All posts in On the Road

Auto Accidents: How to Do Your Best to Avoid Them

One of the best ways to avoid accidents is to drive defensively. You never know what crazy things can happen on the road. That is why it is essential for you to always be focused and alert. Luckily, when you pay attention and anticipate the moves of other drivers, you can avoid them when they do something dangerous.

Scan Ahead

If you can see ahead of the car in front of you, it’ll be easier to avoid an accident if they slam on their brakes. This leaves you time to maneuver your own vehicle to avoid hitting the person in front of you. By doing this you can avoid so many accidents and help keep you and your family safe.

Blind Spots

While your side and rear view mirror can give you a view of what’s behind or beside you, there are blind spots that will leave you vulnerable. Turn in your seat to see what’s behind or beside you before switching lanes. Be aware of where you are in other people’s blind spots too.

Condition of the Other Car

If you see a car with dents all over it, you’ll likely want to avoid that car. It’s the outward sign of a bad driver, or one who doesn’t care. It’s like a neon sign that you should be watching that driver closely too. Just be sure to pay attention to the cars around you so that you can be aware of what’s going on around you.

Driving at Night

While there might be less traffic at night, so it seems like a better time to travel. It’s actually more dangerous. You have your own vision limitations at night as well as the decreased visibility available to other drivers. People out late at night might be joyriding kids or people leaving bars who have had too much to drink.

Safety on the Wet Roadway

While hydroplaning means you have no control of the vehicle, you can help avoid the condition in the first place if you slow down while the roads are wet. The car’s tires can’t get purchase on the road when it’s wet. Don’t slam on your brakes when hydroplaning either. It can make the situation worse.

Parking Lot Accidents

Be aware of your surroundings as well as the width of your vehicle when pulling in or out of a parking space. Leave enough room next to you for the other car’s doors to open. You might even want to park away from other vehicles to avoid damage.

While you can’t avoid all car accidents, some are avoidable if you’re aware of your surroundings. Always be aware of other cars on the road. Don’t rely on your mirrors since they have blind spots, and drive slowly when dealing with hazardous roadway conditions. If you get into an accident, a lawyer like Steve W. Sumner, Attorney at Law can help you. Getting professional help can really help make you feel better and relieve a lot of stress. This is also a good reminder that you are never alone.

Best Ways to Learn Defensive Driving as a New Driver

As a newly licensed teen, you are probably ecstatic about your accomplishment. You passed your road test, but you still need to learn defensive driving skills. An experienced driver is always mindful of irresponsible and careless drivers and these skills take time. To learn them, ask your parents, teachers, and other drivers you know what defensive skills you should have.

Be Mindful of Tailgaters

If someone is following your car too closely, try to put twice as much space between your car and the other vehicle. The extra space will decrease the chances of you being in a collision. Do not press your brakes too hard and check your surroundings. When you have an opening, move to another lane. Be aware of how close you follow other cars as well. Being too close can increase your own risk of getting in an accident.

Use Your Turn Signals

Always use the turn signals. The turn signals should be used whenever you are making a left or a right turn. You should also use the turn signal whenever you are changing lanes. Other drivers will anticipate your actions and respond accordingly. This is an important part of your road test, but don’t neglect it later on when you have your license.

Keep a Consistent Speed

Whenever you drive, other drivers will watch your actions so they can stay safe. Your actions need to be predictable. Look for obstructions. You need to anticipate slow traffic, erratic drivers, and construction. You should always look far ahead and keep your mind on the road. 

Yield and Stop at Red Lights

According to a Memphis car accident attorney, if you and another driver cannot decide who has the right of way, you should always yield. If you do not yield, the other driver might hit your car. If another driver hits your car you might be liable. You should always stop at red lights and changing yellow lights as well. Sometimes, you might not notice a red light at an intersection. If you lower your speed when approaching an intersection, you will notice a yellow or red traffic light more easily.

Drive Slower in Rainy and Snowy Weather

Drive slower in rainy weather and make sure there is ample space between your car and other vehicles. You should also drive slower in snowy weather. Turn off cruise control when the road is wet or icy, and keep your eyes peeled as you go along.

Control Your Temper

It is only natural that you might get angry at other drivers, but you have to control your temper. If you drive aggressively, you might hurt yourself or other drivers. If another driver is driving recklessly, you should get away from the car and contact the local police.

Practice your defensive driving skills every day. These skills will be second nature after a few weeks of driving on crowded city streets and you will recognize hazardous road conditions from afar. Hopefully with these tips in your toolbelt, you can respond appropriately when another driver does something dangerous.

Hazards On The Road: 5 Tips For Preparing Your Car For Anything

Traveling by automobile and taking road trips can be a fun experience; however, there are many different things that can happen while you’re traveling that are not enjoyable and can be dangerous if you’re not prepared properly. Below are five tips for preparing your car for the worst.

Emergency Supplies

If you plan on traveling to remote areas away from cell towers and the rest of the world, you’ll need to be ready for bad weather and other hazards. Having your vehicle break down during a blizzard or rainstorm while you’re trapped inside without any emergency supplies like blankets, food, water, flashlights, flares, first aid kits, or warm clothing could mean a potentially dangerous situation.

Tires

It may seem like common sense, but don’t drive on bald tires and always have a spare handy in case of a flat. Make sure your spare tire is in good shape or you may end up with a flat spare, too. You may also consider getting snow tires if you live in an area that is prone to heavy snowfall.

