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Encountering Road Rage: How to Protect Yourself

Encountering road rage while driving can be incredibly scary and dangerous. If it happens to you, the most important thing is to stay calm. Do not engage with the other driver because it will only encourage them to act more irrationally. Put distance between yourself and the driver that is driving erratically. Ignore any hand gestures they give you, and try not to make eye contact. Never honk at another driver unless it’s for defensive purposes. And finally, if they follow you, call the police and drive someplace safe. Hopefully, you’ll never encounter road rage, but if you do these tips can keep you safe.

Encountering Road Rage: How to Protect Yourself from Dangerous Drivers

Put Distance Between You

First things first when you encountering road rage: put distance between you. You should try and get as far away from that driver as possible. Even if it means going a different route or taking longer to get where you’re going. You never know what somebody is going to do if they’re having road rage. They may act erratically or even try to cause an accident. People have even been known to get out of their cars and attack other drivers. Being on time is less important than being safe. So make your priority getting out of their way and to a safe place.

Ignore Gestures

Another thing to keep in mind when you encountering road rage driver is to ignore any gestures they make at you. They may try to honk or stick their middle finger at you. They might even roll down windows and yell or scream at other drivers. If you respond to it you’ll just be encouraging their behavior. They will be more likely to get even angrier and act more erratically.

Never Honk

If you are encountering road rage, it’s important never to honk at them. In fact, it’s really best not to honk at drivers at all unless it’s for defensive purposes. For example, if a car is about to merge right into you and doesn’t seem to see you, it’s best to honk to let them know you’re there. This is especially important when you’re riding in next to semi-trailers with low visibility. You can also give a honk if some time has passed and the car in front of you doesn’t seem to realize the light is green. However, honking out of anger is almost never productive and can cause road rage.

If They Follow You

If encountering road rage and the driverEncountering road rage while driving can be incredibly scary and dangerous. If it happens to you, the most important thing is to stay… seems to be following you, call the police. It’s also important not to go home. Instead, drive directly to a police station or other safe space that is public and well-lit. You never know what somebody else has in mind. If the driver with road rage is truly acting irrationally, they could be very dangerous. It’s best to alert the authorities and just get someplace safe.

Encountering road rage can be very scary when you encounter it while driving. Other drivers on the road should be courteous and polite, but unfortunately, that’s not always the case. If you see a driver who is acting rashly or showing anger signs, try to put as much distance as possible between you and them. Ignore any rude gestures they make or anything they say to you. You should try to avoid honking at other drivers except for defensive situations. And finally, if somebody seems to be following you, don’t go home. Instead, call the cops and get someplace safe. Hopefully, you won’t have to ever deal with another driver in the throes of serious road rage, but if you do the most important thing to do is remain calm and get to safety!

What to Expect at Your First Meeting for AA

Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12 Step type programs have become world-renown for help with alcoholism. If you’re considering going to your first meeting for AA or another type of 12 step program, you might not know what to expect. You’ll have an initial meet and greet time period, and then an introduction for the meeting. Next, you’ll probably have some time where you all learn a bit about a certain step of the program. Next, there will be time for people to share their experiences. And finally, you’ll wrap up and have time to socialize. Remember that you won’t ever be forced to participate if you are uncomfortable. Everybody there has gone through similar experiences as you and just wants to help you on your journey to sobriety.

What to Expect at Your First Meeting for AA or 12 Step Program

Arrival

When you arrive at your first meeting for AA, you’ll probably be in a church or meeting hall. Often there are light refreshments provided and chairs set in a semi-circle. There might be people socializing and saying hello when you arrive. Feel free to introduce yourself or sit quietly if that makes you more comfortable. Once the meeting begins, everybody will find a chair around the leader of the meeting. The leader will usually begin with an opening statement followed by a short prayer. You do not have to participate in the prayer if you do not want to.

Learning

The next part of your first meeting consists of learning a bit about the program. The leader might ask if there are any first-time joiners, at which point you can choose whether or not you’d like to respond. Some meetings are Step Meetings, that focus on one particular step of the healing process. If this is the case, the leader will probably read some literature about that step to help you better understand it.

Sharing

After the leader has explained which step will be focused on in your first meeting, they’ll invite members to share. This is the point in the meeting where members will most likely discuss their own journeys. You can feel free to introduce yourself at this point. If you’re comfortable, share a bit about why you’re at the meeting. Members will tell stories or share triumphs or hardships. This is meant to be a time where members can encourage each other and learn from others’ experiences.

