Seven Ways To Make Sure You're Safer On The Road
By Features Desk
Sunday, July 10, 2016.
The road is a risk. We all know it. The most that you stop thinking of the dangers involved with a car, the moment you’re putting yourself at more risk. This is because you forget of the occurrences that can land you in danger, as well as how to prepare for it. So in this article, we’re going to remind you. Not just of the risks, but how to protect yourself from them.
Don’t drive under the influence
It seems like such an obvious point that it shouldn’t even need to be mentioned. Sadly, the prevalence of accidents caused by driving under the influence makes it necessary. It is still the number one cause of road accidents. Road accidents are, in turn, the number one cause of accidental death. It’s a mistake to assume there’s a safe drinking limit, even if you’re under the legal drinking limit. Just one drink is enough to affect your ability to react in time on the road. So make sure you and everyone you care about drives sober. For example, if you’re hosting a party or dinner party. Arrange transport for people so they don’t try and drive back home after drinking. Know who’s supposed to drinking and who’s supposed to be driving. Don’t let the two overlap.
Keep your focus on the road
You don’t have to be under the influence to lose track of the road, however. For one, drowsy driving can be just as dangerous. Try to avoid it. If you do find yourself fighting sleep while driving, find a safe place to park and take a nap. It’s worth it for your safety’s sake. Similarly, don’t let yourself get distracted, even when parking. Other cars will always have a potential of risk so you need to be able to react to changes on the road. This goes for your passengers too. It might mean getting stern with them, but they need to understand that your focus on the road is paramount to everyone’s safety.
Practice safe driving
Even when your focus is on the road, you need to make sure that you’re doing all you can to drive safely. For one, indicating well in advance. Being watchful of how aggressive or not other drivers are being. Being aware not just of your surroundings but other cars. Know that every car needs a certain amount of personal space to be able to react safely on the road. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that slower is always better, either. Resist the urge to speed, but go with the flow. Know how fast traffic around you is moving and adjust to lower the risk of collisions.
Take good care of your car
The mechanical failure of your car can be another risk that you’re able to avert. You do this by being able to recognize the warning signs that cars produce. For example, listening out for how your brakes sound and checking underneath the car for leaking liquid. You should also be maintaining proper maintenance of your car at all times. Ensure everything is lubricated by changing oil when you’re supposed to. Keep your trips to the mechanic in time with your log book. Having brakes that aren’t working, for example, can lead to you losing control of the car and getting yourself in a dangerous situation. Car malfunctions are another leading cause of accidents on the road and one that you can easily fight against.
Make sure you’re prepared for the conditions of the road
However, there are some aspects of danger on the road that you can’t control. Instead, you need to be prepared to adapt and react to those dangers. One of those is the conditions of the road. The most common example of those bad conditions are caused by the weather. Rain, snow, ice and mist can drastically reduce your visibility. They can also make it harder to drive your car or even cause it to break down. In bad weather, you need to drive slower so you’re at less risk of losing control. In the winter, you need to fit tires suited to the road conditions and take care of your battery so it doesn’t die on you.
Be prepared in the case of a crash
Hopefully, the tips above help you avoid this kind of situation. However, the likelihood says that all drivers get into two accidents in their lifetime. Some of these can cause real injury. After crash, you need to have a plan. You need to check whether anyone is hurt, first and foremost. Then you need to contact the police and order any ambulances needed. Then your insurance. After all that is taken care of, you need to find who is responsible. Take evidence of the scene, as well as the details of the other driver and any witnesses. In the case of catastrophic injury litigation, you might want to collect medical evidence, as well.
Know what to do when you break down
Breaking down isn’t as immediately disastrous as getting into a crash. However, it is still a dangerous situation you need to prepare for. For example, you need to make you and your car more visible so that others don’t crash into you. You can do this using a high-visibility jacket and markers around the car. However, you should try to stay in the car as much as you can. You need to make an emergency kit to prepare for this possibility too. As well as those high-visibility equipment, you should have food and a blanket to keep you warm while you wait. Finally, keep a fully charged phone switched off. This way you can call for help even if your usual phone is dead.
You can’t ensure that you’re entirely risk free on the road. Sometimes it’s out of your control entirely. It could be another driver’s fault or just bad luck. Still, with this guide, you can minimize your chances of getting into a situation like that. Just remember to never lose the fact that road is a risk.