No time to read a long-winded BLOnG? Welcome to the Three-Second-Stop mini-Blog.
Today’s Three Seconds: Three Feet for Safety Act
As of September 16, 2014, the Three Feet for Safety Act (California Vehicle Code 21760) went into effect. This law concerns motorists sharing the road with bicyclists. If you are in a motor vehicle traveling the same direction as a bicyclist, you may not pass the bicyclist “at a distance of less than three feet between any part of the motor vehicle and any part of the bicycle or its operator.” If it is not safe to pass a bicyclist due to the traffic or road conditions, be sure to slow down and follow at a safe distance until you are able to safely pass them. If you fail to follow this new law, you could be fined $35; and if a collision occurs “causing bodily injury to the operator of the bicycle” you could be fined $220.
Vehicle Control and Recovery
Driving too fast for road and weather conditions can result in loss of car control. In today’s blog we will discuss what to do should you hydroplane or have a fishtail skid.
Hydroplaning occurs when you travel too fast on a wet road causing water to build up between your tires and the road. When you lose contact with the road you no longer have control of the car.
When you begin to hydroplane, do not slam on the brakes. Take your foot off the accelerator to gradually slow down, allowing your tires to regain contact with the road and restore vehicle control. Abrupt actions, like braking or yanking the steering wheel, can make the skid worse by putting your car into a spin.
A fishtailing skid is when the rear end of your car begins to slide back and forth because your back wheels lose traction with the ground. If you encounter a fishtailing skid you should:
- Take your foot of the gas pedal.
- Remain calm and keep a firm, steady grip on the steering wheel.
- Turn the steering wheel in the direction you want your vehicle to go.
- Try steering only enough to stop the skid, but you may need to counter-steer until you have regained control of the car.
Also, in both situations, if you are driving a car with manual transmission, the clutch should be disengaged when you take your foot off the accelerator.