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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Tips on safe driving

Driving has become common and inevitable skill in every part of the world especially in the urban areas. It is pertinent for anybody driving or learning how to drive to take note of the following driving tips that will help both drivers and passengers alike:

1. Vehicle Maintenance
This is a major safety issue, if your car is unsafe. En quire from your mechanic what you need to fix it or make it safe. As a car owner you need to be aware of any potential safety issues and get them repaired before they lead to an accident.
One of the most common maintenance problems that can lead to a crash is improper tire pressure; uneven tire pressure, too low or high pressure. This can lead to blowout or impact performance.
Another key area is the brakes of the car. If you feel a vibration or softness in the brake pedal, get them checked by professionals; the brake could be wearing out.

2. Practice Defensive Driving
Defensive driving helps to maintain a safe distance and not speeding, remain calm in the face of frustrating traffic, accept small delays such as staying in line behind a slower car instead of abruptly changing lanes. Yield to other cars even if you technically have the right of way.
It is a safer and can also save money. Many insurance companies offer discounts to drivers who complete defensive driving courses.

3. Watch out for other drivers
Sometimes, you could be driving the speed limit and obeying all traffic rules and someone else can crash into you. "Assume everyone else on the road is an idiot" Thus be prepared for unpredictable lane changes, sudden stops,unsignaled turns, swerving and every other bad driving behavious imaginable. It pays to be alert. 

If you are approaching an intersection, where you have the right of way and another car approaches, take your foot off the accelerator and be prepared to apply brake. Don't focus only on the road in front of your car, look ahead so you can see whats happening 50 to 100 yards up the road. Always check your mirrors and keep an eye on the road.

4. Keep a safe distance
Don't follow any vehicle too closely, drivers need enough time to react if a car makes a sudden turn or stop; therefore keep a safe distance between your car and the car ahead. Keep a minimum distance especially at night or in unclear weather.

5. Be extra cautious in bad weather
When driving through heavy rain, snow, storm, fog, or icy roads, be extra careful. Drive below the speed limit if necessary maintain extra space between you and the car ahead and be careful around curves. If the weather worsens just find a safe place to wait till the storm is over.
If the visibility is bad, turn off you light; drivers who can not see the road may drive towards you and may not realize you are not moving in time to avoid a collision.

6. Always wear your seat belt
Seat belts if worn properly will prevent you from being thrown around the inside of a vehicle in case of a crash or throw out through the windshield. Over the years statistics revealed that most fatal accidents victims were of people who weren't using seat belts. About 70% of the victims weren't wearing seat belts.
In most high speed crashes unbelted persons are carried into the dash board or side window resulting in severe head injuries or broken bones.

7. Avoid being drowsy when driving
If a driver falls asleep while driving, he will drift off the road and run into a tree, utility poles or other cars. About 20% of all accidents have sleepiness as a contributing factor.
The solution to this is to get a solid eight hours sleep on a regular basis. If you are driving and you are feeling a bit drowsy, have a friend take over the wheel or find a rest area and catch a few hours of sleep till you feel more alert.

8. Avoid distractions as much as possible
The use of cell phones should be avoided while driving especially texting, eating, applying makeup, fiddling with electronic devices or interacting with passengers which also diverts drivers attention. Make sure that your hands are on the wheel and your eyes on the road.

9. Speed Kills
Don't speed at higher speed you are risking being in an accident. Speeding is one of the most prevalent factors contributing to traffic crashes. On long trips, the time you will save while speeding is inconsequential compared to the risks associated with speeding. Take your time and obey posted speed limits. If you need to get anywhere as fast as possible, leave earlier.

10. Don't drive while drunk
Most fatal accidents are caused by drunk driving which could lead to death. Alcohol causes blurred or double vision and loss of consciousness. It is easy to avoid drunk driving. Ask a friend for ride or call a cab.If you want to drink have a driver, drunk driving has disastrous consequences. Watch this video to see the fatalities of drunk driving.

With these above stated tips one should be able to drive and avoid simple attitudes that might lead to serious road mishaps.

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