How to Increase Your Safety on the Road

cLike all areas of life, there are bad drivers and great ones – and the great drivers are not necessarily the ones in the news creating headlines at Le Mans, Monaco or Dakar. They are the everyday drivers who negotiate years behind the wheel without incident, whose skill and technique sees them safely home each evening. Here is how to join their ranks and increase your safety on the road.

The danger zones

Eliminating danger and risky behaviour are the first steps to increasing safety. That means sticking to the speed limit, driving to conditions, and never getting behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol or illicit drugs. It also involves ensuring you and your passengers buckle up, and limiting distractions while driving.

Shared responsibility

The road isn’t just used by vehicles, it’s a shared zone utilised by bicycles, motorbikes, pedestrians and road workers. And the responsibility rests with all to ensure it’s a safe place. For drivers, that involves being mindful of other road users and respectful of their requirements.

Driving also involves a knowledge of your general rights and responsibilities, which includes staying up to date with the road rules.

Attitude 

A bad attitude and inattention account for some of the most preventable accidents on the roadway when drivers abandon courtesy, forget their responsibilities and fail to focus on the serious task of driving. Safe driving involves a constant awareness of your surrounds, risks, and the driving behaviour of others so you can drive defensively.

Preparation

Whenever you get behind the wheel, a certain amount of preparation is involved in both the maintenance and set-up of your car. At the minimum, that involves checking your mirrors are positioned correctly and your seat is at the right angle before setting off. It’s also ensuring regular maintenance is undertaken on your vehicle to check lights are working, tyres are in a suitable condition, and your brakes and steering are up to scratch.

But it’s not just physical preparation; you should keep your vehicle adequately insured and know what to do in an emergency if things don’t go to plan. This includes having your insurance details on hand and the number of a lawyer like if you are in an accident that’s not your fault.

You don’t have to be globally recognised to be a great driver. It’s a matter of preparation, safety awareness and attention that ensures you are among the best on the road.

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