Trooper Tips – What’s around the Bend




I hope everyone has been enjoying the holidays this year. It’s been a hard and difficult year for a lot of people. With that being said, people don’t need anything else sad happening to them. The last thing I want for anyone is to get that knock on the door and being told a loved one has been killed in a crash.

So, this time we are going to talk about safety when it comes to curves. We have a lot of them throughout the state so I know everyone has experienced them, but a lot of us are not doing it properly.

When approaching a curve, road signs usually suggest we slow our speed. The suggested speed you should slow down to usually depends on how sharp the curve is. But don’t just rely on signage to determine your speed. There are other factors you need to look at. You should ask yourself how familiar are you with the area, how comfortable or skilled you are at driving, and what are the road conditions like.

Something I see a lot is when someone navigates a curve and they wait until they are in the curve before they apply the brakes. This is not a safe way to negotiate curves. If you need to slow, do it prior to entering the curve and release them before the curve starts. When you apply brakes in the curve you may cause the vehicle to skid.

This is particularly important during winter months. Whether you are going too fast or you brake during the curve, the area may have snow, ice, or dirt on the surface causing the car to lose traction and slide when hitting it. This can be magnified when braking around the curve.

Look at how wide the lanes are, is there a shoulder, what kind of traffic volume is on the road, is your field of view restricted. Also, don’t hug the center line. Give yourself room in case you or on-coming traffic crosses it.

Another reason for going slower around curves is the unknown. Is there an animal, cyclist, or debris on the roadway just out of sight? There could be a car going slower than you or broken down ahead of you.

There may be times when you have to use your brakes in a curve. If you do, try to gently use the brakes and try to avoid hard braking. Remember though, it’s better to have finished the braking prior to entering the curve.

As always, safe travels!
By Master Trooper Gary Cutler

Filed Under: CountyFeaturedLaw EnforcementMedia ReleasePublic SafetyTransportation


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