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Tips for Navigating Traffic Circles Safely

Traffic circles are gaining popularity in America because they are safer and more efficient than intersections. They are safer because the most deadly type of crash is the right-angle crash. In a traffic circle, this is nearly impossible. And they are more efficient because traffic is meant to slow but never stop. However, many Americans are still hesitant about entering them. Make sure that you do not have any distractions. In addition, read signs carefully on the road and on the side of the road. Never assume that other drivers know when to yield. And finally, go slowly, but never stop while inside a traffic circle. Hopefully, with these tips, you’ll be able to enter them confidently and avoid any mishaps in traffic circles.

Tips for Navigating Traffic Circles Safely: Calm and Slowly

No Distractions

One important safety tip for entering into traffic circles is to never have distractions. A traffic circle or roundabout involves a lot of moving parts. It’s important that you are able to give the road your fullest attention. This is also a good tip for driving in general. But it is especially important in traffic circles. Put away the phone or put a phone call on hold for a few moments. Avoid fiddling with your radio or eating while in a traffic circle. Just focus on what you need to do to navigate it safely.

Read Signs Carefully

Traffic circles can involve a lot of signage which is what makes some drivers nervous. Often there are signs when you enter the circle, signs on the sides of the circle, and signs at each exit. In addition, there are often directions painted on the road as well. Try to remember that if you are taking one of the first exits you’ll want to stay in an outer lane. If you’re traveling further around the circle, you should move to an interior lane. Try to read the signs of having a passenger help you figure out which exit to take. Stay alert.

Don’t Assume Other Drivers are Being Safe

Another important piece of safety advice for traffic circles is to never assume that other drivers know what they’re supposed to be doing. Part of being a good defensive driver is preparing for the mistakes of others around you on the road. This is the same in traffic circles. Traffic entering the circle is always supposed to yield to traffic already in the circle. However, if you are traveling in a circle, keep an eye on the oncoming lanes. A driver may surprise you and pull out right in front of you if they aren’t paying attention or don’t really understand when to yield. Always keep an eye on traffic all around you.

Go Slow But Don’t Stop

Finally, one last piece of safety advice for navigating traffic circles is to always go slowly, but never stop. It’s fine to stop while waiting to enter the circle if there isn’t a gap in traffic. However, once you’ve entered it, traffic should continue moving. If you are feeling nervous and don’t know which exit is yours, just remember that you can take another lap around the circle. Take things slow as other drivers may not know when to yield or might make mistakes.

Traffic circles have been gaining popularity because studies show that they are safer and more efficient than traditional four-way stops. However, it’s important to remember that they require concentration and focus. Never enter a traffic circle if you are distracted by your phone or passengers. Try to read the signage so you’ll know which lane to be in. You can ask a passenger to help you read signs. In addition, always assume that other drivers will not know when to yield. This will make you a better defensive driver. And finally, go slowly but don’t stop once you’ve entered the circle. As America increases its use of traffic circles, hopefully, crashes at intersections will decrease and traffic flow patterns will improve.

Daily Safety Check for Your Car

A daily safety check for your car is an easy way to keep yourself safer on the road. Some of these you might already do without even realizing. But if not, these are a few items that should always be checked before driving your car. Visually glance at your tires before getting in your vehicle. Also, make sure that your mirrors are aligned. Next, check that you and all passengers have seat belts on the property. And finally, don’t forget to stock your car with essentials. All of these things are very easy to add to your daily routine but can have a big impact on keeping you safer on the road.

Daily Safety Check for Your Car: Simple Reminders to Keep You Safe

Tires

Tires should part of your daily safety check for your car. It’s easy to glance at your tires as you walk to your vehicle. If you see that any tire looks flatter than the others, you should check the pressure. In addition, look for any punctures or objects stuck in your tire. Most cars have automatic sensors to tell if your tire pressure is low. However, if your car does not, you should physically check it if any of your tires look flat.

Mirrors

Another part of your daily safety check for your car should be checking the mirrors. Before you begin driving, make sure that you can easily see in all three of your mirrors. You’ll want to make sure that nobody has adjusted your overhead mirror. Also, make sure that both your side mirrors are still sticking out and are adjusted so you can see out of them. This is especially important if anybody else has driven your vehicle. However, other drivers or even strong wind can move your side mirrors.

Seat Belt

Maybe the single most important item in your daily safety check for your car is to check the seat belt. You should make sure that yours fits properly. Also, make sure that every passenger in your vehicle is wearing one that fits properly as well. Children who are in car seats will have safety straps. Make sure that these are secured too. Everybody’s seat belt should fit across the center of their chest, rather than against their neck. The lap belt should be low and tight along their upper thighs instead of resting on their belly.

Before You Leave

Finally, one final thing to check on your daily safety check for your car is to make sure that you have the essentials. You should keep some basic safety gear in your car at all times. For example, a basic first aid kit is a great idea in case anybody has a small injury while you’re driving. In addition, you should always have a spare tire and tire changing kit. Finally, make sure you never leave the house without jumper cables. A flashlight should also be included in your safety kit. Make sure you’re fully stocked before heading out in your car.

