When you drive regularly, it can be easy to fall into bad driving habits. Generally, drivers stay conscious of road safety for the first few months after passing their test, but the precautions and practises we learn can quickly slip away. Not being safety conscious when driving can lead to serious accidents and, in extreme cases, vehicular manslaughter. No one wants to cause an accident when they’re driving, so it’s important to remember to stay safe on the road. The following tips will help you to do this.
Stick to the speed limit
One of the most common mistakes that people make when driving is ignoring the speed limit (teen drivers are particularly at risk of falling into this category). Perhaps you’re running late for work, or you have somewhere important to be. But it’s never acceptable to ignore the speed limit. The laws have been put into place for a reason, and by driving too fast you put yourself and others in danger. Always abide by the speed limit, and if you find yourself regularly rushing and running late, try to change your habits. It’s never OK to break the law.
Follow the signs
Road signs can be confusing, and there are a lot of them. When we take our driving theory test, we need to demonstrate a solid understanding of road signs and how to respond to them. However, a high percentage of drivers don’t actually know the meaning of many road and traffic signs. This then puts them and other drivers at risk. So, to make sure you’re staying safe on the road, regularly test yourself on the meaning of traffic signs and make sure you know the appropriate reaction.
Put your phone away
Another dangerous habit that many drivers have is talking on the phone while driving. It’s equally dangerous to send messages while driving, or checking social media. Whilst it’s against the law to talk on the phone while operating a vehicle, and this doesn’t apply to hands-free phones, new research shows that operating a hands-free phone may be equally as distracting. Therefore, to drive safely, it’s advised that you keep your phone in your bag – where you’re not tempted to check it.
Alongside phones, there are plenty of other distractions in a vehicle that can prevent drivers from being safe. Digital equipment such as a satnav, radio or speaker can cause accidents because a driver may be distracted when they need to adjust it. Likewise, eating or drinking whilst driving can distract you from the road ahead, alongside fellow passengers. So, whilst you might need these things to keep you occupied during a long drive, it’s important not to allow them to take your concentration from the road.
The most important way to stay safe while driving is to make sure you’re well-rested – and this means taking breaks. Make sure you utilise service stations on your travels to avoid the danger of falling asleep at the wheel.
This is a contributed post