Several road accidents are recorded every day. These accidents range from head-on collisions to burning vehicles, hit and runs, and even those resulting from failed brakes. Some of these accidents occur as a result of recklessness either on the side of drivers or passengers.
Safety is a priority everyone wants to be assured of; no one wants to be in a car, bus, or any vehicle without feeling safe. Some precautions must be put in place to ensure the safety of passengers and drivers at all times.
SAFETY TIPS FOR DRIVERS
Drivers take the blame most times when there are road accidents because they are the ones in charge. Hence, they have a huge role in preventing road mishaps—from keeping the car clean to taking it for frequent checks and even being cautious on the road. Some of the safety tips every driver should note include:
One very important safety tip is car care, otherwise known as car maintenance. The same way every individual checks their clothes for cleanness and other malfunction, cars shouldn’t be treated any differently. Drivers should ensure they check their cars every day before taking them out—from the fuel tank to the tires, brakes, mirrors, battery, horn, oil, and lights. Frequent car check-ups and maintenance would go a long way to prevent accidents from occurring.
BE MINDFUL OF SPEED
The cause of most road accidents is usually over speeding. While several drivers derive pleasure in driving at top speed, it is very important to avoid over speeding. Over speeding can cause your car to crash into another vehicle or even pedestrians. Most roads have speed limits, which you should adhere to while driving.
DON’T USE YOUR CELLPHONE WHILE DRIVING
The use of cellphones while driving has become a norm among some drivers. However, it’s a dangerous call. The cellphone can be a distraction, causing drivers to lose focus; for instance, receiving bad news from the caller while driving can lead to a sudden shock and eventually cause an accident. Therefore using cellphones to text, make, or receive calls while driving should be a no-no for every driver. It is advisable to pull up at the side of the road to take a call and resume driving.
AVOID DRIVING TOO CLOSE TO OTHER VEHICLES
Drivers are advised to keep a distance from cars driving both in front of them and behind them. This way, you would be preventing an accident if any of the cars suddenly stop. Also, try as much as possible to avoid stopping abruptly as this can put other road users’ lives in danger.
USE SEAT BELT ALWAYS
Drivers should not neglect the benefits of using seat belts. Although a seatbelt might seem to take away some freedom, it’s one of the essential things to use before moving your car. Seat belts help to hold drivers to their seats, especially when their vehicle collides with another, hence preventing injury.
As a driver, you want to avoid driving on a long trip when you are tired because there’s a chance you might doze off in front of the steering, and this can lead to an accident. Instead of playing music, chewing gum, or turning on the radio when tiredness sets in, it is advisable to stop and rest for a while or get someone to drive you.
AVOID DRUNK DRIVING
Apart from it being a crime, drunk driving is one of the major causes of accidents that occur mostly at night. Drivers should always ensure they aren’t drunk or tipsy whenever they drive. It is best to have someone else drive if you’ve taken excess alcohol—you can get an assigned driver or a friend to do this. Before driving your car, you must be conscious, coordinated, and not drunk to prevent dozing off.
After obeying all the set down rules and you feel very safe, there is still a need to observe the surroundings. It is best to observe vehicles around you closely. This way, you would be quick to notice when drivers are switching lanes suddenly, turning on their trafficators, or even applying brakes sharply.
Of course, the saying, “patience is a virtue” shouldn’t be neglected as far as driving is concerned. Some road accidents are usually caused by impatient drivers that think they can quickly maneuver any situation and get to their destination faster. Instead, drivers should be as patient as possible as the time spent after an accident occurs is way more than that spent when driving cautiously.
OBERY TRAFFIC SIGNALS
Traffic lights, stop signs, zebra crossings, and more are all designed for a general reason—ensuring the safety of all road users. Hence, drivers shouldn’t have the mindset that rules are meant to be broken and thereby ignoring these signs. Instead, obeying them should become a habit.
Every human is wired differently—what you would do in a certain situation might be completely different from what another driver would do. It is therefore extremely important not to assume what another driver or pedestrian should do. Instead, it is best to observe and let them take action first.
STAY CLEAR OF DISTRACTIONS
Distractions don’t only take the form of texting or taking calls while driving. It could also have to do with looking behind to have a conversation with a passenger, eating, changing CDs, and adjusting one’s clothes. While driving, a driver’s focus should be on the road and not on any other thing that can cause accidents.
PRACTICE DEFENSIVE DRIVING
Out of ten drivers plying the highway, at least three might tend to be reckless. Defensive driving involves being prepared at all times for any sudden occurrence. It basically involves expecting the worst from road users while obeying road rules. Defensive driving is one skill every driver should master to remain safe and out of risk at all times.
SAFETY TIPS FOR PASSENGERS
Most people think that only drivers are at fault when road accidents occur. However, passengers also have a huge part to play as far as safety is concerned, because after all, accidents affect passengers as much as it affects drivers. Some of these safety tips include:
Passengers should avoid excessive moving in the backseat. These could involve dancing or jumping around and can be dangerous to both the driver, passengers, and other road users. Passengers should also stay calm whenever accidents are about to occur and avoid shouting as this can also make the driver lose focus.
AVOID SHINY OBJECTS
Shiny objects can easily blind the driver, hence making them lose focus from the road. Stuff such as shiny wristwatches, bangles, rings, and even clothes that reflect light should be kept at bay.
Seatbelts are not for only drivers; passengers ought to use seat belts as well. There are seat belt laws that every passenger should adhere to. Besides, seat belts prevent head injuries when the car suddenly stops. Seatbelts should be used by all passengers no matter their age, and children shouldn’t be allowed to share seatbelts.
DON’T MAKE FRIGHTENING NOISES
There is a need for passengers to be quiet at all times, no matter the situation they might find themselves in. Avoid screaming no matter the condition, be it panic calls, upsetting messages, hilarious skits, or cute videos on social media. Instead, keep in mind that any noise can distract and even confuse the driver.
DON’T DISTRACT THE DRIVER
The highway isn’t the best place to make videos, take group selfies that include the driver, or even gossip about passersby. These can pose as a distraction to the driver and might cause road accidents.
MAKE SURE DOORS ARE LOCKED
Every passenger should be cautious to ensure that doors are not just closed but properly locked. Extra care should be taken to look out for faulty doors and close them properly to avoid falling out of a moving vehicle. Ensure not to open the doors until the car has stopped completely.
SAFETY TIPS FOR PEDESTRIANS
Pedestrians are also road users and will need some safety tips. To remain safe, pedestrians should;
? Obey traffic signals.
? Always put on clothes with vibrant colors at night as this enables drivers to see them.
? Ensure they always use sidewalks.
? Cross the road only at zebra crossings or other appointed areas.
? Avoid being under the influence of drugs and alcohol to prevent staggering and causing accidents.
? Always look around carefully before crossing the road.
? Always have a flashlight while walking on a dark road.
? Avoid making calls, texting, or making conversations while crossing the road.
? Avoid using headphones and listening to loud music while walking to enable them to hear the sound of vehicles and honks around them.
Safety precautions like using seat belts shouldn’t just be taken to prevent the penalties for not adhering. Instead, they should be practiced regularly and made a lifestyle.
Safety tips are not extremely difficult when you make them a habit. As long as these safety tips are adhered to by all drivers and passengers, roads would be a lot safer and accident-free.
Photo Credit: Cadillac