Tag Archives: Safety

Low Beam vs. High Beam: When to Use These Headlights

Headlights are designed specifically to cater to the safety and convenience of the driver and ensure the visibility of other vehicles, pedestrians, bicyclists, animals, as well as other obstacles on the road.

Headlights come in two specific modes — low beam and high beam. The main difference between low and high beam headlights is that a low beam is used for normal night-time driving; whereas high beams are used for driving on roads that have little to no light.

WHEN SHOULD YOU USE YOUR LOW BEAM LIGHTS?
Low beam headlights illuminate the road better in certain conditions and allow other drivers to see your vehicle without blinding them, ensuring fewer accidents. They are also ideal for all weather conditions or anytime your visibility is less than 150 metres. As a lower\ beam lights up the road at short ranges, you’ll mostly use them in the city with well-lit roads and areas. Low beams are designed to aim light down to the ground and towards the side; this way they don’t blind vehicles in the opposite direction or those in front of you.

WHEN SHOULD YOU USE YOUR HIGH BEAM LIGHTS?
High beam headlights are only suited for use in poorly-lit urban roads and rural areas. They should have limited city usage as they tend to blind oncoming traffic due to their bright, long-range illumination. They’re usually used on highways and areas without much traffic. Because high beams are so bright, be sure to switch to your low beam when you’re approaching a vehicle from behind so you don’t blind the driver ahead of you.

While high beams increase your visibility to 350 to 400 feet and help increase visibility when driving on dark streets or highways, you should never solely rely on high beams; nor should you use them on city roads amongst traffic. Never use high beams during unfavourable weather conditions as they cause glare and momentary blindness, making them extremely unsafe.

Over time, headlights tend to get dirty with accumulated dirt, and this can cause lower illumination and visibility on dark roads. Remember to clean your headlights occasionally as a necessary safety measure.

Make sure you adjust your driving speed according to the road and traffic conditions and always be considerate of the other drivers around you.

Car Safety Checklist for Holiday Trips

When preparing for long road trips, it is always wise to make a complete checklist before you start, as you can never know when your car will break down.

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A good tip is to store an emergency vehicle kit fully equipped at all times in your car. A few must-haves include:

  1. First Aid Kit
  2. Reflective triangle
  3. A jack
  4. Flashlight with extra batteries
  5. Jumpstart kit
  6. Tyre inflator kit
  7. Extra fuel

Always get your car thoroughly checked and be ready for any emergencies. Remember, when in doubt, just follow the car manual.

Safety Tips When Driving in the Hills

Travelling to the hills and driving there can be just as thrilling as it can be dangerous. There can be blind curves and hairpin bends and the driver needs to know how to navigate these. There are some necessary cautions and hill driving etiquette that need to be followed at all times.

Here are some tips to follow while driving in hilly regions:

Go Slow:
Do not exceed the approved speed limit while driving to any Hill Station. Watch out for the road signs that instruct you on the ideal speed for the location you are in. Speeding is dangerous on mountain roads and not the place you’d want to test out how fast your car can go. Gravity will work against you whether you are driving up or downhill. Slow down on all curves and descend at the same speed that you used while going up, and drive below the speed limit on curves.

Overtaking:
Overtaking is a risk even on the plains but tenfold on mountain roads. If you must overtake, always check traffic signs for bends, if the road is wide enough, and watch the vehicle in front of you for any signs of change in speed or swerving. When going uphill remember the traffic against you is moving faster coming downhill. Be smart in your judgement before you attempt it.

Know the types of roads:
Before you start your trip, do research on the type of road you will be driving on. Whether it is a typical narrow hilly drive or a well laid dual carriageway. Roads could vary from a good 4 or 6 or even 8 lane expressway to an off-beaten, bumpy path, it is always safer to be mentally prepared for different kinds of roads that are in the area you are travelling to.

Know your driving skills:
You should know just how much your car can take. Does it have the power to climb those steep roads? Will it carry a full load? You should also know how to handle your car to get the best out of it on those uphill pulls. The steeper the road, the more you will have to use lower gears to climb them, as well as lower gears together with accurate braking techniques while descending. Be vigilant about your tyres, your braking and your steering, especially on wet/damp roads.

No matter how much you want to, it’s never a good idea to try out those Fast and Furious drifting manoeuvres you’ve seen in the films. As adventurous as you feel, safety is still the priority.

Tips to Minimize Wear and Tear on Your Car

Preventative care, careful driving and regular maintenance all contribute to your car’s longevity, making it stay longer on the roads than in a garage. Proper care also helps you save a lot of money in the long run. Here are a few tips on how to make sure the wear and tear in your car is minimized.

Stick to your maintenance routine:
Familiarize yourself with your car’s maintenance schedule and stick to it. As your car age, more maintenance is required and car manufacturers always recommend regular service intervals. If you don’t do a regular service on your car, you run the risk of causing damage to your engine and other parts because service centres know what needs to be checked and replaced with time, such as spark plugs, oil, filters, etc.

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Never miss an oil change:
Oil is the lifeblood of your engine and over time the motor oil begins to degrade and lose its lubricating and cooling properties potentially damaging metal-on-metal contact. Regularly changing your oil and filter can save you in the long run, the failure of which could have you replacing your whole engine!

Warm-up!
Everyone is always in a hurry and it’s not uncommon to want to jump into our cars and rush off. But experts recommend that it is important to give your engine a minute or two to warm up. This helps your engine oil heat up and lubricate all the parts. It’s also best to avoid higher RPMs and speeds until the engine is properly warmed up and running at normal temperature.

Give your brakes a break:
Prolong the life of your brake pads and discs by easing up on constantly using them. The safest way to do it is by slowing down. The faster you drive, the more you will need to step on the brakes sharply. Keep a safe distance between the vehicle in front of you, which will give you more time to come to a slower stop without having to jam on the brakes often.

Use the parking brake:
A better option is to engage the parking brake when you stop. First, step on your brake pedal and then engage your parking brake; put the car into park and release your foot off the pedal. This will prolong your car’s transmission allowing the parking brake to take the car’s weight and not the transmission.