Women in Trucking - A Woman Driver's Guide
Drive for the 'What Ifs'
There are so many fatal accidents that involve only one vehicle! What is going on with that? What were they doing to die without anyone else tripping them up? My best guess is they were driving in the moment, for the conditions that were before the eye at that point in time. A contributing factor is probably no professional training either. No one had taught them to drive as if the sky was falling--or that anything and everything else could possibly happen.
Always drive as if that steer tire could blow at any moment. Get a good grip on the wheel, not the bars or spokes. The outside of the wheel gives you the best leverage and you don't run the risk of injury if the wheel gets snapped by a pot hole, curb or blow out!
Drive always for the conditions! I can't emphasize that enough. Can you stop within the distance you can see ahead? What about the road surface? Is it wet or icy? Are there leaves? Yes, leaves are as slippery as ice at times. Is the road bumpy? It is hard to brake if you are bouncing off the road surface!
If there is not a wall between you and oncoming traffic then others are always a factor. Are you in an area where falling rocks are common, where trees can fall across the highway? What about deer or other animals? Certain areas are worse than others, but the possibility exists anywhere.
What if your headlights go off? Think that can't happen? I know of several incidents just like that. Don't overdrive your headlights! Use your BRIGHT headlights wherever it is legal and you are not blinding someone.
Read the road, watch for skid marks, and then find out what the other driver missed. Left turns are dangerous, especially over the hill and around the curves! Read ALL signs and when you see a warning sign, find it, whatever they are talking about. Is it clear? Get on by it.
Remember, reduced speed signs are more specifically for cars during perfect weather, road and visibility conditions. Maybe those signs are a better idea of what not to do. Watch the vehicles around you. If you make a space for them when they are running out of room and prevent them from a collision, you won't have to worry about being involved or just being delayed when they block the road.
LIFT AND COVER. Get your foot off the accelerator whenever anything may or will make you slow down or stop. This gives you more room and space to react appropriately. This method will keep you from having close calls.
How do you handle the fog? Low beam headlights are a must. Don't stop if the road is open. Remember, fog drifts. You might have been in it for awhile, but it may have disappeared behind you and the next driver is barreling toward you at breakneck speed! If you are below the speed limit put on your four-ways, stay to the right, keep moving, and get off the highway as soon as you come to a safe haven.
If the road is blocked, leave your lights on, park as far to the right as you safely can and GET OUT! GET OVER THE GUARD RAIL OR UP THE EMBANKMENT. The chances are someone will hit you if there is low or no visibility. Then you could be trapped inside and the possibility of fire is very high under these conditions. Don't be the one to stop and start this chain reaction and don't be a victim of one either.
Every collision you see or read about or hear about, analyze, figure out why it happened, and what could/should have been done to minimize or prevent it. Learn from others and let them make the mistakes.
Keep safe and Happy Holidays.