January 01, 2013 - ON DRIVING: DEALING WITH THE ELEMENTS -- January 2013
Driving in adverse weather conditions can be challenging for any driver, but for older drivers, there can be some additional challenges that may compound these risks. For example, an older driver may be on medications that cause drowsiness, or suffer from an arthritic condition that affects shoulder, neck or torso flexibility.
Lets now look at a few driving strategies we can use in adverse weather that can help compensate for these or any other additional challenges.
1. Always follow the 3 second following distance for normal road conditions, 4 seconds for rain, and 5 or 6 seconds for snow and ice. To calculate this following distance, find a fixed object such as a pole or street sign. Once the car in front of you passes that fixed object, start counting “one thousand one, one thousand two, one thousand three”. You can now pass that same fixed object.
2. Reduce your speed to reduce your chances of skidding.
3. Curves, ramps, and bridges are more slippery than other sections of the roadway. ALWAYS SLOW DOWN IN THESE AREAS.
And let’s not forget to clear all snow and ice from the roof, windshields, hood, trunk, truck bedliner covers, and all windows of your vehicle. There is a law in New Hampshire, under the Negligent Driving Statute, that states that “whoever upon any way drives a vehicle negligently or causes a vehicle to be driven negligently or in a manner that endangers or is likely to endanger any person or property shall be guilty of a violation.” If snow or ice is propelled from the roof of your car which hits another car, or causes another car to lose control, it could be called an act of Negligent Driving according to RSA 265:79-b. So lets’ be careful to keep our vehicles clear of all snow and ice, drive slowly, and keep a good following distance.
From the desk of Officer Jane Constant
Senior Relations Division
Nashua Police Department
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