Blog – A Skillful Driver

Driving in Wind

How to Keep Yourself Safe When Driving in High Winds?

Driving in high winds can be challenging and potentially dangerous. Here are some tips to help you stay safe when driving in such conditions:

  1. Check weather forecasts: Before heading out, check the weather conditions, including wind speeds and any advisories or warnings in your area. If the winds are too strong or there are warnings in place, consider delaying your trip if possible.
  2. Secure loose objects: Ensure that any loose objects inside or outside your vehicle are properly secured. Strong winds can turn loose items into projectiles, potentially causing damage or injury.
  3. Firmly grip the steering wheel: Keep both hands on the steering wheel at all times, using a firm grip. This will provide you with better control over the vehicle when encountering gusts of wind.
  4. Reduce speed: Slow down and drive at a speed appropriate for the conditions. High winds can affect your vehicle’s stability and maneuverability, so reducing your speed will give you more time to react to sudden gusts or obstacles.
  5. Maintain a safe distance: Increase your following distance between the vehicle in front of you. This will provide you with a larger safety buffer in case you need to stop suddenly or maneuver to avoid an obstacle.
  6. Watch for large vehicles: Be cautious around larger vehicles such as trucks, buses, or trailers, as they can be more susceptible to strong winds. These vehicles may sway or veer unexpectedly, so give them extra space and avoid driving alongside them if possible.
  7. Be aware of crosswinds: Anticipate and prepare for crosswinds when driving on open highways, bridges, or exposed areas. Crosswinds can affect your vehicle’s stability, so adjust your steering and stay focused on the road.
  8. Avoid parking under trees or near structures: If you need to pull over or park, try to find a safe location away from trees, power lines, or structures that may be vulnerable to high winds. Falling debris or collapsing structures pose serious risks.
  9. Stay alert and focused: Pay attention to your surroundings and be aware of any changes in wind patterns or the behavior of other vehicles. Avoid distractions and keep your focus on the road at all times.
  10. Consider delaying your trip: If the winds are extremely strong or if driving conditions become hazardous, it may be safer to delay your trip until the weather improves. Your safety should always be the top priority.

Remember, if the winds become too severe or you feel unsafe, find a safe place to pull over and wait until conditions improve. It’s better to arrive a little late than risk an accident.

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How Enhanced Driver’s Licenses Work in Ohio?

Enhanced driver’s licenses (EDLs) are a type of driver’s license that meets both the requirements of a standard driver’s license and the additional federal requirements for certain purposes, such as crossing the border between the United States and Canada by land or sea. However, please note that my knowledge cutoff is in September 2021, and the information might have changed. It’s always best to consult the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) or the U.S. Department of State for the most up-to-date and accurate information regarding EDLs in Ohio.

Here’s a general overview of how EDLs typically work:

Eligibility: Not all states offer EDLs, and eligibility requirements may vary. In Ohio, as of my knowledge cutoff, residents who are U.S. citizens and meet the standard requirements for obtaining a driver’s license can apply for an EDL.

You may also read: 10 Things Only Smart Drivers Do When Test Driving a New Vehicle

Documentation: To apply for an EDL in Ohio, you would typically need to provide certain documents, such as proof of identity (e.g., birth certificate, valid U.S. passport), proof of citizenship (e.g., U.S. passport, U.S. birth certificate), proof of Social Security number, proof of Ohio residency, and any other required documentation specified by the Ohio BMV.

Application Process: The application process for an EDL in Ohio generally involves visiting a BMV office, completing the required application form, providing the necessary documentation, paying the applicable fees, and undergoing any required testing (e.g., vision screening, written test, driving test) if you’re applying for a new driver’s license.

You may also read: Traffic Laws & Driving Rules in U.S.A

Features and Validity: EDLs typically have specific features that distinguish them from standard driver’s licenses, such as a radio frequency identification (RFID) chip or a machine-readable zone (MRZ) to facilitate border crossing. EDLs are valid for the same duration as regular driver’s licenses in Ohio.

Usage: The primary purpose of an EDL is to provide a convenient alternative form of identification for certain cross-border travel purposes, particularly between the U.S. and Canada by land or sea. EDLs can be used instead of a passport or other forms of identification for these specific purposes.

You may also read: Top 10 Must-Have Items to Stock Your Car’s Emergency Kit Today

Remember, the process and requirements for obtaining an EDL may vary depending on the state and any updates to regulations. It’s crucial to consult the Ohio BMV or the U.S. Department of State for the most accurate and current information on how EDLs work in Ohio.

