Rules of the Road
by Susan Dunn, MA,
Emotional Intelligence Coach & Consultant
As you take to the road for your summer vacation (assuming you can afford the gasoline), please make safety your number one concern. Here are ten Rules of the Road to keep in mind.
1. Make a careful inspection of your vehicle before you start out. Either do this yourself, or take you car in.
Check brakes, lights, tires, mirrors, steering wheels, fluid levels, and other equipment. If you're on a long trip, do this during your trip as well.
Clean the inside of your car. This sets the tone for the "business" of driving.
2. Rollovers account for 33% of all fatalities, and 85% of rollover fatalities are from single-vehicle incidents, during "routine" driving. This means they are driver-related - the drivers are distracted, preoccupied, or simply impaired drivers.
The taller and narrower your vehicle (SUV, pickup, van) the more likely it is to rollover. You can minimize risk by obeying the speed limit, not drinking and driving, wearing your seatbelt (75% less chance of being killed), keeping your tires in good shape, and loading your vehicle properly. Anything on the roof is above your car's center of gravity. Find out the proper load and load distribution for your particular vehicle.
Know about "tripping" as well - when your car goes off the road and hits soft dirt, or an object such as a curb or embankment, it's more likely to rollover. Stay on the road. If you veer off, slow down and get back on when you can.
Visit this site http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/ncap/ to get the safety rating for your car, and consider the new technologies that help: Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and Variable Ride-Height Suspension (VRHS).
3. Park your personal problems at the curb before you take off.
Practice your Emotional Intelligence. Anger, worry and other negative emotions can make you distracted and inattentive. Don't let your emotions, or those of others, distract you.
If you're driving with children, make sure they understand proper car behavior. Don't try to attend to them yourself (handing them food, wiping noses, refereeing fight) and make sure they're in appropriate safety devices.
If you're with another adult, save the fights for later, and don't let them become negative "back seat driver." You need to pay attention and be clear-headed.
4. Observe and obey state driving laws and the laws of physics (momentum, speed, deceleration, centrifugal force, load distribution, and gravity).
5. Don't tailgate. Leave enough distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you, and allow others to pass who appear to want to.
6. Never debate the right-of-way - give it. It's safer.
8. Don't fight sleep. If you're drowsy, pull over and take a short nap, or a brisk walk. Too many people are killed because someone fell asleep at the wheel.
9. Know how to drive, and drive so your vehicle is under control at all times. And watch out for school children and school buses.
10. Follow the Golden Rule. Give another motorist the break you wish he or she would give you.
You can get auto safety literature online here: http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/hotline/hotline.html#online .
© Susan Dunn, MA, Emotional Intelligence Coach, Trainer and Consultant, http://www.susandunn.cc . Coaching, business programs, Internet courses, teleclasses and ebooks around Emotional Intelligence. I train and certify EQ Coaches. Email me for information about this fast, affordable and
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