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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.

Driving Safely in Snow

Winter in the South is pretty unpredictable. Will we South and North Carolinians get a season of ice? Rain? Maybe a little snow? We never can be too sure, although we usually get at least one good snow in the South. For this reason, it’s important that a solid technique for driving safely in snow be well within your wheelhouse. But what steps can you take, besides staying home, to keep yourself safe when outside looks more like a winter wonderland than normal? 

Driving Safely in Snow: Tips for Winter Trips 

Look Further Ahead 

When it’s cold and wet and frosty, you might find yourself focusing solely on the road ahead of you. After all, there are immediate dangers to account for. But, force yourself to take turns between looking closely and looking further ahead. You might see brake lights, patches of black ice, a car accident, wet spots, or another unexpected roadway obstruction. For these reasons, driving safely in the snow starts with thinking clearly, being on high alert, and looking at the road conditions around you. They can change rapidly. 

Be prepared to skid and slide 

No matter how dedicated you are to driving safely in the snow, a little bit of skidding and sliding is very common in this type of weather. Prepare for this possibility and understand the best ways to combat the problem. Drive slowly, don’t slam on the breaks, turn your hazards on, and remain calm. Review your front and rear wheel skidding techniques. Being from the South, we don’t experience this type of weather all that often so it can be scary. If you’re not prepared to deal with it, there’s no shame in staying home, asking for a ride, or walking to your destination if it’s close by!

Don’t fall for false senses of security, such as four wheel drive 

Lastly, and most importantly, don’t put your faith into one function, feature, or item more than you put into your own ability to drive safely in show. Four-wheel drive, snow tires, or snow chains are fantastic tools for increasing safety. But don’t expect them to do the work for you. You have to remain focused, attentive, and cautious when driving— even if you have some mechanisms in place to make that trip just a bit safer. You never know when these safety features might fail you. 

Types of Roads: Highways, Roads, and Interstates

When you are driving, you will notice there are so many different types of roads out there. From roads and streets to highways and freeways, you may wonder why they all have different names. It may seem very random as to how they assign names to the roads. Believe it or not, there is actually a method to how they assign road types as parts of names.

Types of Roads: What They Are

Large Roads

There is a category for the larger, higher capacity roads. There are many types of roads in this grouping. First, there is a highway, which is a major public road that usually connects multiple cities. Next, there are interstates. These are a large, federally funded network of roads that are part of a highway system. They may go between states, but don’t have to. Then, there is a turnpike, which is a part of a highway, and usually a toll road. Another part of the highway system is freeways. They are a large road with two or more lanes on each side. In addition, parkways are a large, decorated public road. A causeway is a raised road that passes across low or swampy ground or water. Additionally, a beltway is a highway that surrounds a city. As you can see, there are many different types of roads.

Smaller Roads

There are also smaller, lower capacity roads. This is also made up of many types of roads. The most common type is a road. It is a way that connects two points. Another type of road is a street. These are a public way with buildings on both sides. Often, they are perpendicular to an avenue. Avenues are very similar to a streets, and are common when driving in cities.

A lane is a narrow road that is often found in a rural area. Drives are often winding, and potentially long, roads that hug mountains or lakes. A way is a small street off a road. Ending in a circle or a loop, courts do not provide a throughway. Lastly, an ally is a small pathway between buildings. These may or may not be drivable. 

As you can tell, there are many different types of roads. This list is not all inclusive, so there are many more. Now you know how they assign road types. When you see road names in the future, the designation will hopefully make more sense.

Being in an Auto Accident: What to Do

Being in an auto accident can be really scary. You can never be fully prepared for an accident, no matter the circumstance. However, if you are aware of what to do after an accident, things may feel a little less overwhelming. Learn what you should be doing after being in a car accident.

Being in an Auto Accident: Keep These Things in Mind

Check for injuries

The first thing to do after being in an auto accident is to check for injuries on yourself and your passengers. Once you have determined if you are able to move or not, try to find a safe space outside of the vehicle. However, if you think that staying in the car is safer due to the environment where the accident happened, then stay in the vehicle.

Call 911

If you are able to move to safety after being in an auto accident, do so, and also call 911. While you are waiting for emergency services to arrive, make sure to turn off your vehicle’s engine and turn on your hazard lights.

Once the police and other emergency services arrive, make sure any people injured are addressed first.Next, have the officer file a police report. They will get information from you and any other driver that was involved in the accident. Some states require that an official report be made by local law enforcement of any accidents.

Keep calm

Emotions will be high after being in an auto accident, so try to stay calm. The police will determine fault, not you or the other drivers. Keep any conversations cordial and make sure to get insurance information from all the other drivers involved.

Take Photos and Videos

After being in an auto accident, it may be a good idea to take several pictures at the site of the accident. You can use your smartphone or any other camera you may have. Make sure to take pictures of all vehicles involved from multiple angles and also pictures of the location where it happened. These pictures may prove to be very helpful when filing the accident with your insurance provider.

Log Everything

Log everything you remember happening and contact your insurance provider after being in an accident. A dash cam is incredibly helpful. If you do not have one, make sure to note down all the events leading up to the accident. Try to remember every detail you can as this may help later with claiming the accident with your insurance provider. After you have noted down all the details you can remember, call your insurance provider and report the accident.

How-to Navigate Stormy Roads: Trucking Hazards

Having to drive in the rain isn’t an easy task for most drivers out there. For truck drivers, stormy roads can be especially dangerous. As such, it’s important to know what sort of hazards to watch for, and how to best handle them…

How-to Navigate Stormy Roads: What To Avoid

Remember the wind

Understandably, most people are going to be concerned about the rain when driving on stormy roads. However, you can’t forget about the high wind which usually comes with it. This wind can be a danger in a multitude of ways, especially when you’re on a haul.

For starters, this wind will make the rain hit harder, making it especially hard to see. The wind can also start pulling on your truck, causing it to start swerving. In fact, if the wind is severe enough, then it may even cause your truck to flip if you aren’t careful! As such, you need to be mindful of how bad the wind is, and how much you can control your truck.

Watch for high water

Stormy roads also tend to experience a lot of flooding. Now, most drivers in standard cars won’t be able to handle these floods. Some may think that trucks can tackle high water easier, due to being taller and more powerful. In reality, high water is still as dangerous to truck drivers as it is to anyone else on the road.

With high water, it’s very easy for your truck to lose traction and effectively get stuck. Plus, you may not be able to tell just how high it is from your cab. Many times, high water will also hide debris on the road which could end up damaging your truck. In general, it’s best to play it safe and find an alternate route.

Keep track of the weather

The best way to handle stormy roads is by avoiding them altogether. This means you should be keeping track of what the weather conditions will be like. Be sure you check what the weather and roads will look like for the route you plan to go on. If the weather seems to be poor, then try and find a backup route just in case.

These days, you can also keep up with the weather in real time. Practically all smart phones come with weather apps which can track your location and provide you with real-time updates. That way, if the weather suddenly starts to turn, you can react properly and find either another route or a place to wait it out.

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.