See You Later Tailgater

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Today’s Three Seconds: Dealing with Tailgaters

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Summer break will soon be coming to an end and children will be returning to school. As school hours return so does the morning traffic. You might notice more tailgating occurring as people rush to get their kids to school and try to make it to work on time. Tailgating is not only dangerous but also illegal, not to mention that it is also a form of reckless driving. If you notice that you are being tailgated, make sure to remain calm and allow more space in front of you. This can help give you more time to slow down if there is a problem up ahead, lowering the chances of being rear-ended. If you are able to move over to the next lane do so. Drivers who tailgate are impatient and the best way to avoid the situation getting worse is to just let them go ahead. Tailgating can be deadly if it leads to an accident. Losing a few minutes of your life is better than losing your life in a few minutes!

Winter Driving

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Today’s Three Seconds: Tire Pressure During Winter

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When the cold of winter comes, it’s important to check your tire pressure. While nobody wants to check their tire pressure outside in the cold, it’s important to do so since cold air reduces the air pressure in your tires. Low tire pressure can be extremely dangerous. When your tire pressure is low, it can lead to a blowout, increase braking time, and also reduce your tire life. When temperatures are colder than usual your tire pressure can drop about 1 – 2 pounds per square inch for every 10℉ in temperature change. So this winter make sure to take a few extra seconds to check your tires for your safety and the safety of others. Stay warm and stay safe!

Poor Vision

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Today’s Three Seconds: Night Blindness

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Compensate for poor night vision by slowing down.  This gives you time to identify a potential hazard in your headlights and react to avoid it by stopping in time.  Also, avoid looking directly into the headlights of an approaching vehicle. Instead, guide your car by looking at the road markers on the right-hand side of the road.

*This traffic safety topic is covered in our 8-hour California Traffic School course for traffic tickets.  If you need traffic school to keep a moving violation off your driving record, sign up today at https://www.trafficschool.com/california/california-traffic-school/?source=blog_07302021

Parking Safety

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Today’s Three Seconds: Parking on a Hill

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When parking on a hill or steep incline, it is important to take the necessary steps to ensure that your vehicle doesn’t roll into the flow of traffic. If you are parking next to a curb facing uphill, turn your front tires away from the curb, then gently let your vehicle roll back so your front tire is touching the curb. In all other hill parking scenarios (downhill with curb, uphill without curb, and downhill without curb), turn your front tires towards the curb or side of the road.  Always set your parking brake. It is separate from your regular braking system, so both systems don’t fail at the same time. Also, leave your vehicle in gear if you have a standard transmission (stick-shift), or in “park” position if it is an automatic. Remember, the goal when parking on a steep hill is to make sure your vehicle doesn’t roll into other traffic, potentially causing a collision.

Intersection Safety

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Today’s Three Seconds: Judging Time to Make a Maneuver

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Judging time to make a maneuver requires you to estimate the distance and speed of other vehicles, and then proceed when you believe you have enough time to execute the maneuver safely. Whenever you drive in city traffic, you should always look a block ahead. It takes approximately 10 to 15 seconds to travel one block. If you are traveling on a highway with several lanes, or on a divided highway, check for vehicles in all lanes that you have to cross. Don’t forget to look for smaller bicyclists and motorcyclists and check crosswalks for pedestrians. You should cross or turn only after you have determined that you can complete the movement safely without impeding other road users.

REAL ID Deadline Extension

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Today’s Three Seconds: More Time to Get REAL ID

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With people being encouraged to stay home to slow the spread of the Coronavirus, the Department of Homeland Security has extended the REAL ID enforcement deadline by one year. REAL ID enforcement will now begin October 1, 2021. In a statement issued on March 26, 2020, Chad Wolf, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security, expressed, “Extending the deadline will also allow the Department to work with Congress to implement needed changes to expedite the issuance of REAL IDs once the current health crisis concludes.”

A REAL ID is a driver license or identification card that meets minimum security standards and is a federally accepted form of identification. A REAL ID can be used to board flights within the U.S. and enter secure federal facilities. For more information on REAL ID requirements in your state, check with your local department of motor vehicles.

Extra Space

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Today’s Three Seconds: Three-Second PLUS Rule

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Under normal driving conditions, the “Three-Second Rule” works great in determining following distance and should give you plenty of time and space to avoid a collision.  Sometimes, however, you may need to add additional space to the equation, and this is called the “Three-Second PLUS Rule.” Here are some instances when you need to leave extra space and increase your following distance to 4 seconds or more:

  • When visibility is poor.
  • In adverse weather conditions.
  • On poorly paved roads.
  • When following a motorcyclist.
  • When towing a trailer or are carrying a heavy load.
  • When being tailgated.

For a more in-depth look at the 3-Second Rule check out our blog on Following Distance.

Blinded by Light

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Today’s Three Seconds: Sun Glare

3 Second StopDriving in bright sunlight can pose a threat, even more so if your windshield is dirty. Cleaning your windshield (both inside and out) should be done often. In normal daylight conditions, a dirty windshield can reduce your visibility and in high sunlight situations, a dirty windshield can lead to having no visibility at all. If you’re having problems seeing due to sun glare, remember that others on the road are having the same trouble. Leave yourself sufficient following distance and be extra alert.

Road Hazard

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Today’s Three Seconds: Flooded Roadways

3 Second StopExcessive rain can lead to flooded roadways which pose a danger for drivers. Six inches of water on a roadway can impair your car and cause it to stall. Twelve inches of water could cause your vehicle to float. Standing water on the road can hide debris, downed power lines, and sink holes. If at all possible you should attempt to find a different route when you come across a flooded roadway. If you have no other option but to proceed through standing water, then drive very slowly and after you have exited the water, dry your brakes by driving slowly and braking lightly. If you think the water is deeper than six inches, do not attempt to drive through it.

New Law for 2019

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Today’s Three Seconds: Passing Waste Service Vehicles

3 Second StopA new law went into effect January 1, 2019, aimed at providing sanitation workers with more room to safely do their jobs. California Vehicle Code 21761−Passing Waste Service Vehicles requires motorists, when approaching and overtaking a stopped waste service vehicle with its amber lights flashing, to move into an available lane adjacent to the waste service vehicle and pass at a safe distance. If it is not possible to make a lane change, drivers must slow to a safe and reasonable speed.