Safety Defensive Driving Tips for the fall.
Believe it or not, we made it through another scorching summer season and soon enough summer will officially will be over. We welcome the fall season with its lower temperature, shorter days and much needed rain. We have some safety defensive driving tips for this coming fall season you may find useful. The driving conditions, road conditions and weather will require any driver to adjust their driving skills to the task. Here is a quick reference checklist.
- Hydroplaning -
With the increase in rain, the condition of the tire’s threads are of paramount importance. Aqua-planing or hydroplaning causes a vehicle to lose traction due to a thin layer of water between the tire’s and the ground.
Basically, the grooves in the tire can not remove or displace all the water between the tire surface and the road causing the tire to lift and slide as if it was on a layer of ice. Of course the faster the vehicle moves over water, the more water has to be displaced by the tires. Look at image above and notice how the contact surface reduces how the speed increases. That is why the right amount of thread and the proper pressure in the tires are very critical.
- Hypothermia – (here is the actual definition)
Heat may no longer be the issue, but cold temperatures, especially at night, may cause hypothermia should a driver get stranded in a isolated road overnight. A blanket and thermo pads are always a good idea to have as the colder months are approaching. Thermo pads are particular effective since they can be stored safely and activated only when needed. Once activate they can generate enough heat to prevent someone from going into hypothermia.
- Poor Visibility -
When driving in the rain, visibility is already reduced by the falling water droplets. It is very important the windshield wipers are working and with the rubber blade in prefect condition.
Additional additives can also be used and wiped on the windshield glass itself to cause the water to bead-up and slide away . Also, reduce the amount of time the car stays in other cars water spray zone. While this is sometimes inevitable in city traffic, heavy spray can completely blind and remove any visibility. Even if for just few seconds, that is extremely dangerous.
- Emergency Signals -
With the days getting shorter and the visibility being poorer, having the right emergency signals is critical. Please include flares, refractive triangles or anything that can be lit and visible from a long distance should you need to pull over or break down in the path of traffic.
- Stopping distance -
Increase the distance from the vehicle in front. Wetness or poor visibility will cause stopping distances to increase dramatically. Please use the 4 second rule when following another car while the road is wet.