Driving - Roadcraft
Everything about driving on the Road and the skills required.
Vision - the most important factor in driving.
Some Key Steps on improving your vision...
Learn to look further ahead. The better you are prepared, the faster you can react to what ever is ahead of you.
Plan escape routes
in your mind while driving.
Example: You have just overtaken a lorry and are now traveling in the Middle lane. The Fast Lane is full of moving vehicle which then suddenly Stops. One driver didn't react fast enough because he was to close to the car in-front and pulls straight out into your path. What do you do??? 1 - Brake hard to avoid collision, 2 - Steer round the car to avoid them, 3 - Accelerate hard and move in-front of the lorry or 4 - Brake and pull-in back behind the lorry. The answer is what you decide at the time from all the information you have accessed from your surrounding environment such as speed of slower traffic, distance the car is behind you, position you are on the road and distance between vehicles on either side of you,
How many times have you been driving down a road and see a pothole, then no matter how hard you try to steer around it, you hit it. This is because the car is following your vision. If you focus on an object - in this example a pothole - you will most likely hit it. So the solution is - Look where you want to go, not where you don't.
This also helps you drive better through a corner . Look as far ahead around the turn as possible and your car will follow. Focus your eyes in the direction you want to go. The most important time to remember to look where you want to go is in a potential collision situation. It's not uncommon these days for a car to pull out directly in front of you. If you look to either side of it, you will automatically steer around it; if your vision locks onto the car it's almost impossible to steer anywhere but straight at it. (This works !!! I have had to use it once. A driver had just joined the Motorway into a slow moving line of traffic, then suddenly pulled straight out without looking. On seeing my car in their mirror decided to do an Emergency Stop right in front of me. I focused on where I wanted my car to go and avoided a collision by steering around them. WebEd)
Do not concentrate on just one object in front of you. Look well ahead, and watch for anything coming into your field of vision. Pay attention all the time. And don't just look further ahead, think further ahead.
Turn OFF your Mobile Phone - If it is that important the caller will call again or leave a message with your answer phone service.
- Remove all the snow and ice off of your vehicle - including the roof!
- Keep your headlights clear of ice, snow, and mud.
- Do not wear restrictive clothing, such as bulky jackets etc.
- Keep a continuous flow of warm air circulating, (hot air will make you drowsy!)
- Think Ahead and be more observant.
- Slow down!
- Allow enough time for your journey.
- Keep your fuel tank full.
- Keep windshield and windows clear both inside and out.
- Use your headlights when visibility is reduced by falling snow.
- Use your rear fog light when visibility is less than 100 metres.
- Make sure your brakes, windshield wipers, defroster, heater, battery and exhaust system are in good condition.
- Check your antifreeze and add special solvent to your windshield washer reservoir to prevent icing.
- Check your tyres. Check they are properly inflated and the tread is in good condition. Minimum allowable Tread Depth is 1.6mm
- Suggested items to carry in your car are an ice scraper or commercial deicer, flashlight & batteries, a small brush for clearing snow off your car, car blanket and a towel to clean or dry your hands.. If weather is extreme then also include a folding shovel to free your car if it's "snowed in", sand or burlap for traction if your wheels should become mired in snow, water, food, warm blankets, a few newspapers (Good for extra insulation) and extra clothing.
- Keep a spare car key in your pocket, wallet or purse.
- Wear sunglasses if snow and sunshine is to bright, this will reduce any eye strain.
- When driving at night, avoid looking directly into oncoming headlights. Look down and to the passenger side and follow the edge of the road.
- Stopping distances are much longer (up to 10 times more) , leave more distance between your vehicle and the vehicle ahead.
- Bridges and shady spots can be icy when other areas are not. Remember to avoid sudden stops and quick direction changes.
- If broken-down, stay with your vehicle and try to conserve fuel while maintaining warmth. Caution - Be alert to any possible exhaust or monoxide problems if stationary for a extended period of time. Carbon Monoxide fumes while make you feel drowsy.
Brake in a straight line if possible or could result in a skid.
Driving in Snow
If you experience wheel spin when pulling away from a stop try changing up to 2nd gear. The wheels will turn more slowly at first, so should improve grip. Also helpful if driving in muddy conditions.
If your steering goes light . . . Don't Panic.!!! Ease of the accelerator to regain control of your car.
In the wet it's also often best to use a higher gear for exiting corners, it will give better control and it's smoother, also reduces the risk of losing traction through too much power too quickly.
This web-site is worth having a look at http://www.driving-skills.demon.co.uk/ some good reading.
Evasive Driving Techniques: