Most people get behind the wheel of their car without giving it much thought. They know where they are going, and if it is the same journey they do every day, they could almost be in automatic pilot mode. How many times have you arrived somewhere and not been able to remember the journey? It happens to us all at some point but is not the best condition to be in when you are behind the wheel.
DO AWAY WITH DISTRACTIONS
Remove as many distractions from your car as you can. Leave your mobile phone in your purse or a pocket, tune the radio before you leave home, sort the kids out in the back seat and then you will be able to concentrate on what you should be doing.
ALWAYS EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED
Not all drivers will signal when they should or stay in the right lane, and sometimes they will make changes suddenly. You should never expect every other road user to drive as well as you do and should always be prepared for the unexpected to happen.
DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE
In spite of all the attention the media give this problem every year, people still get behind the wheel when they have had alcohol. If you are under the influence of anything that affects your mind, over the counter cold remedies are a typical example, you should not be driving. If the police stop you and test your breath for drink or drugs you could find that you need the help of DUI lawyers to fight your case for you, and you could very well end up losing your license. More importntly you could hurt yourself or others and that is something that none of us should be risking.
LEAVE ENOUGH SPACE
It is estimated that about a third of all road accidents could be prevented if drivers left more space between them and the vehicle in front. Being too close does not give you enough room to stop if they suddenly have to put their brakes on and in this situation, it will be you that has to pay the repair bills.
ALLOW FOR THE WEATHER
The weather affects the road conditions and you must allow for this. If it is raining the roads can become slippy, especially if it is after a dry spell. Turn off your cruise control. Allow more time for braking and leave more distance between you and other vehicles. You should also know what to do if your car starts to hydroplane after a particularly heavy downpour.
If you live in an area that is prone to snow and ice, invest in some winter snow tires. When it is sunny, always make sure you have some sunshades with you as the sun could block your vision.
You need to look further down the road than the car immediately in front of you, and be aware of what is going on to the sides as well. This way you will be able to anticipate any problems, and could save yourself from being involved in an accident. Watch out for children and animals that may run into the road, or for cars approaching intersections faster than they should be.
Knowing what is happening all around you can help to make you a safer driver and it is one of the first things that any advanced driving course will teach.
Photo Credit: Copyright 2018 Victor Mosqueda / Car Fanatics Blog