Defensive Driving in Wisconsin
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Defensive driving requires a pessimistic mindset. Expect the worst while behind the wheel, focusing on each situation's danger potential. This includes every road scenario, ranging from intersections to following slow-moving farm vehicles, from getting tailgated to driving in mean-fisted weather.
Deer are the third most commonly struck object on Wisconsin roads. To reduce your risk of smacking one of these wandering animals, be aware that deer are most active between dusk and dawn. And be especially alert during October and November. The highest number of deer/car accidents occur during these two months.
Wisconsin averages about 30 snowstorms per year, making snowy road conditions a common occurrence. During winter, adhere to the following tips:
- Reduce your speed and be especially alert for black ice when crossing bridges.
- Plan ahead to allow for more time to reach your destination.
- Increase your following distance.
- Allow for longer stopping distances when approaching intersections.
- Avoid using cruise control when road conditions are icy.
Hydroplaning can occur when driving as slow as 35 miles per hour. If you sense your vehicle's tires have lost traction, ease off the gas pedal and keep, if possible, your wheels straight. Only hit the brakes when you feel the tires regain traction with the road.
When driving, you should always look 10 to 15 seconds ahead, which averages about one city block or about a quarter of a mile on a highway. This way you will have time to react to any sudden or potential hazards.
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.
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