Most of us are dependent on driving to get to and from work, go shopping for food and other essentials, reach friends and family in emergencies, etc. Without it, we would be lost. Driving, however, can be dangerous. One only needs to look at the road accident statistics to get an idea of the risks involved. While you can’t control what other road users do, there are things you can do yourself to protect yourself and others when driving.
One of the quickest ways you can increase your safety is to switch off your phone when driving. Texting, talking on the phone and any other activity that distracts you is dangerous and should be avoided.
It might seem obvious, but your windshield wipers need to be in tiptop condition. If they start showing signs of wear, replace them so you don’t get caught out in heavy rain.
Make sure your tyres are always properly inflated and that the tread is still in good shape. If your tires start to get smooth, it’s time to replace them.
Stick to the speed limits. Speeding gives you less time to react to obstacles ahead of you, so take your time and give yourself more time to react.
Test your brakes, lights, indicators and hooter every few weeks to ensure that everything is still in good working order. When doing this, check your rearview and side mirrors as well to ensure that they are properly positioned.
It is important that you are able to see well when driving. If you have to wear glasses, then do so. If you don’t have glasses, but want to be safe, have your eyes checked every 2 years to make sure your eyesight is still good. When in doubt, go for a test.
Driving when tired can be very dangerous. Your reaction time is delayed and you run the risk of falling asleep behind the wheel and swerving off the road. If you feel that you might be too tired to drive, stop and rest. As crime is a concern in this country, try and do this at a service station or somewhere where there are people around you.
Avoid eating or drinking anything while you’re behind the wheel. This distracts you from the road and can just be as dangerous as texting and driving. It also takes your hands off the steering wheel.
It is important that you always wear a seatbelt and that you tell your passengers to wear a seatbelt as well. If you have small children or a baby in the car, make sure that they are always securely strapped in in a seat that is right for their size and weight.
Finally and most importantly, never drink and drive. Driving while inebriated is extremely dangerous to yourself and those around you. Not to mention that it’s illegal. The same applies to driving while under the influence of drugs. There are no ifs, whats or maybes when it comes to this.
Driving is an amazing activity that gives you freedom, independence and flexibility to live your life. By protecting yourself and others, you can ensure that you keep driving for a long time to come.