biggest problem with child pedestrian safety. Statistically, teenagers have a higher risk of getting a fatal pedestrian injury the older they are. The main cause of this involves these teens being distracted while they are walking.

As you probably guessed, the distractions stem from smart phones. Teens can use their smart phones to text, browse social media and listen to music. According to a study at the most common distraction for young pedestrians were wearing their headphones to listen to music, with texting being a close second. It is important that you warn your teenagers of the dangers of being distracted while walking to school.

Children usually aren’t ready to start walking to school without a parent until they are 10. If you plan to let your children walk by themselves when they’re older, it’s a good idea to walk with them to school when they are young so they are familiar with the neighborhood. When they do eventually walk alone, it would be ideal for your child to walk with at least one neighbor or sibling so that they are never alone. It is best to show your child a route that has crossing guards and sidewalks.

We are wishing parents and students alike a safe and productive school year.

Traveling for work or going on a trip with friends can be stressful if you have to leave your kids at home. For parents who travel a lot – particularly single parents – ensuring the safety of their kids at home is paramount. Before smartphones came into the picture, parents were worried that their child could not reach them in case of an emergency. Now however, smartphones and easy internet access often leave parents feeling worried about the prospect of their teenagers at home alone.

When you are forced to leave your teen at home, enabling child safety measures online and offline are the best alternatives for parents. If you are wondering where to start, here are some effective hacks that you can use to monitor your child’s safety when you are not around.

Thinking Just Makes It Worse

Leaving kids back home when you are traveling abroad for professional or personal reasons is an unpleasant feeling for most parents. It gets worse with the ‘what if’ thoughts that seem to constantly hover at the back of your mind, intensifying stress and making you panic the whole time you are away. Some of these thoughts include:

These thoughts cannot be overlooked as there is always a faint chance they might come true. Regardless of whether you’ve had the talk with your children about screen-time limits and online safety measures, it remains a challenge to check up on them when you’re not around.

The best idea is to be transparent and chalk out a safety plan together with your child. While there are many ways to spy on your kid’s devices and smartphones, you should always consider spying your “plan B.” Here are some practical solutions that are for ensuring your child’s safety when you are traveling.

1. Configuring Parental Control on Your Router

An effective strategy to set up parental controls is by modifying the configuration of your home router. Routers are the first stopping point for all internet traffic that enters your home, so setting up parental controls enables you to monitor sites for various gadgets running on your home Wi-Fi, like tablets, mobile phones, PCs and gaming devices.

2. Child Browsing Programs

Also known as “walled gardens,” these are blocking programs that prevent children from accessing any sites on the internet that are not pre-approved. They commonly allow access to recreational, email and social network websites. The good news is that these child-friendly browsers are frequently available for free, while also offering more powerful features in paid versions. These programs are generally more suitable for younger children, but are also now available for adolescents.

3. Managing Your Home Network

Your WiFi and mobile data plans can control your home network through both hardware and software options. You can use options like Circle Home and OpenDNS which will help in filtering Internet content, create search limits, and pause connections when required. These options are suitable for kids of all ages and help keep you at peace when you are away.

4. Safe Mode On

SafeSearch control is now widely accessible in most Android and Safari devices. With the help of this, parents can

Services like Netsanity are currently very popular medium for monitoring internet use, ensuring your child is safe both physically and virtually.

5. Parental Control Spying Devices

In this day and age, many parents are choosing to monitor their children in order to cope with growing menaces like virtual kidnapping, stalking, cyber crimes and gun violence. Nick Herbert, a British digital specialist, has recently devised an application called ReplyASAP that parents can use to secretly monitor and track their kids when they are not around. Other similar options are also widely available, such as tracking systems and listening devices that parents who travel often or stay away from their kids rely on.

Cell phone and network safety for parents doesn’t have to unduly interfere with kid’s privacy orcontrol their lives. On the flip side, children must also consider their parents’ concerns and realize that ensuring online safety doesn’t mean that parents don’t trust them or that they are doing something bad. In most cases, the children might not be involved in anything dangerous, but early action is sometimes required  to avoid falling down a slippery slope. As the famous saying goes:

There is nothing more precious to a parent than a child, and nothing more important to our future than the safety of our children.”

About the Author

Amy Scholl

Youth Technology Safety Specialist at KidGuard Dedicated to finding the best child safety measures for parents, grounded in research. Being knowledgeable about youth online usage is a key component of effective 21st-century parenting.

Some child predators are extremely clever. Their tactics aren’t as transparent as we once believed. Which honestly makes it scarier for parents.

A lot of the tips our parents gave us are simply obsolete today, and predators can easily trick children into a false sense of security.

Staying away from individuals offering candy, an animal to play with, or anything nice without you around is still relevant today. But child predators may have a lot more up their sleeve today to gain a child’s trust. Here are some tips to keep your children safe from predators.

“Keep Away From Strangers” Is Somewhat Obsolete

It is important to teach your kids to stay away from strangers. But “stay away from strangers” is not the best way to posit the lesson. The word “stranger” may connote, to a child, the image of a mean, scary individual. In reality, a predator will likely approach a child in a nice manner, and isn’t always scary looking. Additionally, all a predator has to say to a child is that they are “friends with their mother/father”, and that child may no longer see them as a stranger. Stress to your child that it doesn’t matter whether an individual they don’t recognize is nice or not. Stress to your child that someone’s attitude, or what they have to say, has nothing to do with their intentions.

Adults Don’t Need Help From Kids

Another tactic child predators might use on children is to ask for their help. Make sure your child knows that no adult should ever ask a child for help.

Use Code Word Phrases

You may not always be around to pick up your child from school or activities, where they are monitored by adults up until it’s time to go home. You may have to ask another adult you trust to take them home. Predators could be waiting around the corner, looking for children without a parent. Share a code word phrase with your child and the trusted adult who plans to pick them up, and stress that they should only go with the adult that remembers the code word phrase. Try making it silly to help them remember.

Let Them Know It’s Okay To Yell & Say No To An Adult If They’re Uncomfortable Or Scared

This is important. We tend to scold our children if they get too disruptive, if they’re yelling or screaming. But sometimes, they need to grab the attention of other adults around them – particularly, if someone is trying to abduct them. Play out a scenario with them and have them practice firmly saying no, screaming and running away. Also make sure they know it’s okay to kick and scream if an adult they don’t recognize tries to pick them up.

Be Cautious Of Letting Them Wear Identifying Clothing

If a child is wearing personalized shirts, team uniforms or school clothing, this can actually give a child predator valuable information on a child (such as their name). They can then attempt to approach a child using that information to gain trust, making the child believe that they aren’t a stranger and that they do somehow know them. So, be cautious about letting your child wear clothes that can be identifying.

It’s also a good idea to check your neighborhood for registered sex offenders. Apps like The Sex Offender App will show you where any sex offenders live in your neighborhood. Stay away from these homes if you’re trick or treating with your child on Halloween. Have a safe Long Island summer!

Thanksgiving is just a few days away. We’re all excited for family, football, relaxation, and a break from the regular. But it seems every year we forget that in all the chaos of preparation, we must take precautions to keep ourselves and our children safe.

Remember that cooking is the leading cause of housefires. And Thanksgiving day as a hectic time to be on the road. So, we’d like to offer up these safety tips for Thanksgiving.

Safety Tips For Driving On Thanksgiving:

Safety Tips For Cooking On Thanksgiving

We really do tend to forget that accidents happen on Thanksgiving. Take these steps to help prevent accidents from happening to you and your loved ones. And have a Happy Thanksgiving!