Tag Archives: safe driving

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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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Family First – Keeping The Kids Safe After A Crash

There is nothing scarier than being involved in a road traffic accident. So, imagine just how terrifying it will be for your kids! Being in a crash with your whole family in the car can be extremely scary and stressful, as you won’t just have yourself to look out for. Thankfully, there are various steps you should take to ensure that your kids don’t end up too affected by the accident. Read on to find out more!

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Get Them Away From The Site

First of all, if you are able to, you should take everyone away from the crash site. This is because it could still be very dangerous. For instance, the vehicles could be on fire or they might set alight quickly if they aren’t already. Plus, if the cars have been left in the middle of the road, waiting close to them could make you all a hazard for other drivers. If you crash on a highway and can’t move too far from the site, you should get everyone onto the nearest grassy verge away from the vehicles and oncoming traffic.

Calm Everyone Down

If your family is panicking, it’s important that you spend some time calming everyone down. When they are panicking, they might make some very rash decisions that could put them in danger. So, after you have called the emergency services, it’s necessary to be with your kids and try to cheer them up. You can think of the positives, such as no one was hurt too badly.

Get Professional Help

Even if no one appears to be injured in a crash and you don’t have to call an ambulance, you should still take the whole family to the nearest hospital. Your children might be too scared to say if they have any aches and pains. When you see a doctor, they can get a proper checkout. It’s also worth contacting a car accident lawyer such as The Law Offices of Gary Greenberg as they can offer you any legal advice that you might need. This is especially important if anyone if badly injured after an accident that wasn’t your fault.

Be Open About What Happened

Your kids are probably going to have a lot of questions about what happened. So, in the days after the car accident, you should be very open and honest with them. Don’t try and sugarcoat what happened just to protect them as this could give them an altered view of the world. You might also find that some children develop a fear of being in a car. Most will lose this fear after a few weeks and they get back into the swing of things. However, if it persists, you should think about taking them to see a professional therapist or counsellor so they can get the help they need.

There’s no getting away with just how scary a car crash will be for you and your family. But, hopefully, all of the above tips can help you all overcome the trauma together.

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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.