Various natural and environmental factors affect the driving task and contribute to accident potential. Knowing the effects of each of these factors can help during driving.
A. Kinetic Energy (momentum) – An increase in driving speed requires an increase for that vehicle in stopping distance, as the vehicle has gained more momentum. Allowing enough stopping distance for the vehicle is the only sure way to offset the momentum of the vehicle.
B. Impact – At impact in a car accident, the “G” or gravitational forces in a collision are astronomical. Consequently, a driver must make all efforts to stay in the car, buckled in their seat belt to survive the force of the impact. These “G” forces, if in effect for longer than a millisecond, would tear apart a human being. In an accident, these forces are impacted on the driver for only a fraction of a second, but still contain enormous power. Staying secured in the driver compartment is the safest place to be at all times.
It is vital for all drivers to be aware of the environment in which they travel, other drivers around them and the vehicle they control.
A. “Rear-Ender” – This is the most common accident type and is nearly always the fault of the car in the rear. Drivers who tailgate do not leave enough stopping distance between themselves and the vehicle they immediately follow. The rear-end collision is often the result of following too closely but can be prevented by signaling early for all turns, stops and lane changes. It is also a good idea to frequently check the traffic behind your vehicle, and if tailgated, change lanes immediately. A driver should be aware of tailgaters or large vehicles following too closely or gaining rapidly from behind, and take appropriate action to avoid conflict.
- Attempt to warn the driver behind you by tapping your brakes.
- If no other options are available, press your brake pedal and prepare for impact.
- Keep a firm grip on the steering wheel. Chances are you may be pushed forward or even sideways and will still need to maintain control.
- Your seat belt will prevent your face and upper torso from hitting the steering wheel or windshield. Most cars today have headrests. This will help minimize the whiplash factor.
B. Front or Side Collision
- From the Front – If your vehicle is going to be hit from the front, be prepared to do the following: Use your arms or hands to protect your face and throw yourself across the seat to avoid hitting the steering wheel or windshield if you do not have a shoulder harness on.
- From the side
- If possible, avoid head-on collisions and the inevitable impact. Attempt to maneuver so the approaching vehicle hits your car from the side.
- Be careful when protecting your face. For example, air bag devices deploy in front-end impacts at approximately 35 mph. Use caution when placing your hands in front of your face as the air bag could push your hands into your face (The shoulder strap of your seat belt will prevent your face from hitting the dashboard).
- Use the steering wheel to brace yourself and try to avoid being thrown against the side of your car.
C. Light Rain / First Rain – The first rain often leads to a dangerous condition in which to operate a motor vehicle. The first rain lifts the oil up from the road surface, yet does not completely wash away the slippery substance. Many drivers are generally unwilling to slow their speed to a level that the first rain requires. Light rain tends to be ignored by people who continue driving as if the roads were clear and dry. The light rain makes the road slick and simply does not provide enough water to wash away all the accumulated oil and debris. Speed should be dramatically reduced with extra stopping distance allowed and extreme caution exercised. It is important to remember that when road conditions and surfaces change, braking distance and traction change as well.
D. One-Way Streets - In order to eliminate confusion in heavily traveled areas and to keep the flow of traffic moving, one-way streets are becoming more and more common. One-way streets often pose unique dangers to drivers. Wrong way drivers are common, as are other motorists making turns from unsafe lanes. Drivers should be aware of how to properly enter and exit one-way streets and be prepared to slow dramatically if necessary. Always choose the safest lane.
- The leading cause of freeway accidents is “FOLLOWING TOO CLOSELY.”
- 50% of all accidents are caused by drivers 16 – 24 years of age.
- 24% of all accident fatalities involve drivers 16 – 24 years of age.
Sample Test Questions
1. What is the most common accident type:
2. ___ % of accidents are caused by drivers 16 – 24 years of age.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Why should I take Oklahoma Driver Improvement?
When you receive a traffic ticket, points will be added to and have a negative effect on your driving record. When you accumulate a certain amount of points, you could lose your driving privileges, in more serious cases. To avoid outcomes like this, most courthouses will give you the option of attending a driver safety course. Taking our Oklahoma defensive driving course will not only help you keep points from hurting your record, it will also stop your auto insurance from skyrocketing. Additionally, our online program will help you become a better defensive driver and possibly avoid tickets in the future.
- How long does it take to get the certificate?
All courses throughout the state are court approved, so different courts will have differing requirements. For example, if you’re issuing court is the Oklahoma City Court, Cleveland Municipal Court, or the Jones Municipal Court, we will send your completion certificate directly to the courthouse within a 24-hour period. For all other courthouses in the state, we will be required to send you the certificate. We send all certificates out via standard USPS mail, so please allow 7-10 business days to receive your completion certificate from the time of your graduation. If you need your certificate of completion quicker than this given time period, you may upgrade your shipping options.
- How long does it take to get the certificate?
Because of security reasons, it is impossible for you to print your own certificate, so the original certificate must be sent directly from our office to you or the court. In most cases, we will mail you the certificate, but for the following courts only, we will fax the certificate to the court for you: Cleveland, Jones, Norman, and Oklahoma City. You can also order a certificate copy to mailed to you. When you finish the course, you may choose to have your certificate expedited.
- What happens if I fail the final? Can I take it again?
If you fail, don’t stress! We understand that tests can make people nervous. That's why we have designed our program to be fail-free! If at any time you do not pass a quiz or your final exam, we allow you to retake it right away as many times as you need without asking for more money.
- How much is your driver safety course?
Our tuition to take traffic school for Oklahoma is the affordable fee of $29.95. For less than a tank of gas, you will receive all that you need in order to dismiss your traffic ticket or meet your driver improvement requirements.
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