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Tips On Safety

Planning Ahead

    This is a wide scope which would fill volumes in these notes. Suffice it to say that you should be obserant of what is happening around you and notice changing condition of areas you are passing, from empty to crowded, from few vehicle to traffic jams or accidents

    However possible be considerate to those behind you and allow overtaking room

Negotiating Bends

    When approaching bends try to see as far as possible ahead of them, to notice on-coming traffice. Reduce speed to within comfortable limits of your ability to counteract any skid

    When reducing speed, glance at the rear mirror to see that you have not reduce your speed too dratically for any following vehicle to hit you from behind

    Understand the characteristic of your vehicle when accelerating or decelerating to apply acceletation at the optimum moment for controllability


    Remember that you willl be on the other side of the road when you are overtaking another vehicle. This in itself conductive to danger, unless you are on a dual carriage way with two or more lanes.
    Recommended procedure for overtaking:
  1. Keep reasonably well back of the vehicle in front, especially if it is a truck which obscures your vision. This will enable you to see ahead for on-coming vehicle.
  2. Assess the distance, speed and type of on-coming vehicle(car, lorry, tractor, etc)
  3. Engage lower gear to gain acceleration and glance at the rear view mirror to ensure that no other vehicle is overtaking you.
  4. Use the horn(daytime) or the flash the lights(night time) to make the vehicle aware of your presence and manoeuver
  5. Overtake as quickly as possible. Be decisive and accelerate hard to hasten the manoeuver and return to your lane
  6. Only return to your lane by giving enough room and not impede the overtaken vehicle in any way
  7. Once in your lane glance at the rear view miror to check whether anyone is trying to pass you if the road ahead is still clear
    Do Not:
  1. Swing out to see if the road ahead is clear
  2. Attempt to overtake around bends or brow of hills
  3. Overtake in a high gear, unless you are on a highway ad travelling reasonably fast
  4. Overtake slowly with gentle acceleration
  5. Swerve in early, endangering the vehicle you have just overtaken
  6. Stay too long on the opposite lane. A vehicle may come onto it from a side road or lane. Silently pass the vehicle ahead which may not be aware of your overtaking manoeuver.( unless you flash lights at night)

Avoiding Accidents

    Avoid accidents by allowing enough room in front of you for the following reasons:

    • Room for overtaking vehicles to re-enter the proper lane
    • Have sufficient braking distance For excessive deceleration of the vehicle in front
    • Sudden change of direction without warning the vehicle in front
    • Sudden exit or a parked vehicle into flow of traffic
    Warn other road user of your intention to change lane direction or of stopping well in advance. It will prepare the following or on-coming vehicles to take appropriate action

    Use the rear mirror constantly

    Slow down when on-coming vehicle is overtaking another. Be prepared to go off the road completely if there is room. However, do not stop on your lane thinking that you have the right to. The accident can still occur

    Glance at the rear view mirror constantly to see if you are blocking traffic and being:
    • Too slow
    • Overtaken without warning
    • Followed too closely
    • Followed by inattentive driver
    Take evasive action and do not exercise your rights

    If you have to avoid a collision, it is better to be safe than right at all times

Side Mirror

    Safe Driving Aid - Side Mirrors Adjustment

    Excerpts from National Safety Council on Safe Driving.

    Some of the most serious preventable accidents occur because of blind spots while driving! Now there is a remarkable simple solution discovered by an engineer named George Platter. He presented his method at the prestigious Society of Automotive Engineers.

    The National Safety Council tested his theory and discovered, to their amazement, that it works! The method has been fully endorsed by the National Safety Council as described in their September/October issue of Traffic Safety. Here's how it works.

    First, forget how we learned to adjust our outside mirrors by plopping behind the steering wheel and turning the mirrors so that we just saw the side of our car looking back at us in the mirrors.

    Instead, adjust the driver's side mirror by resting your head against the driver's side window and then turning the mirror so that you just see the side of your car.

    Once this is set, move to the center of the vehicle and turn the passenger side mirror so that you can just see the side of your car from the center of the vehicle.

    That's it. You won't see your own car in either mirror, yet what you will see is far better. Cars behind you show up as usual in the inside rear-view mirror above the dash, but the instant the car leaves your field of vision from the rear-view mirror the outside mirror picks it up. No blind spot; no delays; no wondering where that car about to pass you has disappeared to, and no waiting a few seconds for the car that you just saw in your rear-view mirror to show up in your outside mirrors.

    All three mirrors work in harmony with one another, and the blind spot has been eliminated!

    Bernice Schira
    Learning Resource Center

    Vermilion Campus
    (403) 853-8460

Aqua Planning

    The danger while driving in the rain is not only sight but skidding while aquaplaning.

    The difference in skidding and aquaplaning is :-

    Skidding happens when the wheels are locked and the tyres loose its adhesion on the road and go in a skid. It can happen on the dry or wet roads. It's just an occasion where the tyres on the road give way and do not build any resistance anymore.

