Teaching the Richmond area to drive defensively since 2001.PAUL H. MCCRAY 804-332-1596

Operating as usual


Tires are your only connection with the road. Be sure the tread is deep enough to channel away water on the road instead of letting it build up under tires.

A good measure is a quarter inserted in the groove with George Washington's head down. If you can see the top of his head, the tread is less than one-eighth of an inch, and you should replace the tire soon.


As the outside temperature drops, so does tire inflation pressure. Make sure each tire is filled to the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended inflation pressure, which is in your owner’s manual and on a label located on the driver's side door frame. Do not inflate your tires to the pressure listed on the tire itself. That number is the maximum pressure the tire can hold, not the recommended pressure for the your vehicle.


National Seat Check Saturday is observed on the fourth Saturday in September every year, falling on September 24 this year. This day was started by The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in the U.S. to promote child safety and increase awareness about seat check protocols in child safety seats when traveling. These efforts were put into action due to rising numbers of car accidents in the United States leading to countless injuries and death of children that could have been prevented if they had followed proper safety protocols. It is crucial to offer a child passenger the most basic form of safety restraint while traveling on the road.


Are you planning to get away for Labor Day Weekend?

Most people will brave their return home in the early evening or late afternoon. Try getting to the highways before 4 p.m. or after 10 p.m. and you should be in much better shape. Another important thing you can do to prepare for Labor Day driving is to plan your route well.


Make sure your windshield is clean and clear and wear good sunglasses to protect your eyes. If you are driving east in the early morning or west in late afternoon and evening, you may encounter glare from the sun.


When you apply for your Virginia driver's license, consider whether you need to get a REAL ID compliant license. Beginning May 3, 2023, the federal government will require you to present a REAL ID compliant driver's license or identification card, or another acceptable form of identification, in order to board a domestic flight or enter most secure federal facilities. Since you'll be bringing all of the necessary documents when you apply for your Virginia license, it is the perfect time to upgrade to a REAL ID.


Cut back on or stop driving at night if you have trouble seeing in the dark. Try to avoid driving during sunrise and sunset, when the sun can be directly in your line of vision.


Don’t Follow Too Closely!
Since you cannot read the intention of the driver in front of you, don’t tailgate. Maintain some distance between your car and the car ahead in order to give yourself enough response time should the car ahead make a sudden turn or stop.


When driving in wet-weather conditions, it is important to concentrate fully on every aspect of driving. Avoiding cruise control will allow the driver more options to choose from when responding to a potential loss-of-traction situation, thus maximizing your safety.


There are always distractions that come into play as part of everyday driving – the temptation to speak on the cell phone, turn on a podcast, or anything else.

You really need to focus your attention more so on what is going on out that windshield when the weather is bad, The risk of an accident greatly increases when snow and ice cover the street. You have to be more cautious and vigilant. You also have to be aware of everybody else out there on the road in front of you and peripherally, people who may not be practicing the same (safe) driving principles you are using.


If you discover that you’re driving on ice, there is one thing you must do before anything else – remain totally calm Do NOT hit the brakes and don’t make any sudden movements with the steering wheel, even if you feel yourself sliding. The best thing to do is to slowly take your foot off the accelerator.

How to safely drive through black ice 12/28/2021

How to safely drive through black ice With millions on alert for ice, snow and dangerous driving, experts offer potentially life-saving tips on how to navigate the road when you come across black ice.


109 Million American Adults (42%) to Travel for Thanksgiving 2021 According to a Survey By The Vacationer. That is a 45% increase from last year. For the entire holiday season, 161 million American adults (63%) will travel.


It’s October!


What is REAL ID?
Beginning May 3, 2023, Virginians who wish to use their state-issued driver's license to board a domestic flight must present a REAL ID compliant version of the license, marked by a small star in the upper-right corner. Other federally approved forms of ID will also be accepted, including a U.S. Passport or some military IDs. REAL ID also affects access to secure federal facilities and military bases, so visitors should verify identification requirements prior to their visit.


New vehicles come equipped with engine coolant designed to go 100,000 to 150,000 miles. If your car is less than four years old, check that the under-hood coolant reservoir – usually a clear plastic bottle that says “engine coolant” on the cap – is topped up.

Va.’s 2020 data show increase in alcohol, speed-related deaths 06/25/2021

SLOW DOWN....take your time and arrive at your destination safely!

Va.’s 2020 data show increase in alcohol, speed-related deaths Despite a decrease in the number of drivers on the road during the pandemic, statistics released by Gov. Ralph Northam’s administration show an increase in car accident deaths and speed-related fatalities.


Few things go together as well as music and the open road. There’s going to be plenty of time for tunes, so make sure you’ve downloaded some playlists to your smartphone (and don’t forget the USB cable). That said, it’s wise to check out local radio as well to hear the kind of music you probably wouldn’t listen to back home, probably won’t think you’ll like, but probably come to love.


A map is one of the most important tools while on a summer road trip. While most of us rely on the internet and Google maps, they may not always be the best option while on the go. Poor data connection is a common problem when traveling, so ensure that you have offline copies, or even physical paper maps to fall back on if you lose connectivity.


Before you back out of a driveway or parking spot, prevent backovers by walking around your vehicle to check for children running and playing. When using a backup camera, remember that kids, pets, and objects may be out of view but still in the path of your vehicle. When children play, they are often oblivious to cars and trucks around them. They may believe that motorists will watch out for them. Furthermore, every vehicle has a blind zone. As the size and height of a vehicle increases, so does the “blind zone” area. Large vehicles, trucks, SUVs, RVs, and vans are more likely than cars to be involved in backovers.


Spring is pothole season!! In places that snow and ice have dominated the winter months, the spring thaw can cause dangerous potholes. Avoid them if you can, but if not, don‘t brake while traveling over them. Slow down, release the brake before impact and go over the pothole. Braking causes your tire to slam into the edge of the pothole with more force than if you’re rolling over the hole.


Don't forget! Move your clocks ahead one hour tonight.




Change your car’s oil every 3,000 miles vs. just adding oil when it leaks out or burns off.


Most states require drivers to turn on their vehicles’ lights while driving in rain. Even if it is only misting, turning on your vehicle’s headlights will increase both your own visibility and other drivers’ ability to see your car on the road.


Replace your windshield wipers regularly.
Your windshield wipers have more of an effect on your windshield than you might think. Good windshield wipers allow you to see on a rainy day; bad windshield wipers will reduce visibility and damage your windshield.


The #1 icy road driving tip: Reduce your speed!
Slowing down is the most important thing to do when driving on ice and snow. High speeds make it both easy to lose control and difficult to stop. You should never be driving faster than 45mph in any vehicle when roads are icy - not even on highways! In many cases, much slower speeds are necessary. You can slide off of the road on certain types of more treacherous icing - like black ice - at 10mph or less! If you're fishtailing or sliding at all, it means you are going too fast for the conditions.


When you're driving in snow, drive slowly. Always adjust your speed down to account for lower traction when driving on snow or ice.


Planning to travel this Thanksgiving? Plan ahead: Check with state and local authorities to find out what restrictions may be in place.....and be safe!

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Midlothian, VA

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