Anyone who has been driving cars for a while will vouch for the fact that driving in the rainy season is quite different from doing so in dry weather. When taking your car out on a rainy day, it is very likely that its tires will lose their grip on the road. Your vision will be dramatically affected as well. It becomes difficult to see other vehicles and read the road-safety signs. Getting a clear view of the road also becomes a challenge.
Other reasons why driving on a wet road is extremely risky is because when the road gets wet, oil and grime that have settled into it rise to the surface, making the road highly greasy and slippery. This makes it difficult to get traction.
Wondering what you can do to ensure safe rides this monsoon? Here are few tips for that.
- Drive Slow
One of the easiest and the most effective ways of preventing an accident on a slippery road is by driving slowly. Reducing speed ensures that a greater amount of the tire’s tread makes contact with the surface of the road, thereby giving you better traction. Keeping your pace steady, avoiding speeding and swerving, and shunning jerky movements at the time of braking, accelerating or turning will also be helpful.
- Keep Your Distance
You will do well to maintain a considerable distance from the vehicle in front of you as a safety measure. It takes a longer time to stop your car on a wet road than a dry one, even if your tires are of the highest quality and intended for being used on wet pavements. Hence, it is best not to drive too closely behind other cars.
Further, keep an eye out for brake lights flashed by the car ahead of you. It is also suggested to turn your headlights on so that other drivers can see you from a distance. Driving without cruise control will also keep you more alert.
- Keep the Lights On
Apart from your car’s headlights, make sure you turn on the lights at the right time. Bear in mind that you need not use fog lamps unless the visibility is very poor. This is because the rear and front fog lamps may distract other drivers. This also applies to the main beam headlamps as their glare can also leave other driver blinded momentarily. Use them as you would under normal circumstances.
- Do This If Your Car kids
So what happens if your car skids on a wet slippery road? Would you instantly start slamming the brakes? While that seems like the right thing to do, avoid doing so. By all means, apply the brakes, but in a firm and a steady manner. If your car has anti-lock brakes, apply more pressure to the brakes but avoid pumping them. Steer in the direction of the skid.
In case there is too much water on the road, your car may end up hydroplaning i.e. the tires of your car might lift away from the surface of the road and float on the water. In such cases, avoid slamming the brakes and gently take the foot off the accelerator. Press the clutch and allow the car to slow down by itself. Keep the steering in the direction of travel.
- Avoid Driving When Tired/Distracted
Driving in wet weather calls for very high levels of alertness, especially when driving in the dark. Hence, it is best to avoid driving if you’re feeling tired. If you must drive, then take regular breaks by pulling up at a safe spot and taking rest.
Apart from that avoid distractions such as using the cellphone, talking, eating, drinking, changing the radio station, turning around to hand items to the passengers in the backseat, playing with your children, and anything else that requires you to take your hands off the wheel.
- Check Your Tires
Driving on a wet road with a defective or a bald tire will make it difficult for you to stay safe. It is recommended that you check your tires for tread wear from time to time. Additionally, get the air pressure checked at least once a month. Ask the car mechanic to rotate the tires as part of the routine maintenance to ensure even wear on all sides.
Needless to say, if you live in a region which experiences a lot of rain, get tires that are designed particularly for slippery road conditions.
- Driving Through a Flood
Keep in mind that driving through a flood can be extremely dangerous and can cause serious damage to your car.
You never know how deep the flood water can be. If you do not see other cars driving through it, play it safe and avoid driving through it as well. The water may be carrying harmful submerged objects, or it could have a strong current which could sweep your car away.
It is always better to take another (safer) route. If you choose to drive through, however, keep the car at the highest point of the road and make sure your path is devoid of other cars through to the other end of the water. Other cars may stop, which would leave you stuck in the water as well.
Drive slowly and steadily as driving too fast might cause your car to hydroplane. Once you’ve built up speed, try not to slow down as that can result in the water flowing back to the radiator grille and getting into the engine or the exhaust pipe. Either of these can cause heavy and permanent damage to your car.
Once you reach the other end of the flood water, drive out of it carefully and make sure to test your brakes before resuming your journey.
