A Traffic Safety Scrapbook of an Expert
Thanks to Saudi Aramco - This entire article was taken from Saudi Aramco Loss Prevention's "Dear Traffic Safety Expert - A Traffic Safety Scrapbook" pamphlet.
Q: How can I protect myself and my passengers from people who run red lights at intersections? Just the other day, I was waiting at a busy intersection for the light to turn green. When the light turned green and I started to drive through the intersection, a speeding car crossed in front of me.
running red lights is a common hazard at intersections. Never assume that its safe
to proceed just because your signal is green.
Q: Often when I drive on an undivided two-lane highway, I see car coming right at me in my lane. Sometimes it happens when the other car is passing the car in front of it, but other times it happens without any reason. I worry that the next time the other driver wont get back into his lane in time. How can avoid a head-on collision?
A: Head-on collisions are particularly deadly. Almost anything is better than a head-on collision. The first thing you can do to prevent such an accident is to brake gradually while steering your car to the right side of the road. Make sure that you turn on your right turn signal to warn other drivers. Moving to the left of the road is dangerous because the other driver might suddenly move back into his lane. While you are moving to the right, blow your horn and flash your high beams to warn him. If you feel a head on collision is impending, just about any alternative is better. Take whatever evasive action you can, including running off the road if thats your only option. If you cant avoid a collision, brake firmly and steadily. Every kilometer per hour you slow down will reduce the severity of the impact. And dont forget to keep your seat belt on!
Q: The other night as I was driving in the middle lane of a highway, the car ahead of mein the left lane suddenly moved into my lane and we almost collided. Why did this happen?
A: You were
driving in the other drivers blind spot. All cars have "blind spots"----
where its difficult to see cars close behind, or to the left or right. To tell if
youre driving in someones blind spot, just glance at his side mirror. If you
cant see his face, assume that he cant see you. Move forward, but remain
within the speed limit, or fall back until youre sure he can see you. There are
blind spots in your car, too. Before you change lanes, check your rearview mirror and side
mirrors to make sure that there is no traffic around. Quickly turn your head to visually
check for other vehicles traveling in your blind spots, as well. To avoid
an accident while driving on a highway, always keep a space cushionan open area of
spacearound your vehicle.
A: If a front tire blows, the car will pull hard to the side of the blowout and the steering wheel will vibrate. If the rear tire blows, the back of the car will weave back and forth, fishtailing. You react in the same way for both cases. The first thing you should do is to take your foot off the accelerator. Grip the steering wheel with both hands, stay in your own lane, and turn on your emergency flashers. If you slam on the brakes, you could lose control of your car completely. Take your foot off the gas pedal and then gently pump the brakes. Slow down gradually, and pull off the road to a safe location. To maximize your control of the vehicle during a blowout or any other emergency, drive at a safe speed for the road and weather conditions. Driving at a safe speed helps you react safely to an emergency. To prevent blowouts, check the pressure of your tires regularly to make sure that it is at the level recommended by the manufacturer. Ensure that your tires have a tread depth of at least 1/16 immediately.
Q: Do I really need to buckle up when driving to the neighborhood store? I always fasten my seat belt when driving for a long distance or when on the highway, but do I really need to wear my seat belt for just a few minutes drive at a low speed?
A: Yes, you do
need to buckle up for short trips. Wear your seat belt on every trip, every time, no
matter how short the distance. Over 70 percent of all automobile accidents occur within 40
Kilometers (25 miles) of home and at a speed under 64 Kph (40 mph). Seat belts are the
best form of protection you have in the event of a crash. Statistics show that seat belts
can lower your risk of injury by approximately 40 percent. You are four times more likely
to be seriously injured or killed if thrown from the vehicle in a crash. Although most
cars are now equipped with air bags these are not enough to protect you from injury seat
belts. They cant protect you properly if you dont wear your seat belt. And
remember to use safety seats to restrain small children in the back seat. Safety seats
provide little kids with the necessary protection to reduce the severity of injuries a
motor vehicle crash can cause.
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