Being a responsible car owner is something that has to be learned. And it doesn’t necessarily come with years of experience; it takes a conscious effort on the part of the driver. After all, plenty of people with years of driving behind them still manage to make reckless decisions. So, what does it take to be a safe driver and look after yourself as well as any other person on the road? These are the things to consider if you want to be a responsible car owner.
First of all, you need to take a look at your driving habits. This is important for drivers who have just passed their tests and drivers who have been on the road for years and years. Good drivers can still develop bad habits. If you want to be a responsible car owner then you need to take a measured approach to driving.
For starters, you need to drive defensively. When you see a fellow driver do something reckless, it’s tempting to react aggressively because it’s so frustrating to see somebody endanger other people. However, the irony is that reacting aggressively only exacerbates the situation. If you want to avoid turning a dangerous situation into an actual incident then you need to take a step back and ensure you respond to situations in a calm and defensive manner. Maintain a distance from other vehicles, and lengthen that distance if you spot driving habits which appear dangerous.
You also need to consider the possibility of road incidents if you want to be a responsible car owner. No matter how good a driver you may be, many road-based situations are unavoidable. For example, you should always be prepared for a car breakdown. This can be avoided by taking care of your vehicle (as we’ll discuss later on in the article), but unpredictable things can occasionally happen to well-maintained cars.
If you want to be a responsible car owner then the important thing is that you simply react in the appropriate manner. If your car breaks down then make sure you pull over safely, get everybody out, and call for help once you’re in a safe place. You should definitely keep your distance from the vehicle so you’re not in danger if there’s any further mechanical malfunction.
Of course, a breakdown is just one example of the type of road incident for which you should always be prepared. Accidents involving other drivers are far more common on the road, even if it’s just a minor collision result in a small dent or a scratch. Evidently, the best way to avoid such incidents is to take the advice given earlier in this article and watch your driving habits.
But even cautious drivers can be involved in accidents that aren’t their fault. In such an event, being a responsible car owner is all about ensuring everybody is okay and that all details are exchanged. This can be tricky in certain situations, especially when people play the blame game. You might want to get legal assistance from attorneys at Keller & Keller if you’ve been involved in an accident with a larger vehicle such as a truck. It’s important that you get the compensation and closure you deserve. Being a responsible car owner is about staying safe but also protecting your finances.
You also need to think about your mindset if you want to be a responsible car owner. As you probably know, your mindset influences the way in which you drive. That’s obvious, right? Nevertheless, so many drivers get behind the wheel when they’re in no fit state to drive.
Driving under the influence of alcohol is a common example of this, but you most likely understand the dangers of this already (it’s illegal, above all else). However, you have to ask yourself why it’s so dangerous to drive whilst intoxicated. It slows your reflexes and impacts your ability to concentrate. Aren’t there other states of mind that impede your cognitive function in this way?
For instance, we’ve already talked about the danger of aggressive driving. When you drive in that state of mind, you make poor decisions and put people at risk. The same goes for driving whilst tired. This can be just as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol. When you’re sleep-deprived, your reflexes are slower and you struggle to concentrate in the same way that you would if you were drunk.
This is why it’s so important to not only think about whether you’re in a “legal” condition to drive; ask yourself whether you’re in the right mental condition to drive. Whilst driving, make sure you avoid distractions too. Whether it’s your phone or people arguing in your car, you shouldn’t let anything affect your ability to focus on the road in front of you.
If you’re going to be a responsible car owner then vehicular maintenance needs to be an absolute priority for you. Being skilled behind the wheel is important, but you are still putting yourself and others at risk if your vehicle itself is unsafe.
Taking a look at your car on a regular basis will help to ensure that you’re operating a vehicle which is worthy of being on the road. Make sure you check the oil levels on a regular basis and refill them as needed. You should also change your air filters on a regular basis too. This will also reduce emissions and protect your engine, saving you money. Keeping your car safe is a fiscally responsible move.
You should also ensure you take your vehicle for regular servicing. Even the most adept car maintenance experts should get their car seen by a specialist on a regular basis to make sure they’ve not overlooked anything. Ideally, you should do this before problems occur. A check-up might be costly, but it’s far less expensive than a repair job. If you want to be a responsible car owner then you need to make sure your vehicle has been inspected by experts to ensure it’s roadworthy. This will keep you, your passengers, and anyone else on the road safe.
Photo Credit: Lisa Fotios