Road safety is something drilled into us even before we get into a car for the first time. We don’t know about you, but we had road safety talks at school that showed us all the horrors of what could happen if you were reckless on the road. It’s enough to put plenty of people off driving for good. For many, though, driving is a necessity, and so you can’t avoid it forever.
Following the proper road safety rules and procedures will help put your mind at ease and make driving more than just a means to an end. It will make it fun. So, whether you’re going to work or heading on a cross-country road trip, here are ten tips to help you drive safely all year-round.
Give yourself plenty of time
Considering how busy you can be, it’s always best to give yourself more time than you expect you’ll need. Not only will this mean you can stay on schedule even if you get caught in traffic or need to make a quick stop or diversion, but it will also prevent you from rushing.
You don’t need reminding that racing in the car can be dangerous and land you in hot water with the police. You don’t want to get a speeding ticket, nor do you want to put your passengers and other drivers at risk by driving recklessly. Giving yourself enough time before leaving will ensure you can take it easy on the road.
Check the car over before leaving
You don’t want to get halfway to your destination and find the tyres have gone down, or there isn’t enough oil in the car. This can disrupt your journey and potentially ruin the entire trip. If you know that you’re going somewhere soon, especially if it’s a long journey, check the car over, look at the tyre pressures and water and play with the gadgets to ensure everything works correctly.
You should also fill up the gas tank before leaving, as this will prevent that panicky feeling when you start seeing the dial slipping down. While there are plenty of gas stations in and around the city, driving out to the middle of nowhere on a road trip might make them few and far between. A full tank of gas will make this easier to deal with, and you should take a jerry can with you too for emergencies.
Learn how to change a tyre
You should know how to change a tyre for all situations, and you don’t want to learn how to do so after it has happened. You might get a flat tyre in the middle of the night and during a storm, which will not be a pleasant experience when it comes to changing it. Furthermore, you may not have data to watch a tutorial, which means you’re stuck waiting for the towing company.
As there are so many tutorials online, check these out before leaving and do a few practice runs to get you comfortable making the change to get back on the road as soon as possible.
Wear your glasses!
Everyone knows that your vision needs to be perfect when driving, especially at night or in poor conditions. If you need to wear glasses while driving, you must make sure you do, and there are plenty of stylish and practical models on https://www.eyeglasses.com. These will make it easy for you to see regardless of the light, and some will have photochromic lenses that adapt to the sun, so you don’t need to change them for prescription sunglasses.
Eliminate all distractions
A distracted driver is a dangerous driver. There are plenty of distractions that could affect your safety, including your phone and passengers messing around in the backseat.
It is essential to eliminate these distractions as soon as possible, especially when navigating tricky roads or carrying out manoeuvres you’re not used to doing. Before you set off, remind everyone that you need to pay attention to the road, so get them to agree to quieten down when you ask. You can also put your phone away if you’re not using it for navigation and put on the Do Not Disturb mode to prevent notifications popping up and blocking the route.
Check the weather
It sounds very Dad but checking the weather before leaving will help you anticipate what you can expect during the drive. It will help you pack the right clothes and equipment, such as snow tyres or chains, and also give you an idea of the best way to approach changing conditions, and whether you’ll need to adjust your route.
If you’ve never driven in any conditions other than dry roads and sunshine, you may not know how to remain safe on icy roads. Check out some tutorials or read detailed articles on snow safety to prevent any problems.
Don’t let other drivers influence you
Driving down highways and winding along back roads is plenty of fun, but if there are cars behind you sitting on your tail, this might tempt you to drive faster than you are comfortable with. If you stick to the speed limit, you shouldn’t have any problems, but this is not enough for some aggressive drivers behind you.
Still, you shouldn’t allow this to influence how you drive, and if you feel it could put you and your passengers in danger, keep doing what you’re doing. Of course, you shouldn’t move too slowly, as this could also be dangerous, but just because other cars are speeding doesn’t mean you should.
Use your signals often
Your signals are there for a reason, so make sure you use them as often as you need to. This will tell other drivers what your intentions are, allowing them to adjust their driving to accommodate you. If you’re taking a turn, then flick your blinker on. If you come to a spot where you have better visibility than them, communicate by flashing your headlights to tell them if it is safe for them to pass.
Give yourself breaks
Long drives are fun, but they can also be exhausting if you drive for too long without stopping. If you feel your eyes are getting tired or you start making silly decisions that are too close for comfort, give yourself a break.
You’ll come across plenty of rest stops and service stations for you to stretch your legs and grab a coffee, so take advantage. You can also share the driving duties with other passengers to ensure everyone stays fresh.
Be confident, but not reckless
There is a significant difference between a confident driver and a reckless driver. Reckless drivers will pull into traffic carelessly, putting themselves and others at risk. Conversely, confident drivers will look for the perfect moment to merge or pull out into traffic.
An unconfident driver might panic and make a manoeuvre that is dangerous for everyone involved. If you are not sure that this is the right time to do something, wait until you feel the time is right. This might mean there is a lot of traffic backed up behind you, but it will also ensure that you keep everybody safe in the car.
Sure, most of these tips are basic common sense, but for anyone new to driving or even driving somewhere different for the first time, they can make you more confident and put any fears to rest. As long as you focus on your driving rather than anyone else and stick to what you know, you won’t have any problems whenever you get behind the wheel.
Photographs courtesy of motorverso.com