Tag Archives: driving safety

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Winter Driving: Stay Safe in Icy Weather

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Driving during the winter months is always going to be a more difficult task. The lack of friction on the roads due to black ice and the reduced visibility caused by heavy snowfall are just two of the dangers that you may encounter during this time. When the conditions get very bad, you should only drive if it is absolutely necessary, but if you do decide to venture out onto the roads, here is some helpful advice to keep you safe.

Prepare Before You Leave

The first part of safe winter driving happens before you have even left the house. Pack some supplies to keep in the car including some food and water, warm clothing, a first aid kit, a portable phone charger, a torch, jump leads, an ice scraper and some grit. Plan your route carefully beforehand so that you are less likely to get lost and try to stick to main roads which are more likely to have been gritted. Do all the proper checks beforehand including your oil, car fluids, and tyre pressures. Clear the ice from the whole of your windscreen and windows before you leave so that you have maximum visibility.

Pick the Correct Lights

You shouldn’t use your fog lights unless the visibility is extremely poor as this could dazzle other road users – particularly if there is a lot of snow on the ground. Don’t use your full beam headlights any more than you normally would. However, you should use the dipped beam headlights when it is snowing to help drivers to spot you when you are out on the roads.

Keep Your Distance

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Stopping distances increase significantly during the icy weather so you should leave more space than you normally would. It can take as much as ten times as long to stop on an icy road, so increase the distance between you and the car in front appropriately. A good rule of thumb to follow is to be around 20 seconds from the car in front of you if the road is icy. If you are unlucky enough to get into an accident, you should look to contact an auto accident attorney. But if you keep your distance you will decrease the odds of the crash being serious.

Drive Smoothly and Gently

Your use of all of the car controls including steering, throttle and brake should be as smooth and slow as possible. Keep the engine revs at a minimum by changing gear early as you accelerate and late as you decelerate. Try to avoid and harsh steering or other manoeuvres that could cause the car to skid.

Deal with Skidding

Sometimes, skidding is inevitable no matter how much you try to stop it. Listen out for the sounds that the road is making – if you are driving on a patch of ice, the tyre noise is likely to suddenly go quiet. If you feel yourself start to skid, take your foot off the accelerator, avoid using the brakes and steer in the direction of the skid.  

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Dealing With Car Accidents: How to Get Around Stress and Anxiety Following a Crash

Car accidents can be a traumatic time. If it doesn’t leave permanent injuries to those involved, then it will leave bad memories on that person that could prevent them from ever getting behind the wheel again. It’s not unusual for people that were involved in car accidents to become terrified of cars, be it as a driver or passenger.

While a small bump or light crash won’t dissuade us from ever driving again, a major crash or accident that leaves injuries on us or our loved ones could tip us over the breaking point. During our lives, we constantly encounter challenging situations, but nothing quite compares to fearing for safety during a crash. If you’re a car accident victim, then you might know how anxious someone feels after experiencing a crash. Should you ever encounter such a situation, here are some tips to help you relax and stay calm during the ordeal.

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Relax

After the initial crash, you need to start calming your thoughts. While it can be a hectic time to remain calm, the best way to do this is to be alone. Once you’ve secured the safety of yourself and your passengers, sit on the sidewalk and gather yourself. If people approach you, then kindly ask them to leave you alone for a couple of minutes. If they are aggressive, then ignore them and shoo them away if they try to touch you. Once you get home, take a shower and head straight to bed unless you feel strong enough to report the crash to your insurance company.

Defensive Driving Course

Many people get over the fear of driving by taking a course in defensive driving. Although you might not have caused the crash, it doesn’t mean that you can’t refresh your knowledge about safe driving. It’s a good way to boost your confidence and motivate yourself to start driving again. Learning new driving skills is a great thing no matter the circumstance, so even if you haven’t been in an accident yet, consider taking a defensive driving course to bolster your safety skills.

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You Aren’t Alone

It’s common to feel anxious after a traumatic car accident. There are many support groups on the internet and locally that you can join to discuss your experience and speak with individuals who have gone through the same as you. You’ll also get to converse with people who are currently going through the same thing, and you can help each other clear those anxious feelings so you can continue living your life and start driving again.

Reduce Stress

Your levels of stress will undoubtedly be high during and after the accident. Whether it’s stress from the crash itself or the papers and forms to fill in during the aftermath, it’s very common. Make sure that you take time off work and relax with friends and family. Tell them how you feel, let them comfort you, and surround yourself with positive vibes so that the stress melts away. A healthy diet will help improve your mood, and you should consult your doctor if you feel like the stress is affecting your daily life.

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All You Need To Know About Safety On The Roads

We all know how potentially dangerous driving can be. Yet, it is amazing how quick and easy it can be to find yourself engaging in acts which are surprisingly dangerous. Even though you know that certain behaviours lead to road accidents, you still find yourself doing it. Part of the reason behind this is because it is tempting to think that such a thing will never happen to you. It seems as though they only ever happen to other people. Of course, this is not the case, and it is worth reminding yourself of that if you find yourself falling into poor habits with your driving. Fortunately, there are some key habits to focus on if you want to stay safe on the roads. Let’s take a look at what those are.

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Avoid Fatigue

Have you ever driven tired? If you have, you will know how terrifying it can actually be. The truth is, the longer you have been driving in life, the more of a danger tired driving actually is. This is because as you get more comfortable with the act of driving, you find that you need to focus much less on what you are doing. This can then mean that, if you are already tired, you might end up falling asleep at the wheel. It is generally best, therefore, to simply avoid fatigued driving at all costs. If you are unlucky, it could lead to some serious damage being done.

Minimise Distractions

If you look at the official statistics on car accidents, you will find that being distracted is the number one cause. We can use this knowledge to our advantage. One of the major types of distraction is the mobile phone. It might be a good idea, therefore, to actually always turn your mobile off when you are driving. Not having this distraction makes it much less likely that you will suffer a severe crash. Vehicle crash attorneys are well used to hearing horror stories relating to this kind of distraction. Do yourself a favour, and don’t let yourself become another statistic.

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Driving Sober

This next point should be obvious, but it is amazing how many people fall into the bad habit of driving after a couple of drinks. This is incredibly dangerous, as we all know, and the only real way to avoid it is to make a point never to drive after any alcohol whatsoever, even only one. One drink alone can easily impair your judgment, so make sure you don’t even do that. It also goes without saying that you should try to avoid driving under the influence of any other kind of drugs. Even if you feel as though you are in control, you never know what might happen. And if you are pulled over, you could seriously regret it.

Only Take Necessary Journeys

Finally, a quick note to say that one of the easiest and simplest ways of reducing your risk of being in an accident is to only drive when necessary. Clearly, the less you drive, the more likely that you will avoid any crashes, so this is a surprisingly powerful one to take on board.