Archive

Help Decrease Traffic Jams by Using the Zipper Merge

April 9, 2017 - 12:04 pm

When you are on a highway and there is a lane closure up ahead, it is best to use all lanes until you reach the closure. Do not merge early! This adds to a traffic backup and can also lead to more accidents. Each car merge can be thought of as a separate intersection. Intersections slow things down. That’s why highways are so fast in general, there are on and off ramps but no intersections. When many cars decide to merge along different points on the same lane, this creates many mini-intersections, backing up both lanes of the highway. Instead, use all lanes and merge closer to the lane closure creating just one intersection. This method looks like a zipper, and so it is called the “zipper merge”.

Watch: MnDot Zipper Merge Video
Read more: MnDot Zipper Merge

Safe driving,
-Midway Driving School
“Training designed for nervous adults”

Stay Back! – Tips for driving safely behind a snowplow

March 5, 2017 - 11:35 am

Winter driving means patience. Especially patience on icy roads and behind snowplows. Snowplows travel at slower speeds and have a limited field of view. Make sure to be 5-10 car lengths behind one (according to MnDOT 10 is preferred). Also be prepared for a snowplow to exit/enter the highway frequently or even to cross over a median.

Snowplows are here to make our roads safer! Let’s give them the room they need!

Read more winter tips from MnDOT
http://www.dot.state.mn.us/workzone/winter.html

Safe driving,
-Midway Driving School
“Training designed for nervous adults”

Black Ice – Tips for driving safely on Minnesota’s icy roads

February 12, 2017 - 11:34 am

Ice isn’t always visible on the roadway. When ice is hard to see we call it “Black Ice.” This can happen when precipitation falls and freezes onto the cold pavement or a melt and freeze occurs.

Black Ice and Icy road condition tips:

Slow down
Regardless of the speed limit, drive at a safe speed for icy roads. Go especially slow on bridges, overpasses, and tunnels. These may be icier than other parts of the road due to the air traveling above AND below the road. Also pay special attention to the road in the morning. The air warms faster than the pavement creating icier than expected road conditions.

Give your car space, and avoid braking on the ice
It is much harder to brake on ice, and ice may cause your car to skid. Make sure to give your car more room than you think you need between yourself and the vehicle in front of you. Also, turn off cruise control, so you are more actively engaged as a driver, and can give yourself more time to react and adjust as necessary.

Avoid distractions
Make sure you are ready to focus on the road with both hands on the wheel. Do not use your phone while driving. Texting while driving is both dangerous and illegal in Minnesota.

Read more about black ice from MnDOT
http://www.dot.state.mn.us/workzone/blackice.html

Safe driving,
-Midway Driving School
“Training designed for nervous adults”

Driving Tips for Construction Season

September 11, 2015 - 7:37 pm

Ah yes, it is the magical time of summer in Minnesota. Time to enjoy the MN State Fair or a last trip to the cabin. Maybe 18 holes of sunrise golf, or an evening picnic in your own backyard. However nice the weather is though, it is still construction season.  And this summer, we seem to have more than our fair share of road work.

Make use of these construction driving tips so you can spend more of your time enjoying the summertime rays and less of the summertime construction blues.

Check Google first (before you get into the car!)
Whether you’ve driven this route a thousand times before, it is a good idea to check Google Maps to see if  your route is taking longer than usual, or whether or not you need to select a new path to your destination. You can also check MNDOT’s site for road closures.

Give yourself extra time.
We speed and make poor decisions when we are hurried. Give yourself plenty of time this summer for the commute.

Obey construction speed limits.
Fines in construction zones are higher than on normal roadways. Err on the side of caution when it comes to speed in construction areas.

Minimize distractions.
No multitasking on the road! Staying free of distractions helps you stay alert; so turn down the radio, keep your eyes on the road, and your hands on the wheel.

Give yourself, and the next car, plenty of space
Giving yourself more space between your car and the one in front of you, gives you more time to react to changes in speed.

More construction driving tips at: http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/wz/resources/fhwasa03012/

Enjoy the sun, and be safe!

-Midway Driving School
“Training designed for nervous adults”

Winter Driving Tips

March 25, 2014 - 7:14 pm

Minnesota winters are long and tough. But Minnesotans are tougher! We still maintain our daily routines of work travel, outdoor activities and socializing. We’re mobile in the winter! However, the bitter cold, heavy snowfall and rapid swings in temperature make driving especially difficult. Here are a number of helpful tips to keep in mind as you venture out onto the roads during the cold and snowy months.

Make a Car Safety Kit

According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety hundreds of Minnesotans become stranded on the road during bad winter weather. It is important to be ready for an unexpected delay due to a flat tire, car trouble or impassable conditions. Make sure your car has a dedicated place to store these items: jumper cables, a fleece blanket, a bottle of water, a flashlight, windshield scraper, a length of sturdy rope, a bag of sand, a first aid kit and, if space permits, a small shovel. It can also be helpful to place a few candy bars in your glove compartment, in case you’re really stranded.

Take Your Time

Plan to give yourself extra time on the road when you’re traveling during the winter. Accidents often occur when drivers are rushing to get to their location and push their driving ability past its limits. Peace of mind is worth those extra fifteen minutes!

Don’t Follow Too Closely

This is a great rule for every time you’re behind the wheel, but it’s doubly important during the winter. Because road conditions are unpredictable, give yourself an extra buffer between you and the car in front of you. A good rule for freeway driving is “the ten second rule.” When the car in front of you passes a sign, begin counting. If you pass the same sign before you reach the number ten, you’re following too closely.

No one can guarantee an accident-free winter of driving, but following these tips can go a long way towards improving your chances of having a safe winter on the road.

Happy and safe winter driving,
-Midway Driving School