Night Driving

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Today’s Three Seconds: Overdriving Your Headlights

3 Second StopOver half of motor vehicle crashes happen when it is dark out. For this reason we should remind ourselves to be even more aware of our surroundings at night.  An issue to avoid when driving at night is overdriving your headlights. Overdriving your headlights occurs when you cannot stop within the space lighted by your headlights, or in other words, by the time you can see a hazard ahead, you don’t have enough time to stop or respond safely. Instead you should drive at a slow enough speed so that your vision in your headlights is greater or equal to your stopping distance.

Defensive Driving Tip

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Today’s Three Seconds: IPDE Technique

3 Second StopAn essential part of defensive driving is being alert and attentive to your driving environment. At all times when driving, you must be aware of what is happening all around your vehicle, continuously scanning and searching for potential problems that may lead to a collision.

The “IPDE” technique is a four-step system used by drivers to anticipate and avoid collisions. IPDE stands for Identify, Predict, Decide, Execute and simply means:

1. Identify the potential problem.
2. Predict how the potential problem will affect you.
3. Decide what things you can do to avoid the potential problem.
4. Execute the maneuver that best avoids the potential problem.

National Bike Month

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Today’s Three Seconds: Celebrate Cycling

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May is National Bike Month and is sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists.  Bike Month celebrates the many reasons people choose to ride, including health, economic, and environmental benefits.  Bicycling has increased in popularity over the years, which in turn has promoted an increase in public awareness of bicyclist’s safety and rights on the road.  National Bike Month also highlights National Bike to Work Week 2018 (May 14-18) and Bike to Work Day on May 18.  So whether you are a seasoned veteran or new rider, there’s no better time then May to take your bike out for a spin.

Signs and Signals

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Today’s Three Seconds: Using Hand Signals

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Hand signals are something most of us learned when we first got our license and then didn’t think about too much afterwards. However, I do occasionally see a bicyclist sharing the road with me, using hand signals, so I thought it was a good idea to familiarize myself with them once again. Hand signals are also good to know in case your car’s blinkers are ever not working.

Left Turns: Driver’s left arm is extended straight out of the driver’s side window.

Right Turns: Driver’s left arm stretched out of the driver’s side window and bent upward at the elbow, with hand and fingers pointed toward the sky. (It should be noted that bicyclists may indicate a right turn by extending their right arm straight out to the right side of the bicycle.)

Slow or Stop: Driver’s left arm stretched out of the driver’s side window and bent downward at the elbow, with hand and fingers pointed toward the road.

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.