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Driving School

Steps to Complete Traffic School and Dismiss a Ticket

To complete traffic school and dismiss a ticket, follow these general steps:

  1. Check Eligibility: Verify if you are eligible to attend traffic school to dismiss your ticket. Some jurisdictions have specific criteria, such as no recent traffic violations or not having attended traffic school within a certain time frame.
  2. Contact the Court: Reach out to the court listed on your ticket or citation to confirm that attending traffic school is an option for your violation. They can provide specific instructions and guidelines.
  3. Enroll in an Approved Traffic School: Choose an approved traffic school from the list provided by the court or your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Ensure that the school you select is authorized to offer the course for ticket dismissal purposes.
  4. Complete the Course: Enroll in the traffic school course and complete all the required modules or chapters. The course can typically be taken online or in a classroom setting, depending on your state and the options available.
  5. Pass the Final Exam: Successfully pass the final exam at the end of the course. The passing score may vary depending on the jurisdiction, but it is usually around 70-80%.
  6. Obtain a Completion Certificate: Once you pass the final exam, you will receive a completion certificate from the traffic school. Ensure that the certificate includes the necessary information required by the court.
  7. Submit the Certificate: Submit the completion certificate to the court within the specified deadline. Some courts may require you to submit the certificate directly, while others may allow you to submit it online, by mail, or in person.
  8. Follow Court Procedures: Adhere to any additional procedures or requirements outlined by the court. This may include paying fines or fees, providing proof of completion, or attending a court hearing if necessary.
  9. Verify Ticket Dismissal: After submitting the certificate and completing all court requirements, verify with the court or DMV that your ticket has been dismissed and that there are no further actions required on your part.

It’s important to note that the specific procedures and requirements may vary depending on your location and the jurisdiction handling your ticket. Therefore, it is recommended to consult with the court or your state’s DMV for accurate and detailed instructions applicable to your situation.

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Driving License

Why You May Need Driving Lessons After Moving to a Big City?

Moving to a big city can be an exciting and transformative experience. However, it also presents unique challenges when it comes to transportation. While you may have been accustomed to driving in your previous location, there are several reasons why you may need driving lessons after moving to a big city:

  1. Different traffic patterns: Big cities often have complex traffic patterns, heavy congestion, and intricate road networks. Navigating these can be overwhelming, especially if you’re not familiar with the area. Taking driving lessons can help you understand the specific traffic patterns and road rules of the city, enabling you to drive confidently and safely.

    You may also read: Traffic Laws & Driving Rules in U.S.A

  2. Urban driving skills: Urban driving requires a different set of skills compared to driving in rural or suburban areas. You’ll encounter various challenges such as parallel parking, navigating narrow streets, dealing with pedestrians and cyclists, and handling heavy traffic. Driving lessons can provide you with the necessary skills and techniques to maneuver through these situations effectively.
  3. Public transportation availability: Big cities often have robust public transportation systems, such as buses, trains, and subways. Depending on the city, these options may be more convenient, efficient, and cost-effective than driving. However, there may still be instances where having a car is necessary or beneficial. Driving lessons can help you strike a balance between using public transportation and driving when needed.
  4. Parking challenges: Parking in big cities can be a significant challenge. Finding available parking spaces, understanding parking regulations, and parallel parking in tight spots are skills that can be honed through driving lessons. Learning how to park efficiently will save you time and reduce stress in a city where parking is at a premium.

    You may also read: 10 Things Only Smart Drivers Do When Test Driving a New Vehicle

  5. Local driving laws and regulations: Each city has its own unique driving laws, regulations, and road signs. Taking driving lessons specific to your new city will familiarize you with these rules, ensuring that you drive legally and safely. It’s important to understand local traffic laws, as they may differ from what you were accustomed to in your previous location.
  6. Building confidence: Moving to a big city can be overwhelming, and the prospect of driving in unfamiliar surroundings can add to the stress. Driving lessons can help build your confidence behind the wheel, allowing you to adapt more quickly to the challenges of city driving.

    You may also read: 10 Expert Tips to Drive Safely in Foggy Weather

Remember, even if you were an experienced driver in your previous location, adapting to the driving conditions of a big city may require some adjustment. Taking driving lessons after moving can help you become a more skilled, confident, and safe driver in your new urban environment.

