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The poor road and bridge conditions in Greater Baton Rouge Area require that all possible measures be examined to minimize the chances for accidents. We can look at four factors that will affect driving safety: weather conditions, driver fitness, vehicle fitness and driving competency. The fourth factor should have been road conditions but for our case we will discount it completely considering the conditions in Baton Rouge.
Watch the Weather
If you’ll have any feeling of doubt that the weather may be too bad driving, then simply give in and postpone your trip. Among all factors, this may be the hardest to compensate for. Visibility is the greatest concern and overly large outpour of rain, snow and fog should immediately dispel any intentions of driving. Too much snow can also cause slippery roads and if your trip is no matter of life-and-death, then prudence calls for a re-schedule. To lose control of the car is as worse as driving blind. Winds with hurricane or gale speeds can swerve the vehicle, throw objects into the windshield or sometimes throw other vehicles into yours. This can be especially dangerous while on a narrow bridge or ravines. (Adverse Weather Conditions)
Are You Roadworthy?
You don’t have a license? You shouldn’t even be reading this article.
In poor driving conditions, you need to be in nothing less than best driving shape. Zero alcohol or illegal drugs are non-negotiable, safety or legally wise. Any condition of sleepiness from deprivation or medication is also dangerous. Any physical condition that you feel that will adversely affect your alertness and reflexes should be cause for alarm. Better to ask somebody else to drive or postpone the trip. If you’re sometimes lazy wearing your eyeglasses, never be when you’re driving. If your sunglasses are ungraded, replace with graded lenses or use graded covers. You may be in A-1 physical condition but are an emotional wreck at the moment. Anger can cause overly aggressive driving or an emotional breakdown can reduce alertness.
Be aware also of self-induced distractions and omissions. Music should not be too loud. Wear seatbelts at all times regardless or distance or speed. And finally and most particular nowadays, don’t use your mobile phones while driving. Anybody will understand why your phone was turned off while you were driving.
Is Your Vehicle Road Worthy?
We actually mean defensive driving but it’s prudent to exaggerate a bit considering GBR’s deplorable infrastructure deficiencies. Yes, you can make your imagination run and see an over-speeding car lose control towards you or a hole on the road blowing your tire.
The first suggestion is to enroll in a defensive driving course which can even lower your insurance rates. (What is Defensive Driving)
A cardinal rule of defensive driving is drive well within the speed limits. If the road signs are not there, know what they are in your area and for GBR, reduce by about 20%. What this will take away from your driving will give you the precious life saving extra seconds of reflex in case an accident occurs to you or around you at any time. This is your greatest insurance which is proactive and better than the insurance benefit your family gets because something horrible has happened to you already.
Assume that stupid drivers will be all around you. This will induce you to anticipate bad driving actions and not be surprised when they happen. A good example is to still look left and right at a crossroads even if it’s a green light for you or still to do the same even if you have a clear right of way, especially on blind corners. Keep a generous distance from the car in front to get an extra second or two to brake in case of a sudden stop. If you feel that the driver beside or behind you is reckless, by all means give way and keep away.
Use available technology. Use of GPS devices would help you anticipate better your route and avoid hesitations which can be dangerous to other drivers. Use your internet mobile devices (phones, tablets, laptops) to check for the weather conditions. This can prepare you mentally for your trip. Airbags can be installed to prevent injury in crashes. Accidents from backing-out can be prevented by rearview cameras. Infrared night vision lights are now also available to spot pedestrians and animals in fog. Lane-departure warning can alert drivers if they stray into opposite lanes by spotting the yellow lanes. (Eisenstein)
Finally, cooperate with the GBR transportation officials. If you think that a safety facility should be put up anywhere or a fix to a damaged structure should be done, kindly report for the prevention of future accidents.
"Adverse Weather Conditions". driversed, n.d. Web. 29 March 2016. <https://driversed.com/driving-information/driving-conditions/adverse-weather-conditions.aspx>.
"Top tips for keeping your car roadworthy". CarsGuide. 29 Apr. 2015. Web. 29 March 2016. <http://www.carsguide.com.au/car-advice/top-tips-for-keeping-your-car-roadworthy-32209>.
"What is Defensive Driving?". SafeMotorist, n.d. Web. 29 March 2016. <http://www.safemotorist.com/articles/defensive_driving.aspx>.
Eisenstein, Paul A. "Must-have technologies for safe driving". CNBC, 2 Dec 2013. Web. 29 march 2016. <http://www.cnbc.com/2013/12/02/must-have-technologies-for-safe-driving.html>.