Friday, February 27, 2015

Safe driving tips for NHS students

Madison Walsh
Staff Writer

Now that the winter months are upon us, safety hazards are becoming more and more of a concern. Between the snow, sleet, hail, and icy roads that become issues during this season, drivers must continue to stay cautious on the roads. Every driver, regardless of age,  must prepare for the treacherous conditions; the new drivers who are going to and from school every weekday especially must stay aware on the roads.
  With these hazards kept in mind, use these safety tips in order to help you get home safely every time.
  Practice, practice, practice! Even if you have had your license for a long period of time, it is important to know how your car will act when in cold weather conditions. Whether you’re driving a new car this season, or have simply never driven in the winter months before, it’s important to get a feel for how your car will personally behave on the roads. Test the brakes, rehearse maneuvers in empty parking lots, and steer into a skid to know how to react when you run into scares on the road in real life.
 To prevent crashes on the road, start by slowing down your speed and distancing yourself further from the car ahead of you (as much as 10 times as recommended!). This will give you more time to react if an accident ahead of you does occur. If the car skids in icy conditions, steer gently into the direction you are skidding. Accelerating gently will also help you gain greater control.
  If you are driving a manual shift, use low revs and, as quickly as possible, change into a higher gear. Moving off in second gear may help to reduce wheel slips. This will also help your wheels  grip the road better when driving on ice.
  If you get caught driving in hail, make sure to drive in the opposite direction the hail is coming down; this means the hail should always be hitting the front windshield. If your desired destination requires any other side of your car to face the hail, try to find alternative routes. This will help increase your safety due to the fact that the front windshield is much better at withstanding outside forces, compared to the side windows or rear windshield.
  Lastly, keep an eye out for potholes on the roads. Leave extra room between the front of your car and the car ahead of you to obtain the greatest possible visibility in order to avoid potholes. If you come across an unavoidable pothole, slow down before you hit it. Do not brake directly over a pothole, as this could damage tires. Puddles of water could actually be potholes in disguise, so try to avoid these as well.
  Keeping these safety tips in mind and behaving accordingly on the roads will give you the greatest possible chance of getting around unharmed. Safe driving!

Information derived from the following sources:
OSHA: https://www.osha.gov/Publications/SafeDriving.pdf

RAC: http://www.rac.co.uk/advice/winter-driving/

Allstate: http://blog.allstate.com/your-guide-to-potholes-driving-safety-tips/

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