Being in a caravan doesn’t increase your safety on the road and can actually increase your risk. Here are some of the dos and don’ts…
Keep a safe interval, depending on conditions, without lagging behind. (Recommended distance is 3 seconds) Remember, you havea line of cars that will have to rush to catch up when the leader picks up the pace if you’re behind. This causes an unsafe “whiplash” effect.
Let a metal car pass and/or get in line when they have a need to. Other cars on the road can be very discouraged or challenged by a long caravan and we can’t control other drivers.
Don’t “follow the leader” if conditions don’t lend themselves to a safe move for you. Instead, wait until it is safe to follow; remember, you can always get back into a caravan further up…we’ll let you in!
Although we enjoy “pedal to the metal” when traveling alone, a string of Corvettes makes a great target and the sheer number of cars might dictate a slower speed. This is especially true in congested areas/towns.
When appropriate, we’ll “play”, especially on squiggly roads, but you should drive at your comfort level keeping interval in mind.
It is courteous to change positions in a caravan from time to time. It is much easier to be right behind the leader than at the end of the line, so give everyone a turn. Be aware of which car is just in front of you and behind you so you can report if they have a problem.
Help the caboose; they have a huge responsibility to keep the caravan safe. The tighter a caravan rides, remembering safe intervals, the less difficult it is to keep everyone together.
When we come in towns and have a 4-lane road with stoplights, it is helpful to take both lanes. After the light, merge back into one line.
When the leader indicates they are going to change lanes and you are near the back of the caravan, move over when it is safe; this makes it easier for all the cars in front of you to change lanes.
If you need/want to leave the caravan for any reason, notify the leader and caboose first…perhaps it’s time for everyone to take a break. We won’t worry if we know why you left.
Keep your FRS radio (tuned to 11-0) handy for directions and safety warnings.
Put your parking/road lights on to increase visibility.
Ed Harms - Safety Chairman
It's Racing Season!
Spring is a great time to give your car a thorough safety checkup before you get on the roads. This is especially true when you are planning to join NSCC at a racing event. Spending time now prepares your car for optimum performance and safety! Here’s what you can do at home to prepare your car for the track.
Empty the car of any/all loose objects. Leave as much as you can at home.
Seatbelts: need to be checked for good operation.
Windshield: cannot have any cracks that threaten safety. Be sure your wiper fluid is full to keep the windshield clean.
Brakes: adequate pads, rotors in good shape, and adequate fluid. Solid pedal with no “sponginess”. When did you put in new fluid last? Be sure your brake lights work.
Tires: street legal with minimum 2/32” tread in good shape. (Racing slicks exempt). Be sure to check your tire pressure.
Tie rods, ball joints, and steering links: solid, no play or binding.
Motor mounts: no play of mounts or engine rubbing on hoses or cables.
Coolant system: all hoses free of cracks, clamps tight and reserve tank to the full line. Have you had it flushed lately?
Fuel system: throttle linkage free and tight. Hoses solid, clamps tight, no visible leaks.
Oil system: be sure it’s topped off with no visible leaks.
Helmet: Snell or DOT (loaners are available)
Battery: make sure it is secure.
Our autocross events are low speed. However, you will do lots of braking, turning and generally putting your car through actions not experienced in everyday driving. A car that is carefully maintained and given a good going over on a regular basis can save you problems later—it’s especially important for a racing event.
Eric Kirchner - Safety Chairman
WHY SPRING DRIVING IS DANGEROUS
With winter fading into the background ( not yet) and better weather around the corner, you would think the roads would be safe again.
Rainey days and flooding
Spring rain brings slippery road conditions and flooding. According to the Federal Highway Administration, rain was a culprit of 46% of all weather related crashes from 2005 to 2014, and wet pavement in general accounted for 73%.What makes rain and wet pavement so dangerous? For one, slippery roads reduce your cars handling and increases the distance it takes to stop (up to 4 times normal stopping distance). Big puddles can also cut down on tire traction and could lead to hydroplaning.
Beware of hailstorms, particularly if you live in a hail-belt state. Even small hailstones can shatter windshields, and raining balls of ice are never good for roads.
Winter road wear and tear
In many states, winter wreaks havoc on the roads (no kidding). Snow plows, salt, sand and the aftermath of ice can all leave roads a bit battered. Once snow melts away, expect to drive over new and bigger potholes.
Animals are incredibly actibe during the spring. Some are emerging from hibernation, and other are entering mating season. This could mean animals are crossing roads and roaming around . Many animals especially deer, are most active at dawn or dusk. Do not overdrive those headlights.
More bicycles on the road
Spring also brings out cyclists and motorcyclist out of hibernation. Driving alongside cyclists can make traffic maneuvers, from turning right to parallel parking more dangerous.
SPRING DRIVING TIPS
Check your lights, since spring rain hinders driving visibility, make sure all your lights work, including headlights, taillights, backup, turn signals, parking and brake lights.
Replace your wiper blades, worn-out wiper blades may not be up to the task of clearing water away from your windshield.
Check your tire pressure, harsh winter weather (for those who’s Corvette left the garage) can deflate your tires. Make sure you have enough air in them once spring rolls around. Proper inflation can mean better gas mpg.
Slow down and drive carefully, the first few rainy days of sping can produce exceptionally slippery roads due to oil and other leaked fluids mixing with rainwater, so slow down and increase your stopping distance when it’s raining.
Keep your eyes peeled for bad road conditions, remember that harsh winter weather breeds potholes and other driving obstacles.
Once gain keep your eyes open for animals and motorcyclists, they are both coming out of hibernation.
Eric Kirchner - Safety Chairman
Inside Your Home
Replace your filters Inside your home can be up to five times more polluted than the outdoor air, especially during the winter when we trap our indoor air inside with us. To help your indoor air quality, air out your house while spring cleaning and clean or replace the filters on your air conditioning unit and furnace, as well as your dryer, vacuum, and refrigerator.
Go Green Use organic cleaners to help minimize the risks associated with toxic cleaners. Be aware that “natural” does not necessarily mean “nontoxic,” and carefully review labels for dangerous chemicals before purchasing any cleaners. You can also make your own household cleaners out of common household items, like vinegar and lemon juice.
Test, and replace the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors It’s vital that your family can hear every detector from anywhere in the house. Press and hold the test button on the detector. If it doesn’t let out am alarm loud enough to hear, perhaps move the detector closer, or replace it if the alarm is not as loud as it should be.CO detectors have a limited lifespan. Replace or recalibrate them at least every five years.
Review or create your Family emergency plan Take advantage of the new season by reviewing your disaster preparedness plan with every family member of your household and update it to reflect anything that may have changed in the last year. Your plan should include at east two rendezvous points, an emergency contact person, and an evacuation route. Once you have reviewed the plan, run a few drills for the natural disasters that can occur in your area, like fire, flooding, and tornados.
Clean out the medicine cabinet Properly dispose of all expired and unused medications in your home. Many medications are considered too dangerous to throw away or flush down the toilet, so call your pharmacy or local poison control center to find any drop-off sites that will take your expired medications.
Update your first aid and 72 hour kits Check your first aid and 72 hour kits and replace any missing or expired items. Make sure you have all the essentials, including bandages, water and emergency phone numbers for the local poison control and your family MD.
Check your fire extinguishers Every home should have at least one fire extinguisher in an easy to access location. Although fire extinguishers can have a long shelf life, they do eventually expire, and once they do, they are useless in a fire. Make sure you check the expiration date on your fire extinguishers and keep them updated.