A daily safety check for your car is an easy way to keep you safer on the road. It shouldn’t take more than a few seconds to check your tires as you walk up to your car. Glance in your rearview mirror and side mirrors to make sure they are adjusted properly. Before leaving, make sure that your seat belt fits properly. In addition, check all your passengers for their seat belts as well. Finally, make sure that you have the essentials in your car at all times to help in case of an emergency. Hopefully, you’ll be able to easily incorporate these safety checks into your daily routine.

How to Quit Texting While Driving: Cut Out the Distraction

Texting while driving is incredibly dangerous. Every year, thousands of people get into serious car accidents because of drivers looking at their phones. If you realize that you have a problem with texting and driving, then you are doing a great job in finding ways to stop yourself. There are helpful apps that exist just for this purpose. You can put your phone on silent or even out of reach while you drive. And finally, reward yourself when you stick to your goals. It can be difficult but hopefully, the tips below will help you achieve your goal of never texting and driving again.

How to Quit Texting While Driving: Cut Out the Distraction and Be Safer

Helpful Apps

If you are wanting to stop texting while driving, there are several apps on the market that can help you. Many of them use features that can lock your phone while your car is in motion. Some apps can also send an automatic response if you receive a text that says you’re currently driving and unable to answer. Yet others block your phone from receiving calls or texts until you’ve reached your destination. In addition, some apps even reward you for driving without distraction by giving you coupons or incentives.

Put Phone on Silent

Another way to try and stop texting while driving is to simply have your phone on silent. No matter what is going on with work, it’s not worth risking a car accident. If your car comes with Bluetooth, you can still receive calls that come in. You can even have Siri read any texts you receive out loud. You can also use voice control to send response text messages back without having to read on your phone’s screen.

Put Phone Out of Reach

It’s easy to resist the temptation of texting while driving if you can’t reach your phone. Many people find that even if their phone is on silent, they still want to check it periodically. If you put it safely in your glove box or trunk then you won’t be able to reach it while driving. Before you leave for your trip, just make sure that you’ve sent any texts you need to or returned any important calls.

Reward System

Finally, one way to help yourself stop texting while driving is to reward yourself. You can plan out your future rewards in advance so that you have a goal to strive for. For example, buy yourself a special meal or small treat if you can make it five trips in the car without texting. Having a goal in mind to focus on will help you stay on track. After a while, you probably won’t even need the reward system anymore. You will have simply adjusted to being able to drive without wanting to use your phone at the same time.

Texting while driving is difficult to stop if you’ve become accustomed to it. However, with a little focus, you will be able to give it up. Try using apps designed to help with this. In addition, you can turn your phone on silent or put it out of reach. And finally, set up a reward system to keep you focused on your goal when you’re feeling tempted. Hopefully, you’ll be able to achieve your goals and be safer on the road. Not only for yourself, but for other drivers around you who could be hurt if you drive distractedly.

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.

How-to Prepare for Winter Driving: Get Your Car Ready

Although it is summer now, winter weather will be here before you know it. Keeping this in mind, it is good to be thinking through what you will need to do prepare for winter driving. Depending on where you live, winter weather could look very different than in other parts of the country. Some areas will have mild winters, and others could have blizzards. Even if winter just means cooler temperatures outside for you, there are things you should do to make sure your car is road ready.

How-to Prepare for Winter Driving: Things to Check

Battery

Car batteries can really be affected by cold temperatures. To prepare for winter driving, you should definitely test your battery. To do this, you can use a voltmeter to make sure it’s in good condition. A healthy battery should have a reading of 12.4 volts or more.

In older batteries, certain substances that the battery needs to function may freeze if temperatures get too low. Also, some grades of motor oil can thicken in cold weather. Thick oil could make the battery and starter have to work harder to turn the engine over. Having a healthy battery could help prevent overcome this problem.

Tires

Next, to prepare for winter driving, you will want to check your tires. If you live in an area that gets snow or ice, consider putting winter tires on your car. These tires have a deeper, more flexible tread, and will give you better traction in slippery conditions. On the other hand, if you decide to stick with all-season tires, check your tire tread regularly. Tires should be replaced if the tread is anything less than 2/32 of an inch. If a tire is bald and worn out, it will not have good traction.

Another thing to keep in mind is to check the tire pressure. As the outside temperature drops, tire pressure usually drops as well. If tire pressure is too low, too much of the tire’s surface area will touch the ground. This could make tire wear out too quickly. Additionally, it could cause your tires to overheat. If a tire overheats, your tire tread could separate, which could be dangerous.

Windshield Wipers

Your windshield wipers are something you should check in order to prepare for winter driving. Make sure they are in condition, and replace them if needed. If they are not properly removing rain or snow from your car windshield, you could have a difficult time seeing out. Also, add wiper fluid that is rated for -30 degrees. This will help to keep your windshield wiper fluid from freezing up in cold weather.

As you can see, there are small steps that you can take to make sure that you are safe on the roads when the weather gets cold. These tips will help you prepare for driving in winter weather.

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.