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Front Page » September 30, 2008 » Carbon County News » Drivers reminded of impending wet conditions
Published 2,151 days ago

Drivers reminded of impending wet conditions


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By C.J. MCMANUS
Sun Advocate community editor

With the beginning of fall at hand Carbon drivers are reminded to watch for inclement conditions as a little care could save a life, according to the driving information available at insurance.com.

To combat the issue locally, the American Association of Retired Persons will be conducting a driver safety course on Oct. 6 and 7 from 1 to 5 p.m.. at the Price senior citizens center

The course will instructed by Bill Novelli, AARP Chief Executive Officer, who stated via press release that "this program is the most recognized comprehensive nationwide course designed especially for the older driver. It takes into consideration the physical changes of the maturing driver and identifies ways the older driver may compensate for these changes."

According to the release, the eight hour course for drivers age 50 and older includes information on defensive techniques, new traffic laws, rules of the the road, age-related changes in vision, hearing and reaction time, how to compensate for the changes, how to handle problem situations such as left and right turns, right of way, freeway traffic, trucks and buses , what to do if confronted with an aggressive driver and how medications may affect driving.

The course will also teach the proper use of anti-lock brakes, airbags and safety belts and how to assess one's own and others' driving abilities.

The release stipulates that there will be no tests given in the class, only some short quizzes. Additionally, there will be an auto insurance discount for those who qualify.

For further information on the course please contact Leonard Miller through the AARP.

While the senior driving course will address general issues, the coming fall weather can make driving difficult for those of any age.

According to www.insurance.com, the combination of rain, fog and early darkness causes thousands of accidents every year, therefore their site has outlined the following tips to help avoid weather related accidents:

•Drive slowly, the most important things a driver can do to prevent an accident on a slick roadway is to slow down. Driving slowly allows for a greater amount of tire tread to make contact with the road, resulting in better traction. This technique will also stop motorists from driving through hidden puddles at a high speed which can lead to hydroplaning and loss of control.

•Keep a safe distance from the car in front of you, it can take up to three times longer to stop on wet roads, even with the best quality of tires, according to the site. Make sure to stay alert for the brake lights and use headlights even during the day to make the vehicle more visible to others.

•Be prepared for hydroplaning. If the car loses control in wet weather and begins to skid, do not slam on the brakes. Instead, apply the brake in a steady, slightly firm manner and steer in the direction of the skid.

For cars that have anti-lock brakes, drivers should apply more pressure and avoid pumping the pedal.

"Hydroplaning occurs when the tires glide across the surface of the water on the road. If the car starts to hydroplane, stop acceleration, but again don't stomp the brakes," explains the site. "Instead if you have a manual transmission, push in the clutch and let the care slow down on its own. If you have an automatic transmission, hold the steering wheel steady and lightly apply the brakes."

•Don't drive tired or distracted, driving in wet weather requires a person to be alert, particularly at night. If tired, pull off the road to a safe place and take a break or postpone the trip if possible.

Avoid eating, drinking, talking on the phone, fiddling with the radio or handing items to children in the back seat.

"Basically, avoid doing anything that may cause you to take your hands off the wheel even momentarily," states that site.

•Prepare for wet weather by checking the tires, check the tires regularly for wear. If there is any doubt about the tires ability to perform in the rain, meaning a tread depth of less then one-sixteenth of an inch is inadequate. It is also important to maintain the correct tire pressure. The correct pressure can be found in every automobiles operation manual.

Additionally make sure the tire are correctly balanced and aligned.

"Finally, if you live in an area where there's a lot of wet weather, you may want to invest in a tire that's specifically designed for slippery road conditions," concluded the site.

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