By Zak Klemmer
Drivers are challenged by weather and ever changing road conditions that cannot be foreseen. Our judgment and quick action can make a difference between survival and serious injury or death.
My son Brad and I were driving in Phoenix Saturday August 28th; we had encountered several thunderstorm downpours on our trip from Tucson. We were west bound on I-10 in downtown Phoenix- the sun’s position was directly in our eyes and there was another down pour- the sun’s glare off of the water on the pavement and rain created a white-out condition. The road signs were completely blacked out all I could see was the shape of the sign and the visibility was near zero similar to driving in fog but the glare was very intense. My experience instructed me to get off of the freeway now!
Soon after arriving at our destination safely, another attendee arrived and informed us (with pictures he had taken with his cell phone) of a multicar pile-up in I-10 near 7th Street- which is where we had exited the freeway just twenty minutes before! Rather than taking an unnecessary risk and waiting for something out of my control to happen my appropriate action had taken us to safety.
Safe Driving Action Plan:
- Fasten your seatbelt, even for short trips.
- Don’t drink and drive.
- Use the three second rule. (travel space between vehicles)
- Prevent a skid:
Increase following distance.
- Control a skid:
Release the gas. (Was it causing the skid?)
With Antilock Brakes, use the brakes steadily.
Without ABS, pump the brakes carefully.
Now, for the most important part: steer normally; that is, steer where you want to go (i.e. straight up the road).
- Check tire pressure with a gauge – (Looks are deceiving.)
- Keep windows clear.
- Limit your distractions in the car.
- Drive at a safe speed; reduce speed for bad situations – conditions – Road Hazards.
- Check over your shoulder before changing lanes.
- Yield when required by law or to prevent an accident always!
- When the light turns green, check for people running a red light.
- Always change your driving as changing conditions demand.
Our judgment and quick action can make a difference between survival and serious injury or death.
Copyright 2010 Zak Arthur Klemmer – this article may be reprinted in its entirety with full credit given to its author.
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