Section 3 Mid-Review
What is a distraction when driving and why are they dangerous?
A distraction is anything that stops a driver from “S.E.E.ing” when driving.
Distractions make it harder for drivers to search where they are going, evaluate what risks and hazards a situation may have, and safely execute a course of action.
Do distractions have to be technological?
Distractions can be anything that interferes with a driver being able to S.E.E.
What is Maryland Law about texting?
It is illegal in Maryland to text and drive.
What is Maryland law about cellphone use?
Drivers over 18 may use a hands free device.
Drivers under 18 are not allowed to use cell phones at all.
DISTANCE BETWEEN MOVING VEHICLES
1. VEHICLE LENGTH FOR EACH 10 MPH
Aside from the 2-second rule, here is another way to determine the distance between moving vehicles. To judge the distance necessary between two vehicles in moving traffic you may use one (1) car length for every ten (10) miles per hour. This should be a sufficient distance for making a safe stop in most any situation. Example: If a vehicle was traveling at 50 mph, a distance equal to 5 car lengths should be available to make a stop.
If we should estimate (rounding off) each vehicle length as being 20 feet, at 50 mph this would necessitate a distance of 100 feet.
The question may arise that approximately 250 feet are needed to make a controlled stop and the one car length for each 10 mph rule would not facilitate that distance. It must be realized that the vehicle being followed will need approximately the same distance to stop and would displace the area it now occupies. However, if the brake lights of the vehicle in front have illuminated, then about 55 of this 100 feet space would not be available, since the driver has gone through this reaction distance. The speed of the reaction of the following driver would decide how much of the remaining distance would still be available.
DRIVING IN HEAVY TRAFFIC
If you are driving in heavy traffic, keep pace with the other traffic and stay in your selected lane. Keeping pace means, staying within the legal posted speed limit. There are no exceptions within the law that permit anyone to exceed the posted speed limit. If a change of lanes is necessary, initiate this maneuver well in advance, since heavier traffic may delay this maneuver." "
The importance of giving techniques for responding to skids is because statistically, an average of 10,000 people die and 300,000 are injured each year in skidding accidents. (Liberty Mutual Skid Control School). Whenever a skid occurs, there’s no time to think about it and plan your recovery. You have to know how to control a skid so well that your reaction is an automatic reflex action, in the right direction at the right time.
It’s impossible to tell you how to put your knowledge of skidding to work. You can read about techniques, but it’s something you’ll have to learn yourself, behind the wheel of a skidding car. Basically, the main cause of skidding is driving too fast for existing conditions. Some factors that play a part in skids are: road surface, construction, slope and temperature; the vehicle’s suspension, weight distribution, center of gravity and type of tire; and of course, most important, the skill of the driver.
A key factor that governs what will happen are the tires, since these are the points where the vehicle comes in direct contact with the road. This contact, called friction or grip, allows the car to start, stop or corner. Friction is greatest when the wheel is stationary; friction between a rolling wheel and the road is slightly less; and friction is least when the wheel is locked and sliding. By this information you can see that friction between the tire and the road is not constant and may vary to a point where there is almost none at all. To further complicate this, sand, ice or water on the road will decrease friction greatly. It might also be good to remember that as your speed increases, friction will decrease.
A good example of this is called hydroplaning, which happens when driving on a wet road. When the depth of the water exceeds the depth of the tread, complete hydroplaning can be expected. This usually starts at about 35 mph and increases with speed to about 55 mph. At this point the tires can be totally up, on the water, and not even touch the roadway. No friction would be available for braking, accelerating or cornering.
There are several things that can develop a skidding situation. Unbalanced brakes: the front brakes may lock and you will lose all steering control and continue moving straight; the back brakes will lock and the rear will spin around; most commonly, jamming on the brakes causing all four wheels to skid, and this braking action will be a natural reaction to regain control; accelerating too fast causing the rear to fishtail sideways; and attempting a turn or curve at too great a speed.
There are three basic rules and techniques that can be applied to help control skidding:
DON'T USE BRAKES IF POSSIBLE
Do not use the brake until steering control is reestablished. If braking is necessary, use the technique of stabbing, by applying the brakes in a series of quick thrusts. Holding this for a split second, then releasing, repeating this about every half second. This shifts the weight to the front end of the vehicle and gives the tires better traction, but it only lasts for a moment at a time. It is most effective, however, to stay away from the brakes and let the tires reestablish rolling friction on their own.
DO NOT USE THE ACCELERATOR
Do not use the accelerator. This may cause the loss of any traction left on the rear wheels.
Counter steer to correct for the skid. Counter steering is turning the steering wheel in the same direction that the rear of the vehicle is skidding. This is the most important corrective step that anyone can learn. Up to a certain point, a vehicle can be kept under control if you counter steer correctly and your reaction to a skid must be fast and accurate. There is a critical angle - if you haven’t regained control of your vehicle before it spins about 25 degrees, you won’t be able to keep it from spinning completely around.