Tips And Treats
Driving a Vehicle is easier said then done, specially in over populated cities and new inexperienced Drivers find it more challenging. Here we have put forth some tips that would help you in Safe and Secure Driving.
Last Updated - 22nd September 2005
Basic Driving Tips
- Always wear your seat belt and make sure all passengers buckle up, too.
- Adjust your car's headrest to a height behind your head-on your nect to minimize whiplash in case you're in an accident.
- Never try to fit more people in the car than you have seat belts for them to use.
- Obey the speed limits, Going too fast gives you less time to stop or react. Excess speed is one of the main causes of teenage accidents.
- Don't run red lights.
- Use turn signals to indicate your intention to turn or to change lanes. Turn it on to give the cars behind you enough time to react before you take the action. Also, make sure the signals turns off after you've completed the action.
- When light turns green, make sure intersection clears before you go
- Don't drive like you own the road; drive like you own the car.
- Make sure your windshield is clean. At sun rise and sun set, light reflecting off your dirty windshield can momentarily blind you from seeing what's going on.
- Don't blast the radio. You might miss hearing a siren or a horn that could warn you of possible trouble.
- Make sure your garage door is completely open before backing out of it.
- Drive into your garage straight, not on an angle.
- Make sure your car has gas in it. Don't ride around with the gauge on empty who knows where you might get stranded.
- Don't drink and drive, and don't ride with anyone who has been drinking. Call parents or friends to take you home if you need a ride.
- Don't take drugs or drive if you've taken any. Don't ride with anyone who has been using drugs. Even some over the counter drugs can make you drowsy. Check label for warnings.
- Don't drive with small children or even small teenage friends as passengers in a front seat that has a passenger-side air bag. They should be buckled up in the back seat. Recent transportation studies show that small children may be injured by the air bags even in low impact collisions. (Actually, it's safer not to drive with friends and kids in the car when you're learning to drive. They can be distracting.)
- Don't talk on the car phone, put on make-up, comb your hair, or eat while driving. People who talk on car phones while driving are four times more likely to have an accident. If you need to make a call, pull off the road to a safe spot and park.
- Don't leave your car in cruise control when you're driving late at night or when you're tired. If you fall asleep at the wheel, the car will crash at the speed you've set your control to maintain.
- Don't fiddle with the radio while you are driving. It's better to wait until you can pull over and stop because even taking your focus off the road for a few seconds could lead to an accident.
- Use good quality tireand make sure they are inflated to the right pressure (check your owners manual for what is right for your tires and car).
- Maintain your car. Bald tires, a slipping transmission, or a hesitant engine could lead to accidents
- Use headlights during daylight driving, especially on long stretches of desert highway and rural roads to make you more visible to oncoming drivers.
- Watch out for potholes, especially after bad weather
- Be on the lookout for motorcycles, bikes, and pedestrians
- When driving to a new place, get complete directions before you go. Figure out what exits you need to take before hand.
- If your car has been parked outside during a snow storm, check the exhaust pipes to make sure they are clear before starting up the car.
What drivers should know about sharing the road with Motorcycles
- Motorcyclists often slow by downshifting or merely rolling off the throttle, thus not activating the brake light. Allow more following distance, say 3 or 4 seconds. At intersections, predict a motorcyclist may slow down without visual warning.
- Turn signals on a motorcycle usually are not self-canceling, thus some riders, (especially beginners) sometimes forget to turn them off after a turn or lane change. Make sure a motorcycles signal is for real.
- Motorcyclists often adjust position within a lane to be seen more easily and to minimize the effects of wind, road debris, and passing vehicles. Understand that motorcyclists adjust lane position for a purpose, not to be reckless or show off.
- Because of its small size a motorcycle seems to be moving faster than it really is.
- Because of its small size, a motorcycle may look farther away than it is. When checking traffic to turn at an intersection, predict a motorcycle is closer than it looks.
- Because of its small size, a motorcycle can be easily hidden by objects inside or outside a car (door posts, mirrors, passengers, bushes, fences, bridges, blind spots, etc.). Take an extra moment to thoroughly check traffic, whether youre changing lanes, pulling out of your driveway, making a left turn across traffic, or turning at intersections.
- Stopping distance for motorcycles is nearly the same as for cars, but slippery pavement makes quick stopping difficult. Allow a motorcyclist more following distance
- Maneuverability is one of a motorcycles better characteristics, but only at slower speeds and with good road conditions. Dont expect a motorcyclist to always be able to dodge out of the way.
