Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Safety Seminar #2

Please note: I have been collecting and reviewing vehicle and driving safety tips to help my daughter as she works toward getting her driver's license. The information I share is from my own experience and research. I hope you find these tips useful and as a spark to learn even more about vehicle safety.

Driving in the rain

Trajectory: Path of a projectile or other moving body through space.
hydroplaning: loss of steering or braking control when a layer of water prevents direct contact between a vehicle and the surface of the road.

Prepare for inclement weather:
1. Keep a clean, soft cloth in the glove box to wipe the inside of your windshield.
2. Keep your tires properly inflated. This will help provide traction and save you money on gas. (Really!)
3. Replace/Rotate tires as needed.
4. Check/Replace wiper blades as needed.
5. Keep windshield washer fluid filled. This is important if you happen to get stuck behind a large vehicle that may throw back dirt and mud.

Things to remember:
1. Before you head out into inclement weather, check the news. Watch for warnings, flood advisories, and traffic issues.
2. Take a look at your tires before you pull out of the driveway. Your tires are the only part of your car that actually touches the road. (Hopefully.) You can have every safety feature ever invented, but if you don't have good tires, those little wiper blades on your headlights won't make a difference.
3. Turn on your headlights. Not only will this increase your visibility, it will make your car more visible to other drivers.
4. Watch for road hazards. Rainy roadways are only part of the problem, high winds can blow obstructions such as tree branches into your path.
5. Slow down.
6. Keep a greater than usual distance between you and the car in front of you.
7. Watch for cars entering and exiting the road. Water tends to pool along the side of the road, increasing the risk that other drivers might hydroplane. Be ready to stop.
8. If your car begins to hydroplane, do NOT slam on the brakes or jerk the wheel. Let off the gas and slowly turn your wheels in the direction of the skid. If your car is sliding to the right, slowly turn your steering wheel to the right.

Here is the most important thing to remember! (You can see it's important because I used an exclamation point.)

Never ever ever EVER try to cross a flooded section of road.
According to FEMA (http://www.fema.gov/areyouready/flood.shtm)
1. 6 inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars causing loss of control and possible stalling.
2. One foot of water will float most vehicles.
3. Two feet of water can carry away most vehicles including sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and pick-ups.

Please share this information with your teen driver. And remember: Buckle up!

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