Come rainy season and the roads everywhere are going to be wet and slippery. Driving safely can be challenging as you try to prevent your vehicle’s tires from swerving/slipping. Apart from that, it also becomes difficult for the driver to see the road clearly, and make quick safety-related decisions. However, you can keep danger out of your way by taking necessary and timely precautions. Adhering to the above safe-driving tips should be of immense help when it comes to dealing with wet roads. Do make sure to abide by them and you should be able to put all your wet-road-driving woes behind and stay safe and sound.
Author Bio: Rachel Oliver specializes in laws dealing with traffic defense and related niches. Updated with the latest happenings in the legal world, she shares her experiences and anecdotes through her write-ups on various websites. Interact with her through her Google+.
Written by Social Monsters
When we think about road trips, the risk of potential hazards and safety issues rarely come to mind. Instead, we think about all of the fun we will be having driving across the country with our families. But there is a risk. Today, new technology is being used to keep drivers safer on the roads. Here’s some of today’s top tech to consider for your next road trip.
Never Lose Service, Even in Remote Areas
Oftentimes road trips take us through remote parts of the country, where cellphone service is non-existent. The small problems caused by lack of cellphone service like not having a solid connection to play Pandora or Spotify or not being able to update your status on Facebook are not as bad as what can potentially happen without service. If you experience an emergency out on the road in a remote area you won’t be able to call for help. Having a satellite phone in your driving safety kit is smart. Roadpost offers a wide range of satellite phones, including Iridium phones. These phones rely on 66 low, Earth-orbiting satellites that operate as a completely meshed network. A study conducted by Frost & Sullivan found that the Iridium network has the best call completion rates and quality when compared to competitors. In fact, it’s so reliable the U.S. military uses Iridium phones to communicate.
Apps That Predict Road Conditions
Driving in new areas can be potentially hazardous. From not knowing the conditions or simply not knowing if the roads take a twist or turn, driving in new territories can pose a number of safety risks. However, you can stay safe by using an app that alerts you of road and traffic conditions in real-time. Download the world’s largest community-based navigation and traffic app, Waze, to stay safe on the road. Waze will alert you of any accidents, traffic jams and road hazards before you approach them. Additionally, Waze can help you save on gas, too. The app will steer you in the right direction to help you find the cheapest gas prices on your road trip. Remember, don’t use apps and drive, instead have a passenger navigate the app for you. The Waze app is available on Google Play and Apple’s App Store.
Driver Night Vision
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), reports that 49 percent of fatal accidents happen at night. And according to data fromAuto Liv, the risk of an accident is nearly four times greater at night than in the daytime. That’s why the safety technology company created a night vision system that can help drivers navigate the roads safely after dark. The company believes that headlights aren’t enough, as they only illuminate up to a distance of 44 yards ahead of a vehicle. Anything past this point is rarely seen by the driver. Hazards like fallen rocks or even animals like deer can cause serious harm to your family and heavy damage to your vehicle. The night vision system uses infrared technology to detect hazards up to three times farther than the standard range of headlights, giving drivers more time to react. The sensor is mounted to the vehicle’s grill, if something is detected, the object is highlighted in yellow on an in-cab screen that can be seen by the driver. If the object is in the vehicle’s path, the object will turn red, alerting the driver of the risk. You can avoid accidents by using a night vision system on your next road trip.
By Guest Author: Rachel Oliver
Driving at night can not only be bothersome, but also dangerous. It can be challenging as managing the wheel after dark is different from doing so in the day. Vision is reduced and it becomes difficult to spot vulnerable pedestrians, motorcyclists, cyclists and other motorists on the road. Apart from that, there is also the fear of the driver falling asleep behind the wheel and endangering several lives at once, including his own.
Most drivers think that it is extremely safe to drive at night, thanks to the reduced traffic. Owing to this misconception, these drivers tend to be unaware of the challenges of driving at night, not realizing that they’re probably sharing the road with those less responsible.
Here’s why driving at night is more dangerous than you think –
- Decrease in visibility, color recognition and depth perception are a few effects brought about by darkness. Apart from that, the peripheral vision is also compromised. Because of this, pedestrians, cyclists, bikers, and other vehicles often go undetected by motorists and vice versa.
- Several inexperienced and young drivers drive post sundown. They typically lack the skills and the level of concentration which come only with experience.
