General Driving Tips
Not wearing a seatbelt is insane, not only might it save
your life, and it’s the law, but it will keep you in place in an emergency and
allow you to regain control.
An air bag inflates at 250 mph in 1/50th of a
second; make sure you’re at least 10 inches from the steering wheel. With your
body relaxed, back against the seat, and arms straight out, your wrists should
be able to rest on the top of the steering wheel.
Always know what is in your blind spot.
Four wheel drive will help with acceleration in snow, but
will not help you stop or steer any better than a two wheel drive vehicle. SLOW
Maintain a following distance of at least 4 seconds, to determine, pick a
landmark (sign, pavement marking), when the vehicle in front passes it start
counting, if your don’t reach 4, your too close.
Remember at 65 mph, your car will travel about 100-140 feet
while you move your foot from the accelerator to the brake.
Always lift and cover at uncontrolled intersections. (Lift
off the gas, and cover the brake).
Look left then right then left again before proceeding
through an intersection.
Know Your Vehicle
Know your car; do you have ABS (anti-lock brakes) or
traction control? It matters.
Become familiar with the controls so you can operate the
fan, heat/AC, lights, everything, without looking away from the road. Practice this in the driveway.
Check your tire pressure monthly, the correct pressure is
typically on the inside of the door panels. Always check pressure when the
tires are cold (not driven for 4 hours). If the manufacturer recommended
pressure is 30, and the cold pressure is 28, you need 2 lbs., if you drive to a
gas station and check again (warming the tires) and the pressure is 32, put in
2 lbs, the cold reading is what is needed.
Driving in Poor
Don’t use cruise control in rain (the risk of hydroplaning
increases) or when the road is snow covered or possibly icy.
When you turn on your wind shield wipers, always turn on
your head lights.
When driving on snow and ice, ask you vehicle to do one act
at a time, brake in a straight line, and turn with as little pedal input as
possible, accelerate in a straight line. Drive as though you have a cup of
water on the dashboard you’re trying not to spill.
Increase your following distance to the vehicle in front. In
good conditions, you need a 4 second gap. In poor conditions you may need a 6
to 8 second gap to have time to avoid a collision.
Do not out drive your headlights. You need to see a minimum
of 4 seconds in front of your vehicle. Look for a non-reflective landmark, and
start counting. If you reach it before 4 seconds, slow down. Your headlights
will illuminate a distance of about 400 feet, make sure your can stop in that
Drive like you own the car, not the road.
Always signal, even in a parking lot. The signal is a
The horn is a warning devise only.
Pass on the left, drive on the right. (A lost art on the
Avoid the aggressive drive, no eye contact, no gestures.
Don’t make their mistakes or bad day part of your day.
Driving is 90% visual, look farther ahead and to the sides
(especially at intersections). Check the vanishing point (where the road
disappears around a bend or over a hill). Look far ahead of the car in front of
yours, you will see brake lights or problems early. Proper vision allows a
drive to recognize potential hazards far in advance.
Be careful around semis, a fully loaded truck has a very
long stopping distance. An empty semi actually has a shorter stopping distance
than a car. Stay out of semi blind spots, if you can’t see the truck’s mirrors,
the driver can’t see you.
Do not assume the drivers around you know traffic laws, or
are capable drivers. Expect the unexpected.
There is more to a skid than simply turning into it, beware
the rebound, which is the uncoiling of the suspension, the second part of the
skid can be more dangerous than the first.
Hydroplaning is a function of inadequate tire tread, speed
and standing water (or even hard rain). Slow down; know the condition of your
tires. If you hydroplane, don’t panic, it won’t last, gently lift off the
throttle, don’t hit the brakes, don’t over steer, wait for traction.
When in doubt both feet out, (an old racing term) which
means, when things go wrong (a skid or slide), no pedals, your job is to steer
If your car has ABS (anti-lock brakes), the proper way to
use them is to brake hard, stay on the brake, then steer. Do not pump anti-lock
brakes. The brake pedal might vibrate or pulse, and there may be terrible
sounds (normal), but only lift when safe to do so.