    Aquaplaning is when the tyres are not on the road surface but riding on a thin sheet of water. The wheels do not have to be locked it could still be spinning but there will be no traction. The wheels would probably be spinning at the speed you are going before the experience of the aquaplaning.

    In such circumstances, the normal reaction from many would be to brake or to completely lift off the accelerator with the desire to want to apply the brakes.

    When such occasion does happen don't brake! Don't completely lift off. Hold on to your steering firmly and look ahead. Simultaneously just slightly lift off the accelerator so as when the tyres gain traction you would still be in motion without a skid. But at a reduced pace that you can steer control again.

    If you are blinded or clouded with water at your screen, even with the wipers on, just rely on your memory of the pictures in front of you before you are temporarily blinded.

    To determine what type of action you are going to take? - You wouldn't be, in the first case going at a speed where you know you would definitely go into aquaplaning - therefore the roads in front must be already clear and straight that you are now experiencing aquaplaning because of your higher pace than normal in the wet or your cars are shod with badly worn tyres.

    Don't come to this situation in a fast bend or corners - you would surely go off-line and will be propelled off by the centrifugal force of your moving projectile.

    All this you would experience - but what come out of that experience is the result - a crash or a valuable lesson learnt. No normal driving school teach you that only in the Advance and Safety Driving School.

    Cheers and do drive with an alert mind in the rain.

    the above article was contributed by
    Simon Ong,
    Instructor for SAMP Advance & Defensive Driving School

Blown Tyre

    The thought of having a blown tyre while driving, at speed, does occur occasionally at the back of our minds.

    It is actually a fear reaction coming from our inexperience or our fantasy thoughts.

    The thoughts of how to ever react to such situation if faced with one does bother all of us.

    Allow me to share my experience in tackling this problem.

    Let's get to the facts, blown tyres do happen but in normal circumstances, it rarely happens because of the highly technical built and quality construction of the tyres. (Nothing related to Firestone in US or 4 WD)

    If it does happen it could be due to over inflation or under inflation and probably due to an impact. Mostly what we will experience is loss of air at a very fast rate or at a very gradual rate.

    There would be signs of handling peculiarities to indicate to you on the type of action you would need to take.

    Let's examine each peculiarity for different kind of car set-up for front or rear wheel drive.

    In most circumstances, whether it is for front or rear wheel driven cars, a lost of air at the front would immediately provide a heavier handling of the steering wheel and there would be a tendency to pull to the direction where the "puncture" is. If such handling feeling is allowed to continue without stopping, then the tyre would get heated up and if a corner is tackled with the tyre that is loosing air, you may experience a drastic understeer. The car would not want to turn and the steering would get very heavy.

    At worst scenario, you may loose that tyre or it would come out from its sitting at the rims.

    While if the loss of air is at the rear, the feeling may not be that pronounced but you would probably feel a sense of "float" with a swaying motion. If the car is not heavily loaded this feeling would be very slight.

    The worst scenario would be a gradual loss where the feeling goes unnoticed or felt and while tackling any sharp bend the car would want to go to oversteer.

    The danger is in oversteer, as many would react with a lift off of the accelerator and probably would want to brake, this will send the car to an immediate spin.

    The rear wheel driven cars, with loss of air at the rear would immediately be felt as the car would sit back and it would have a tendency to go the opposite direction of the "puncture".

    During a puncture the car would not immediately loose control, as such, there is enough time for all drivers to react by giving signal (left) to others that you are facing a problem and that you intend to go to the left (even if your puncture is on the right).

    A puncture must always be looked into immediately by stopping as far left as possible from the direction of the traffic flow and while stopping - the hazard lights must be switched and the safety triangle placed 30 meters behind your car.

    Many accidents have happened on emergency lanes, as such hazards are not immediately communicated.

    the above article was contributed by
    Simon Ong,
    Instructor for SAMP Advance & Defensive Driving School


    Remember - "signal does not give you the right of way". Proper signaling communicates your intentions to other drivers. When you make clear signals, the drivers you share the road with will be able to give you space you need. When you fail to signal properly, accidents are more likely to occur. Always signal when you are planning to make a turn, change lanes, enter a lane of traffic, slow down suddenly or stop.

    Signal your intention to turn well in advance. It is particularly important to signal early when you are traveling on rural roads where there are no exit ramps to allow for a slowing transition and traffic flow moves rapidly. It is also important to signal in advance when driving in urban or residential areas, but you should be careful not to signal so early that other drivers misinterpret your intentions.

    Remember to signal prior to changing lanes. Often drivers signal as they move into another lane, but not before. Warning drivers that you will be changing lanes before you begin to move over will help traffic flow smoothly.

    Although your brake lights do a good job of warning drivers behind you that you are slowing or stopping, in some cases it is a good ideal to provide additional warning. In heavy traffic, stopping distances may be short. By using a hand signal, you may be able to help avoid a rear end collision.

    Hands signals must be used when your car's signals or brake lights have failed. Hand signals may also be useful in situations where you need to make sure that the driver behind you knows what you are doing.

    the above article was contributed by
    Simon Ong,
    Instructor for SAMP Advance & Defensive Driving School