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How-to Avoid Hydroplaning: Driver Safety

Rain and slick roads can cause your car to hydroplane. This can be very scary if you are not prepared, as you have very little control over your car. Hydroplaning happens when your vehicle loses control in wet conditions. This is because your tires don’t have enough traction on the road since the water is not thoroughly pushed away from your tires. It can happen in an instant, so it is very important to know what to do if you find yourself hydroplaning.

How-to Avoid Hydroplaning: Taking Action

How to React 

If you notice your car hydroplaning, stay calm. First, ease your foot off of the gas. Also, hold firmly onto the wheel, but do not slam your foot on the brakes or turn suddenly. In the event that your car starts to skid, make sure to turn your steering wheel in the same direction that you are sliding. The reason that you do this is to align your tires in the same way that your car is going in order to regain control.

Vehicles with anti-lock brakes and traction control are less likely to spin under hard braking. Brake gently with a pumping action if you don’t have anti-lock brakes. As you slow down, keep adjusting your steering wheel to be going the same direction your car is moving. Typically, you will regain control within a few seconds. However, during a scary situation, a few seconds can feel like forever. Whenever you regain control, stay alert and drive defensively. Then, you may want to find a safe spot to pull over and catch your breath.

How to Avoid It

It is possible to end up hydroplaning on any wet surface. However, there are ways to help avoid hydroplaning. First, watch your speed and drive carefully on wet roads. If you need to brake, do so with smooth, light touches. Also, turn off cruise control so that you can react more easily. Try and stay away from standing water or piddles of water. Remember that intersections can be especially dangerous since this is the most likely chance for engine oil to be on the road as well.

Prepare Your Car

If you prepare and maintain your car correctly, you will be less likely to end up hydroplaning. Your tires should have at least 2/23 inches of tread remaining. Check your tire tread regularly. When they get close to wearing out, it is time to replace them. Make sure to check your tire pressure around once a month, especially if your car does not have a built in tire pressure monitor. Properly working brakes are very important for being able to stop, so make sure your brakes are in good condition too. 

Hydroplaning may be scary, you can make it through safely by staying calm and reacting appropriately. A properly maintained car will help reduce the risks of driving in wet, slippery conditions. Keep these tips in mind so that you are better prepared if you find yourself in this situation.

Repetitive Strain Injury: Workplace Injuries

A repetitive strain injury is an injury that occurs from doing the same motion over and over again. Examples of these include carpal tunnel, bursitis, and tennis elbow. This type of injury can occur from tasks at work. However, there are ways you can prevent or minimize the chance for this type of injury. 

Repetitive Strain Injuries: What Are They

Carpal Tunnel

Carpal Tunnel is a condition that causes numbness, tingling, or weakness in your hand. This repetitive strain injury is caused by repetitive motions. These include motions like typing, or any wrist movements that you do over and over again. For example, people who work in dentistry have a high risk of carpal tunnel due to repetitive wrist movements while working. Also, you increase your risk when your hands are lower than your wrists while doing the movement.

The typical symptoms of carpal tunnel are not pleasant. For example, burning, tingling, or itching numbness in your palm and thumb or your index and middle fingers are symptoms. Other symptoms are weakness in your hand and trouble holding things, shock-like feelings that move into your fingers, and tingling that moves up into your arm. Proper ergonomics can help reduce the risk of this injury, but wrist braces are a good early treatment. 

Bursitis

Bursitis is inflammation or irritation of a bursa sac. These are fluid filled sacs that are all over your body. Bursitis is common around major joints like your shoulder, elbow, hip, or knee. This repetitive strain injury can be caused from workplace activities including carpentry, painting, and scrubbing. 

Common places for bursitis to happen are your elbow, shoulder, hip, thigh, buttocks, knee, achilles tendon or heel. This injury can cause pain, and you may notice your joint is red, stiff or swollen. Take breaks often when you’re making the same motions over and over again, and use good posture. If you start to have pain, stop, and see your doctor. 

Tennis Elbow

Another repetitive strain injury is tennis elbow. This is a painful condition that usually comes from repetitive use of the muscles and tendons of the forearm and the elbow joint. Surprisingly, only 5% of tennis elbow injuries come from tennis. 

