Keep Teen Drivers SAFE

Teen driver safety CTThis week is National Teen Driver Safety Week, and we hope you’ll take some time with your teen before the weekend is out to talk to any young drivers (or drivers-to-be) about how to stay safe on our Connecticut roads.

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for 14-18 year olds in the U.S. In fact, almost half of the teen drivers involved in a crash die. Yet, a recent survey show that only 25% of parents have had a serious talk with their kids about the key components of driving. Please, Talk to Your Teen About the “5 to Drive” from 

The 5 to Drive are five important rules that teen drivers need to follow to stay safe behind the wheel. These rules address the worst dangers for teen drivers: alcohol, texting, seat belts, speeding, and extra passengers.

Motor vehicle crashes are the number one killer of 14- to 18-year-olds in the United States.In 2012, there were 2,055 teen drivers involved in fatal crashes, and 859 (42%) of those teen drivers were killed in the crashes. You are the biggest influence on your teen’s safety behind the wheel, but according to a recent survey, only 25 percent of parents take the time to talk with their kids about the dangers of driving, including:

  • Alcohol: Teen drivers are at a greater risk of death in alcohol-related crashes compared to drivers in all other age groups, even though they’re too young to legally buy or possess alcohol. Nationally in 2012, 28 percent of the young drivers (15 to 20 years old) who were killed in crashes had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .01 grams per deciliter (g/dL) or higher.
  • Seat belts: Wearing a seat belt is one of the simplest ways for teens to stay safe in a vehicle. Whether it’s immaturity or a false perception that they’re invincible—teens aren’t buckling up. In 2012, of all the young (15- to 20-year-old) passenger vehicle drivers killed in crashes, more than half (55%) of those killed were unbuckled.
  • Texting: Texting or dialing while driving is more than just risky—it’s deadly. In 2012, among drivers 15 to 19 years old who were distracted in fatal crashes, nearly 1 in 5 were distracted by phones. This age group had the highest percentage of drivers distracted by phone use.
  • Speeding: In 2012, speeding was a factor in almost half (48%) of the crashes that killed 15- to 20-year-old drivers.
  • Passengers: Teens may be very social, but the car isn’t the place to socialize. Extra passengers for a teen driver can lead to disastrous results. In fact, according to a recent survey by the Allstate Foundation, half of all teen drivers even admit that they are safer drivers without their friends as passengers.


You’ve guided your teen this far. Driving is a new chapter, a step toward independence for many teens. But your job’s not done. Surveys show that teens whose parents impose driving restrictions typically engage in less risky driving and are involved in fewer crashes. They can’t listen if you don’t talk.

October 19-25, join parents across the country in the “5 to Drive” campaign.

Get the facts about teen driving and share some of the grim statistics with your teen.

Know Connecticut’s graduated driver licensing (GDL) restrictions and enforce them.

Remind your teen that driving is a privilege to be taken seriously.

Set the Rules Before They Hit the Road.

ct-graduated-driving-lawsRemember the “5 to Drive”:

1 No Drinking and Driving.

Set a good example by not driving after drinking. Remind your teen that drinking before the age of 21 is illegal, and alcohol and driving should never mix.

2 Buckle Up. Every Trip. Every Time. Front Seat and Back.

Lead by example. If you wear your seat belt every time, your teen is more likely to follow suit. Remind your teen that it’s important to buckle up on every trip, no matter how far.

3 Put It Down. One Text or Call Could Wreck It All.

Remind your teen about the dangers of texting or dialing while driving, and that the phone is off-limits when they are on the road. It’s equally important to model safe driving habits for your teen—you shouldn’t text and drive either.

4 Stop Speeding Before It Stops You.

Drive the speed limit and require your teen to do the same. Explain that every time your speed doubles, your stopping distance quadruples.

5 No More Than One Passenger at Any Time.

Don’t allow your teen to drive with more than one passenger at a time. Check your State’s GDL law, though; it may prohibit any passengers.


Start your conversation during Teen Driver Safety Week, but continue the conversation every day.

Even if it seems like they’re tuning you out, keep telling them. These powerful messages will get through.

Get creative! Talking is only one way to discuss safe driving. You could write your teen a letter, leave notes in the car, or use social media to get your message across.

Get it in writing. Create a parent-teen driving contract that outlines the rules and consequences for your teen driver. Hang the signed contract in a visible place.

