About 18 months ago, my daughter had a bad car accident, and her knee was smashed. After about six months she was able to walk again, but could not bend the knee past 90 degrees, making walking and other exercise difficult. It changed her life, and started affecting her back badly.
At the time of the accident, she was driving a little Nissan Micra on the 450km journey from university to our home for the mid-year holidays. She swerved for a huge pothole, and the car went into a skid and hit a tree at 100km/hr. The airbags saved her face and body, but the knee was smashed 88카.
Since this happened, there have been so many things I wished I had told her about driving. I wished I had stressed the importance of the little things that could have saved her all the pain and suffering she had to endure as a young lady.
So I’m going to say them in this article. Maybe it will save a life, or save some suffering. I hope so. So in random order, here goes:
When driving a small car, and you have it loaded with all your stuff, the car handles differently to when it is empty. It wallows. So avoid sudden movements, sudden swerves. The weight of the car will keep it going in a straight line. In those circumstances, it is often better to hit the pothole, or the animal, or the rock, rather than swerving.
When approaching a rise in the road which you cannot see over, slow down, unless you know the road well. Be extra attentive as you come over the rise. Then once you can see the road is clear ahead you can relax a little again.
When the car is fully loaded, go to the service station and get them to pump the tyres a little harder. About 20% to 30% harder should do it. This will give you more control on the road, and is recommended by the tyre manufacturers anyway. Also, keep your average speed down, perhaps dropping it by about 10%. A heavy car takes a lot longer to stop.
Never take your eyes off the road. Learn where all your controls are in the car, so that you can adjust things without looking. You can practice this while waiting at traffic lights – you’re not doing anything else anyway! And of course never use your mobile cell phone while driving; that is worse than driving while drunk, your concentration is even less on what’s happening around you.
Don’t put loose stuff around you in the car, especially heavy stuff and things like glass bottles and so on. In a collision these things become missiles. A glass bottle with a small plant in it travelled from the back seat of the car and missed my daughter’s head but punched a hole clean through the windscreen.
Once you’ve learnt to drive, get onto a skid pan and practice getting into and out of skids so you can get the feel of your car. If there is no skid pan near you, try and find a large, flat area of loose gravel and practice going sideways there. Make sure you have LOTS and LOTS of room to come to a safe stop if you lose control in a skid. Start off slowly and gradually build up your confidence. When you know what to do in a skid it makes so much difference when you get into one accidentally.
If you’re going to buy a small car, watch the safety crash videos on YouTube and see how your desired car handles the crash tests before deciding to buy it. Some of the Chinese cars just crumple up and crush the poor dummy inside!
In bad weather, slow down a lot. If it’s icy, go really slowly.
Let your family of friends know where you are at regular intervals, or let one of them track you on your mobile phone.
I hope this helps. My daughter has just had a second operation to reconstruct her knee so that she can bend it properly, and it seems to have gone well, so I am hoping that she will get her life back. There’s so much she still wants to do!