Animal Accidents: Roadway Obstructions

Driving can already be stressful enough dealing with other drivers. However, you’ll also have to keep an eye out for wild animals too. Animal accidents can be quite scary, as well as costly. That’s why it’s important to know how you can avoid them in the first place…

Animal Accidents: How To Avoid Them

Learn the area

The first step in avoiding animal accidents is to learn what animals are in the area. This is especially important for when you travel. For example, maybe you like to do some fall travelling. However, fall can be a time where there’s more deer around, potentially resulting in more of them on the roads. Knowing this can help you stay alert when you do your driving.

As for your own nearby areas, try to learn the times and areas where animals appear to be the most active. Usually, many are active from dawn and dusk, but many animals are becoming more active at night too. 

Not to mention, roads with woods on both sides tend to be popular crossings for animals. In turn, these areas are at a higher risk for animal accidents. Keep these in mind so you can spot some areas which might be popular with animals next time you drive. 

Avoid distractions

Distracted driving already increases the risk of you getting into an accident with other drivers. So, it makes sense that it also increases the chances of you getting into animal accidents too. If your focus isn’t on the road, then you’ll be setting yourself for danger. 

Many times, animals can quickly run out onto the road unannounced. That gives you just a few seconds to react. However, if you’re distracted, then you’ll end up with very little to no time to react. Therefore, increasing your chance of animal accidents. That’s why it’s best to avoid any distractions as best you can.

Watch your speed

Often times, the speed limit will be lower than usual in areas with heavy animal activity. It can be easy to brush these restrictions off and pay them no mind. However, that’s just setting yourself up for a potential animal accidents.

These restricted speed limits are put in place for good reason. Going slower will give you more time to react to any animals on the road. It’s better to temporarily go slower rather than get into an potentially-avoidable accident.

Bobtail Trucks: How They Differ

You might assume that driving a truck without its trailer would be easier than driving with it. However, driving these bobtail trucks can actually be more risky than you’d expect. Driving bobtail requires one to be focused and aware of how their truck changes…

Bobtail Trucks: Driving Safely

Understand the Risk

As mentioned before, bobtail trucks are trucks which are driving without a trailer attached. At first glance, this may appear to be the safest way to drive these trucks. The trucks look like they should preform even better without the added weight of the trailer. However, it turns out this isn’t quite the case.

The added weight of a trailer helps a truck keep all its tires on the road. Removing these trailers then places all the weight on the front two tires of the truck. This means truck drivers will have to be aware of how differently their truck will handle while driving bobtail.

Ease on the brakes

Truck drivers normally have to use some force when they want to brake. However, with bobtail trucks, braking becomes a different story. Hitting the brakes hard could result in your truck flipping over due to the unbalanced weight. It helps to visualize it like you’re riding a bike. You’ll flip your bike if you brake with all the weight on the front wheel, and the same idea applies with bobtail trucks.

To avoid this, you should try to ease on the brakes instead. This will help keep the truck grounded and come to a safer stop. Furthermore, this helps the truck come to a stop sooner as well. You might also want to avoid other braking methods like engine braking when driving bobtail. 

Check you clearance

Something else to keep in mind is your truck’s clearance when driving bobtail. Truck drivers know they have to make sure their clearance is at a level that allows them to pass under bridges or through tunnels. A trailer actually helps lower a truck’s clearance. The added weight helps to push the truck just a bit lower to the ground than usual. 

However, without this added weight, your truck might have raised back up in height. That’s why it helps to double-check your clearance just in case. After all, you wouldn’t want to realize your truck’s too tall after its too late!

Emotional Riding: How It’s Dangerous

There is a special connection between a motorcycle and its rider. Riding sparks joy. Not much is better than riding on a sunny day with a slight breeze. A good ride can enhance a good mood, but what can it do for a bad one? Avoiding emotional riding is important when maintaining safe riding habits. Your senses are out of line when emotional, which puts you at a greater risk for accidents.

Emotional Riding: Why To Avoid It

Emotional Riding

Maybe you’ve just received a sad call or gotten some bad news. Or perhaps you’re angry because you and your partner got in a fight. In these cases, to avoid emotional riding can help avoid accidents. These emotions can cause aggressive driving, which leads to 56 percent of fatal traffic accidents. Feeling distressed or under pressure can also cause this erratic riding behavior.