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How to Make Your Trip to the DMV Easier?

Visiting the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) can often be a time-consuming and potentially frustrating experience. However, there are several steps you can take to make your trip to the DMV easier:

  1. Check Requirements and Forms in Advance: Before visiting the DMV, check their website or call ahead to determine the specific documents, forms, and identification you need to bring. Make sure you have all the necessary paperwork in order to avoid any delays or multiple visits.
  2. Make an Appointment: Many DMV locations offer the option to schedule an appointment online or by phone. This can help you avoid long wait times and ensure that you are attended to promptly. Check if your local DMV provides appointment services and book a time slot that works for you.
  3. Complete Forms Online: Some DMVs provide online services where you can complete certain forms, applications, or transactions ahead of time. Take advantage of these online services to save time at the DMV. Fill out the necessary forms, print them, and bring them with you to your appointment.
  4. Gather Necessary Documentation: Gather all the required documents and identification you need to bring to the DMV, such as your driver’s license, social security card, proof of residency, and any other specific documents based on the purpose of your visit. Organize them in a folder or envelope to keep them easily accessible.
  5. Bring Payment and Methods of Payment: Be prepared to pay any fees or charges associated with your visit to the DMV. Some DMVs accept cash, while others may only accept debit or credit cards. Check the accepted methods of payment and bring the appropriate payment option.
  6. Be Prepared for Wait Times: Even with an appointment, there may still be some waiting involved. Bring a book, headphones, or any other form of entertainment to help pass the time. Alternatively, use the waiting period to review any necessary information or forms.
  7. Double-Check Requirements: Before leaving for the DMV, double-check that you have all the necessary documents, forms, and payment. Make sure you meet any specific requirements, such as having a clean driving record or completing any required courses or tests.
  8. Stay Informed and Updated: Stay informed about any changes in DMV procedures, requirements, or hours of operation. Check the DMV website or social media pages for updates or announcements that may affect your visit.

By following these steps, you can help streamline your trip to the DMV and minimize any potential inconveniences. However, it’s important to note that DMV experiences can vary, and it’s always a good idea to be patient and allow for extra time in case of unexpected delays.

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tips for driving with kids

10 Safety Tips for Driving with Kids

Driving with toddlers can be a challenging experience, as they require constant attention and care. Here are ten tips to help you have a smoother and safer journey with your little ones:

Plan ahead: Before hitting the road, plan your route and schedule your drive during their nap time or when they are likely to be less fussy. This can minimize disruptions and make the drive more enjoyable for everyone.

Use child safety seats: Make sure your toddler is properly secured in a suitable child safety seat that is appropriate for their age, weight, and height. Follow the guidelines and recommendations provided by the manufacturer.

You may also read: Top 10 Road Safety Tips for Drivers

Pack essentials: Bring along a bag of essentials, including snacks, water, diapers, wipes, and any necessary medications. Having these items readily available will help you address your child’s needs quickly.

Entertainment: Keep your toddler engaged during the drive by providing them with age-appropriate toys, books, or music. Consider investing in car-friendly toys that won’t create a mess or pose a safety hazard.

Take frequent breaks: Plan regular stops to allow your toddler to stretch their legs, use the restroom, or simply have a change of scenery. This will help prevent restlessness and reduce the chances of them becoming cranky or uncomfortable.

You may also read: When Should High Beam Headlights Be Used?

Safety first: Ensure that all car doors and windows are securely locked to prevent accidental openings. Consider using childproof locks or window shades to further enhance safety during the journey.

Be prepared for motion sickness: Some toddlers are prone to motion sickness. To minimize discomfort, avoid giving them heavy meals before the drive and provide them with light snacks instead. If possible, position their car seat to face forward and consider using anti-motion sickness wristbands or consult with a healthcare professional for advice.

Engage in conversation: Talk to your toddler during the drive, involving them in age-appropriate conversations. This can help distract and entertain them while strengthening your bond.

Be a role model: Practice safe driving habits by following traffic rules, avoiding distractions, and always wearing your seatbelt. Toddlers often imitate their parents’ behavior, so set a good example to instill safe driving habits from an early age.

Stay calm and patient: Toddlers can become restless or fussy during long drives, which can be challenging to handle. Maintain a calm and patient demeanor, focusing on the road while addressing their needs. If necessary, pull over to a safe spot to address any immediate concerns or to provide comfort.

