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Do you consider yourself a good driver?

Do you consider yourself a good driver?

Each season of the year has its good and bad points and we can never agree on which season is the best. For those who do not like the heat very much, the time has come to enjoy the winter season. Personally, I think this season is the most dangerous, especially for those who are dedicated to driving. For that reason, we remind you to not let the change of season surprise you, as it happens with a large part of motorists in general.

Winter demands us greater dexterity and handling ability; and ice, snow, wind and cold are a tough test, even for the most experienced drivers. We believe that at this time of year, it is appropriate to review these safety tips:

  • Be aware of the brake lights of the vehicles in front of you.
  • Make sure your vehicle`s lights are on and working.
  • Clean ice and snow from mirrors, windows, lights, and reflective tape.
  • Use your air conditioner to help keep your windows defrosted. The air conditioner is dry air.
  • Observe the cloud of powder snow that surrounds your unit. There may be a car hidden in it.
  • See and be seen. Be careful of your surroundings. Look forward, to the sides, and back.
  • Be very careful on the entrance and exit ramps. A sharp turn on a slippery road could put you in a tight spot.
  • Remember that bridge surfaces freeze first and can be more slippery.
  • Start braking early to see stop signs and red lights. Intersections can be icier than the roads leading to them.
  • Be prepared for high winds especially in large open areas or when coming out from behind a hill, tunnel or overpass. Be especially careful if your trailer is empty.
  • When it`s your turn to drive in the rain, keep your speed low to maintain traction and don`t use cruise control. If your windshield wipers are on, the cruise control should be off.
  • Increase your following distance to be able to react to other vehicles that get into trouble in front of you.
  • Keep in mind the importance of a good following distance (7-14 seconds or more).
  • Do not drive in the ruts of other vehicles. Your spinning wheels have likely turned the snow to ice.
  • Accelerate or decelerate carefully and gradually. Remember that the tractor must pull the trailer. If the pavement is slippery, the conditions are ripe for a jackknife.
  • Reducing your speed helps you to have better traction.
  • Turn off the engine brake when on wet, icy, or snow-covered roads, when approaching bridges, on-ramps, or off-ramps.

Defensive driving involves the professional driver`s ability to operate the vehicle without being involved in a preventable accident. Sometimes this means yielding to the wrong driver.
Remember: you are the captain of your ship and the one who makes all the decisions. No burden is more important than your life and your safety. Have a safe and blessed journey.


Safety at the Wheel


Edic.: 172
Autor: Juan Peña
Date: 11/2021