For more information about National Teen Driver Safety Week and the “5 to Drive” campaign, please visit


Hoffman Auto Group Sponsoring American Heart Association’s 2015 Go Red For Women

This year marks the 10th anniversary of Go Red For Women, an initiative of the American Heart Association (AHA) to raise awareness for women’s heart health. On Friday, October 17, the AHA Executive Leadership breakfast kicked off the plans for another successful campaign, “Life is Why.”

Photo by Dawn Caruso, Greater Hartford Go Red for Women

AHA Executive Leadership Breakfast. Photo by Dawn Caruso, Greater Hartford Go Red For Women

Cardiovascular disease still ranks number one as the health risk for women, taking the lives of 1 in 3 women. Go Red For Women has over 1.5 million women who have joined the efforts and 89% have personally taken action against the disease, but the numbers still need to improve. Susan Kosman, Chief Nursing Officer at Aetna discussed the AHA’s goal of reducing heart disease by 20% by the year 2020 through efforts that build communities that inform, educate and create a sustainable culture of health.

Lt. Governor, Nancy Wyman

Lt. Governor, Nancy Wyman Photo by Dawn Caruso

Second to the Federal Government, the AHA funds the largest amount of research for cardiovascular disease, which has helped to bring a 34% reduction in heart disease deaths for women over the last 10 years. Dr. Harold Paz, Executive Vice President & CMO at Aetna, reiterated the importance of education in the fight against heart disease. He stated cardiovascular disease kills more women than men and it is critical to provide early treatment for optimal success. Because the signs and symptoms are different for women and risk factors are diverse based on ethnicity and economic standing it is crucial to ensure all women have proper information to take action to live healthier lives.

Carol MacDonal, Debi Mrozowski and Kathy Palermo. Photo by Dawn Caruso

Carol MacDonal, Debi Mrozowski and Kathy Palermo.
Photo by Dawn Caruso

There are several ways individuals and corporations can get involved and help save lives. Bradley Hoffman, Hoffman Auto Group, and other members of the AHA Executive Board are pleased to present the 2015 Greater Hartford Go Red For Women Luncheon on Wednesday, March 18, 2015. Arianna Huffington will be the keynote speaker and Leigh Pechillo will share her story of survival and the impact the AHA has had on her family. Year after year this inspirational event has sold out so be sure to register your group today and prepare to walk away encouraged, informed and uplifted.

Corporate sponsorships and Circle of Red memberships in addition to volunteer opportunities provide a variety of possibilities to be part of the solution. In the last 10 years, over 627,000 women’s lives have been saved as a result of the Go Red campaign. We look forward to having you join the Hoffman Auto Group and other sponsors in making a difference.

Photo by Dawn Caruso, Greater Hartford Go Red for Women

Photo by Dawn Caruso, Greater Hartford Go Red For Women

For more information about the 2015 Go Red for Women campaign please contact Jennifer Nielson, 203-303-3325

Hoffman Auto Group Employees Participate in American Heart Association’s Heart Walk

Maria Garcia, Robert Schinder, Teri Vigue, Frank Pawlowicz, Laura Sears, Steve and Sandy Rovin

Maria Garcia, Robert Schinder, Terri Vigue, Frank Pawlowicz, Laura Sears, Steve and Sandy Rovin

The Hoffman Auto Group “Bravehearts” joined hundreds of other participants for the American Heart Association’s 5K Heart Walk at Rentschler Field on Saturday, October 18. The yearly event helps raise awareness of the importance and value of physical activity for cardiovascular health. Sandy Rovin from the Hoffman Auto group and her husband Steve were happy to help raise money and participate in this worthy cause, stating also “it gave us an opportunity to exercise together!”

Every year the Heart Walk raises funds to support research, advocacy and awareness of heart disease and stroke. The Hoffman Bravehearts team has raised over $800 so far and tax-deductible donations can be made through November 17 by clicking on “Give Now” at this page – Hoffman Bravehearts.

IMG_5806[1]Your donations go a long way! For example, a donation of $25 provides 50 people educational materials that teach how to personally reduce their risk of heart disease and stroke. A $50 donation delivers the message of healthy nutrition to elementary school students through lesson plans and activity guides. Your generous donation of $100 provides necessary resources for one hospital to teach patients, caregivers, and health professionals about the risks of stroke – the nation’s No. 4 killer.

Heart disease is the #1 leading cause of death and the #4 cause of stroke impacting the lives of so many people we care about. This is why we get involved … to make a difference.

Maria Garcia, from Hoffman Auto Group, who lost her father to heart disease and experienced her own heart related issues walked “in my father’s memory, to bring awareness to this great cause, and raise funds toward treatments for the disease.” Maria states, “I plan to have a long and healthy life and be around for those that mean the most to me.”

Frank Pawlowicz, Laura Sears, Maria Garcia, and Teri Vigue

Frank Pawlowicz, Laura Sears, Maria Garcia, and Terri Vigue

Last weekend’s Heart Walk was a great experience and I had a wonderful time with the Hoffman family and friends.  Although heart disease has not impacted my family directly I know people who have been affected,” says Laura Sears,  “Everyone of us needs to get healthy for ourselves and the ones we love.  We are only given one life so we need to preserve that life with healthy eating, regular exercise and quality sleep!”

We encourage you to learn the facts, get involved and partner with the largest voluntary health organization working to prevent, treat and defeat heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases. Find out more about the American Heart Association today


What’s the Wait Time at the DMV? Find Out!

New DMV Mobile App for Connecticut Drivers



Want to know how long the wait is at the CT DMV? Now you can find out with the State of Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles‘ new mobile app.

The new application, CT DMV Mobile app, is meant to give Connecticut drivers more access to the DMV information they need most: DMV branch locations, AAA offices, service listings, and wait times. There’s also info on the app to help prepare teen drivers (and their parents) for taking the learner’s permit test. It’s providing over 60 actual test questions and answers and a prep quiz for parents.

DMV Commissioner Melody A. Currey said in a press release,“This is another in our steps for making DMV easy to use. Now people can find essential information – offices and locations and wait times – while on the go with their phones or tablets. And for those needing to take the written test, we offer easy access to real test questions so they are prepared.”

The free download can be gotten from iTunesGoogle Play, or the DMV website.

Matthew Hoffman Joined Panel at HBJ Connecticut Family Business Awards 2014


On Thursday, October 9, 2014, The Connecticut Family Business Awards 2014 celebrated 31 finalists for their outstanding achievements. All of the finalists were nominated as a result of their expansions, growth in the market, and major projects fulfilled. Hoffman Auto Group was proud to be nominated and win in 2013 so it was with great pleasure Matthew Hoffman, Vice President, accepted the invitation to participate in the panel discussion this year. Joining Matthew on the panel were Adam Schwartz of S&S Worldwide and Paul Cordilico from Capitol Transmission & Auto Care, all young leaders of multigenerational companies. The panelists were asked to provide their insights regarding challenges and opportunities they see for the next generation.

Recognizing challenges are opportunities for growth, learning and improvement, Matthew emphasized the importance of having a grasp on the ever-changing landscape of technology, social media and online presence, which impacts businesses at every level. Reflecting back to his early years with Hoffman Auto Group as a service lot attendant, parts truck driver, and sales person, Matthew discussed the value of understanding every role within your company. He worked his way through various positions and is grateful for the exposure to varied roles as it provides opportunity for more meaningful connection with employees as well pioneer changes to continually improve productivity. He went on to discuss the importance of having the right people in the right jobs. By training dedicated employees and providing growth opportunities for their career it improves retention of your highly valued members of the team.

Adam Schwartz emphasized the importance of continually educating yourself. He recommended staying immersed in your industry as well as thinking like an owner as you approach every day. Both Adam and Paul Cordilico acknowledged the importance of humility and seeking a connection with mentors outside of the company. There is value to be gained through solid business expertise coming from a different perspective, providing insights and advice as you continue in your leadership role.

IMG_8758The final topic presented thoughts on philosophies of the new generation. Both Matthew and Adam noted the importance of an aggressive stance in the marketplace and staying abreast of technological and internet advances. The new culture has witnessed a steady increase and reliance on the internet so it is critical to stay ahead of the curve. Matthew Hoffman’s final remarks highlighted a timeless and honorable perspective he first learned from his grandfather, Burton C. Hoffman, and echoed by his father, Jeffrey S. Hoffman, relating to conducting business … It is through “hard work, perseverance, integrity and honesty” as well as a commitment to the community around us that we achieve success.
Congratulations to all of the winners and finalists of the 2014 Connecticut Family Business Awards. To learn more about the finalists and see event photos please visit