No Tricks Just Treats

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Today’s Three Seconds: Halloween Safety

3 Second StopAccording to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “October 31st is one of the most dangerous nights of the year because of the deadly combination of alcohol and increased pedestrian traffic.” When you are out driving this Halloween be extra vigilant; slow down and stay alert, especially in areas pedestrians are likely to be. Things to look out for:

  • Small children that may dart into the street
  • Pedestrians in dark clothing
  • Party-goers walking while intoxicated
  • Stopped vehicles that may be unloading passengers

Turning Left? There’s a Blinker for That

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Today’s Three Seconds: Signals: The Unsung Hero of the Highways

3 Second StopSignal Lamps, when used properly, tell other drivers that you plan to turn or to change lanes. Use your signals at least 100 feet prior to making a turn and activate your turn signal at least 5 seconds before changing lanes to allow other drivers to adjust their actions accordingly. When you are turning at an intersection, be very careful not to signal too early if there are other places to turn before the intersection. Another driver may think you intend to turn somewhere else, and could pull out in front of you.

Changing Time

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Today’s Three Seconds: Daylight Saving Time Begins

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Daylight saving time begins at 2:00 AM Sunday, March 12, which means we’ll move our clocks forward and lose an hour of sleep. The change in time can put our bodies off-kilter and it can take a few days to adapt. Be careful of drowsiness that could affect your driving ability and how you react to road and traffic conditions.

New Phone Restrictions While Driving

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Today’s Three Seconds: California AB 1785 Effective Jan. 1, 2017

navigation-13 Second StopBeginning today, the rules as to how drivers can use a smartphone and other handheld devices just got a whole lot stricter. Besides not being able to write or read texts by hand, it is now illegal to “hold and operate” a handheld wireless telephone or electronic communications device for any reason while driving. Bottom line: If a driver in CA still wants to use a phone while driving, they can’t be holding it in-hand. Now the device must be mounted or affixed to the vehicle’s windshield, dashboard or center console without obstructing the view of the road, and the driver may only use a single swipe or tap of the finger to operate a function or feature on the device.

Note: This new law does not apply to manufacturer-installed systems that are embedded in a vehicle.

Learn more at https://www.dmv.ca.gov/.

Handling Dangerous Situations

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Today’s Three Seconds: Driving Off of the Pavement

3 Second StopIf you ever find yourself in a situation where your wheels go off the pavement onto a soft shoulder, remain calm and follow these simple steps:

  • Hold the steering wheel firmly
  • Take your foot off the gas pedal
  • Gently apply your brakes
  • Check for traffic coming behind you
  • When the coast is clear, soothingly steer yourself back onto the road

Avoid slamming on the brakes and swerving back to your lane right away. There is a good chance that you will lose control of your car and end up hitting something or someone on the opposite side of the road.

Driving Under the Influence

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Today’s Three Seconds: Prescription Drugs

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Long story short, drugs can affect your driving whether they are prescription, over-the-counter or otherwise. Some side effects can affect depth perception, speed perception, coordination, reaction time and vision, all of which are critical to driving. Go over your medications with your doctor and/or pharmacist and be sure to read the warning labels to find out how your medications will affect your driving.

Inclement Weather

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Today’s Three Seconds: Fog

3 Second StopIf there is dense fog, it is best not to drive at all, but if you must, please remember:

If you are having a hard time seeing the road and vehicles, other drivers are having a hard time seeing you as well. Turn on your low beam headlights to increase your visibility; your high beams can easily reflect in foggy conditions and impair your visibility further.

Slow down and watch your speedometer; fog can create a visual illusion of slow motion when you may actually be going much faster.

Use the right edge of the road or painted road markings as a guide.

Also, it is a good idea to drive with the driver-side window rolled down a little. If there is going to be a problem, such as a car crash up the road, you might be able to hear it long before you can see it.

If visibility is so bad that you cannot see the road ahead, pull as far off the road as possible and turn on your emergency flashers.

Slip Risk

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Today’s Three Seconds: Freshly Wet Roads

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As you may already know, wet roads require extra care when driving. However, were you aware that many roads are the most slippery when it first starts to rain, particularly if it hasn’t rained in a long time? When rain first begins to fall, the accumulated oil on the road will be loosened and mixed with the water, making it even slicker than after it has been raining for a while.

Lights Out

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Today’s Three Seconds: Traffic Signal Blackout

3 Second StopIf a power outage occurs and all the traffic signals are not working properly, proceed with caution and handle the intersection as you would an intersection with All-Way STOP signs. Remember your right of way protocol. If you and another vehicle on a cross street arrive at the intersection at the same time, then the vehicle on the left must let the vehicle to the immediate right go first.

Save Gas… Check Your Tires

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Today’s Three Seconds: Proper Tire Inflation

3 Second StopKeeping your tires properly inflated will save you money. The average vehicle will get three to four miles more per gallon when the tires are properly inflated. By checking the pressure of your tires regularly, about once a week, you’ll not only reduce the chances of a blowout, you’ll also save money at the gas pump. Proper tire maintenance is one easy way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, cut your vehicle’s fuel consumption, and lower the risk of an accident, all at the same time. It’s simple, economical, environmentally friendly and smart.