Wrap-Up

At the end of your first meeting, they’ll probably wrap up with another short prayer or statement. Again, you do not need to participate in the prayer if you are uncomfortable with that. After the meeting is finished, there will be a time where members can mingle and get to know each other more. Feel free to socialize if you’d like. It’s also perfectly fine to leave at this point. Remember that you can take this at your own pace.

Your first meeting for AA or another 12 step program might have you feeling anxious. However, remember that everybody there has the same goal as you. To live a sober life without struggling with addiction. You’ll never be forced to participate or share anything that you’d rather keep private. Most meetings will follow the same plan of a welcome portion, followed by a short lesson. Then sharing sessions followed by a short wrap-up is very typical. These have proven to be helpful for recovery. Learning from others who are going through a similar journey can be so helpful. They can be a great source of help when you’re struggling. They’ll also share with you in your triumphs when you reach goals. Hopefully, your journey to sobriety starts with that very first meeting.

Flooded Roads: Evacuating Safely

It can already be quite hard to drive in rainy or stormy weather. However, this weather could also cause flooded roads, which make it much harder to get around. Floods can appear even when you wouldn’t expect them, like during summer rainstorms. That’s why it’s important to know how to handled a flood while in your car…

Flooded Roads: How To Handle Them

Eyeball the water levels

Flooded roads can be a bit deceiving. Depending on where the road is or how shallow the land is around it, the flood might not seem as bad. However, this kind of assumption can be dangerous. That’s why it’s a good idea to perform an eyeball test before going near a flooded road.

Just 6 inches of water can cause damage to your car and lead to you stalling out. A foot of water could even cause your car to start floating! If the water levels appear to be 6 inches or deeper, it’s best to avoid heading down that road. Instead, try to find a safer, alternate route.

Take it slow

When it rains, the roads become more slick. As a result, your car tires lose some traction. That’s why slower speeds are generally preferred during poor weather. Going too fast could lead to hydroplaning, which could then lead to a potential accident. Flooded roads further increase this kind of risk.

The higher the flood, the less traction your tires will have on the road. If you try and speed through the flood, you might end up loosing all your traction and stall out. It also increases the risk of you loosing control of your car. That’s why it’s preferable to take it slow and keep your focus on the flooded road. 

Watch for hazards

One of the main dangers from flooded roads it what they might be hiding underneath the water. It can be very difficult to see underneath the floodwaters, especially while driving. Combine this with the fact that the poor weather might have caused environmental damage, and their could be something in the water which could cause damage to your car.

That’s why you’ll want to scan the environment before you enter any flooded roads. Look for things like any fallen trees or whipped-up debris which might tip you off to a problem. Fallen power lines are especially dangerous, but also potentially easier to spot. If you think the road might not be safe underneath the water, look for another way around.

How-to: Manage Salt on the Road During Winter

Winter brings slick driving conditions. Depending on where you live, snow and ice can build up on the road. In order to counteract that, many regions put down road salts to help melt ice. While this can really help melt the ice on the roads, it can negatively affect your vehicle. Learn how to manage salt on the road during winter.

How-to: Manage Salt on the Road During Winter: Protecting Your Vehicle

Why Salt?

Cities and states put salt on the road because it actually lowers the freezing point of water. 32 degrees Fahrenheit is the temperature at which water normally freezes. However, when water is exposed to salt, the temperature needs to be lower than 32 in order to get the water to freeze. In fact, the more salt you add, the colder it needs to be for water to freeze. If you treat the roads with a layer of a salt and water mix, this helps to keep the roads from freezing over. Therefore, they are safer for vehicles to drive on.

However, if the road temperature goes below 15 degrees Fahrenheit, the salt may not be enough to keep the roads from freezing. In this case, road crews may add sand to the top of the ice to provide more traction.

Salt and Your Vehicle

While salt on the road is helpful for keeping drivers safe, it is actually not good for your vehicle. Salt can cause any exposed metal on your car to start to corrode. This can be an issue for people living on an island surrounded by salt water, or those who drive on roads with salt brine on them. The brake and fuel lines are located near the undercarriage of the car. This area is where most of the salt damage happens. Therefore, the brake and fuel lines are very susceptible to rust and corrosion.