- Carrying a passenger complicates a motorcyclists task. Balance is more difficult. Stopping distance is increased. Maneuverability is reduced. Predict more problems when you see two on a motorcycle, especially near intersections.
- Mirrors are smaller on a motorcycle and are usually convex, thus giving a motorcyclist a smaller image of you and making you seem farther back than you really are. Keep at least a three or four second space cushion when following a motorcyclist.
- There are a lot more cars and trucks than motorcycles on the road, and some drivers dont "recognize" a motorcycle and ignore it (usually unintentionally). Look for motorcycles, especially when checking traffic at an intersection.
- At night, single headlights and taillights of motorcycles can blend into the lights of other traffic. Those "odd" lights could be a motorcycle.
Tips on Driving In the Country
- Watch out for deer and other large and small animals. If you see a deer approaching, slow down and flash your lights repeatedly. Often, the deer will run away.
- Also, if you see one deer, watch out for others close by the often travel in pairs or groups.
- Watch out for pigs, chickens, cows, and skunks, too.
- When driving in the desert, watch out for animals like camels.
- If you get an insect like a fly or a bee in your car, don't try to kill it while you're driving! It could take your attention off the road and you could crash. Instead, pull over and park as soon as possible and get the bug out of the car or ask a passenger to take care of it
Tips on Driving In Bad Weather
- Turn your headlights on anytime you need to turn your windshield wipers on in rain, fog, sleet, freezing rain, or snow. It will help your visibility and also help other drivers see you.
- In winter, keep an ice scraper with a brush in your car in case it snows or sleets. Also check that you have wiper fluid/deicer in your car. If it gets messy while you are out, these will come in handy.
- Double the space you normally leave between you and the next car. You'll need more space to stop on slick roads.
- Brake gently
- Make sure your exhaust tail pipe is clear if you've had to dig your car out of snow or ice or if you've backed into a snow bank. If your tail pipe is blocked you could get sick or die from carbon monoxide poisoning.
- When driving on slippery surfaces like ice or snow use gentle pressure on the accelerator pedal when starting. If your wheels start to spin, let up on the accelerator until traction returns.
- Check that windshield washer works-you may need it in snow and sleet.
- Watch out for severe weather warnings before you drive. If a strong storm come on while you're on the road and it's raining too hard to see, try to find a safe place to pull over until the worst of the rain is over. If you see a tornado coming your way, safety experts suggest you find shelter or if that's not possible, then get out of car and find a ditch to take cover in, protecting your head and neck. It's hard to outrun a tornado.
- Braking in bad weather can be tricky.
- When braking on wet roads:
- If you have ABS (anti-lock) brakes, do not pump brakes
- If you skid with non ABS brakes and your wheels lock up, let up on the brakes to unlock the wheels, then brake gently.
- Listen to radio traffic reports and adjust your travel plans accordingly.
- Keep windows and windshield clear. Make sure wipers are working.
- Leave a window open a little bit to keep windshield from fogging up and to give you fresh air.
- Watch for danger spots ahead. You've probably heard that bridges and overpasses may freeze before the roads do.
- When starting out in bad weather, test your brakes to see how far it takes you to stop.
- If you are stuck in ice or snow, try putting your floor mats under the edge of the tires to give them traction
Tips On Parallel Parking
Learning how to parallel park is one of the hardest skills for new drivers to learn.
- Signal and pull up approx. 3 feet away from the car you want to park behind, aligning your rear tires with the other car's rear bumper.
- Put car into REVERSE, and turn wheels ALL THE WAY to the RIGHT.
- Slowly back-up until you are at a 45 degree angle. STOP.
- Turn the wheels ALL THE WAY to the LEFT.
- Slowly back-up until you are parallel with the curb.
- If done correctly you should be less then 12 inches from the curb.
- Practice will improve your judgment.
- Select a space that is at least six feet longer than your car.
- Flash your brake lights and put on your turn signal before you pull in.
- Always look back to check traffic.
- Take it slow and ease into the spot.
Exiting a parallel parking space
- Back-up straight as far as you can go without touching the car behind.
- Turn your wheels all the way to the left (in the U.S.) Then make sure that you put your car in drive.
- Put on your turn signal.
- Check traffic, including your blind spot.
- Make sure your right fender has enough room to clear the car in front of you.
- Turn wheels slowly to the right when you are halfway out of the parking space.
Disclaimer: The Driving Tips / Information presented and opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of TipsAndTreats.com and/or its partners.
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