You may also read: 10 Basic Guidelines to Drive on a Toll Roads

Remember, the safety and well-being of your toddler should always be your top priority while driving. By implementing these tips, you can help create a more enjoyable and stress-free experience for both you and your child.

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Driving Tips

Top 5 Road Issues You Must Be Aware Of To Become A Responsible Driver

As a responsible driver, it’s important to be aware of various road issues to ensure the safety of yourself, your passengers, and others on the road. Here are the top five road issues you should be aware of:

  1. Distracted Driving: Distracted driving is a significant concern on the roads today. Activities like texting, talking on the phone, eating, or using in-car technologies can divert your attention from the road and increase the risk of accidents. Stay focused on driving, avoid distractions, and use hands-free devices if necessary.
  2. Speeding: Speeding is a leading cause of accidents and fatalities. Observe speed limits and adjust your speed based on road conditions, traffic, and weather. Maintain a safe following distance from the vehicle ahead to allow for ample reaction time.
  3. Drunk Driving: Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs impairs judgment, coordination, and reaction time. It’s crucial to never drink and drive or get behind the wheel if you’re under the influence. Designate a sober driver, use public transportation, or arrange for a taxi or rideshare service instead.
  4. Aggressive Driving: Aggressive driving behaviors such as tailgating, excessive speeding, frequent lane changes, and running red lights pose significant risks to everyone on the road. Stay calm, be patient, and avoid engaging with aggressive drivers. Report aggressive behaviors to the appropriate authorities if necessary.
  5. Poor Weather Conditions: Adverse weather conditions like rain, snow, fog, or ice can make driving more challenging and increase the likelihood of accidents. Adjust your driving techniques to match the weather conditions, including reducing your speed, increasing following distance, and using appropriate signals and lights.

Remember, being a responsible driver involves not only following traffic laws but also being courteous, aware of your surroundings, and maintaining a mindset focused on safety. Stay updated with current road regulations and continue to improve your driving skills to ensure the well-being of yourself and others on the road.

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Ticket in Ohio

10 Steps May Get a Traffic Ticket Dismissed in Ohio

While we can provide you with some steps that may help in getting a traffic ticket dismissed in Ohio, it’s important to note that every situation is unique, and there are no guarantees. However, these steps may improve your chances:

  1. Review the ticket: Carefully examine the traffic ticket and ensure that all the information is accurate, including your personal details, the date, time, and location of the violation, and the specific offense you are accused of committing.
  2. Understand the law: Research and familiarize yourself with the traffic law you are being accused of violating. Understand the elements of the offense and the potential defenses that may be applicable in your case.
  3. Gather evidence: Collect any evidence that could support your case. This may include photographs, videos, witness statements, or any other relevant documentation that can help demonstrate your innocence or cast doubt on the accuracy of the ticket.
  4. Consult an attorney: Consider consulting with a traffic ticket attorney who has experience in Ohio traffic law. They can provide legal advice based on your specific circumstances and guide you through the process.
  5. Request a continuance: If you need more time to prepare your defense, you can request a continuance from the court. This will give you additional time to gather evidence or consult with an attorney.
  6. Plead not guilty: Enter a plea of not guilty by following the instructions on the ticket or contacting the court directly. This will initiate the process for challenging the ticket and potentially going to trial.
  7. Prepare for trial: If your case proceeds to trial, prepare your defense by organizing your evidence, identifying potential witnesses, and formulating persuasive arguments based on the applicable laws.
  8. Negotiate a plea bargain: Before the trial, you may have the option to negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecutor. This could involve reducing the charges or penalties in exchange for a guilty plea. Discuss this possibility with your attorney.
  9. Present your case in court: If you decide to proceed to trial, present your case in court. Be respectful, dress appropriately, and present your evidence and arguments clearly and confidently. Follow all court procedures and instructions.
  10. Appeal if necessary: If you are not satisfied with the outcome of your trial, you may have the option to appeal the decision. Consult with your attorney to determine if an appeal is a viable option in your case.

It’s important to remember that these steps are general guidelines, and the outcome of your case will depend on various factors, including the specific circumstances and the discretion of the court. Consulting with an attorney who specializes in traffic law can provide you with personalized advice and guidance throughout the process.

