Defensive Driving in North Carolina
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Defensive driving requires being aware while behind the wheel. This means being focused on potential hazards such as school buses, parked cars, wandering animals, and construction zones. It also means checking mirrors frequently, avoiding blind spots, and adjusting speeds based on traffic and road conditions.
Driving in Rain
Slow down. Your car can start hydroplaning when driving as slow as 30 mph. If you experience a loose feeling while driving in rain chances are good your vehicle is starting to hydroplane. If this occurs take your foot off the gas pedal and avoid hitting the brakes. Try to keep the steering wheel straight until you sense the car is once again under control.
Driving in Flood Conditions
Since 1970, half of all deaths from inland flooding during hurricane season in North Carolina were caused by drivers attempting to negotiate flooded roads.
If you see standing water on a road don't assume it's shallow. And if see you a current of water rippling across a road don't underestimate the current's strength. There have been numerous cases throughout the state of cars being swept off roads by currents barely six inches deep.
Either find an alternative route or wait for water levels to subside.
To avoid being blinded by an approaching vehicle's headlights focus your eyes on the on the right side of the road. Also, maintain a speed that will allow you to stop within the distance of your headlights.
Driving in Fog
When driving in fog reduce speed, use low beams, and pay special attention to the taillights in front of you. If fog conditions become so extreme that visibility reduces to zero, pull to the side of the road, turn on the car's emergency flashers, and exit from the passenger side.
Margin of Safety
Always try to maintain at least a two-second cushion with the vehicle in front of you. This way you have sufficient room to react should the vehicle in front of you brake suddenly.
The two-second rule also applies with the vehicle behind you. If you deem it too close, move to another lane, if possible, and let the vehicle pass.
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