- We all know that the elderly tend to have a weak vision and need adequate light to be able to see properly. Driving in the dark can lead to a further decrease in the ability to judge speed and distance.
- Bars and pubs tend to be thronged with people at night, several of who return home late in their car or on foot and in an inebriated state.
- Going back home after a hard day of work and sharing the road with other fatigued drivers who may have travelled long distances can be risky.
- In certain areas, there is a risk of wildlife venturing on the roads in case of broken or removed fences.
- Criminals choose to step out in the open under the umbrella of darkness. They often victimize unsuspecting people by placing objects amidst the road to cause crashes and rob the passengers.
The best way to avoid the perils of night-time driving is by choosing not to drive once it becomes dark, and using more reliable modes of transport when partaking in long journeys. However, we do realize that it may not always be possible to put off late-night travels for daytime or better weather.
Mentioned ahead are a few tips on how to drive safely post sundown.
- Prepare in Advance
Being prepared to deal with the situation can go a long way in ascertaining your safety. When gearing up for night driving, it is important that you clean your headlights, taillights, indicator lights, and all the mirrors. Apart from that, keep your windows clean on the inside and the outside. Make it a practice to do so once every week.
- Of Horns and Headlights
Make sure the horn and the headlights of your car are in proper working condition. Honk whenever necessary to keep out of trouble. Avoid honking in silent-zones, though.
Care needs to be taken to see to it that your headlights are aimed properly. Misaligned headlights can blind other drivers and hamper your ability to see the road. It is best to keep your headlights on at all times when driving at night. This will help you see the road, as well as enable others to spot you from a distance, thereby avoiding collisions and mishaps.
When traveling through fog or driving behind another vehicle, keep your headlights on low. This will prevent your headlights from blinding the driver ahead of you. To eliminate glare from oncoming headlights, watch the right edge of the road and use it as a steering guide.
- No Drinking and/or Smoking
Driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs or certain medications which warn against operation vehicles after consumption is to be strictly avoided. The rule of thumb is simple – don’t drink and drive. Even one drink can prove to be hazardous as it may make you drowsy.
Having said that, be alert when driving at night on weekends as that is when most people visit pubs and go to parties and consume alcohol.
Further, avoid smoking when you drive. The nicotine and carbon monoxide from the smoke can not only make you cough, it can also hamper night vision, thereby increasing the likelihood of being involved in a mishap.
- Mind Your Speed
When driving at night, it is important to keep your speed low and maintain a considerable following distance to avoid an accident.
In some areas, wildlife wanders on to the streets at night. Certain animals such as deer travel in herds, which can prove to be hazardous. If you happen to come across one animal, reduce the speed of your vehicle immediately as there’s a high chance that more are around.
- Keep Your Distance
It is difficult to estimate distances at night. Hence, you need to maintain a considerable distance from the vehicle ahead of you. As already mentioned, switch to low beams to avoid blinding the driver, and look towards the right edge of the road to avoid glare. This cannot be emphasized enough.
Look out for oncoming traffic and pay attention to headlight flashes when approaching hills or steep curves.
- Pull Over When Necessary
Do not hesitate in pulling over to the side of the road and making frequent stops to eat light snacks and stretch your limbs. This will only make you more alert when on a long road trip.
Additionally, pull off as far away as possible from the road if you experience car trouble. Turn on your vehicle’s indicators, emergency lights and the inner dome light. Stay in the car until help arrives.
- Have Your Eyes Examined
Most drivers experience eye fatigue due to long hours of driving, but choose to ignore it. Doing so, however, isn’t prudent. It is important to stop and rest or take a nap every few hours in between long drives.
It is best to visit your optometrist and have your eyes examined once a year. If you have vision problems only at night, a pair of simple glasses with anti-reflective lenses can be helpful.
Driving at night can be a necessary evil at times. It should be avoided as far as possible, but when it just cannot be evaded, keep the above tips in mind when hitting into the road. They should prepare you and your vehicle for the journey ahead, as well as enable you to steer clear of obvious troubles.
