Safer Driving: What You Should Know
17 Apr 2020
We all like to think we’re good drivers, even if we’re actually not. And we’ve all done things behind the wheel that we really shouldn’t, like texting or multitasking. Roads are dangerous places, and a simple mistake can change your life forever.
While roads have become a lot safer to drive on, especially those with reflective thermoplastic road-marking paint, the onus is still on all drivers to improve safety for everyone else. If you’re on the road a lot, it doesn’t matter how good of a driver you are. You should take some time to brush up on basic traffic safety to make sure you’re keeping yourself and everyone else as safe as possible.
When you’re on the driver’s seat, you have a responsibility to practice safe and good driving methods.
1. Check your car before driving
Before driving, make sure to perform a safety check on your car. The first thing you should do is check under the vehicle for any sign of leaks. Next, see if the turn signals and headlights are in working condition. At night, make sure that the front and rear headlamps aren’t broken. And if you have a pressure gauge, check if your tires are properly inflated.
Once you’re inside the car, do not start the ignition right away. Adjust your seat and mirrors first. This will reduce your blind spots.
2. Don’t use your phone
This should be a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at the number of car accidents caused by someone using their phone while driving. The World Health Organization says distracted drivers are four times more likely to cause a car accident.
Driving requires your full focus. Anything that takes your mind or eyes off the road or your hands off the wheel is hazardous.
3. Drive defensively
Defensive driving is a set of techniques and strategies that allow drivers to address road hazards safely and consistently. This goes beyond basic road safety. When you drive defensively, you manage the risk by examining the situation, anticipating external reactions, and making decisions based on data. Defensive driving in adverse weather events or emergencies can improve safety for everyone involved.
Some of the things you can do include taking note of weather conditions and the amount of traffic around you and scanning for possible hazards. Drive at a reasonable speed and always react conservatively around other drivers. Even if you have the right of way, yield and allow others to move ahead.
4. Assume everyone around you is incompetent
Let’s say you do everything by the book: performing a safety check on your car before driving, obeying all rules and speed limits, and practicing defensive driving. It doesn’t matter if someone else crashes into you. It might not be your fault, but it still happens.
Always assume that everyone around you is a bad driver. Focus on the road, and you’ll be able to react faster to poor driving behaviour, such as turning without signalling, sudden swerving, and stopping.
These safety guidelines will help improve road safety and reduce your risk of getting into a car accident. Keep these in mind, and you’ll be on your way to becoming a more responsible and careful motorist.