These days, driving is safer than ever. The invention of seat belts, adaptive cruise control, and collision avoidance systems means that we are reaching an all-time low in auto accidents. However, it is estimated that around 1.3 million people lose their lives every year in road accidents. So how can you do your part in keeping our roads safe and lower that average as much as possible? Here are some basic safe driving tips for beginners (however, this advice still stands no matter how long you have been driving).
1. Check Your Vision
Your vision is arguably the most important thing when it comes to driving. If you cannot see, then you cannot identify hazards and so you cannot react in time to prevent an accident. It is vital that people on the roads can see clearly so make sure you get your eyes checked on a regular basis. Even if you do not wear glasses any other time of day, you may find that you need driving glasses to sharpen your long-distance vision. Get yourself some stylish and durable eyeglasses from Eyebuydirect and keep them in your car so you never find yourself without them when it matters. Our eyesight also changes as we get older so you should continue getting eye tests as long as you are driving.
2. Have Your Car Serviced
The best way to improve driving safety is to keep yourself and your car in good condition. Whilst we can only do so much to keep ourselves healthy, a car is much easier to keep in check. Technical issues can very quickly become a major safety issue, so it is important to catch small problems early. Take your car to a trusted mechanic to do an inspection on a regular basis. You may not like the expense, but it is worth it to keep yourself and other road users safe.
3. Assume Everyone Is a Bad Driver
The roads are only as safe as the worst driver, which means sometimes you will have to overcompensate for the bad drivers. Make sure you know how to respond to bad driving such as swerving, lane changes, and sudden stops so that if you encounter such things, you can behave correctly to prevent an accident. Do not let yourself get too complacent because no matter how good you are at driving, you always need to be aware of what those around are doing and anticipate what they might do next.
4. Be Familiar with Your Car
Getting a new car is exciting and you will probably want to hop right in and immediately get on the road, but you need to take time to get familiar with this new vehicle. Meddle with the various buttons and knobs to figure out exactly what each one does so that when you need a particular function you can easily go straight to it whilst driving.
5. Find the Correct Seating Ergonomics
Seating ergonomics is something that many drivers tend to disregard, especially those that have been driving for a while and have gotten into a habit. But it is important to find the right driving position and make the alterations. You need to be able to see your mirrors, press the pedals all the way to the floor of the car, and be in the right position to be protected by airbags in the event of an accident. In addition, you need to find the right seating position so you can avoid back and neck pain; a lifetime of poor posture can cause many health problems down the road.
6. Leave Space Between Your Car and the One in Front
If you get too close to the car in front of you, you could be risking a collision if they need to stop or slow down suddenly. Leaving plenty of space between cars gives you enough time to identify the hazard, react to it by applying your brakes, and then reach the appropriate speed or come to a halt. Try and leave a three-second gap between your car and the car in front – double this distance in poor weather conditions and also increase the gap when you’re driving faster (it takes longer to stop at higher speeds).
7. Drive More Slowly in Adverse Conditions
In addition to leaving more space between your car and the car in front of you during adverse weather conditions, you should also drive more slowly to avoid accidents. When the road is wet, it’ll take longer for you to slow down or stop, which is why you should avoid high speeds and drive more slowly than usual. This is even more important if the road is icy, and if there’s fog, you should drive carefully and use your fog lights.
8. Avoid Distractions
One of the most dangerous things you can do behind the wheel is not pay enough attention. Nowadays, there are even more issues with drivers becoming distracted due to the use of mobile phones while driving. You may think you can quickly reply to a text while driving, but you’re actually putting everyone at risk. This also applies to distractions such as eating, listening to loud music and chatting too much.
9. Don’t Drive When You’re Tired
Another extremely dangerous driving habit is driving while tired. In fact, driving while drowsy can actually be as bad as driving while drunk, as both scenarios involve slower reaction times and an inability to think clearly. You could zone out while driving if you’re too tired, meaning that you won’t react to hazards quickly enough, or you could even fall asleep, which can cause you to veer off the road or crash into other cars. So, if you feel yourself becoming drowsy when driving, you should stop to rest and try to get more sleep in the future.
Overall, driving has become much safer over the years as more rules and regulations have been introduced. However, driving is still one of the most dangerous modes of transportation, so to minimise your risk of being involved in an accident, you should be aware of these important safety tips.