With springtime in full swing and the winter weather long gone, you might think driving will be a bit easier. However, spring driving comes with it’s own hazards that you’ll want to watch for. Being mindful of these risks will help keep you safe and enjoy the spring weather while on the road…
Spring Driving: What To Watch For
Rain & floods
If winter is a time for snow, then spring is a time for rain. Springtime rain will make the roads wet and slippery, making your spring driving much more dangerous. Rain itself accounts for almost 50% of weather-related accidents. This rain could even cause flooding, which could completely block off roads and water-log your car. That’s why it’s important to know how to handle this kind of weather. You’ll want to watch your speed and give plenty of following distance when driving in the rain. This will allow you to slow down and stop safely as well, preventing potential hydroplaning. If the rain really bad, it’s probably best to just stay off the roads until it passes.
Road wear & tear
Winter weather can cause some serious damage to roads. Ice can cause cracks and holes to form in the asphalt, which remain well after the ice is gone. Snowplows, salt, and sand can also tear up the roads, causing potholes and other problems. As a result, your spring driving could be taking place on some pretty worn-out roads. Due to these less-than-ideal roads, you’ll want to pay extra attention to the roads ahead. Try to be on the look for any potholes or cracks which could cause problems for you. If you can, try to avoid these hazards. When you can’t, slow down and drive over them slowly to avoid serious damage to your tires and suspension.
Spring also brings about some increased activity on the roads. Bikers, cyclists, and even animals will be much more common on the roads now. That’s why you’re going to want to be extra attentive when doing your spring driving. Make sure to share the roads properly, and avoid any distractions which could lead to accidents.
Despite a recent decrease, biking still remains quite popular in America. Because of this, it’s important for drivers to know how to handle cyclist safety. Knowing how to properly share the road can make things safer for both you and the cyclists….
Cyclist Safety: How To Share The Road
Keep your eyes open
Bike riders can sometimes be hard to spot on the road. This is especially true if you’re trying to check for them in your mirrors. Due to the fact that they aren’t as big as cars, they can slip into your blind spots pretty easily. This is why a large part of cyclist safety is keeping an eye out for them.
Make sure to fully check behind and beside you when you’re turning or switching lanes. Also, pay extra attention at intersections or when parallel parking on the street. Double check that a cyclist isn’t coming when you open your car door too!
Reduce your speed
Of course, cyclists can’t go as fast as cars. This means that being stuck behind a bike rider is often a point of frustration for drivers. However, it’s important for proper cyclist safety that you slow down when approaching one on the road.
Slowing down when getting near a cyclist does two things. One, it lets the biker know they don’t have to worry about you potentially hitting them. The other thing it does is alert drivers behind you that there’s something they need to be aware about. This prevents them from trying to speed up or go around and potentially cause an accident.
Pass when appropriate
It’s important to think of cyclists as you would other drivers. That means you should only try to pass them when it’s safe to do so. Trying to quickly pass them can just cause huge risks for them, you, and other drivers. Make sure there is plenty of space between you and the cyclist before attempting to pass. If you’re on a two-lane road, make sure there aren’t any other cars coming down the opposite way as well. Additionally, pass cyclists slowly to avoid causing them to lose balance and to avoid accidentally clipping them. Cyclist safety should be a priority on the roadway for
In the United States, distracted driving is the cause of over 1,000 accidents every day. In fact, many drivers aren’t aware of the different ways that they can get distracted on the road. Knowing the different ways a driver can be distracted can help one make sure they take the proper steps to fully focus when driving….
Distracted Driving: Cognitive, Visual, and Manual
The three types
Distracted driving comes in three different forms: cognitive, visual, and manual. Cognitive is when a driver’s mind isn’t focused on driving. Visual is when the driver is look at things other than the road. Finally, manual is when the driver has one or both hands off the steering wheel. Even the simplest things can cause one or a combination of these distractions. Talking to a friend, checking a GPS or reaching for something can all cause these distractions. Additionally, texting and driving is so dangerous because it combines all three at once.
