While you should use public transport options wherever possible for the sake of the environment, driving is an extremely convenient and effective way of getting from one place to another and chances are that you will opt to use your vehicle for various trips on a regular basis. If you need to travel late at night or early in the morning, if you are heading somewhere with limited public transport stops or options, or if you need to carry a large number of belongings with you on a particular journey, driving may simply prove more logical. However, when you get behind the wheel of a car, you take on a lot of responsibility. You immediately take on charge of your own safety, alongside the safety of others who may be driving on the same roads as you and cyclists and pedestrians who you pass on the way. Here are just a few steps that you can take in order to make every trip as safe as possible from the start point of A to the endpoint of B.
Know What to Do If You Do Experience an Accident
While we don’t really want to consider being in a car accident, it’s extremely important that you know what to do should you find yourself in one. You can’t always control what happens on the roads, no matter how good a driver you may be. Other irresponsible drivers could cause a drunk driving accident or another form of accident through irresponsible or dangerous driving. The road surfaces could be damaged. You may find yourself driving in poor weather conditions. So, it’s important to know that you know what to do should an accident occur. The first step to take is to ensure that you and everyone else involved is physically okay. If there are any injuries, you should call for medical help and assistance. Generally speaking, it is best to contact emergency services, as they can dispatch the relevant help. Listen to their advice and follow their instructions. If everyone is relatively okay, you should move your vehicle to the side of the road or another safe location, then collect the details of anyone else involved. If you feel you have a case on your hands, you should then contact a car accident lawyer who will be able to create a case and represent you in court.
Know What to Do If You Experience a Breakdown
Another potential problem that could develop while you are on the roads is breaking down. This will generally be due to a fault with your vehicle. Being stuck at the roadside can be a relatively dangerous situation and it is extremely important that you try to get your car to the side of the road if you feel that it is breaking down. Once you have come to a stop, you should exit your vehicle and stand on the pavement or over a reservation. If you have a warning triangle, you should place this the correct distance behind your vehicle. Make sure that you are always covered by a breakdown policy. This will ensure that you can contact your provider who will quickly send someone to recover you and your vehicle.
Wear Your Seatbelt
Sure, wearing your seatbelt is a given. But an astounding number of people still ignore this basic safety step when they get into a vehicle. Every time you get into a car, whether you are driving or whether you are a passenger, you need to make sure that you secure your seatbelt. If there are children in the car, make sure you check that they are clipped in safely and appropriately too. If you have a baby travelling with you, make sure that they are safely strapped into a secure and appropriate car seat (and if they are in the front seat, make sure that the airbag is disengaged). Seatbelts quite literally save lives and it only takes a matter of seconds to put them on properly!
Maintain Your Vehicle
If you notice any problems with your vehicle at all, you should book in to a garage as soon as possible. A professional mechanic will then be able to identify any problems and rectify them. Sure, it is frustrating having to fork out for repairs and work, but it’s better than putting yourself and others at risk by driving a faulty or problematic vehicle on public roads. You should also carry out checks before long drives, such as checking your tyre pressure and oil pressure. This will help to minimise the chances of problems developing en route.
As you can see, no matter how good a driver you may be, you always need to be precautious when taking to public roads. Hopefully, some of the above advice will help you to make every journey you take as safe as possible for yourself, other passengers in your car, other road users, cyclists, and pedestrians alike. Implement them into your driving routine the next time you get behind the wheel!