Today NonStop Towing will discuss ways to avoid traffic mishaps and accidents. One of the few natural forces in our area that impacts local driving the way high wind speeds do. We have had numerous high-wind advisories this past winter and spring. Following are a few ideas to avoid wind caused accidents:
Tips to Avoid a Car Accident & Injury in Windy Conditions
• Seat belts are for your safety. Always when driving wear your seat belts.
• Try to plan ahead, if you drive a high-profile vehicle it may take longer to stop as you will be driving at lower speeds. Vans, high pickups and boxy type cars. The wind has been known to overturn semi-rigs pulling dry van trailers and stock trailers.
• Dust and dirt are blown in the wind decreasing visibility. Drive with lights on and at slower speeds.
• Keep both hands on the wheel, you may have to suddenly respond to wind caused steering anomalies.
• Steering is adversely affected when you drive from a semi-protected area to an open wind exposure area and may happen suddenly.
• Approaching high profile vehicles like trucks, vans, SUVs, RVs, campers and buses. A sudden gust can tip these vehicles or cause the driver to lose control. Be very cautious when passing. Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) maintains wind-warning systems for high-profile vehicles in wind-prone areas and the driver MUST obey these warning and prohibitions when there are in affect.
• Windblown debris are a major safety hazard. Stay alert when driving to avoid if possible.
• NDOT broadcasts warnings and changes over the radio. Stay tuned to a weather advisory for your area.
• If while driving under extreme wind and if the winds are severe enough pull over in a safe area. The shoulder of a high traffic roads is not safe. Avoid areas the are close to trees and power lines.
• On arrival to your destination avoid parking around trees and downed power lines and buildings.
Understand that these guidelines where not made up, they are the result of experience. Most rules of the road are the results of a unfortunate incident that occurred, probably encountered more than once.
Tips for Driving Near Downed Power Lines
• Never drive over downed power lines. These wires can still be carrying a high-voltage load. Our power lines range from a high of 765,000 volts for long distance lines and about 13,800 volts for a typical residential line.
• Not only avoid the lines but anything that is touching the lines.
• Report downed lines.
Driving in Heavy Rain Safety Tips
Another aspect that occasionally bedevils drivers in desert conditions is the rain. Let’s face it is not something we are used too.
• Tire traction. Our roads build up a load of dirt, sand and other airborne debris. When this gets wet early in a rain storm this turns to a slick sludge until washed away. Be extra cautious on road when if first rains. Of course, water in and of itself will adversely affect traction and steering.
• Speed limits are based on normal road conditions.
• You will be driving slower in a rain storm. Best to avoid travel if possible. Drive slower. Plan for extra traveling time. Reduce speed and keep more distance between you and the car ahead of you.
• Dry the soles of your foot wear on the interior carpet or mats. You don’t want to experience a shoe slipping off the brake pedal, or clutch.
• Use your head lights.
• The defroster removes not only frost but will clear fogged up windows. Don’t drive if you cannot see out of your windows.
• Nevada law requires wipers on while driving in the rain or snow.
• You cannot tell how deep water is from the top. Roads have been known to be washed away creating hidden deep areas.
• Be aware of hydroplaning. Water can cause the tires to hydroplane the same a skipping a stone across water. The tires loose all contact with the road surface. Keep your speed down and no cruise control.
• Brake earlier and with a fine touch. Sudden braking can cause hydroplaning as well as fast travel over water. Do not slam on the brakes. Apply steady pressure on ABS-equipped vehicle. Pump your brakes for older non-ABS vehicles.
• Steer in the direction of the slide and slowly remove foot from accelerator if you begin to skid.