JIM & JEFF LUFF DRIVING TIP: [Note: This is the second in a series of weekly driving tips from LCT contributing editor and operator Jim Luff and his son, Jeff Luff, who works for Jim's limousine company in Bakersfield, Calif.]:
Maintain Space & Visibility: When driving, think about the "six sides" of your vehicle: front, rear, left side, right side, potential hazards above you (overpasses, signs, etc.), and potential hazards below you on the roadway, (oil, ice, sleet, gravel, etc.) Give yourself a following distance of one-second per every 10-feet of vehicle length. In a 20-foot vehicle, allow yourself two-seconds. Additionally, allow an additional two-seconds of reaction time. For example, in a 40-foot vehicle, you would allow four-seconds (one-second per 10-feet of vehicle length) + two-seconds of reaction time, for a total of six-seconds, under ideal conditions. If you are driving in adverse weather, or road conditions, such as: sleet, snow, gravel, mud, etc., you must increase your following distance. To determine the number of seconds in which you are traveling behind a vehicle, choose an object ahead - when the tail end of the vehicle in front of you passes that object, count "one-thousand-one, one-thousand-two, one-thousand-three" until the front end of your vehicle reaches that object - do this until you have an idea of your necessary following distance. Make it a habit to drive with your hands on the steering wheel in the "nine and three o'clock" positions to allow maximum steering control. Create a safety "bubble" around your vehicle at all times. If a car pulls in front of you and violates your bubble, reduce speed to re-establish the bubble. If a large truck, such as a box truck, pulls in front of you, reduce speed to create maximum visibility in front of you.
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