There’s always room for growth. Driving improvement can happen every day. If we put effort into doing something, we can make it happen. Driving safe not only benefits you, but also your fellow drivers and pedestrians. Here, we will discuss some ways you can improve your driving.
Driving Improvement: What You Can Do
Adjust Your Mirrors
Every once in a while, it’s good to check and readjust your mirrors. Your sideview mirrors can get out of whack from car washes and other impacts. Your rearview mirror can be easily adjusted. This will increase your driving improvement immediately!
The old positions were at 10 and 2 on the wheel, but now more experts are saying to put your hands at 9 and 3. This gives you a better, more relaxed feeling behind the wheel which will help your driving improvement. In addition to being more relaxed, you will also have more control of the wheel. Which, ultimately, means more control of the vehicle as a whole.
Your driving improvement can begin when you understand that sometimes you just don’t need to drive. If you are sleepy or emotional, it can impair your ability to drive safely. If you are feeling at all distracted or tired, keeping off the road is your best bet. You can take a nap or ask someone else to drive. Whatever it is can wait until you feel at your best again!
Take a Class
A refresher driving class, a defensive driving class, or anywhere else you can relearn the rules of the road might help. If you are feeling you need driving improvement, taking a class is an inexpensive idea to really help your everyday life.
It’s the most basic thing you can control in your car. You control how much you are pushing your gas pedal. Your driving improvement can start with just relaxing on the gas. Speeding doesn’t get you anywhere much faster than you would by obeying the speed limit. It also just puts you and other drivers in danger. Speed limits are set to take into account road conditions and traffic patterns.
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.
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.
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.
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.
While dogs have become known as man’s best friend, most often that means their owner’s best friend. When it comes to strangers, some dogs aren’t quite so friendly. For this reason, dog bite injuries can be quite common… and dangerous.
Not only are they very common in neighborhoods and living complexes, but they mostly happen to children. They are also common on-the-job injuries for employees that have to approach or work in homes. While certain areas have leash laws and other protective measures, it’s still important to practice these tips when approaching a dog you don’t know. After all, a dog bite might seem less severe than other types of personal injury but they can be just as serious.
Avoiding Dog Bite Injuries: Personal Injury
Don’t Approach Too Quickly
When dealing with a dog you don’t know, you never want to approach too quickly. For one thing, you don’t know the demeanor of the dog, so it’s best to keep your distance. In addition, coming up to a dog very quickly can put them on alert. Of course, the dog isn’t familiar with you either so they don’t know if you’re a threat…
When you approach too quickly, they may feel like you are going to attack. In that case, they may react out of fear and you could face dog bite injuries. As a child, it’s very natural to run up to a cute, furry dog. So, it’s important to teach your kids to approach slowly as well.
Be Aware of Their Food and Toys
Dogs can feel very protective over things that are theirs. Therefore, they may become aggressive when eating or playing with a chew toy. So, it’s best to avoid bothering them while they eat. At that point, they may become aggressive due to their protective instincts. If you’re reaching down and they snap too quickly, you could face serious dog bite injuries to your hands or fingers.
Don’t Try to Calm Them
When facing an aggressive dog, it can be tempting to try to calm them. However, that can lead to dog bite injuries very quickly. While some dogs don’t mean anything by their bark, others mean business. It doesn’t always mean they need to get to know you or sniff you out first.
Those tactics can calm some dogs and they will settle down rather quickly. However, you may just be putting yourself within a closer bite range. If you don’t know the dog or it’s owners, don’t assume you can calm them by talking to them or letting them sniff you.
If You’re On the Job…
Some jobs demand that you approach or even work in a person’s home. For instance, mailmen and other delivery service employees must approach stranger’s homes everyday. In addition, working in construction, electricity, plumbing, and other services can place you in a stranger’s home.
As a stranger in or around the home, you can seem like the biggest threat to a dog. Because of their protective instincts, they may try to snap to protect their owners and their territory. Therefore, it’s important to be cautious when approaching home. Be on alert for dogs that may roam the yard freely or run out of the door quickly. Dog bite injuries at work can be serious and lead to injuries that will prevent you from being able to do your job.
The best way to avoid dog bite injuries is to keep your distance until you feel safe around the dog and the dog feels safe around you…
While you may know to stay back, many kids do not. It’s instinctive to reach out to a dog as a child, especially if they have pets at home. So, be sure to teach your kids about keeping their distance when they don’t know the dog. By doing so, you can help prevent your children from facing serious dog bite injuries.
On their own, tractor trailers can be difficult to handle. This becomes especially apparent if they go over their normal load limits. An overloaded truck can make tractor trailer driving even more dangerous. It’s important to be aware of the risks that come with overloading and improperly loading your truck…
Overloaded Truck: Understanding the Issue
Federal law caps the weight limit for commercial vehicles at 80,000 pounds. However, that doesn’t mean that all trucks can carry that weight. That’s why it’s important to know how much your truck can handle to avoid having an overloaded truck.
Your truck’s total capacity is determined by a number of things. These include it’s braking system, drive train, axles, and wheels just to name a few. However, each truck should have a sticker letting you know what its capacity is. Exceeding this capacity could cause your truck components to wear down and break.
Damaged components are not the only risk that comes with an overloaded truck. These vehicles also are much harder to handle than usual. The added weight makes your truck less responsive and more likely to have the heavier trailer swing out of control.
Rollovers and Jackknifing
Rollovers and jackknifing are also more common on overloaded trucks. So is losing control over your truck, especially when going downhill. These all can increase the risk of accidents to both you and other drivers. That’s why it’s much safer to drive with a properly loaded truck.
Your truck doesn’t have to be over its weight limit to be overloaded. In fact, sometimes you can have an overloaded truck due to improper loading. Improper loading can cause one side of your truck to be heavier than another, causing issues for you when driving.
For example, a truck with too much weight on the left side will struggle to turn right. This unbalanced load will also increase the chance of rollovers during left turns. That’s why it’s important to make sure your cargo is loaded safely and balanced.
Overloaded trucks might seem like a way to move a bit more cargo each trip. However, the risks far outweigh the benefits. Everyone on the road is much safer when trucks carry loads within their weight limits.