Tuesday 22 Aug 2017
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Distractions are a natural part of driving
Distractions are a natural part of driving. Take every effort to stay focused on the driving task.

Driving and the Modern Woman

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The first successful automobile was designed by Karl Benz in 1886. It was later modified with practical advancements by a very modern woman for her time period, Bertha Benz, mother of two children and wife of Karl.

Mrs. Benz, along with her two children, completed the first recorded tour of the new automobile. She quickly discovered a few shortcomings. For example, she realized an extra gear was needed for steep hills. Poor braking was an additional causefor concern, and Bertha found she had to make a quick modification to the carburetor, using a bobby-pin to do it! Ultimately, Mrs. Benz's recommendations resulted in critical updates to the automobile, including new gears, a carburetor spring, and safer, leather-lined brakes.

So ladies, our gender has not only been responsible for much of the styling and aesthetics of today's vehicles, but many of the safety features too!

As an enthusiastic motorcyclist and driver with over 35 years of experience, it is pleasing to report that not only are more females taking up the sport of motorcycling, but women currently represent over 50% of automobile drivers and purchasers. Similarly, female representation in the corporate world and general work force continues to grow. Thus, logically, more women than ever are traveling alone on our highways and freeways.

Consequently, real needs have arisen. First of all, like all responsible drivers, more women today have to learn good defensive driving skills. Secondly, knowing what to do in an automobile emergency situation is critical. Finally, a general knowledge of what to look for and the right questions to ask when purchasing a car is very important.

Despite our changing society, women are still often treated "differently" when it comes to purchasing, servicing or repairing cars, especially at garages and car dealerships. Also, changes in automobile design in recent years have, in turn, created new driving challenges. The proper use of anti-lock braking systems is just one example. Having been in the field of driver education, I recognized the profound need to address these problems, and their related areas.

A Few Tips for Safe Driving in Winter

Recognize when you are in another drivers blind spot. If you do not see their face in their rear view mirrors, they cannot see you, so back off or move ahead to be seen.

Leave more space than you normally would between you and other vehicles, especially in bad weather and when driving on highways at high speeds, to avoid the "domino effect."

Drive as if you had no brakes; over-braking creates skids. If you have to brake, remember to always brake in a straight line and get off the brake when you start turning the steering wheel.

Remember, it's not the weather or the car that causes accidents, it's the driver and his/her lack of knowledge or poor attitude!

In addition to being an avid motorcyclist, Annette Kukemueller is the Master Driving Instructor and owner of Accent on Advanced Driver Training school in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada. The school promotes women's driving issues, teaching driving techniques for anti-lock brakes and winter conditions, car maintenance, child safety in the automobile, and upgrading skills for seniors. Often appearing as a Guest Speaker, Annette's experience and education in both automobiles and driver training is extensive, and her commitment to women's driving issues is unparalleled.