7 Ways to Stay Safe on the Road
It’s estimated distracted driving accounts for 25% to 50% of traffic accidents, especially when road conditions are poor. Driving safely is beneficial to all road users, whether it means looking out for what’s in front of you or taking care not to drive quickly. Road safety is about being aware of what’s going on around you, and here are seven ways to make sure you have a risk-free journey.
Perform a maintenance check
Before you start driving, perform a maintenance check to ensure the car is road worthy. Check tyre pressure, top up oil levels, make sure the lights are working and the power steering is ready. Performing these checks limits the chance of your car breaking down.
Seatbelts Save Lives
Statistics have shown drivers and passengers age 17-34 have the lowest seatbelt wearing rates combined with the highest accident rate. A seatbelt is the best form of safety, so put it on before starting the car. The same goes for any passengers, whether they’re sitting in the back or front.
Take breaks and maintain distance
Tiredness is one of the biggest factors in traffic accidents so you should plan to take breaks during a long journey. Resting will help to clear your mind and stave off driving fatigue. Stop for a 15 minute break every couple of hours and when you’re ready get back on the road. Maintain a safe following distance with cars in front of you, using the two second rule.
Always pay attention to road signs
Road signs are there to guide you, so knowing what to look out for is important when making an informed decision. Seeing a no turn or merge sign ahead of a traffic queue can make a big difference on the road.
Don’t use a mobile phone
Never use your phone while driving, even when stuck in traffic. A ‘hands free’ phone is just as likely to cause a distraction.
Take care around children
Children can be impulsive, especially when they are are eager to get home. Take care when driving near a school and look out for crossing signs. This means sticking to the speed limit and maintaining a steady pace.
Use your mirrors to anticipate
The best way to be aware of your surroundings is to use your mirrors to observe what’s happening on the road. Before changing lanes think about if another driver is too close or if there is enough room to move. If you’re pulling out of a parking space then check the rear view to see if it’s clear.
These tips might seem obvious, but you never know what could happen on the road. Driving is about being adaptable and preparing for anything. All drivers are equal when they get behind the wheel, from those who have bought their first car to people who’ve been driving for years. It’s our duty to look out for each other to ensure that we stop accidents from occurring.