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Safe Driving Tips

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In this fast-paced society, the roads are becoming more crowded and hectic. The use of automobiles is significantly increasing, so it helps to be constantly aware of your surroundings to prevent accidents and other unfortunate mishaps on the road.

Though technological advances have made our vehicles safer, most accidents are caused by human error. Violating the rules of the road and driving recklessly have become almost commonplace and are the leading cause of accidents and highway fatalities. To reduce the number of accidents the best thing to do is to practice safe driving methods.

The following are some tips that will let you plan for your ride, drive securely and reach your destination in the safest manner possible.

Always Check Your Vehicle

A periodic safety check of your vehicle can avoid maintenance error failure and other problems which can potentially lead to an accident.

  • Whether you are driving during the day or night, check the functionality of your lights by turning them on and off.
  • Remember to check the operation of your vehicle's indicators and turn signals
  • Make sure that there are no fluid leakages from the motor and from any part of the vehicle
  • Remember to make sure that your tires are properly inflated and check the pressure of the tires--have them rotated regularly to avoid wear and tear
  • Check your mirrors to ensure that you can see all parts of the road when you are driving

 When you check the vehicle's status, don't forget these things:

  • Oil
  • Gas level
  • Electric/lights/AC/heating
  • Braking system
  • Windows and doors
These small safety checks can ensure safe operation of the vehicle and can help you avoid breakdowns and other vehicle failures. All of the advanced automobile technologies available in new cars can be your best friend if they are properly maintained, but if they fail they can also be your worst enemy.

Always Maintain Proper Following Distance

One of the most common accidents on the road today is the rear-end collision, which can be easily prevented by maintaining a safe amount of space between yourself and the vehicle in front of you. While it can be a bit challenging when the roads are congested, it's one of the most important aspects of road safety.

While driving in all different types of weather conditions, especially where visibility is significantly reduced, maintaining the proper amount of following distance is an important factor to take into consideration. With this defensive driving technique, you can always make sure that you have an escape route and enough time to react if another driver makes a dangerous mistake.

Here is a small table which shows the amount of time and space you should leave between your car and the car in front of you:

Driving Conditions Time frame of space
Dry weather condition 2 seconds of distance( 3 seconds is optimal)
Little fog, light rain or night driving 4 seconds of distance
Snow, ice, heavy rain (Unpleasantly cold or wet condition) Minimum of 6 seconds (10 seconds is recommended in case of extreme icing.

Remember, Slower is Better

Speeding is one of the biggest causes of serious accidents. Always drive the posted speed limit to ensure the safety of yourself and others on the road. The rate at which you increase your speed while driving is indirectly proportional to the rate at which you'll need to decrease it to slow down. Speeding leaves you less time to react to accidents occurring around you, and makes the margin for error on the road a lot smaller.

When you speed, your chance of being in an accident is greatly increased. Since almost 40% of accidents on the road are caused by speeding, you should maintain an appropriate speed at all times. While speeding might seem thrilling in the moment, our main goal is always to reach our destination intact.

A Few Things You Should Never Do:

  • Never drive heavy-eyed: Improper sleep plays a role in many car accidents and is just as dangerous as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Driving while drowsy or sleep-deprived will definitely put you at serious risk for an accident. It is always a good idea to take a lot of breaks during long journeys, and switch drivers every few hours if possible.
  • Never drink and drive: Drinking alcohol dramatically impairs your motor skills and your coordination. Most fatal accidents on the road today are caused by drunk drivers. You should never let the consumption of alcohol put your life or the lives of others in danger.
  • Never use your cell phone: While humans are typically good at multitasking, it's never a good idea to multitask when you're behind the wheel. Driving commands your constant attention and focus, and if your concentration is on your cell phone, there is no doubt that your driving will be seriously impaired.

Tip 1#: Always make sure that you have a designated driver to drive your vehicle when you drink.

Tip 2#: If you need to make a phone call, or text, take your vehicle to a parking lot and attend to your call there. Never call or text while driving.

Robert Moreschi  Posted by Robert Moreschi on February 4, 2013

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