Unless you are wealthy enough to employ a personal driver, you are one among the millions of people who regularly drive themselves to work or school. However, each year more and more cars are being sold and this means a constant rise in the level of traffic. With so many drivers on the road, it’s crucial for one to be more attentive and keen while driving. While we are often equipped with all sorts of road safety tips and instructions while in driving school, once we get used to driving we tend to forget a good number of them. Thankfully, we have put together 10 important road safety tips to ensure that you are staying safe while driving.
1. Wear Your Seatbelt
Wearing a seatbelt is arguably one of the best ways to prevent you from getting very serious injuries when involved in a car accident. Seatbelts are very helpful since they distribute forces that occur during a crash across your strongest body parts, your chest and pelvis.
2. Keep Your Auto-Inspection Up to Date
While regular car inspections can seem quite daunting, they are very crucial when it comes to safety on the road. Car inspections will ensure that your car is roadworthy, can withstand a crash, and is not likely to break down while you are in the middle of the highway. This involves performing schedule engine maintenance, keeping fluids topped up, and ensuring tires have plenty of air.
3. Don’t Drive While Tired
Dozing off in front of the steering wheel is just as dangerous as drinking while driving. Being one of the most causes of road accidents, you should always try and open your car windows and even crank the volume up whenever you start feeling dizzy. Some of the most common signs of tiredness that you can look out for include frequent blinking, daydreaming, difficulty focusing, heavy eyelids, and having trouble keeping your head up.
4. Check Your Mirrors
Your car’s side and rear mirrors are put there to help you see your blind spot or what’s happening behind your vehicle. Therefore, before you start your car, you should first ensure that you adjust all your car mirrors for maximum visibility. When on the road, ensure that the vehicles behind you can be seen clearly in your rear-view mirror. This is even more important when you want to change or merge lanes.
5. Don’t Drink and Drive
Of all the car accidents that happen yearly, those caused by driving while drunk tent to be the most grave. Even the smallest amount of alcohol in your bloodstream can greatly affect your driving ability and lead to a very fatal accident. Therefore, always avoid driving if you have been drinking and also when taking certain types of prescription and non-prescription drugs.
6. Obey Speed Limits
Whenever you are driving, you should try as much as possible to stick to the road speed limits. These restrictions are usually carefully selected so as to maximize safety for all drivers, pedestrians, and homes near roads.
7. Drive Defensively
Since we cannot always read the minds of other drivers and know what they are thinking, it’s advisable to try and drive defensively. Defensive driving entails things such as maintaining a safe distance, remaining calm when frustrated, and not speeding.
8. Ensure Your Vehicle is Weather-Ready
Just like we all wear rain boots during rainy season and hats during summer, your car also needs different to be ready for the different seasons and weather conditions. For example, if you are planning to drive in a snowy winter, your car will definitely need snow tires. On the other hand, the summer seasons will request for windshield protectors to prevent your vehicle from turning into an oven while it’s parked.
9. Put Mobile Phones Away
Every time you write and send a text, your eyes get off the road for approximately 4.6 seconds. But do you know that this is enough time for you to drive the length of a regular rugby pitch? For that reason, always avoid all sorts of distractions while on the road. Avoid doing things such as changing CDs, eating, interacting with your passengers or Fido, and applying mascara.
No matter how careful you can try to drive on the road, the carelessness of other drivers can still get you involved in an accident. Therefore, knowing how to react when you get involved in one is also very important. If you ever get involved in an accident, first try to pullover as far off of the road as you can. After you have ensured that you are on the safe side of the road, you can now look around to determine whether the accident was minor or there were injuries or damages. Generally, if there was damage and people were hurt, it may be worth for you to find a good personal injury lawyer to help you pursue a claim. This is because these people have the experience required to deal with the at-fault party’s insurance company as well as its attorneys. In addition, they will ensure that all medical bills and property damage claims are paid to you in time so that you can quickly get your car back on the road.
Safety should always be your top priority whenever you are driving. No matter how good you are at driving, reflecting on some of the basic road safety rules ensures that you, the other drivers, and pedestrians remain as safe as possible. By regularly reviewing these basic road safety tips, you will develop safe driving habits and increase your chances of staying safe on the road.