There’s no denying that driving your car is one of the most convenient ways to move from one point to the other. However, this comes with several shortcomings, the chief of which is road accidents.
Consider that more than 1.35 million people are killed in car accidents each year globally. By taking extra caution on the roads, you can avoid being part of these statistics. Here’s how to protect your car and yourself on the road:
1. Stick To Speed Limits
Don’t take the speed limit signs on the roads as just another unnecessary restriction by the highway authorities. Excessive speeding has led to the deaths of many motorists and pedestrians, especially in major cities where traffic and pedestrian volumes are high. It’s no wonder that most of the top statistical sites list excessive speeding as one of the leading causes of car accidents in New York and other major cities in the world.
Civil Engineers propose various speed limits for different sections of the road after taking into consideration factors such as road alignment, presence of intersections, roadway slope, roadside establishments, and pedestrian numbers.
If you exceed the recommended speed limits, you won’t be able to stop in time when the vehicle in front of you comes to a sudden brake, or you suddenly meet an obstacle. As a result, you may end up crashing into them and causing injury to yourself and others. The best way to avoid such mishaps is to drive at a safe speed at all times.
2. Regularly Service Your Car
Several issues can arise in your car over time. Thus, it’s in your best interest to take your car for servicing regularly. Car experts recommend getting your car serviced every after 7,000 miles. Ensure the following are thoroughly checked each time:
- Oil levels
- Hydraulic brake fluid levels
- Engine coolant levels
- Windscreen washer levels
- Tire cuts, bulges, and alignment
- Brake linings
- Rear and headlights
- Belts and fans
- Air filters
- Spark plugs
Ensuring all these car components are in good working condition is a critical step in making road trips stress-free. Your car is less likely to malfunction in the middle of the road and endanger other motorists.
3. Assume You’re The Only Sober Driver
Most drivers tend to flow with the traffic. You simply assume that the other drivers have read the necessary signages and follow them blindly. Unfortunately, this practice is likely to lead you into unforeseen dangers.
For example, assume you’re at an intersection with one car in front of you. If the driver proceeds across the intersection when the lights are still red, and you follow them blindly, you risk colliding with other drivers who currently have the right of way.
To avoid such mishaps, assume you’re the only sober driver on the road. Follow all the road rules you know. Avoid copying what other drivers are doing without applying to reason. Some may be intoxicated, stressed out, or lost in other thoughts, which makes their actions on the road irrational.
4. Eliminate Distractions
Sometimes, all it takes for a fatal accident to occur is a couple of seconds with your eyes off the road. This could happen due to:
- Talking on your phone
- Talking to someone else in the car
- Drinking or eating
- Listening to loud music with your earbuds in
- Grooming yourself
- Playing with your pets
- Changing radio channels
- Reading or sending emails
- Looking out the side windows
Most of these things are under your control. Choose to be disciplined and focus on your driving. Put your phone away. If you get notifications of incoming texts, calls, or emails, consider replying to them later.
If you think they might be urgent, pull over and reply to them before proceeding with your journey. If you must talk to any passenger in the car, do so without looking at them or making hand gestures. These measures ensure that your eyes are always on the road to timely react to any obstruction.
5. Sleep Well
Getting behind the wheel with fatigue is another grave mistake. In worst cases, you can fall asleep at the wheel. You can imagine what can happen with your vehicle moving at full speed with you asleep. You’re likely to veer off the road or get into the wrong lane without notice. You also risk colliding head-on with oncoming vehicles.
Protect yourself and your car by getting enough sleep every night. If you must travel yet never had enough sleep, you better hire a taxi than risk your life.
Many factors make the roads dangerous. Thus, you need to make a conscious effort to keep yourself and your car safe while on the roads. Fortunately, the safety measures are simple enough to implement.