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Emergency Kit for Cars

Top 10 Must-Have Items to Stock Your Car’s Emergency Kit Today

Having a well-stocked emergency kit in your car is crucial for preparedness during unexpected situations on the road. Here are the top 10 must-have items to include in your car’s emergency kit today:

  1. First Aid Kit: A comprehensive first aid kit should contain bandages, adhesive tape, antiseptic wipes, gauze pads, scissors, tweezers, pain relievers, and other essential medical supplies.
  2. Jumper Cables: These cables allow you to jump-start your car battery in case it dies. Ensure they are of appropriate length and thickness for your vehicle.
  3. Spare Tire, Jack, and Lug Wrench: A functional spare tire, along with the necessary tools to change a tire, is crucial in case of a flat or blowout. Familiarize yourself with your vehicle’s jack and lug wrench.
  4. Tire Sealant/Aerosol Inflator: These products can temporarily repair a flat tire and re-inflate it, allowing you to drive to a service station for a proper repair or replacement.
  5. Flashlight and Extra Batteries: Choose a reliable flashlight with long battery life or consider a hand-cranked or solar-powered option. Extra batteries are essential for sustained use.
  6. Reflective Warning Triangles or Road Flares: These devices help alert other drivers to your presence in case of a breakdown or accident, increasing your visibility and safety.
  7. Fire Extinguisher: Select a compact fire extinguisher suitable for automotive use. Ensure it is in good working condition and have knowledge of how to operate it.
  8. Multi-Tool: A versatile multi-tool can come in handy for various situations. Look for one with pliers, screwdrivers, a knife, scissors, and other useful tools.
  9. Non-Perishable Snacks and Water: Keep a supply of non-perishable food such as energy bars, granola bars, or dried fruit, along with bottled water, to sustain you in case of an emergency.
  10. Emergency Blanket and Extra Clothing: Pack a lightweight emergency blanket or thermal sleeping bag to provide warmth during cold weather. Additionally, include extra clothing suitable for the climate, including gloves, hats, and socks.

Remember to periodically check and replenish your emergency kit, ensuring that all items are in good working order and not expired. Additionally, it’s wise to carry a cell phone charger, road maps, and an emergency contact list in your car.

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USA Roads

Traffic Laws & Driving Rules in U.S.A

The traffic laws and driving rules in the United States may vary slightly from state to state, but there are several common regulations and guidelines that apply throughout the country. Here are some key traffic laws and driving rules in the U.S.A:

  1. Right-hand driving: In the United States, vehicles drive on the right-hand side of the road.
  2. Speed limits: Speed limits are posted and enforced on all roads, including highways, urban streets, and residential areas. The specific speed limits can vary depending on the road type and location, so be sure to check the signage.

    You may also read: When Should High Beam Headlights Be Used? 

  3. Seat belts: It is mandatory for all occupants of a vehicle to wear seat belts. This applies to both the driver and passengers, regardless of their seating position.
  4. Child safety seats: Children below a certain age or size are required to be properly secured in child safety seats. The specific laws regarding child safety seats vary by state, but they generally require children to be seated in appropriate rear-facing or forward-facing seats, depending on their age and weight.

    You may also read: Top 10 Road Safety Tips for Drivers

  5. Traffic signals: Drivers must obey traffic signals, which include traffic lights, stop signs, yield signs, and other regulatory signs. Red means stop, yellow means caution, and green means go.
  6. Right-of-way: Drivers must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians at crosswalks and intersections, and to vehicles already in the intersection or approaching from the right in situations where there is no traffic signal.
  7. Turning: When making turns, drivers should use their turn signals to indicate their intentions in advance. Right turns are generally allowed at red lights after coming to a complete stop, unless otherwise indicated.

    You may also read: 10 Expert Tips to Drive Safely in Foggy Weather 

  8. Passing: Drivers are allowed to pass other vehicles on the left when it is safe to do so, using the appropriate lane. Passing on the right is generally not allowed, except in specific situations and when there is sufficient space.
  9. DUI laws: Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is strictly prohibited in the United States. Each state has its own legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit, typically set at 0.08% or lower. It is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to operate a vehicle with any detectable amount of alcohol in their system.
  10. Cell phone use: Many states have laws that restrict or prohibit the use of handheld cell phones while driving. It is generally safer and legal to use hands-free devices or pull over to a safe location to use your phone.

    You may also read: 10 Things Only Smart Drivers Do When Test Driving a New Vehicle

It’s important to note that these rules provide a general overview, and specific traffic laws may differ by state or even local jurisdiction. It’s always a good idea to familiarize yourself with the specific laws and regulations of the state you are driving in to ensure compliance and safety on the road.

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