So you took your driving test and hit the road more than a few years ago. You’re a great driver, right? Well no parallel park may be beyond you and no hill starts too great a challenge, but the open road’s not a solitary space and it’s more than your skills you need to account for. Here are some extra tips for staying safe on the road.
- The big three
There’s a reason police target speeding, fatigue and drink driving so relentlessly; these factors account for the greatest number of avoidable fatalities when it comes to driving. Each affects a driver’s ability to react and exercise good judgement. There’s no occasion so important you should risk your life by speeding, no reason to push it if you’re fatigued, and no excuse for getting behind the wheel while intoxicated.
And it’s not just your actions you need to be mindful of. Drive defensively and keep an eye out for others doing the wrong thing. If you do find yourself in an accident caused by another person’s inattention, firms such as The Personal Injury Lawyers can provide assistance.
- Vehicle safety
Just as you wouldn’t take to the high seas in a sub-standard boat, your car should be in tip-top running condition every time you take a drive. That means undertaking some behind-the-scenes maintenance. Cover your basics and ensure there’s enough oil and brake fluid and that your tyres are in legal condition. Tend to those little items like blown headlight and indicator bulbs quickly, and fulfil the larger maintenance checklist like checking your timing belt and brake pads.
If you have the skills, the interest and the time, get under that bonnet and ensure all is well yourself. But if these things are better left in the hands of the professionals, ensure your vehicle is serviced once a year.
- Back off
The majority of motor vehicle accidents are minor and a little care goes a long way towards avoiding them. Incidents like rear-ending the vehicle in front are largely avoidable, so do back off and allow sufficient space between your car and the vehicle ahead.
- Mind on the job
Driver inattention also accounts for many minor incidents. That means every driver has a responsibility to have their mind on the job and avoid distractions like mobile phones, taking their eyes off the road to look for things, or fiddling with the radio.
- Brush up
Every now and then, it’s worth brushing up on the road rules. Different states may have slightly different rules or you may have adopted some bad habits over the years. There’s no harm in taking a refresher course or even a defensive driving course from time to time.
Driving is an everyday activity, but it’s a privilege and not a right. A little care, attention and prevention go a long way to ensuring the roads are a safer place for everyone.