A Guide to Safe Driving
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
The fact that you have car insurance should not make you feel secure. You should still drive safely. After all, you do not want to replace that dream vehicle with which you already have a good relationship, and you most certainly do not want to injure someone else.
Here are some tips for driving safely:
- The most common cause of car accidents is impaired driving. This does not have to involve alcohol and drugs, a driver is equally impaired while drowsy, speaking on a phone, reading or distracted driving. Avoid anything that takes your attention away from driving, and may slow your reflexes. Pull over while doing distracting tasks. Stop for a coffee, snack or nap if you're tired. Organise drivers if you're going out to drink.
- Stick to the speed limit. It is set precisely to match the conditions of the road on which you are driving. If another driver suddenly brakes, a pedestrian or cyclist moves in front of you or there is a large hole in the road surface, you will not be able to take evasive action if you are driving above the speed limit. In foggy or wet conditions, drive below the speed limit.
- Keep a safe following distance. Find an object on the side of the road, and make sure you pass it at least three seconds after the vehicle in front of you. If vehicles in front of you stop or turn, you want to leave yourself with enough space to brake.
- When you turn or change lanes, first look carefully in all your mirrors, signal and then move. This ensures that you know where others are in relation to your vehicle, and that others know what you are planning to do.
- Keep your vehicle's features in mind and drive appropriately. For example, if you have stacked holiday luggage on a roof rack, avoid sudden sharp turns. If you have all-terrain tires fitted, drive very slowly in snow.
- Keep your eyes up, rather than exclusively on the vehicle in front of you. That enables you to see the traffic ahead and the edges of the road. If the driver ahead makes some mistake, you do not want to follow just because you are watching his car only.
- Avoid driving in other drivers' blind spots, in case they change lanes without signalling and hit you. Slow down until you are far enough behind them, or even accelerate so that you are parallel with them.