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.
Car seats help to keep your children safe in case of a car accident. However, many people are unaware of what kind of seat is the best choice for their child. Knowing what kind of seat your child should be using can help make sure your child is as safe as possible in the car.
Car Seats: Avoiding Child Injuries in Car Accidents
Rear-facing car seats are the first kind of seat a child should use. These variations are the recommendation for children who are infants up to 3 years old. These seats help reduce the stress of an accident on the child’s head and spinal cord.
Generally, rear-facing seats are mainly intended for newborns and infants.
Most children will outgrow these seats at about 8 to 9 months. However, it’s important to not move up to the next type of car seat until a child meets the required height and weight limits.
Forward-facing car seats are the next option available for children. These seats are best for children ages 1 up to 7. These seats also tend to come in convertible variants, which allows you to switch from rear-facing to forward-facing when needed.
Forward-facing seats make use of a harness to keep your child in place. This harness helps to distribute the impact of a crash more evenly over a child’s body. Furthermore, the tethers and anchors help keep the seat in place during an accident.
Finally, the last car seat option is the booster seat. Booster seats are intended for children age 4 all the way up to age 11. As with the forward-facing seat, you should move your child up to a booster seat only when they meet the height and weight requirements.
Booster seats also come in two common variants. Booster seats with backs add more neck and head support for the child. Generally, these are good choices if your car lacks head rests or high seat backs. If your car does have these features, then you can opt for a backless seat instead. Make sure to check your vehicle and make the best decision accordingly.
Good car seats help keep your child safe when in the car…
These seats give added protection to the child’s weaker body that normal seat belts can’t provide yet. Make sure to also follow the manufacture instructions for installing these seats to ensure they’re being used properly.
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.
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.
Sometimes, obtaining a lawyer for a traffic ticket means you don’t have to appear in court. Sometimes, even with a lawyer, you do have to appear. Courtroom impressions can go a long way to help or hinder your case. However, there are steps you can take to improve your chances in front of a judge.
Courtroom Impressions: What You Should (& Shouldn’t) Do
What You Should Do:
Being respectful is a simple way to give good first courtroom impressions. Before it is your turn, you should pay attention to other cases. It’s not a good sign if the judge is bothered by your behavior before it’s your turn. Remain quiet and patient while waiting for your case to be heard.
Turn Off Your Phone
Some courthouses do not even allow phones past security. For those that do, make sure your phone is off before entering the courtroom. You can ensure good courtroom impressions by not distracting the judge or others with a ringing cellphone during court proceedings.
Dress to Impress
For some it may be obvious to wear proper clothes to court. However, some might not think about it. In addition to the “look good, feel good” mantra that many abide by, dressing in a business casual manner shows you care about the courtroom impressions you make.
What You Shouldn’t Do:
Argue with an Officer
If you have an issue with the behavior of the officer who gave the ticket, do not go in looking for an argument. Arguing can be disrespectful to the officer, the judge, and the court in general. In addition to being respectful, leave the arguing to another day. Courtroom impressions make all the difference when hoping for a reduction.
Ask to Leave
When going to court, you should be prepared to be there for a while. Asking how long it will take or when you can leave will give the judge and other bad courtroom impressions of you. This will make it harder for a dismissal or lessened ticket.
Sounds simple, but chewing gum can be a giant distraction in the courtroom. For some it might be a nervous habit. Leave the gum out of it and earn the positive courtroom impressions you deserve.
If there’s one thing any driver hates, it’s car problems. Car issues can lead to potential breakdowns, and some seriously costly repairs. However, performing some good car maintenance can really help keep your car in good shape. Doing so will help save you headaches and cost in the future…
Car Maintenance: Keep Your Car Going
Check your tires
It’s very easy to take your tires for granted. However, it turns out that 738 accident-related deaths were caused by poor tires in 2017 alone. Therefore, it’s important not to neglect your tires. Instead, you want to regularly check them for issues as part of your car maintenance, both the obvious and the harder-to-spot kinds.
First, check for anything like screws, nails, or tears which weaken your tires and lead to leaks. It also helps to check your tire pressure once a month, and get it up to its proper level if needed. Tire rotations also help improve your tread life, and should be done every 6,000-8,000 miles.
Inspect the oil & other fluids
Drivers also tend to gloss over their car’s fluids, but they’re a key part of proper car maintenance. Your oil, for instance, is crucial for keeping your engine running right. Therefore, it helps to check it every month or so to see if it’s time for a change.
However, your car has other fluids besides oil. Remember, you have power-steering, automatic transmission, wiper, and break fluids as well. Try to give these fluids a look each time you check your oil.
There’s a lot of different components that go into your car that you’d want to look over as part of your car maintenance. For instance, your lights are very important for safely driving, so check them out to see if they still work and aren’t burnt-out or cracked. Don’t forget about checking your windshield wipers too.
Of course, you’ll want to check the internal core parts too. While you don’t have to do anything crazy, simply keeping your battery free of corrosion and cleaning your radiator can go a long way. For those harder-to-reach areas, it helps to bring your car to an auto shop and have them check things out for you.
There are plenty of ways to put yourself at risk when you’re driving. You could be drinking, under the influence of drugs, on your phone, or even eating. We know you’re hungry, but there are certain things that should be avoided when you’re driving. When it comes to eating drivers, they are ultimately just as distracted as someone on their cell phone. So, we encourage you to avoid this act all together, or at the very least— limit it to the occasional granola bar…
Eating Drivers: Preventing Accidents
Plan your morning accordingly
The majority of the reason for eating drivers is that you’re running late. Your alarm clock was off, or maybe your morning routines just took a bit longer than usual. No matter the reason, you’re running late and have to eat from behind the wheel. As I mentioned, the occasional granola bar is much less risky. However, you’re still taking your eyes off the road and hands off the wheel to unwrap and eat your meal. So, consider prepping your breakfast the night before, eating at the office, or even just being more strict when it comes to that alarm clock.
A commute is stressful. However, when you’re making perfect time it can be a bit less stressful. So, set yourself up for success the night before and in the morning. That missed alarm might still get you from time to time. But making an effort to reduce that might just make all the difference.
Eat while Parked
Eating drivers can be just as dangerous as texting drivers. Finding ways to avoid it, such as the ones we mentioned above, can be beneficial in making sure you aren’t putting yourself and other drivers at risk. You might not have time to sit down and eat at home before work. But, you might make it to work with a few minutes to spare. So, take that moment in your car or the break room and eat your meal. Eating behind the wheel is a no-go, but that doesn’t mean you should skip eating altogether.
Get what you need when you need it
Ultimately, it all comes down to a little planning and discipline. Those extra ten minutes in bed might feel great, but not better than being fed and full until lunch time. So, take an extra minute in the morning or night to decide how you can avoid becoming one of those eating drivers. While it might be an adjustment right now, it’ll be routine in no time at all.