Posts Tagged ‘driving’
Statistics compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and other official, reputable groups show that teenage drivers get into more accidents than do any other drivers. Whether you’re a newly-minted San Francisco teen driver, who wants to learn best practices, or you’re a parent or educator of teens, here are critical safe driving tips. Read the rest of this entry »
Whether you drive a gas guzzling Hummer or a gas sipping Prius, every time you fill up at a Bay Area pump, your eyes go wide as you realize just how much of your salary gets siphoned into the pockets of the gas and oil companies. Short of trading your car for a skateboard — and who
wants to do that? – what can you do to cut costs without altering your driving habits or needs?
Here are 3 core ideas to implement TODAY: Read the rest of this entry »
When you attended driver’s ed in the Bay Area or elsewhere, you probably learned early on that the best drivers are defensive drivers. We all – or at least most of us – remember this idea. But when some idiot in a speeding Camaro cuts us off on the freeway, our impatience and rage often overcome us, and we may do stupid things that put us at great risk for accidents.
Being a defensive driver means adopting a set of smarter, more cautious driving habits and behaviors. In some ways, it’s easier to define defensive drivers as doing the opposite of aggressive drivers.
image source: http://ow.ly/9lv5h
Aggressive drivers do things like:
- Cause conflict on roads
- Scare or intimidate other drivers by driving fast or driving while under the influence
- of alcohol, narcotics, or medications
- Blast music
- Ignore traffic signs
- Generally don’t pay sufficient attention to other vehicles and pedestrians
- Change multiple lanes without signaling
Defensive driving is the opposite – being conscientious, aware, and in control of your vehicle. Defensive driving involves more than just adopting good habits – it involves paying attention to the strange or dangerous actions of others and meeting these with appropriate responses. For instance, say someone veers into your lane and cuts you off. You may beep at them – not to provoke a fight, but to alert the person of your presence. Being a defensive driver doesn’t mean being a wallflower or milquetoast. It means “advocating for your driving rights” in the safest, most sensible, and most compassionate way.
To really fine tune your skills, consider taking a refresher driver’s ed courses or studying “best driving habits” online or elsewhere. It may sound silly to pay so much attention to your driving. But think about how many miles you spend behind the wheel. Auto accidents kill over 40,000 people every year and injure millions more. So it’s really worth it to spend some time thinking about how to make your driving as safe as possible
– not just for you but for other drivers.
We’re Here to Help!
If you have been in a collision, and you need help fixing your car, connect with the team here at Shattuck Auto Collision Center. We’ve been serving the East Bay, Oakland, and Berkley areas since 1965. Learn more about us at www.shattuckauto.com, or call now for help with minor and major collision repair at 510-848-6281.
18 wheelers and other big rigs populate the Bay Area’s roads. There is really nothing you can do about that. These monstrous vehicles have the capacity to do incredible harm.
It’s not that the drivers are untrained or unskilled. To the contrary, most big rig truckers get training and feedback and other rigorous testing. Rather, it’s the sheer size and “clunkiness” of big rigs that make them such lethal weapons.
It All Comes Down to Basic Physics
The more massive an object is, the more force it can impart. Force is defined as mass times acceleration (F=MA). As the “M” part of that equation increases, the “F” part also increases. Here is an example: A 40-ton truck that goes from 60 miles per hour to 0 miles per hour in 5 seconds will impart as much force as a 2-ton auto going from 1,200 miles to zero miles in 5 seconds.
That’s as much force as a 200-pound man could impart if he went from 12,000 miles to 0 miles per hour in just 5 seconds. That’s like a man going as fast as a rocket ship being stopped in 5 seconds flat. A lot of force, in other words!
So what do you about that? Here are some ideas:
1. Avoid being aggressive
Big commercial rigs should be treated with great care. Do not zip around them or cut them off. If you are in the driver’s blind spot, get passed them as quickly as possible. If you can’t see the driver’s mirror, he (or she) can’t see you.
2. Stay out of the big rigger’s “safety cushion”
Big trucks need a lot of room to stop: 50 feet or more, depending on traffic conditions. So, avoid zipping in front of a truck; you could be in for a very unpleasant rear-ending.
3. Be Alert!
The most important thing when driving around big rigs or driving in general is to be alert. Do not drive while over exhausted, keep your eyes on the road, don’t text (it is the law), and be aware of the cars around you, especially the big rigs. Big rigs have large “blind spots” so they may not see you.
4. Make sure that your car is functioning at its highest capacity.
If you need help recovering from a Bay Area big rig crash or any other accident that might have caused frame, body, or paint damage to your vehicle, connect with the team at Shattuck Auto Collision Center. We offer major and minor collision repair, precision unibody and framework, rental cars and towing, hybrid auto body repair, and many other services to help you deal with whatever comes your way on Bay Area roads. Call us at 510-848-6281, or learn more about us www.shattuckauto.com.
Winter is just around the corner, and you know what that means: Yucky days are ahead. To navigate the potentially treacherous, slick, and flooded highways, consider these tips:
1. Apply “Common Sense” Safe Driving Tips, but Apply Them Harder Than Ever.
You probably don’t need to be reminded that, during wet, gusty, and wintry weather, you need to slow down, turn on your headlights, give ample space between you and other vehicles, avoid driving while under the influence of medications (even over-the-counter ones) or alcohol, avoid distractions like cell phone conversations, and keep your car “in ship shape” and well maintained. These are “should do’s” for any time of the year, but they are particularly relevant during the wild and wooly winter days, when room for error diminishes considerably.
2. Pay Close Attention to Relevant Signage.
Caltrans might provide messages indicating dense fog ahead, road outages, emergency detours, debris in road, etc. Interestingly, drivers often pay keen attention to such signage when they enter unfamiliar terrain – such as a highway far from home – but they often “go blind” to signage that they see every day.
3. Remember Critical Winter Driving Skills.
If your car skids out on the road and you don’t have antilock brakes, pump your brakes, don’t slam them down. If you DO have antilock brakes, avoid pumping or stamping on the pedal. (If you are not sure whether you have antilock brakes or not, ask your spouse!)
Turn in the opposite direction of any skid. If you do get into an accident, pull off the road as far as you can, turn on your emergency blinkers, and call for help. Be mindful: during heavy rains or fog, cars behind you may not see your vehicle or you.
4. In Fog, Special Rules Apply.
Drive with your low beams on, not your high beams. Minimize speed to maximize safety. If you have trouble seeing, crack open a window to listen to potential traffic around you. If the fog gets bad, pull over until it clears off a bit: there is no point endangering your life or the lives of others to get to a party (or even to get home) an hour or two earlier.
If you need auto body repairs, connect with the team at Shattuck Auto Collision Center. We have been serving the Berkeley, Oakland, and East Bay since 1965, and we are a highly skilled, highly reputable team.
Read more about us at www.shattuckauto.com or call us now at 510-848-6281.