Tag Archives: driving tips

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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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Should You Call the Police After a Car Accident?

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If you have been involved in a car crash, there are a number of steps you need to take. You need to ensure that you watch what you say, that’s for sure. After all, you don’t want to implicate yourself in something. You also need to gather witness contact information too. But, do you need to call the police? This depends on the crash itself and any other important details surrounding it, so let’s take a look.

You need to assess the situation carefully to determine whether the police should be called. So, this involves…

  • Checking yourself and your passengers to see if there are any injuries – If anyone is injured, call the emergency services immediately. This means both an ambulance and the police. It is important to try and stay calm, although this can be a traumatic and painful experience. Make sure your hazard lights are on, and try to pull out of the lane of traffic.
  • Think about where you are in relation to other traffic – If you are positioned in a potentially dangerous area, and you cannot move, it is important to contact the police as soon as possible. They can ensure efforts are put into place to divert the oncoming traffic so that there are not any further accidents.
  • Check to see if anyone else is hurt in any other vehicles involved – If you and anyone else in your vehicle are fine, you should check to make sure that no one else is hurt in any of the other cars that have been involved in the car crash. Do not do anything, though, that is going to put your safety or anyone else’s safety at risk. If you cannot get to the car, call the emergency services immediately.
  • Do you suspect foul play? – If someone has fled the scene of the crash, then this is a clear reason to call the police. After all, you have been involved in a hit and run. If something about someone else’s behaviour is making you suspicious, it’s always better to go with your gut. Call the police. Maybe this person has something to hide?
  • Determine the extent of the damage to the vehicles – Your health and safety is a priority, so once you are sure everyone is okay, you can then look at the extent of damage to the vehicle. All accidents should be reported to the police within 24 hours. This is also important if you want to make a compensation claim. As this law firm will explain, a police record will help you to have a stronger case, as it serves as an official record of what has happened. If the damage is only minor, there is no need to call the police immediately, but make sure you do so while the details are fresh in your mind.

Hopefully, you now have a better idea as to whether you need to call the police or not. Use the steps that have been mentioned above to help you make up your mind. If you are still not certain, it is often better to be safe than sorry, so call the police, but think about going for their standard line rather than the emergency one.

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5 Mistakes To Avoid With Your Teen Driver

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No parent is one hundred percent happy when their child starts to learn to drive; In fact, most parents are absolutely terrified by the concept. Most parents choose to teach their children to drive themselves, so as to ensure that they’re being safe. However, this could be a mistake if you’re not doing it right. If you make mistakes while teaching your child to drive, it could result in them failing their test, losing their license, or even crashing. Here are some of the most common mistakes that you should avoid.

Failing To Plan Your Drives

Planning your drives properly ahead of time will reduce the chance of your child of panicking and stressing due to the last minute nature of your lessons. Your child also needs to have a certain number of hours practice before their test, so planning these lessons out will ensure that you get all of the hours completed that are needed. Choose specific skills for your to learn or situations to deal with each lesson, and mix up the routes you take, so that your child has a well-rounded knowledge.

Losing Your Nerve

You’d be surprised how useful positive reinforcement and genuine support can be for your child’s confidence while driving. For this reason, you should make a point of praising your child whenever they make a good manoeuver or sound judgement. As well as this, you should also avoid going mad at them and freaking out whenever they do something they shouldn’t. Of course, you should let them know of their mistake, and explain to them how they should have done it instead, but shouting that they’re going to get you killed isn’t going to do any good. In fact, you may as well find an auto accident attorney now if this is going to be your reaction to mistakes.

Being A Passenger

You have to remember that, even though you’re sat in the passenger seat, and your child is in the driving seat, you are not a passenger; You are a teacher and an instructor. You have to avoid just sitting back and enjoying the ride because this isn’t going to help your child pass their driving test. Instead, give feedback on their driving, both good and bad, and don’t let your mind wander to things other than your child’s driving.

Bringing Up Other Issues

While you’re out driving with your child, you need to make sure that you’re focused on driving itself, and not any outside issues. It might be tempting to take this time away from the rest of the family to discuss chores, school grades, behaviour, or any other family issues, but this is sure to distract your child from their driving, which can be incredibly dangerous. Instead, encourage them to stay focused and keep their eye on the road, and talk through anything else later.

It can be scary and difficult teaching your own child to drive, but if you avoid making these mistakes, you’ll find it to be a much easier task.