Some workplace activities that could lead to tennis elbow include painting, working on cars or on an assembly line or playing a musical instrument. Other examples include kitchen work, such as cutting with a knife, or cutting trees with a chainsaw. This may cause your elbow to be sore. Treatment usually includes rest, ice, and over-the-counter pain medications. However, if the problem gets really bad, surgery may be needed.

How-To Haul Adventure Gear: Safe Driving

Many people have been spending more and more time lately outdoors due to the pandemic. With so many people starting to take on new hobbies like biking, water sports and road trips, there has been an increased number of people hauling adventure gear. From bikes, to kayaks, and even boats, bringing these items along takes a little extra work than just throwing something in your car. These tips will help you securely and safely transport all of your outdoor equipment. 

Hauling Adventure Gear: Things to Consider 

Bikes

When hauling adventure gear like a bike, you will need some extra equipment. Exactly what you will need will depend on your vehicle. One example is a roof rack, which can work with a wide range of outdoor equipment. The downside is that you must be able to lift the bikes over your head, and they will make your car taller, which could be an issue for low-clearance areas. Another option is a hitch rack, which is secured to your trailer hitch. They’re easy to load and unload, but can require you to purchase a receiver if you don’t already have one on your car.

The other type of racks to haul bikes are trunk racks, truck racks, and spare tire racks. Trunk racks allow you to mount a bike to a trunk. As expected, truck racks are perfect for trucks, keeping the hikes neatly stowed as opposed to just being thrown in a truck bed. The spare tire on Jeeps, or similar cars, are the perfect place for a spare tire rack. 

Kayaks and Canoes 

Hauling adventure gear like a kayak or canoe will require a roof rack due to their size. There are several types of roof rack variations that will work with kayaks and canoes. These include j-cradles, saddle racks and foam blocks. J-cradles are great for hauling more than one kayak or canoe. However, unless you have a short car, they’re hard to unload with just one person. A saddle rack is easy to unload if you are by yourself. The cheapest option is a foam block, but this requires the user to make sure the boat is tied down extra securely.

Boats, ATVs, Campers

If you are hauling adventure gear that is big and heavy like a boat, ATV or camper, there’s some extra steps involved. First, make sure the vehicle you have has the correct towing capacity. Next, make sure the brake lights and turn signals work on the trailer. Otherwise, the lights need to be repaired.

Since towing a trailer or camper will make a vehicle much heavier, it will take much longer to brake. Anyone pulling something heavy like this will have to adjust their driving habits to being a slower, more careful driver. Make sure there is enough auto insurance to cover the trailer. Usually, this can be covered under the auto policy, but it’s a good idea to check with your insurance agent first. 

How-to Avoid Welding Hazards: Common Injuries

Nearly half a million workers work a job which involves welding. As a result, they’re also exposed to many different types of welding hazards. Knowing what the most common hazards are can help you better know what to watch for and how to stay safe…

Welding Hazards: Helpful Precautions

Physical risks

Many of the welding hazards can result in physical injuries. For instance, the intense light and heat created by the welding process can hurt your eyes and cause burns. You may also have to get into awkward positions to perform your welds properly. Doing this for an extended period can result in muscle fatigue and even permanent injuries.

Therefore, you need to make sure you both wear the right gear and give your body a break. Things such as welding helmets, gloves, aprons, and boots can help properly protect you as you weld. You should also make sure you stop welding should you begin to feel any pain. Take a break to stretch before going back to work in order to help keep your body nice and loose.

Fumes and gases

Toxic fumes and gases are also some common welding hazards. The welding process itself does release these types of fumes and gases. Constant exposure to high levels can result in respiratory issues, problems with movement, and even cancer. As such, you need to make sure you properly limit your exposure when working.

Having proper ventilation goes a long way in helping keep these fumes and gases under control. This will ensure that there’s plenty of airflow which will keep the fumes under acceptable levels. If you are working somewhere with poor ventilation, then wearing a respirator can also work.

