Driving Emergencies: How Would You React?

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For the most part, driving is enjoyable and safe. Cars are far safer than they used to be, with manufacturers learning from accidents of years gone by and improving standards to a huge degree. The science of keeping cars safe while driving has become so powerful, the modern driver could be forgiven for forgetting just how dangerous cars can be.

Even with all this innovation, sometimes it is helpful to be reminded that there’s no car in the world that’s accident-proof. If any manufacturer ever claims to have made an accident-proof car, then be doubtful; remember what they said about the Titanic? Just like it’s impossible to create an unsinkable ship, it’s impossible to create an infallible car. Emergencies can and do happen — the question is, would you know how to respond to them if you’re behind the wheel when they occur?

EMERGENCY: A Tire Blows Out

Having a tire blow out is a terrifying experience, but thankfully one that most drivers manage to navigate without much damage. How do you think you would react in such a situation?

The reason most drivers get through a tire blow out with nothing but a new tire required and a small auto repair bill to pay is because they react quickly. If you hear a tire blow out while driving, here’s how to handle it:

  • Don’t brake.
  • Keep your hands steady on the wheel and hold them firmly in place.
  • Let the car slow itself by removing your foot from the gas.
  • Pull over where it’s safe to do so.

EMERGENCY: Aquaplaning

Aquaplaning occurs when the surface is so wet, your car tires can no longer grip onto the road. The tires begin to spin, seeking traction, but getting none; your car then begins to drift, unable to find any grip on the road. It’s a dangerous circumstance that can and does lead to accidents. Even though it’s fairly rare to experience due to the individual conditions required for it to occur, you’ll be a better driver when you know how to handle it:

  • Leave the pedals alone; don’t brake and don’t accelerate.
  • Gently steer — more nudging than yanking the wheel — the car in the direction you want it to move. Don’t be alarmed if it doesn’t initially respond.

It’s worth remembering that prevention is better than cure when it comes to aquaplaning. Check your tire pressure regularly, with extra checks on the tire tread if you’re going to be driving through wet conditions.

EMERGENCY: Skidding

Finally, the most common emergency: skidding. Ice, mud, or just wet ground can be the cause of a skid. Here’s a quick refresher on how to manage the situation:

  • As with the first two examples, take your feet off both the brake and the gas.
  • Steer into the same direction as the skid.
  • The car may then react by skidding in the opposite direction. Once again, you repeat the same steps and stir into the skid.
  • The car should now right itself.

Skidding is more likely in winter, so remember to use snow chains if the weather is particularly foul.

By brushing up your knowledge on these potential driving problems, your time spent behind the wheel will be safer than ever.

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Caring For Your Elderly Parents: Don’t Get Overwhelmed

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The day will come when our parents will no longer be able to drive around. They won’t be able to climb the stairs, or walk the dog, or maybe even prepare their own food. As sad of a thought it is, it’s important to prepare yourself for it, because unfortunately, it’s inevitable – it’s just part of life.

It may become your job to make sure that they are looked after and comfortable for the last stages of their lives.

There are many things to consider, but here are some of the most important pieces of advice.

Love your health care services.

When you arrive at this phase of life, your best friends will be the ones who are helping you and your parents. Anyone from the social worker, physical therapist, cleaner, doctor, nurse, and even that caring neighbor that brings round that delicious peach pie. – Whoever is involved in your lives, you will want to make sure they are all uplifting and have positive thoughts, because that’s what’s needed at a time like this. So anyone that does enter your life for the better, keep hold of them. Let them know how much you appreciate them, and hope they stick around.

Ask for help.

As much as you may like to do everything yourself, especially as they’re your parents, sometimes it’s just no longer possible. The stress itself of having to be on the ball all the time while juggling your own life and responsibilities like work, can all become too much to deal with, and you may end up making yourself ill, and if that happens, you won’t be able to care for your parents anyway. It may be time to find an affordable home care where they will get all the care they need while taking the stress off yourself. There are plenty out there; you just need to find the right one that works for you both.

Depend upon your spouse.

Sometimes, your parent may seem to have more of a connection with your other half than you. This is never a nice feeling, and can hurt a little, but it’s never out of bitterness. Usually, this happens because your parents don’t want to put all of their baggage on you, or bring you down, or feel like a burden – even if you’d welcome it. If this is the case, let it happen. If your other half is happy to do so, use this to your advantage, and just be there with them.

Protect your emotions.

The only other people that know how to play on your emotions more than you, is your parents. It’s very wise to do all you can to protect these in as many ways as possible so your parents can’t find them. Of course, you may not be having any problems with your parents, but every now and then it can get rather heated because there’s a lot of anger and frustration up in the air, and sometimes your parents may push certain boundaries to cause a reaction. Don’t let this happen.

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Simple Steps to Better Manufacturing Quality

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Good business owners do whatever they can to improve quality of their goods and services, boost their bottom and reduce waste. A big part of this, for businesses that manufacture goods, at least, is to continuously work towards improving manufacturing quality.

If you run a business that manufactures and sells goods and you aren’t working to improve manufacturing quality at the moment, you should start now, and here are some steps to help you with that:

Use Teamwork

If you want the overall quality of your manufacturing to improve, you really do need to get your employees working together as one big team. It’s all well and good having good individual employees with excellent individual skills, but if they aren’t able to integrate with others and find ways of merging their skills to make processes more efficient and quality better, it’s pretty useless. So, ensure that every member of your team knows the whole picture and that they have plenty of opportunities to get together and discuss processes and issues.

Look at the Product as a Customer

If you want to increase your product’s quality, so that it will sell more, you really do need to look at it with the eyes of a consumer. Think about what a consumer would use your product for and how it could be made better. Hudson did this when they created their Heavy Duty Caster Ball Transfers, which made it easier for other manufacturers to move heavy loads with ease; Ray-Ban did it when they started making their foldable aviators which are easier to carry; and Ecostatic did it when they made their post-it notes reusable to save their customers’ money and reduce weight. You need to find your way of doing it and approaching manufacturing as a consumer is the way to do that.

Make the Cost of Defects Known

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One thing that really helps defects to be ironed out in manufacturing, thus reducing costs and increasing sales, is working out the cost of fixing a defect once it’s gone to market and making this known to all employees. When they know just how expensive the costs of replacing goods, honoring warranties and limiting damage done to the company’s reputation can be, they’ll be more on the ball and better at catching problems earlier on – after all, their jobs depend on the success of the products they create, and they all know that.

Use the Best Tools and Materials

It should go without saying, but as a company that relies on manufacturing, you really should be investing in the best quality tools and materials to do the job you require. It might save you some upfront to buy inferior products, but it’ll save you money in reduced wastage and increased sales in the long-term, not to mention the fact that your products will be looked upon as some of the best in their niche, making the investment a worthwhile one.

Enforce Consistency

You need to be flexible in manufacturing, but one aspect of discipline you should never let slack is in the area of consistency. Your staff must be compelled to work consistently to ensure that all of your products are made as effectively, efficiently and well as possible.

Do you work in manufacturing? How do you keep the quality of your processes, and therefore products, high?

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