Alternatives

Avoiding emotional riding can come in different forms. In place of riding while upset or angry, you can try:

  • Washing your bike, performing maintenance, or detailing it. Being physically in contact with the bike will give you the same connection but keep you and others safe.
  • Listening to soothing music. Letting your mind relax and go to a different place will help your overall mood.
  • Ride, but not right away. When avoiding emotional riding, it’s important that you take the time and let yourself calm down first. Once you’ve gotten to a more level head space, try going for a short ride. Make sure it’s at a time where traffic is light.
  • Ride to a peaceful place. If you feel like you can’t avoid emotional riding, try riding to somewhere that calms you down. A nice overlook on a mountain or a waterfront spot might do the trick. Focus on getting there safely and not on your situation. Then, use your time at this scenic spot to calm down.

At the end of the day, the safety of you and others is important. If you ride while upset or angry, you are not just putting yourself in danger. Most of the time, situations that evoke these strong emotions are far less serious once fully thought through. Give yourself time to relax and breathe, and then enjoy your bike. Avoiding emotional riding also avoids accidents!

Personal Headphones: A Workplace Hazard

Workers in many different fields like to make use of personal headphones. This lets them listen to things like music and can help pass the time. However, they might not be a safe option depending on your job. It’s important to know when wearing these headphones might become a risk to your safety…

Personal Headphones: Risk vs. Reward

Limiting outside noise

Personal headphones can help you block out any outside noise or distractions. This can help when it comes to focusing more on the work you’re doing. However, it could also mean you don’t hear important audio cues around you. This could lead to you accidentally getting hurt because you were unaware of what was happening around you.

Headphones can also have a small noise-cancelling effect on their own. This can lead some to think that they can be used in-place of special noise-reducing headphones or earplugs. However, this is actually not the case. OSHA notes that these headphones aren’t as effective as specialty ones

Snags and tangles

Another issue with personal headphones is the chance of them catching or snagging on something. This can already be annoying when it happens outside the workplace. However, it could also be quite dangerous when you’re working.

For example, if you have to do a lot of moving around at your job, then your headphones could easily catch on something. This is especially true if your work involves any kind of machinery. Overall, it’s not worth the added risk to wear headphones when doing this kind of work where you want to be as safe as possible.

Potential benefits

It isn’t a bad idea to wear personal headphones at every workplace, however. It mainly depends on the job you’re doing. If you work in a more desk/office-type of job, then you might be able to wear headphones depending on your workplace rules. Compared to other office safety risks, headphones probably won’t be to much of a hazard.

Here, headphones can be especially helpful if you have a hearing problem. They can help you hear a bit better if you have to make phone calls or listen to audio. They can also help if you have something like tinnitus. Having something like music or soft noise playing can help those with tinnitus keep their mind off of the ringing.

Rainy Riding: Managing Road Conditions

For most people, an ideal motorcycle ride is when the sun is out and the weather is nice. However, as a motorcycle rider, there might be some times when you’ll have to ride in less-favorable conditions, like the rain. Rainy riding can be challenging, but also very doable… 

Rainy Riding: Maintaining Safe Travels

Prepare your gear

Rainy riding means you’ll be facing a constant downpour, and at high speeds. That means that your usual riding gear might not be a good choice for keeping you dry and safe. Instead, you’ll want to get some specialty rain gear to help you handle these special rides.

You’ll want to get some gear that keeps you dry and your grip secure when rainy riding, while also being comfortable. Try to find a good balance between comfort and practicality. Give special attention to your visibility as well. Helmet visors tend to fog up in the rain, so investing in a special clear, anti-fog visor is a good idea. 

Ride smoothly & smartly

When you ride in poor conditions, you’ll have to change how you handle your bike to stay safe. Riding faster or more aggressively in the rain will increase the risk of you getting into an accident. That’s why rainy riding involves going more smooth and making smart decisions.

For example, try to handle your throttle more gently than usual, making gradual changes rather than more drastic ones. Also, try to brake more gradually and give yourself plenty of breaking room. Slamming on the brakes while on a wet surface could result in them locking up, and then sending you and your bike into a slide. It’s better to give increased following distance to avoid these issues when rainy riding.

Watch intersections more closely

Intersections can already be quite risky for motorcycle riders. Rainy riding further increases the danger of these intersections. That’s why you should give all types of intersections special attention when the weather is less-than-ideal. 

Approach these intersections slowly and cautiously. Keep an eye on other drivers around you, and don’t try to do anything risky like making a yellow light. When you’re stopped, take stock of the cars around you and who might be behind or beside you. It’s important to be aware of what’s going on around you so you can act accordingly.