Author Bio: Rachel Oliver specializes in laws dealing with traffic defense and related niches. Updated with the latest happenings in the legal world, she shares her experiences and anecdotes through her write-ups on various websites. Interact with her through her Google+
Few things are scarier than being in your car knowing that you lack the ability to help yourself in the case of an accident. Taking extra safety measures is imperative in today’s era of modern vehicles and frequent high-speed travel. Newer car models have safety features like side-impact airbags and sensors that let you know when your air pressure is too low, but there is other safety equipment that could help if you ended up in a dangerous situation on the road.
It’s critical to be able to phone emergency services if your car is disabled. Imagine that you blow out a tire and go careening into a ditch in the middle of the night. Your smartphone could be destroyed in the collision, or you may not be able to get a signal. In this case, satellite phones go beyond the limitations of basic wireless phones because they work through satellites instead of cell towers, meaning they can work in remote locations. The devices tether your vehicle to emergency services via a global-positioning link, and you are a guaranteed signal to make a call. In a story for CNET, Daniel Terdiman explains that satellite phones provide a crystal clear signal, even in a remote desert location.
Roadside Emergency Kits
Preparing an emergency kit to stash in the trunk of your vehicle could make a huge difference should you ever face the daunting situation of being stuck, especially in an unfamiliar or remote area.
According to Consumer Reports, you’ll need a tire gauge, jack and lug wrench, jumper cables, flares, a flashlight and a first-aid kit. These items can “aid you in getting help, signaling your car’s presence to other motorists, and tackling simple challenges.” The article suggests additional items for long-distance driving such as extra clothes, food and water, and different supplies for winter driving such as a blanket, small shovel and cat litter for slick surfaces. Also, a cell phone or satellite phone is atop the list because even if you have roadside assistance, you will need a phone to contact any sort of help.
Devices to Cut Glass and Seat Belts
After many accidents the doors are unable to open, and you might have to break free. However, doing so could injure you further. Devices like resqme can help motorists avoid this problem.
Resqme is a portable device that attaches to your keychain, and “pulls double duty as both a seat-belt cutter and window breaker,” according to Cars.com. It retails for less than $15 so it’s an easy purchase.
These days, there’s no excuse to not be hands-free in the car. Fumbling with your phone for a navigation app or playing with your in-dash system can lead to a sudden accident on the road. Portable GPS devices are very useful for most vehicular travel, and range from $128 to $330, based on the desired features, says Top Ten Reviews. This type of technology can help you find the nearest gas station, avoid being needlessly lost in unfamiliar places and prevent you from getting stranded.
WRITTEN BY SOCIAL MONSTERS
“Hello. My name is Brad and I’m a volunteer firefighter/EMT for a rural area fire department in North Carolina. Several months ago, I saw the Resqme on YouTube and thought it was worth a buy. I attached it to my key ring and it has stayed there since. That is, until yesterday.
Our fire department got a call for a motor vehicle accident with a pin-in. I arrived on scene about 5 minutes later, geared up and went to work. The patient inside the car was in bad condition and trapped very badly. All 4 doors on the vehicle were jammed shut, preventing us from getting to the patient. As a few of the other firefighters braced the car, my lieutenant ordered me to bust the windows so that we could get to the patient inside. Knowing that time was of the essence, I started towards our fire truck to find a tool to break the glass when I remembered the Resqme on my key ring in my truck. I retrieved it and ran back to the wrecked vehicle where I used it to bust the windows we needed to gain access to the patient (without sending the end of a harmful tool inside the vehicle). Thus helping in our overall safety and extraction of the patient.
The Resqme proved itself invaluable yesterday as it helped us save valuable time and increase safety in extricating our patient. I will be buying several more in the near future for my gear as well will my fellow firefighters on the department.
Your tool really made a difference in my ability to do my job. I’m grateful. I’ll attach a few photos of me with my resqme.
Thanks again, Brad. “
By Guest Author: Paul Colley
Car crashes are one of the leading causes of death of people between the ages of 15 to 20 years in the U.S. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, car accidents cause 36 percent of “all deaths in this age group
A study conducted by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and State Farm Insurance in April 2011 analyzed over 800 crashes that involved teen drivers. It found that 75 percent of accidents were caused by teen driver error.
