There is a lot more to safe driving than just going to a driving school. Most of all, safe driving requires common sense. This is something that you can’t be taught in any school.
You should always be observing and attentive of what is going on around you. And think seriously before you react to something.
The best drivers are those who are always keen to watch the traffic, the behavior of other drivers and road conditions. They pay attention to everything that is happening both in front and behind them while driving.
Here are some simple tips that you should keep in mind when you want to drive safely;
1. Make sure that you wear your seat belt the right way
All driving lessons put a lot of emphasis on wearing safety belts. However, most instructors fail to teach you how to wear the safety belts properly. The safety belt has to be worn correctly for it to be effective in the event of an accident.
Make sure that you fasten both the shoulder and lap belt firmly, but comfortably. The lap belt should be on your hips. It should not be on your stomach or thighs.
2. Examine your tyres on a regular basis
Take time to examine your tyres to determine if the treads are worn or not. During the inspection, you should also be keen to see if there are any puncture marks. Make sure you have a tyre gauge, so that you are able to check your tyre pressure as often as possible.
You can buy a cheap gauge and most automotive store. It really is worth keeping one in the glove compartment. If you don’t know the recommended tyre pressure, you should check the inside of your car door. If you don’t find it there, check your car’s manual.
3. Always pay attention to the prevailing weather
It is very important to pay attention to the weather when you want to stay safe.
Driving in the rain can be extremely dangerous. If it is raining while you are driving or if it is looking stormy, you should ensure that your headlights are on. You should turn them on, even if it’s during the day.
Alternately, your head lights on will also make you more visible to other drivers on the road. If other drivers are able to see you, there is a less likelihood of an accident.
Darkening skies and rain can obscure your vision making it impossible for you to know exactly what is going on in front of you. You should take every precaution to make sure that you can see what is in front of you clearly.
Fogging windows in no exception. When it’s cold outside and warm inside, your windows are likely to start to fog up. Keep your de-mister on or the air conditioner to balance the inside/outside temperature. Opening the window just a small amount can also help.
Fog is dangerous when driving. If the fog is really bad, try to wait until it’s gone before you drive. All driving schools will tell you not to drive when there is fog.
If you can’t avoid driving in fog for one reason or the other, make sure that your headlights are on regular or low beam. If visibility is deteriorating as you drive, you should pull off of the road and wait for visibility to improve.
You should not continue driving when you are not feeling safe.
3.3 Snow or Ice
You should take things slow when driving in icy or snowy conditions. Your foot should be on the brakes and your headlights should be on.
Ensure that there is adequate space between your vehicle and the vehicle that is in front. Watch the road carefully so that you can easily notice sudden changes e.g. patches of ice.
4. Don’t do two things at once
Safe driving requires all your attention. Keep your mind on the task of driving. Doing other things while driving is dangerous. Most accidents are caused by distracted drivers.
Here are a few things that most drivers are doing when they get involved in an accident. Getting to deeply involved in a conversation. This includes talking hands free on the phone. Looking in the glove-box. Doing your hair in the rear-view mirror. Playing with the radio. Arguing with the kids. Talking or texting on a mobile phone.
Multitasking can get you killed. Always keep your mind on the road.
5. While you are at an intersection, don’t forget to look both ways
It is very important to look both ways when you are at an intersection to ensure that there are no other cars on the road coming towards you. This is something that you have obviously heard when you were taking driving lessons.
When you are stopped at the traffic lights or because of a stop sign, do not just pull out. Have a look both ways and only pull out when you are sure that the other drivers on the road have stopped or are stopping.
6. Staying awake throughout the trip
If you are driving late at night or early in the day, you shouldn’t continue to drive when you start feeling that you are drifting off. This not only puts you at risk, but it puts everyone else that is using the road at risk.
To deal with the feeling of sleepiness, or tired eyes, try opening up a window or putting on the air conditioner, can help. But, this is only temporary. If you are tired, stop driving, and rest.
Pull over to wait for the feeling to go away, or have a power nap. Stay on the side of the road until you freshen up, and you are sure that the feeling of sleep is gone. If there is someone else in your car that can drive, don’t hesitate to share the driving.