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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Safe Driving Tips from Ford DSFL

During last week's "Ford Driving Skills for Life" session at Ford Factory on the outskirts of Chennai, I got an opportunity to lean safety tips from international experts. Derek Kirkby and Nicholas of Advanced Driving Institute, South Africa briefed us on several safety measures- in classroom and on Ford's test track. I am sharing them with you here

The 3 second rule: It is recommended that a driver maintains a gap of 3 seconds from the vehicle in front of him. How to calculate 3 seconds? Take a reference point like a lamp-post. From the moment the vehicle ahead of you crosses that lamp-post, there should be minimum 3 seconds gap before your vehicle crosses the same point. To drive home the point, the trainers illustrated the same. First, they drove both cars in parallel tracks at 1 second gap and by the time second driver could sense the brake lights of first driver, react and bring his vehicle to halt, the second car had come halfway into first car’s position. (Since demo was done in parallel tracks, there was no collision. If the cars were one behind the other, it would have resulted in a serious accident.
Then they drove with 2 seconds gap. Even that was inadequate. Second vehicle almost touched the first. 
Only when the gap was 3 seconds, the distance between the two cars were safe enough.
Note that above were demonstrated by experienced drivers on a controlled test track. Real life situations will be worse due to bad rooms, extra traffic, poor visibility etc. Also driver's reaction time not included.

Increase in speed will have exponential increase in safe braking distance. Doubling the speed from 60kmph to 120kmph doesn’t mean car can be stopped in twice the distance. You’d need more than 5 times the distance to stop a car at 120kmph, compared to what it would take to stop from 60kmph. (this is for a small car like Ford Figo with ABS. Bigger cars and cars without ABS will take much longer distance before coming to halt. We were asked to guess the braking distance and almost all of us got it wrong.

Enhance your breaks!: Many car buyers boost the power and performance of their cars with aftermarket enhancements. But they completely ignore the brakes. If you’re boosting power, please work on brakes as well, to ensure that your brakes are capable of bringing to halt an over-powered engine.

When you see an emergency in front of you, braking abruptly is not the only solution. You should be able to think of other alternatives and act instantly. Ability to think of other alternatives comes with experience. It is important to be giving full attention to driving, to be able to react fast.

While Airbags are supposed to save your life, Airbags+Unfastened seat belt can make a deadly combination. Airbag pops out at a speed of 380 kmph. If the driver & passengers are not wearing seat belts, during collision their head can come very close to steering wheel/airbag and an airbag popping out at 380 kmph, exploding on one's head can instantly kill the individual. So do wear seat belts.

Not just for driver, all passengers should wear seat belt. During collision, if those sitting in second row without seat belt can be pushed forward and crush the driver. Only 15% of driving is physical. (knowing how to use various mechanical controls of the car). Rest is mental-knowing what to do when and being able to judge well
Drivers should also be aware what to do in emergency- when a tyre bursts, if brake fails etc. Though there's been several improvements in technology which increases safety, technology has its limitations and nothing is a replacement for sensible driving. Drive safe.

Also read: Safe braking distance *

4 comments :

driving school khanpur said...

very nice tips....everyone should follow these...
thanks


driving school in Greater Kailash Part 1

Melinda Lee said...

Car accidents have become a common thing because people neglect certain simple but important things. Very nice information is mentioned above and i think everyone must follow these tips and avoid accidents.

Sarah Bowlin said...

Good post! With me, your safe driving tips are very useful. I think that I can apply them especially the 3 second rule.

Marcos Erickson said...

Nice post! with me, your safe driving tips are very useful. I think that I can apply them especially the 3 second rule.