Every year, almost 1.5 million people die on the road. Improving your road safety as a driver can help to prevent accidents. Below are some of the major things you can do to stay safer on the road.
Make sure your vehicle is safe
New vehicles have to pass safety tests to be allowed on the road, however over time they can become dangerous as faults start to occur. Make sure that you’re getting a regular MOT on your vehicle and that you’re doing personal safety checks such as checking tire tread, topping up fluids and not ignoring warning lights. There are safety upgrades that you can make to your car to make it safer – you could buy a racing harness or improve the brakes. If you’re using your car for motorsports or you own a very old car, such safety enhancements could be important.
Many accidents are caused by people using their phone, eating or trying to use tools while driving. There are a few things you can do to limit distractions:
- Pull over if you need to use your phone or eat.
- Make use of hands-free voice command technology on your phone.
- Place your phone in a phone holder at eye level when using the GPS so that you’re not looking down at it.
- Place liquids in an easy to drink flask (don’t use a drink with a screw-on bottle cap).
Watch your speed (especially in bad weather)
Speeding is a big cause of accidents. Don’t treat the speed limit as a target – especially on country roads where doing the national speed limit is usually dangerous. You should be particularly careful if the road is wet or icy, or if visibility is poor due to fog or rain. Many people don’t adjust their driving to the weather, which can cause accidents.
Always look twice
When pulling out of a junction, reversing out of a car park space or changing lanes, always look twice. There could be a motorcyclist, cyclist or pedestrian in your blind spot – a second glance will help to spot them if they are there. Don’t rely solely on mirrors – look over your shoulder before changing lanes or reversing.
Don’t drink and drive
Drinking alcohol and driving is an easy bad habit to get into. It’s important to remember that your reactions will be slower – this could prevent you from reacting in time to hazards. If you’re going somewhere and you know that you’re going to drink, leave your car at home. Get a lift or take public transport so you can enjoy drinking. Otherwise plan to not drink alcohol at all while out.
Check your personal health
Have you noticed that your vision is getting worse? Are you experiencing mobility issues? Have you recently had a seizure? These are all health problems that could impair your driving. Make sure to check out any health problems with a professional immediately – this could include getting an eye test or seeing a doctor. Glasses or medication could allow you to continue driving safely. If this is not possible and a doctor says that you are unfit to drive, listen to them (as hard as it may be, it’s important to remember that your life could be at stake).
*this is a collaborative post*