March 2, 2010

NEWS FOR YOU…. from the Iowa D.O.T.

Safe Driving Tips
By Debra Carney
Driver’s License Supervisor, Driver’s License Services office
Davenport, IA

The following tips and suggestions may help you remain safely on the road for many years.

Don’t speed. Drive according to road and weather conditions and at a speed that most closely matches traffic without exceeding speed limits. Also, drive at a consistent steady speed to avoid confusing other drivers.

Look down the road, scanning for possible problems areas. When in city traffic, you should try to look at least one block ahead. On the highway, about four city blocks or one quarter to one third mile.

Yield anyway. If in doubt about who has the right of way, yield. There are clear right of way rules, however, not everyone follows or understands them. It’s better to err on the side of safety.

Communicate with other drivers. Position yourself to be seen and avoid driving in other driver’s blind spots. ALWAYS use your turn
signal, even when other traffic is not present. Use your headlights to increase your visibility to other drivers. And make certain all lights on your vehicle function properly.

Allow plenty of space between your vehicle and others. You never know what the other driver may do and what sort of driving mistakes they may make, so allow yourself a “cushion” around your vehicle.

Avoid distractions. There have been many recent accidents blamed on cell phones and texting. Those are obvious causes, but there are many more subtle distractions. Passengers, looking for street signs or addresses, checking your speedometer, adjusting heating and cooling controls, even worrying about what you to fix for supper take your focus from driving. Driving is not a single task skill, all drivers must have the ability to multi-task.

Know your limitations. Many drivers self regulate their driving behavior. However, since some changes occur so gradually a driver may be unaware of changes until an accident occurs. Discuss driving with your physician and eye care professional and be prepared to heed their advice.

And finally. Wear your seatbelt. Modern vehicles are built to crumple around the driver. Seatbelts hold you in place during accidents allowing the vehicle to collapse around you. If they are uncomfortable, many can be adjusted for a better fit, see your auto dealer.

We as Americans value our independence in our own vehicles, allowing us to stay connected to friends, family and communities. Driving is a skill and like any skill needs attention and assessment. There are a number of refresher classes available locally through AARP, community colleges, and insurance providers. Also, the Iowa DOT’s Office of Driver Services provides a free Senior Driver’s Workbook at all licensing locations throughout the state.
Be safe and HAPPY DRIVING!

Looking for a speaker or meeting topic? The Office of Driver Services offers a one hour presentation entitled “Choices, Not Chances” which covers a range of topics including license renewal, restricted licenses, vision and medical situations, evaluating and brushing up on driving skills and planning for the future. Call Deb Carney at 386-1397 to schedule one for your group.