One of the most recently conducted researches demonstrates that most of the drivers motorists only concentrate for 25% time of their total driving time - which means that when you drive, there could be about 3 or 4 drivers around you who are not concentrating on their driving. Distraction is a common human trait and serves as the reason for majority of the road accidents. In spite of the affirmative steps undertaken by the Department of Transport UK in curbing the number of the road accidents on the UK roads, the number of fatal road accidents in still high and needs to be checked and instead, safe driving is to be promoted.
In keeping with the need of the hour to be sounder and safer while you drive, here we give you a list of things you can do to accomplish safe driving on the roads.
Keep your eyes on the road ahead at all times
Failure to anticipate an accident is a common cause for road accidents. If a driver cannot look ahead and see a possible hazardous situation, there is no way he or she can avoid an accident. The average UK motorist reacts in 0.7 seconds in the event of a possible accident which might be three folds slower if he or she is distracted for any reason. Looking at the immediate vehicle in front and glancing on your rear view mirror every now and then is not enough. You need to look at the furthest point of the road and simultaneously observe the driving behaviour of your fellow drivers in order to avoid accidents and promote safe driving.
Always keep distance
You can avoid rear end collisions by avoiding tailgating and keeping a safe distance with the driver ahead. Alongside to promote safe driving, you also have to ensure that the driver behind you maintains a considerable distance with you. It is your responsibility to build in the required amount of space and allow braking distance to yourself as well as the motorist ahead of you. It is also imperative to allow spaces on both sides of your vehicle. Directly driving alongside another vehicle is dangerous especially if the vehicle alongside you is a bus or a truck which could imply that you are at the blind spot of this driver and he is unable to see you. If you chance upon fellow drivers who are right next to you and matching your speed, you need to adjust your speed for safe driving and create space for yourself.
Avoid unnecessary speeding
Speeding on congested roads will not get you any quicker to your destination but will only increase the chances of road accidents. It has been observed that 75% of the road accidents in the UK happen in the cities and towns and most of them owing to unnecessary speeding. Speeding on busy roads will only cost you more fuel due to frequent accelerating and braking. Ensure that you leave home a little ahead of time so that you do not have to speed on the roads to reach your destination on time. Refrain from counting speed limits as you speeding target. In order to ensure safe driving, you need to consider the road as well as the traffic conditions. Although a slight shunt with a fellow car is not a concern, hitting a pedestrian with the same speed can be quite detrimental to them.
Take care of your car
You can avoid vehicle breakdowns and subsequently accidents caused by such faults by simply ensuring that your vehicle is serviced regularly. Avoid running on reserve fuel and always stay topped up. Ensure that your headlights, indicator lights, brake and side lights and fog lights are running absolutely well. Failure to switch on any of these lights will not only usher serious road hazards but can also get you into trouble with the law. Make sure that the engine oil and the rest of the fluids are well in place. Wiper blades, horn and battery should be frequently checked. The tyres should be inflated and with perfect pressure to ensure that there is no lag in steering, braking or accelerating. Worn out tyres can not only hinder safe driving but can also cause you to pay a penalty of up to GBO 2500 by law.
Using your mobile phone while driving is the most common example of driving distractions. It is imperative for the drivers to refrain from talking or texting, smoking, eating or drinking as they can be prosecuted by law. In fact listening to music on loud volume can also be detrimental for inexperienced drivers. Exhaustion and tiredness can hinder safe driving therefore if you are feeling sleepy, refrain from hitting the roads. Also, drinking and driving is a crime and may even cost you your driving license. If you are planning to drink, ensure that you are accompanied by someone who is not drinking and will be in a position to drive you home safely.
Learn how to park safely
Much of accidents happen in car parking lots where we least expect. Parking your car properly and safely is your responsibility and falls under safe driving habits. Manoeuvring and reversing is the cause of 40% of the parking car crashes therefore it is imperative to be on your utmost caution while you park your car or drive it out. While parking, ensure that you use the space meant for one car and align your vehicle appropriately. Ensure that you park away from fire exits, moving traffic or any other place where a congregation is likely to take place.
Safe driving involves a few simple steps which numerous drivers fail to observe. To sum up, in order to drive safely you need to concentrate on your primary activity i.e. driving, anticipating your fellow drivers’ driving styles, keeping a safe distance from the alongside vehicles, planning your journeys to avoid unnecessary speeding and park safe and securely. Lastly, ensure that you are patient and courteous to the drivers and pedestrians on the roads.