What to Do

In order to protect against salts on the road during winter, it’s important to be proactive. Give your car a good wax job to help protect the finish. If you have any scrapes, chips, or rust spots, go ahead and have those fixed before winter weather hits. Make sure to wash your car often. Spray down your car to wash away the salt. Invest in a car wash that will clean the undercarriage every few weeks in order to clean the areas of your car most likely to be affected by salt. Also, if you get on the road behind a truck spraying salt on the roads, stay back. This will keep your car from getting sprayed with salt too.

How-to: Decide if Someone Should Borrow Your Car

If you would like to learn more, check out this video about the risks of letting someone borrow your car.

We have all had it happen before. A friend or family member could be without a car for any given reason, and they ask to use yours. Maybe theirs is in the shop for maintenance or even for repairs after an accident. They could have flown into town to visit you. Perhaps their kid needed to borrow theirs so they are without one. There are plenty of reasons that someone may ask you to borrow their car. What you need to decide on is if you are willing to let someone borrow your car.

How-to: Decide if Someone Should Borrow Your Car: Weighing the Risks

Driving History

Before you let anyone borrow your car, you should consider what kind of a driver they are. Do you know they are a terrible, reckless driver? You may want to think twice about letting them drive your car. They will be unfamiliar with your car, so putting a bad driver in a vehicle they are unfamiliar with could be a total disaster. Also, consider things such as if your friend or a family member has a history of having a DUI. Anything that could mean a bad driving record should be a red flag to you.

Insurance

You will also want to consider your car insurance before you let someone borrow your car. This could come into play if the person driving your car is involved in an accident. Car insurance follows the vehicle, not the driver. When you allow a friend, family member, or babysitter to borrow your vehicle, your insurance takes primary coverage. For example, the person if your car is not at fault, the driver who is at fault will have to use their insurance to cover the damage. However, if the person who is using your car is at fault,  your insurance would likely cover the damage to the other driver’s car. In addition, your liability coverage would likely pay for any injuries or damage to the other driver as well.

Unless you have collision coverage, your insurance would not cover damage to your own car. Plus, if you do end up repairing damages using your collision coverage, you will probably have to pay your deductible. This would be the case even though you weren’t driving at the time of the accident. Keep this in mind when you consider whether or not you want to loan out your car.

How-to: Spot a Drunk Driver on the Road

No one wants to be out on the road with a drunk driver. They are a hazard that can cause accidents, injuries, or even death. Their judgement will be impaired, making them very dangerous. When you are driving, you will want to know what to be on the lookout for so that you can avoid an intoxicated driver.

How-to: Spot a Drunk Driver on the Road: Safe Driving

Not Staying in Their Lane

It is common for a drunk driver to not be able to stay in his or her lane. Watch out for anyone who seems to be swerving or zig-zagging in and out of their lane. Another sign of someone who is driving while intoxicated is drifting. This is when someone is moving in a straight-line at a slight angle to the roadway. Additionally, it is possible for someone who is drinking and driving to be in the center or on the wrong side of the road. This could lead to a deadly, head-on collision.

Delayed Reactions

An impaired driver will have delayed reactions and erratic movements. This is because alcohol impairs your judgement and reaction time. Slowly reacting to traffic signals. A drunk driver may be slow to react to traffic signals. The car may signal lane changes that are not consistent with the driver’s actions. Also, they may also turn very suddenly, abruptly or way too wide. Another sign would be speeding up or slowing down too quickly or slowly for the conditions. These reactions are going to be things that police officers will look out for as well.

Night Driving

Keep in mind that is may be difficult to even see a drunk driver coming at night. This is because they may not remember to turn on their lights. This can pose an even greater threat to the possibility that they could also be driving on the wrong side of the road. You have to make sure that you area alert and prepared with defensive driving techniques so that you can react as quickly and safely as possible.

How-to React

Do not try and chase down a drunk driver. You never know how the driver could react, so certainly do not attempt to detain them if you do catch up to them. Put distance between your car and their car, because you do not know how they will react. Do a check to make you that all of your passengers buckle up, in case you do get in an accident.

One of the best steps you can take is to call the 911 and report the driver. Give them as much information as you can about the car and driver. This may include the location of the car, or the vehicle’s color, make and model. Try and make note of the license plate as well, so that it helps the police or medics be able to easier find the driver. Keep in mind that a person who looks like they are driving impaired could actually be having a medical emergency. Therefore, getting them help right away could be crucial to saving their life, and preventing an accident.