We don’t like to think about it, but we each take a risk every time we get behind the wheel of a car. In fact, driving a big metal lump weighing a ton or over at speed down a highway with many other mental chunks also driving at speed can be pretty risky business, even though we do it all the time. Happily, there are some smart ways that you can minimize any risks when you are on the road. Read on to find out what they are.
Do pay attention to other road users.
The first tactic that can help to reduce the risk of driving significantly is to always pay attention to what other road users are doing, as well as what is going on with your own vehicle. Of course, it can be difficult because you may be in a situation where there are many other vehicles on the road, or even pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists, or horseback riders.
However, practicing the technique known as driving ahead, where you keep an eye on what others are doing in case they suddenly change course, take a turning without indicating, or even stop can be essential. The reason being that it will provide you will that all-important added extra reaction time. Something that means you may be able to take defensive or evasive action that will minimize or even avoid a collision altogether.
Don’t drive tired, drunk, or distracted.
Another tactic that can help you stay safer on the road is to take stock of your personal mood, and wellbeing before you get behind the wheel. This is because if you are tired, distracted, or even angry, it can affect how you drive and leave you more vulnerable to accidents.
Of course, drunk driving must be avoided at all costs, not only because it’s illegal but because it can severely impact your ability to drive. In fact, it is best to steer clear of alcohol altogether when behind the wheel, as not doing so will put not only you and your passengers at risk but families and individuals on the sidewalk and in other cars as well.
Do take good care of your vehicle.
Next, if you want to stay as safe as possible on the road, it’s imperative that you take the best care of your car. Of course, this doesn’t mean washing, waxing, and polishing the bodywork, but paying attention to what is going on under the hood as well.
In fact, at a bare minimum, you must make sure that you check the oil and water level regularly, as well as your tire treads. It’s also essential to get your vehicle serviced periodically to ensure that the more complicated systems such as braking, and steering are working at full capacity. After all, even a slight reduction in their accuracy could vastly increase the damage sustained in an accident.
Of course, if your vehicle has already been in an accident, it goes without saying that you should be no means drive it until it has been deemed safe by a professional. Sadly, this can leave many people, without a car as they do not have the funds to hire one until theirs has been given the OK, or a new one is supplied through their insurance claim.
There is hope in this type of situation, however, as you can get an accident replacement vehicle by going to a provider like Compass, as long as the accident in question wasn’t your fault. Something that means you can get access to a safe vehicle to drive in the interim time.
Don’t risk dangerous road conditions.
A little rain forecast for your journey usually isn’t a big deal. However, some weather conditions can seriously increase the risk of an accident when on the road.
The first of these is snow, especially if you are a resident or traveling in a country where the infrastructure isn’t used to dealing with it. In fact, in places like the UK where snow is a rare occurrence the road system can quickly become blocked because no one has suitable tires or chains for driving in these conditions. Add this to the fact that it makes steering particularly tricky, and you risk getting stuck out in the snowy cold for hours on end, and it’s easy to see why it’s best only to travel if your journey is vital.
Black ice is another particularly dangerous weather condition that can negatively affect the safety of your drive. The problem is that while the ice on the road surface is incredible slippy and prevent tires from getting any traction and so causes uncontrollable skids. It is also tough to spot with the naked eye.
Luckily, many vehicles do now how weather and road condition systems built in. These can then notify you and allow you to either avoid the route altogether or at least prepare yourself for the more challenging driving conditions.
Do utilize your cars safety features.
Lastly, if you want to stay safe on the road as possible, it is very important to utilize all of the safety features that come built into your car. Of course, those people lucky enough to have a newer vehicle are likely to have more safety features at their disposal.
In fact, many newer vehicles come complete with ABS brakes which can help you to regain control during a skid, as well as front and side airbags which can reduce the effect on an impact should one occur. Additionally, some of the most recent models have safety features such as lane assist, and AEB, the latter being automatic emergency breaking that will be triggered if you get too close to another vehicle and can prevent accidents occurring because it is faster than human reactions.
Some vehicles even have tech, which can recognize driver behavior when they are fatigued. It will then beep to recommend a break, and so reduce the likelihood of an accident because of fatigue and human error.