*Driving Is A Full Time Job*
By: Forester
15 December 2003

Before Driving:

Determine conditions in the area to be traveled and choose the appropriate vehicle and route. Verify directions to your destination, obtain a map for reference.

Check the owners manual for instructions and location of tire changing equipment (on new vehicles its fun to find) if the vehicle has computerized braking system designed to prevent wheel lockup read the owners manual on how to operate. Automatic braking system (ABS) does not mean drivers can drive faster on snowy or icy roads. In a two-wheel-drive vehicle or four-wheel-drive vehicle with ABS, maintain firm steady pressure on the brakes, pumping or releasing the breaks negates ABS. ABS does not function in some four-wheel-drive vehicles when four-wheel-drive is engaged some vehicles, mostly pickups, have ABS on rear wheels only. Operate a vehicle so equipped the same as one without ABS. If the front wheels lockup, reduce brake pedal pressure to regain control.


Observe the "Circle of Safety" rule. Walk around your vehicle.

      1. Check the windshield, wipers, and wiper fluid level.
      2. Keep windows, mirrors, and lights clean to better see and be seen.
      3. Check headlights, turn signals, and front tires (check wheels and lug nuts).
      4. Check taillights, reflectors, and rear tires (including wheels and lug nuts)
      5. .Adjust mirrors.

Check breaks by pressing firmly on the foot pedal, check steering for and looseness, and check the horn. Know the function and locations of all controls.

Before moving a vehicle, turn on the defroster fan to dislodge dust and debris (I use some Lysol in the intake vent with the fan on low with out side air open this will kill dust mites and other critters in the system) .then you have a fresh smell in the cab.

Secure all objects inside the cab and cargo area.

Monitor vehicles performance when driving.

While driving

Always wear your seat belt

To prevent accidents, make concessions to other drivers who are thoughtless, unskilled, or ignorant of the hazards they create. Drive defensively and yield the right-of-way even when by all rules of the road it is yours

Keep well to the right side on narrow roads and blind curves. Be able to stop within less than half the visible distance.

Reduce speed when driving on wet, hard-surfaced roads. The front wheels may hydroplane and lose contact with the road surface

Adjust the vehicles speed and select the proper gear before ascending or descending a hill and entering turns.

Be aware of traffic situations developing far ahead of the vehicle. Use the rearview and side view mirrors often and keep your eyes moving to enlarge the "big picture".

Drive to avoid accidents situations created by the mistakes of others or by weather and road conditions.

Under ideal driving conditions, use the "2-second rule" in calculating following distance, Watch the vehicle ahead. When it passes a stationary point such as a signpost or mileage marker, count "1 thousand 1, 1 thousand 2." This is the 2 seconds. If you reach the same stationary point before you finish those words, you are following too closely. Always compensate for changing weather and road conditions by increasing your following distance.

Winter Driving

Slow down and increase your following distance. Do not use cruise control when roads might be slick. Cruise control can apply power at the wrong time and initiate a skid or make a small skid worse.

Follow precautions in all vehicles, including all-wheel-drive vehicles and four-wheel-drive vehicles. Although all-wheel-drive vehicles and four-wheel-drive vehicles may provide better traction, they do not decrease the normal stopping distance.

Carry equipment/supplies might include jumper cables, tire chains, snow shovel, winter survival gear, and abrasive material (cat litter, sand, salt, or traction mats).


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