Teens & Car Accidents: Causes & Consequences
The following three common errors account for almost half of these crashes:
- Teens failed to survey the road ahead to detect and/or respond to hazards
- Driving too fast
- They were distracted by items inside and outside of the car
It is no surprise that parents often hesitate to hand over the car keys to their teenagers. If you are letting your teenager drive, make sure they are aware of and follow safe driving techniques to keep themselves safe on the road. Every teen driver can be subject to legal proceedings for driving or speeding carelessly. The situation gets worse if it is a case of driving under the influence
U.S. laws related to driving under the influence are strict and many state laws have zero tolerance for minors and alcohol. For example, driving under the influence in Texas will delay your teen’s driving privileges for 180 days (minor offense) and up to 2 years in the case of second or subsequent offenses. In addition to the suspended driving privileges, there are significant fines and classes that must be taken in order to get back your driving privileges.
The punishment is more severe with second or subsequent offenses and would likely include additional fines, court costs, and legal fees. That would be the best case, because more often than not, if a third party is involved and has sustained an injury on the account of an inebriated teen’s reckless driving behavior, there will be the added headache of fighting a skilled Austin personal injury attorney who will be fighting hard to secure the rights and privileges of the victim in the case.
Safety Measures: Let Technology Save the Day
The good news is parents can now monitor how their teen is driving thanks to technological developments. You can prevent your teens from speeding, encourage them to ignore the distractions on the road, and better protect them from a car crash. There are many safety gadgets available today that can provide a safer experience for your teens behind the wheel, helping them avoid car crashes.
Here are a few gadgets worth considering.
Hyundai’s Blue Link System
The 2012 Hyundai Sonata, Veloster and Sonata Hybrid come with the Blue Link telematic system. It automatically calls for help if there is a crash. Better yet, Hyundai’s Blue Link System alerts parents if their teens engage in unsafe behavior when driving. It also allows parents to better control the movement of their teens. For example, the Geo-Fence feature allows you to set boundaries beyond which your teen driver cannot go with the car. You can also set exclusionary boundaries for areas you do want your teen driver to go.
Another feature highly touted by parents is the curfew alerts feature. You can set the alert if you don’t want your teenaged son/daughter to drive the car after 11 P.M or even midnight. If they do, you will be immediately notified by text message, a phone call or email. Last but not least, the Blue Link system allows you to set speed alerts. If your teen driver crosses a particular speed limit, the system will contact you.
This system reduces the chances of your teens engaging in risky behavior behind the wheel.
Ford’s MyKey System
Ford’s MyKey system is standard on most Lincoln and Ford models. Using a programmable key, this system allows parents to control the way their teenage son or daughter drives. You can use this key to set a speed limit as well as limit the stereo volume. Better yet, there is an option that allows you to keep the sound system from turning on unless everyone inside the car has fastened their seatbelts. A sound also chimes as soon as the car speed reaches 45, 55 and 65 mph.
In addition, the MyKey system comes with optional hands-free control for cell phones. It can even read text messages automatically to the driver or block them altogether.
This is a very useful Android and iPhone app that helps you keep your teen driver safe behind the wheel. Using the GPS of the driver’s phone, this app determines the prevailing local text message and hands-free laws, and also alerts your teen drivers so they can comply. The best part of this app is that it not only reminds your teen drivers not to text, but also rewards them for following safe driving techniques.
Your teen driver can start earning rewards after 500 miles of safe driving. Rewards are given in forms of points, which can be translated into $5 worth of gift cards at various leading retailers such as Macy’s and Amazon.
This system from Mercedes-Benz is available in all 2013 model-year cars. Common features include speeding alerts and geo-fencing to give parents better control of the way their teens drive. It also comes with a “breadcrumbs” feature known as a Driving Journal. It tracks the records of where and how your car has been driven.
Mercedes-Benz mbrace2 allows you to generate a travel history that appears on an online map. Using the geo-fencing feature, parents can set up 15 geographical locations where their teens are not allowed to take the car.
These safety gadgets come in handy in the time of need. Teen drivers are prone to accidents and gifting your son or daughter a safety device can help him or her stay safe. Installing a safety device or an app is not enough; you also need to set rules and work collaboratively with your teens. Working with your teen and using the necessary safety gadgets will go a long way in helping him or her become a safer driver.
Paul Colley is an attorney at Colley & Colley, LLP based in Austin, Texas. With his expertise in handling personal injury cases, Paul has recovered more than $50 million for clients and helped personal injury victims fight for their rights.