Safe Driving, is it the Manufacturer's Responsibility, or the Driver's?
The government gives car manufacturers tons of rules for safety
New vehicles are built with better safety features, better controls, more sophisticated computers, even stronger warning systems. Manufacturers must then list all safety features within the vehicle. They must constantly test and retest their vehicles for safety. And recall any vehicles that might have problems. So safety is the responsibility of the manufacturer.....right?
Safety measures are great for vehicles. It means that the vehicle is much safer. It means that passengers and drivers are much safer in the vehicles. But vehicles can't determine when to stop at a stop light, or how fast to travel on a snow covered road (of course that may come in the future), people do that. Which means it is ultimately the driver who makes the difference in the safety of a vehicle moving on the road. Right? Perhaps we should look at this in another manner.
Who is driving the vehicle? The driver is; therefore, the driver is responsible for the driving part and the manufacturer is responsible if there is an accident.....right? I think I'm getting confused.
Drivers are given lots of rules.
Distance between vehicle and who gets the right-of-way are just two of the huge list of rules and regulations one must obey when driving a vehical. And don't forget the insurance rules and the rules of maintenance to keep your car running well. One can't forget the traffic lights and the yield signs. WOW! My brain is getting exhausted just thinking about it, I'll bet your's is too.
So with all these safety rules running through a driver's head, it means the driver is the one responsible...Right? Everyone follows all those rules to keep the roads safe...Right? And even though the vehicle we drive is safe because of all of the safety features the Manufactures put into it, the driver is still responsible.....Right?
Hmm, wonder who is responsible for these situations, some are pretty funny and some are......well, you judge.
So now can you answer the question? Who is responsible for driving safety**the manufacturer or the driver?
I tend to believe that the question answers itself. Manufacturers cannot be there as you drive your vehicle. While they are doing their best to keep the vehicle as safe as possible should there be an accident, I don't believe they are responsible for preventing the accident. So does that mean I think all human beings who drive are accident bound? Not at all. I simply feel that accidents (no matter who is at fault) is a terrible thing; but no matter how bad the accident was it was still human error that caused it. There is one exception: when a piece of the car fails and causes the driver to lose control. Okay, maybe manufacturers are sometimes responsible. I stand corrected.
Now that we have that all worked out, (I think) let's get working on those driving tips. Uh, I know I am not even hitting a corner of the iceberg of rules and tips out there, but I thought I could get a few out there for you.
Rainy Weather Tips
When it's raining, slow down! The harder the rainfall, the slower you should go. Visibility in rainy conditions is diminished, especially at night. Heavy rains can cause hydroplaning, especially if you have worn tires (don't know if you have worn tires? - Put a penny into the tread Lincoln's head first. If you can see all of Lincoln's head, you are in serious need of tires.) Heavy rains don't drain quickly and may cause flooding conditions. Also, if you go through a puddle too fast, you might get parts of your engine wet and the car may stall.
When driving on wet leaves, either during or after rain, use EXTREME caution! Wet leaves on a road can be as slippery as ice. Whether you have good tires, or not, driving on wet leaves means your tires do not reach the road. The more leaves on the road, the more leaves that build up on and/or under your tires. Braking should be done by pumping your brake peddle slowly to allow the car to slow down before trying to come to a stop. Slamming your brakes on wet leaves can cause your car to slide just like on ice.
Snowy Weather Tips
TAKE YOUR TIME! The faster you go in the snow, the more dangerous driving becomes. Speed means that even great tires and four wheel drive cannot help you. And, if you should lose control, the speed will determine the extent of the damage. If you go slow, then all you have to do is let the car take over and coast to a stop.
Braking should be done by pumping the brakes slowly and allowing plenty of time between you and whatever is in front of you. Driving on a hill can be tricky. Try carrying a small sealable container in your car filled with a mixture of salt and kitty litter (unused please). Then, if you get stuck on the hill, try spreading this mixture under your tires to give you better traction. To start moving on a hill, always touch the gas peddle softly and let the car do the work, not you or your tires.
Be sure to keep one eye on the road and one eye on the other drivers. I hear this a lot: it is never your fault; it is always the other guy who does something stupid on the road. But that is not necessarily true. So just be careful out there - and slow. Just remember this: we are all human and humans make mistakes!
I'm just curious.......
Are you distracted by one or more of the things listed to the left while driving?
Distractions that could cause an accident:
Distractions can be hard to deal with especially in heavy traffic, rainy weather, or snow. If you do some of the items listed below, you might want to change some of your habits.
- Talking on the phone, even if you have a head set
- Loud, or fighting, children
- Loud music
- Talking to your passenger(s)
- Changing the radio station (or speaker settings, or volume, or CD, etc.)
- Drinking or eating while driving
- Smoking while driving
- Having an animal in the vehicle, especially if the animal is not secured a safe distance from the driver
- Fooling around while driving such as weaving the vehicle, speeding up for fun, trying to get through an intersection before the yellow light turns red
- Being under the influence of a drug or alcohol
I know, these are common sense items right? But so many people forget their common sense when they are driving. Perhaps it is because they think the car is so safe, they won't get hurt. There is that question about who is responsible, again.
Passenger safety while driving-especially the children
- Be sure your child is strapped into your car securely. If you are using a car seat, be sure it is secured before strapping in your child. Requirements for the safety of children may differ from state to state; check the requirements before you leave the house if you are new to the state.
- Have older passengers strap up as well for their own safety.
- Children who are loud or touching the driver, etc. can cause the driver to lose control. Ask passengers ahead of time to be quiet and leave you alone while driving. Pull over to settle any problems you may encounter.
- Throwing things around the vehicle can be distracting as well as illegal. Many states will fine a driver if something is thrown from the vehicle even if it was an accident. If something does leave the vehicle it is usually too dangerous to stop and retrieve it. So if Johnny loses his teddy bear out the window, you may have to get him another one, after you pay your fine.
Now, are you ready to hit the road?
Heavy traffic and road rage
- Heavy traffic can be more hazardous than you might think. When the traffic is heavy, especially during rush hour, people tend to travel closer together. This allows less stopping time which means if a vehicle stops quickly other vehicles can't avoid hitting it. Heavy traffic makes it harder to get where you need to be, especially on the highway. Heavy traffic means less chance to see an obstacle before you reach it. Heavy traffic also causes temperatures to rise, both your engine and the driver.
- Road rage under any circumstances can be dangerous because it might cause an unexpected reaction from the other driver, such as ramming you or pushing you into another driver (he could possibly pull a gun!).
- If you experience road rage, try to see the situation from the other driver's point of view. If you can't do that, maybe squeezing bubble wrap will help (oops, don't let it distract you).
© 2011 Cheryl Simonds