Grade: Senior
Subject: other

#1835. Driving in Environmental Conditions

other, level: Senior
Posted Mon Jul 3 07:50:52 PDT 2000 by Mike McCorkle (
Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Indiana, PA
Materials Required: VCR, TV, AAA videos- "Driving in Bad Weather" & "Night Driving", Power point presentation materials
Activity Time: 90 minutes
Concepts Taught: Driving in Rain, Snow, Fog, strong wind, etc.

Required Entry Level:
1. Students will have a valid Pennsylvania license or learner's permit.
2. Students will have completed Units 1-6 in the Maryland Driver Education and In-Car Cirriculum.

Lesson Objectives:
1. Students will be introduced to problems associated with driving under conditions of inclement weather, limited visibility, and limited traction.
2. Trip planning will be introduced to the students. With attention to purpose of trip and risk management during the trip.

Media and Resources to be used:
1. Overhead Projector
2. Transparencies- 7.1 to 7.8
3. VCR
4. Videos: "Night Driving" and "Driving in Bad Weather"

1. Students will answer questions posed by the instructor at various points during the lesson.
2. Students will write down 5 key points for each video.
3. Students will be given a homework assignment

Objectives, Units 7.4 and 7.5
1. Students will demonstrate knowledge of the problems associated with reduced visibility such as driving at night, in fog, rain, snow, smoke, and glare conditions

Content Outline
A. Driving at Night.
1. Use high beam headlights when safe and legal to do so
2. Use low beam headlights in bad weather or when following or meeting another car at night.
B. Sources of Glare
1. Oncoming and following vehicle headlights
a. High Beam
b. Misaligned
2. Dirty Windshield
3. Paper on dashboard
4. Snow-covered landscape
5. Sun
a. at dawn or dusk
b. ahead or behind
6. Flashing advertisement signs
7. Rain amplifying glare
8. Flood lights on businesses next to roadway
9. Failure to dim headlights in fog
C. Countermeasures
1. Keep all glass, lights and windows
2. Do not place paper or other objects on dashboard
3. Adjust sin visors and mirrors
4. Sit as high in the seat as possible
5. Wear sunglasses during the day
6. Adjust speed to visibility conditions
7. Look to the right edge of the roadway, away from the headlights

1. Video "Night Driving"
2. Go over main idea worksheet

Objectives, Units 7.6 to 7.7
Students will demonstrate knowledge of the problems associated with reduced visibility such as driving at night, in fog, rain, snow, smoke, and glaring conditions.

Content Outline
A. This lesson deals with atmospheric conditions beyond control of vehicle operator.
1. All of these conditions limit visibility
2. Additional problems associated with smoke, rain, snow, and gusting high winds.
3. Fog settles over the road in a blanket-like way.
B. Driving in Fog
1. Tips
a. Reduce Speed
b. Make sure headlights are on low beams
c. Turn on windshield wipers
d. Turn on defrost or air conditioning
2. If fog is heavy
a. Further reduce speed but do not stop in travel lane
b. Turn on flashers
c. Look for an exit from the highway
d. If impossible to leave highway stop beyond end of guardrail, check outside guardrail, then back up outside of the guardrail, turn off all lights and wait for the fog to lift
C. Heavy Smoke, Rain, or Snow
1. Continue to reduce speed, but do not stop in travel lane.
2. Headlights on low and emergency flashers
3. Stay in lane position one.
4. Be alert for vehicles stopped in roadway
5. Be prepared for effects of wind
6. Make steering, accelerating, and braking gentle
1. Video "Driving in Bad Weather" .
2. Go over main idea worksheet

Objectives, Units 7.8- 7.9
1. Student will describe conditions of driving in strong winds and strategies to reduce risk in these situations.
2. Student will demonstrate knowledge of technological advances in design of motor vehicles that enhance occupant safety and ability to respond more effectively under conditions of limited time and space.
3. The Students will demonstrate knowledge to control the vehicle if a crash is imminent.

Content Outline
A. Strong Winds
1. Reduce Speed
2. Check for oncoming traffic
3. Adjust lane position
4. Do not oversteer
5. Prepare to countersteer
6. Stay off the brake
B. Automative technology designs
C. Controlling collisions

1. Questions for the students
2. Activity- Students will be given a highway situation and asked to explain how they would handle the different roadway conditions.

Objectives, Units 7.10- 7.13
1. The students will show knowledge of weather and other physical conditions and driver actions that influence the level of traction between the tires and the roadway.
2. Students will be introduced to the term hydroplaning and what it does while you are traveling

Content Outline
A. Traction
1. Three Types of traction
a. Static
b. Rolling
c. Sliding
2. Roadway conditions that can alter traction
B. Conditions of the Vehicle
1. Brakes unevenly adjusted.
2. Tires with worn tread
3. Different pressure of tires
C. Actions of the Driver
1. Sudden steering action on a slippery surface
2. Abrupt or sudden changes in vehicle speed
3. Panic stop
D. Hydroplaning
1. Front tires ride up on a film of water
2. Reduce speed and steer where you want the car to go
3. Hardest type of traction loss for driver to recognize

1. Each student will give an example of one of the types of traction

Objectives, Units 7.14- 7.15
1. Students will describe the characteristics of front wheel and rear wheel traction loss
2. Student will describe process in order to return the vehicle to the road after drifting onto the shoulder

Content Outline
1. Front wheel skid
2. Rear wheel skid
3. Off Road recovery

1. Students will be given a chance to ask questions from today's lesson
2. Homework assignment will be given to review pertinent lesson information
3. Next class will be overviewed
4. Inform students of test after tomorrow's lesson.