Make Sure Your Heater And Air Conditioner Works

If you’re on a trip traveling through extremely hot or cold weather, make sure your air conditioner and heater are working properly. If neither one works, nor you only have the means to fix one, fix your air conditioner. When it’s cold out, you can always layer up, but if it’s hot, you run the risk hyperthermia if you don’t have enough water on hand.

Get Your Battery Checked

Batteries don’t last forever, and you could very well end up on the side of the road with a dead vehicle due to a bad battery. This is a frustrating experience, especially if you’re stuck in traffic, rain, snow, or heat. If you plan on traveling a long distance or you think your battery is on its last legs, get a local mechanic or dealership, such as Rebel Ford, to check the charge of it for you if you don’t have means to test it yourself.

Check The Antifreeze

Checking your cooling system for leaks and replacing your antifreeze before the winter and summer months is essential. A vehicle with an antifreeze leak could mean that your car or truck is moments away from a disaster. Problems present themselves as an overheated engine, or in extreme cases, and damaged engine block.

Utilizing these tips above will ensure your safety when traveling in your vehicle long distances or in adverse weather conditions. Remember, being preventative is the key to avoiding many of the hazards the road can throw at you.

Driving In Snowfall: 4 Safety Tips For The Roads This Winter

Driving in the winter can be challenging for even the most experienced drivers. The weather can often be unfavorable for driving due to snowfall and ice. Even small amounts of snow can cause road conditions to rapidly deteriorate, creating a slick and dangerous driving environment. Thankfully, there are steps that you can take to be prepared for the worst weather winter can bring. Here are four important safety tips that are crucial to follow when driving in the snowfall this winter.

Keep An Emergency Kit In The Car

If you become stranded on the road in the winter weather, having the proper supplies in your car can help keep you safe. Pack items such as bottled water, non-perishable snacks, blankets, gloves, a mini shovel, hand warmers, a flashlight, and a battery operated phone charger.

Drive The Appropriate Speed

It is never more important to drive at or under the speed limit than when winter weather conditions strike. Too often, drivers do not adjust their speed to accommodate inclement road conditions. Driving too fast in snow and ice not only places yourself in danger, but you put the safety of others at great risk.

If Possible, Wait To Drive Until Roads Have Been Treated

If you are not in too much of a hurry to get to your destination, wait until roads have been plowed and salted before driving. This will help ensure safer driving conditions while traveling. Road maintenance workers can only do so much to keep the road clear, depending on the severity of weather conditions. If it looks too bad, lean towards to side of caution and wait for better road conditions.

Proper Car Maintenance

The best driving in the world is no substitute for a properly maintained car when trying to navigate slippery roads. Before the first snowfall, ensure that your tires are in good condition, and replace your tires if the tread is worn. If you do need to replace your tires, consider buying ones that are specifically built for winter road conditions. Aside from your tires, be sure the rest of your car is ready for winter. Check the condition of your windshield wipers, car heater, and fluid levels. Take it to a dealership, like Woody Sander Ford, or a trusted mechanic to ensure that you are prepared for the winter.

In addition to following the four safety tips listed above, it is always important to use good judgement and exercise caution when driving in the snow. The four tips mentioned above could help you stay safer in winter weather conditions.

Auto Technology: Cool Innovations That Will Make You a Better Driver

Driving has come a long way, so to speak, since the days of Henry Ford and his pioneering development of mass production automobiles. Ford embraced technology as an ally to help him attain his vision of average Americans being able to afford a car; since then, technology has shifted towards improving the overall driving experience. The following five innovations have been specially designed to make driving easier, more enjoyable and safer:

Backup Cameras

Throwing gears into reverse and assuming an awkward position of embracing the passenger seat and twisting your entire body while sitting down sounds like a complex yoga pose, but this is the reality of backing up without the benefit of a digital camera that lets you see exactly what is happening beyond the rear bumper of your car. The latest cameras even display the action on the rear view mirror to take advantage of the driving paradigm of glancing at the mirror to see objects behind you.

GPS Systems

Road navigation systems are often taken for granted these days, but there was a time when getting lost on the roads was a frequent and risky proposition. The best GPS application for automotive use are the type built into the dashboard infotainment unit, but even a mounted smartphone with the right mobile app can help these days.

Wireless Chargers

Smartphone integration with vehicles is only safe when it is done correctly. To this effect, modern wireless chargers do away with the risk of having to fumble with tangled cords while driving. Plus, some of them, like those from TYLT, are purposefully meant to be kept at the same level as the road as to prevent drivers from becoming too distracted.

Smart On-Board Diagnostics

The standard OBD II port in modern vehicles used to be reserved for auto technicians who operated expensive equipment to determine what the engine computer had to say about its condition. These days, smart OBDII scanners are affordable and can interface with mobile apps to let drivers and car owners know exactly what is happening to their engines, thereby making them better informed about the overall state of their vehicles.

Hands-Free Communications

Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and Microsoft Link are primarily designed to make driving safer by allowing drivers to control infotainment systems with their voices and not with their hands. As these smartphone integration standards become smarter, drivers can keep their hands on their steering wheels while they make phone calls, reply to text messages and retrieve information with their voice.

How many of the five above innovations do you currently have access to? Hopefully, you can now see what value that they can bring to your life and will take the necessary steps to invest in them. We all want to be safe on the road and by taking advantage of new technology, we can do just that.