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Defensive Driving

What is defensive driving?

Defensive driving is driving with the knowledge of specific rules that allow you to reach our destination avoiding accidents, despite the actions of others and adverse conditions. It’s a positive approach to driving, which means keeping control of your safety in your own hands, taking into account all the possible risks that arise when driving and the way to avoid them.

This type of driving is based, mainly, on the driver to drive attentive to the mistakes of others, without ever reaching aggression or violence.

Drive Safely

How can I drive safer?

1. Be aware of possible danger:

Think of all the possible dangerous situations you will have to face, for example: the driver in front of you might hot the breaks suddenly, if it’s raining, it will take your car a longer distance to come to a complete stop, a distracted pedestrian might cross the road without noticing you.

2. Understand what to do as a defence:

There are definite ways to deal with specific driving situations. never tailgate a vehicle, if the car in front of you suddenly stops, you will have change of stop smoothly without a collision.  Allow yourself a longer braking distance when raining. Always be aware of pedestrians and try to predict if they will cross the street suddenly.

3. It takes practice!

This might sound like a lot of information, but no worries, defensive driving is an skill, and you need to practice it every-time you are behind the wheel, in no time you will notice that you are more receptive and it’s easier to focus on driving and paying attention at your surroundings at the same time. You can do it!

Car Crash

If you feel that you need help with defensive driving, contact us. At Bolland Driving school, we make sure that from day one, our students practice Defensive Driving skills, we can also help you to control road rage and stay in calm in stressful situations.

Aquaplaning Car

What Is Aquaplaning or Hydroplaning?

The dangerous phenomenon of Aquaplaning (also called hydroplaning) consists of the gradual loss of contact between the tire and the road surface. The cause is the entry of a thin layer of water, (thicker than half a millimetre), between the tires and the road. As a result, he front wheels lose grip, float and stop contacting the asphalt. In this situation, the driver loses control of the vehicle because it is no longer possible to brake or turn.

For those who have never experienced this situation, a similar example may be slipping on an black ice.

Keep in mind that if there is a small amount of water on the asphalt, the tires will be able of shifting the water sideways, and there will be no problems. We must be more attentive to large accumulation of water that form on the road and will be hard to manage by the tires. Speed will also be a significant factor, the faster you go, the less time the tires will have to displace the water. Wider wheels are also more prone to hydroplaning due to their larger contact area.

Aquiaplaning Car
Example of an Aquaplaning Car

How to avoid aquaplaning?

Follow these specific recommendations in addition to regular vehicle maintenance in order to reduce the chance of hydroplaning:

  • Check the expected weather conditions before the trip. It will help you get an idea of what to expect and tailor your driving accordingly.
  • Check the tires. These must always be in good condition. As mentioned before, tires in poor condition have a greater tendency to hydroplane.
  • Drive smoothly. Avoid sudden maneuvers that can cause the lose traction. Sudden changes of direction on wet surfaces are not a good idea and can cause hydroplaning. Therefore, take special care when cornering.
  • Always be alert. If you drive while raining, there is not only the risk of hydroplaning but the braking distance increase considerably.
  • Watch your speed. Wheels tend to lose grip more easily when driving at high speed. The higher the velocity, the more the risk of aquaplaning.
  • Follow the path of the vehicle in front. If you are driving behind other cars, you can follow your line, always maintaining a safe distance.

 

What to do if aquaplaning occurs?

When you notice that your vehicle has started to hydroplane, it’s essential to remain calm. Avoid sudden braking: although instinct invites you to use the braking pedal, it is not very convenient. You will not be able to stop the car because the wheels do not have traction, and when the grip returns, if the wheels are blocked, the skidding could increase. Nor do you have to continue accelerating: instead, gently release the gas pedal and wait until the slide ends.

In conclusion, always keep your car in good condition, check the weather conditions before leaving home in order to be prepared, if raining, try to drive slower (being mindful of speed limits) and if despite the precautions your car hydroplanes, be calm, hold firmly the steering weal, release the gas pedal and wait until the slide ends.

 It shows how a tire behaves depending on the amount of water. At a low speed, there is a full road contact; at a moderate speed, there is a reduced road contact; and at a high speed, there is a hydroplane and the vehicle losses control.
Check how a tire behaves depending on the amount of water.