Understand the risks
Each form of distracted driving comes with risks. Mental distraction increases the chance of making mistakes and accidents. Visual distractions can prevent you from seeing changes on the road. Manual distractions can cause you to not react to these changes in time. All of these increase the risk for both you and other drivers. Unfortunately, many drivers don’t understand these risks. However, taking your eyes and mind off the road for just a few seconds is all it takes for something to go wrong.
The largest factor for staying safe from distractions is avoiding them in the first place. Turn off your phone and other devices so they can’t potentially distract you. Keep your focus on the road and not on your passengers as well. If something needs your attention, then pull over first. Additionally, there have been many attempts to crack down on distracted driving. 46 states have banned texting and driving, along with heavy penalties for those that do. Many companies have run ads and created programs to encourage drivers to pay attention to the road. Also, insurance companies have begun offering special rewards and rates for drivers who aren’t distracted.
Distracted driving is something all drivers can prevent. Knowing that the road takes priority is important for staying safe on the road. Your phone, food, and other things can wait until your ride is over.
At some time in your driving career, you might have faced a traffic stop or heard people talk about driver’s license points. Some may say they want to avoid them, others might talk about how they need to reduce them. Whatever the case may be, people generally want to avoid points on their license.
Driver’s License Points: What They Mean
What do the points represent?
The amount of driver’s license points you receive depends on the charge. Different charges result in different points. The points add up, and depending on the situation, you can lose your license.
- Two Points — In order to receive two driver’s license points, your violation could be going ten miles per hour or less over the legal speed limit. Other basic violations of traffic laws could have a two point penalty.
- Three — Careless driving, improper passing, and going eleven to fifteen miles per hour over the speed limit could result in three driver’s license points. Failure to stop for a school bus or at a railroad crossing are also charges that could result in three points.
- Four — As the points increase, so do the violations. Drag racing and impaired driving will result in four points. If you are going over sixteen miles per hour over the speed limit you can get four points, too!
- Six — Arguably the most serious of the infractions, six driver’s license points is a result of reckless driving, failure to stop at an accident, and fleeing a police officer. In addition, manslaughter or negligent homicide involving the use of a vehicle will result in six points.
Where are the points valid?
The points are valid in any state that uses a point system. Insurance companies are also notified of your driver’s license points. They can raise your rates as a result of your points.
Can I remove the points?
In South Carolina, you can reduce your number of driver’s license points by attending a defensive driving course. There are certain requirements for this course. You must take it in South Carolina, in person, and there must be eight hours of classroom training. In addition, it must be taken after the violation date. Additionally, you can only make a reduction once in a three-year period. Also remember that if you are in fear of a license suspension, take the course as soon as possible. Once the suspension begins, you cannot cancel the suspension.
No one likes to think about what happens when things go wrong while on the road. However, it always helps to be prepared just in case of emergencies. That’s why it’s important to know how to handle a car breakdown. That way, you can keep yourself safe even when on the busier roads…
Car Breakdown Management: Roadside Trouble
Get off the road
The first thing you’ll want to do when handling a car breakdown is to get off the road as soon as you can. You should turn on your hazards lights to let other drivers know something is wrong. That way, they’ll know they should give you some space for you to get off the road. You’ll want to keep your hazards on until your car is either fixed or towed.
Ideally, you’ll want to pull over on the right shoulder of the road in the event of a car breakdown. This will give you the most space away from the road. If that’s not an option, try and get into the right lane and look for a place to pull off if you can. Only go onto the left shoulder if you have no other options. If you’re in a residential area, then you can try to pull into a parking spot or lot.
Make sure you’re safe
Once you’ve pulled over, your priority should be making sure you’re safe. Make sure that the coast is clear before you get out of your car, especially when on a busy highway. It might be a safer idea to stay in your car instead, for example if the weather is poor. However, if you see any fire or smell smoke during a car breakdown, you should get out of your car quickly.
Once you’re safe, you can give your car a look over. You can try to see if there are any obvious signs of problems. Popping the hood is handy not only for checking your engine, but also as a universal signal to others of a car breakdown.
Call for help
Once the situation is under control, it’s time to call for help. Much like with other car problems, you won’t want to handle a car breakdown by yourself. If you have a roadside assistance provider, then you’ll want to give them a call. If that’s not an option, then a local towing company or even 911 can help you with getting yourself and your car to safety.