Handling Dangerous Situations

No time to read a long-winded BLOnG? Welcome to the Three-Second-Stop mini-Blog.

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.

Know Where to Turn

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Today’s Three Seconds: Turn Lane Selection

3 Second StopPart of making a legal and safe turn is ending the turn in the correct lane.

If you are making a right turn, start the turn in the right-most lane and stay in the right lane until you have finished your turn.

If you are making a left turn, start the turn in the left-most lane. You may turn into any available lane if it is safe to do so, but note, if vehicles are also turning right onto the same road, they have the right-of-way into their corresponding lanes.

Intersection Etiquette

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Today’s Three Seconds: Gridlock

3 Second StopDriving in the city has many hazards including traffic. Heavy traffic can lead to gridlocked intersections. As frustrating and tedious as it is to have a green light and no room to move, remember that legally you cannot enter an intersection if you are not able to completely cross before the light turns red. In other words, being stopped in an intersection is a big no-no. The best thing to do in this situation is stay calm and wait your turn safely behind the crosswalk.

911

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Today’s Three Seconds: Emergency Vehicles

3 Second StopWhen an emergency vehicle is approaching with its siren blaring and at least one red light flashing, you must pull over to the right and stop. Just remember to never stop in an intersection. If you are already in the intersection, continue through the intersection and drive to the right as soon as it is safe and stop. If the road is so full that you cannot pull to the right, then you should just stop where you are. The emergency vehicle will go around you.

Too Close for Comfort

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Today’s Three Seconds: Tailgating

3 Second StopTailgating is the #1 cause of rear-end collisions. Also, following too closely is the #1 cause of collisions on the freeway. That’s why it is essential to leave plenty of space between you and the car ahead of you. Riding someone’s bumper is not only rude, it is also dangerous. There is no good reason to ever engage in tailgating so just don’t do it!

Give Big Rigs Their Due

Share the Road

share the roadSemitrailers operate a little differently than your car, so let’s take a moment for a few friendly reminders on sharing the road with large trucks.

Give them extra space in several ways. Don’t cut in front of a large truck. They are heavier and take longer to stop than the average car. You should see the front of the truck in your rearview mirror before moving into the lane. Also, when following a trailer truck the truck’s size can block your view; increase your following distance so that you have more reaction time and room to brake.

Stay out of the truck’s blind spots. Large trucks have large blind spots on all sides. If you can’t see the driver in truck’s side mirror, then the truck driver can’t see you. If you are going to pass a semi, do so quickly and on the left side. Lingering in a truck’s blind spot is dangerous.

Pay close attention to a trucks turn signals. Be aware that rigs need extra room to maneuver turns. They tend to swing wide to execute right turns. Don’t squeeze between the curb and the truck; you could end up getting crunched.

Keep these tips in mind next time you are on the road and remember in a collision with a big rig you’ll find you are the loser.

Go Speed Racer… No!

Risky Business

In 2012 roughly 92 people died in motor vehicle crashes each day according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 30% of these deaths involved speed-related traffic crashes.

Speeding is generally viewed as dangerous driving behavior, but this doesn’t seem to keep 75% of drivers from speeding regularly. The most common forms of speeding are driving too fast for the conditions, driving above the posted speed limit and racing. For every 10 mph over 50 mph that a vehicle travels, the chance of death or serious injury doubles.Speeding Tickets

Most of the time, we are speeding to save time. The truth is we don’t save as much time as we would like to think. If you were traveling at 65 mph over 20 miles instead of 55 mph you would save only about three and a half minutes! And if speeding doesn’t lead to a collision, you may still end up with ticket which is a whole other set of problems to deal with.

So, next time you’re tempted to put the pedal to the medal, ask yourself… “Is it worth it?”

Spring Break with a Plan

Fun, Sun and Safety

For many families it is Spring Break which means it’s time for a family vacation. Here are a few tips to make your travel plans a little safer and less stressful.

road-trip

  • Get a Tune Up. Make sure your car is in good working order before hitting the road.
  • Pack Thoughtfully. Keep safety and economic benefits in mind when you are loading up the family van. Also, prepare for the unexpected by packing an auto safety travel kit with useful items in the event you run into a problem.
  • Research Your Route. Find out before you leave what the road and weather conditions will be like.
  • Don’t Be In a Rush. Allow enough time to get to your destination safely. Planning ahead will help avoid aggressive driving and road rage.
  • Stay Connected. Let a friend or other family member know your travel plans.

All that is left to do now is sit back and enjoy the ride!

Halloween Safety

How Drivers Can Prepare

casper3All motorists need to be EXTRA alert today.  Halloween ranks the highest for the amount of child pedestrian deaths and reports some of the highest holiday- related DUIs and pedestrian deaths overall.  National Safety Council and Trafficschool.com have some quick safety tips for motorists:

Keep an eye out for children who may be darting out from between parked cars and walking on roadways, medians and curbs.  Children can move in unpredictable ways, especially when you add in the excitement of trick-or-treating and overflowing amounts of candy.  Sometimes they are wearing dark clothing or costumes that make them even more difficult to spot later in the evening when it’s darker outside, so drive cautiously.  Always enter and exit driveways and alleys with extra care, and never use your cell phone when you are operating a vehicle.  It’s also a good idea for teens simply not to drive on Halloween night, because there are too many hazards and distractions for inexperienced drivers.  And if you are going to be consuming alcohol, make sure you have a designated driver before you even go out.  Jot down a cab company’s phone number too, and bring it with you, just in case.

Being prepared and informed will help ensure your Halloween is full of fun and not regrets.  So take note, and be sure to remind all your friends and family on how they can have a safe and happy Halloween!

Deceleration Detected

Brake Lights That Warn Other Drivers Of Traffic?

brake_web

This sounds like a great idea, right? I mean, wouldn’t it improve safety issues and lessen the amount of accidents all around the world? Well, Ford thinks so.

Ford has developed an experimental brake light that lets the vehicles behind you know when there’s slow traffic ahead, even if they can’t see your lights.

So how exactly does it work? Well, included in the brake light system is a wireless transmitter that sends a special signal to vehicles that are behind you which then activates a light on their dashboard letting them know that there is some slow traffic ahead, with the intent that they will slow down or take an alternate route if possible.

The feature gives drivers more than enough time to slow down instead of having to unexpectedly slam on the brakes because of bad weather, poor road conditions, or any other circumstances that might cause you or the vehicles behind you to be stuck in traffic; and who wants that?

Although Ford hasn’t officially announced if or when it plans to add the enhanced brake light system into their upcoming models, it is still a giant leap towards vehicle-to-vehicle communications. Sounds like they’re moving in the right direction with this one.