Electric shock

Many people don’t realize that electric shock is perhaps the most serious of the welding hazards. A sudden discharge of electricity into the body can be fatal. With how suddenly this kind of injury can occur, it’s important that they take steps to prevent this sort of situation.

In general, it’s always key to inspect any equipment before using it. This will ensure that everything is working properly and won’t give off any electricity. Any parts of the electrode holder should also be kept away from the skin and anything wet.

Car Gadgets: Improve Your Drive

Modern tech has helped to make driving easier and safer than ever. However, aside from the technology that’s in your car, there’s also car gadgets to consider. These gadgets can not just make your next drive easier to do, but also more enjoyable as well…

Car Gadgets: Helpful Solutions

Hands-free devices

Some of the most popular car gadgets are hands-free devices and software. While smartphones are very useful, they can be dangerous when behind the wheel. Still, plenty of people use their phones to play music or for GPS directions. As a result, they’re not sure how they can find a safe way to use their phone’s features.

This is where hands-free compatibility comes in handy. Many modern cars will allow for you to connect your phone via Bluetooth, an app, or a charger. This will allow you to do things on your phone through your car’s touchscreen or steering wheel. Not only is this easier, it’s also safer than having to hold your phone and drive at the same time.

Rear entertainment systems

Driving with kids can always be a bit of a struggle. It can be hard to keep them occupied, especially on longer trips. While smartphones and tablets can help, it may be that you don’t have enough for everyone to use, or that they’re too young. In this case, it can be handy to make use of some car gadgets.

In particular, rear entertainment systems can work wonders for keeping the kids busy. Many modern ones will allow for you to stream directly from a phone or tablet onto them. That way, everyone can watch without having to strain their necks. Some cars even have individual ones built into the back of the seats!

Multi-device chargers

One of the worst things is when your devices die while you’re still in the middle of a long trip. Eventually, things like your phones, tablets, and laptops will need to recharge. While this may be no issue with just a couple of passengers, it can be a problem when you have a lot. This is why multi-device chargers are becoming very handy car gadgets.

These chargers will let everyone be able to charge their devices at once. This is great not just for the convenience, but also for avoiding arguments. You won’t have to worry about trying to fight over who charges what while also trying to keep your attention on the road!

How to Handle a Hit-and-Run Accident

Being in a hit-and-run accident can really ruin your day. No one wants to be in any kind of car accident. However, when you realize the car that hit you just kept going without stopping to exchange information, you will feel really upset. Although this can feel overwhelming, there are some steps you can take to protect yourself physically and financially. These steps are things you should think about before you leave the scene of the accident. 

Hit-and-Run Accident: What to Do

What are Hit-and-Runs?

If one of the parties involved in a wreck flees the crash, the accident is considered a hit-and-run accident. This is true no matter how minor the accident is. Every state is different, but in some, there can be serious consequences for fleeing the scene of the crash. This could include criminal charges or fines. This could result in you having your license revoked or even going to jail.

The reasons a person may decide to leave the crash could be many things. For example, they may not have auto insurance. Additionally, they may be driving a stolen car, breaking other laws, or under the influence of drugs or alcohol. 

Immediate Reactions

If you are in a hit-and-run accident, do your best to stay calm. Being in a car crash can make you feel a lot of strong emotions. It is important to have a clear head since you are solely responsible for documenting the accident. Also, do not try and chase the other driver. You may be leaving valuable evidence behind if you leave the accident site. Move to a safe area off the road and check yourself and passengers to make sure medical care is not needed. 

Try your best to remember as many details as possible. Try to make note of the make and model of the other car that was involved in the accident. If you get a chance to see the license plate number, try to remember it as well. Every detail you can remember will be helpful when speaking to the police or your insurance company

Communicate and Document 

When you are in a hit-and-run accident, you will want to call 911. This is especially urgent if there are any injuries. The police will come and write up an accident report. If there was anyone around, see if the witnesses will confirm what happened. This will be helpful when you are telling your story to the police. 

You will also want to take photos of your car. Make sure to take pictures of every angle, including a full shot and close up pictures. Also, you’ll want to contact your insurance agent to learn how to proceed. They will walk you through the next steps and how to file a claim.