How Can I Drive Safer?

drive safer

Being a safer driver sounds like something too abstract to define and (therefore) achieve, however, this is not necessarily the case. You see, there’s a number of factors that diminish your road safety. Identifying these and developing a strategy on how to prevent them from becoming a safety concern is the most sensible course of action. These factors can be split into categories like your mindset, road conditions, vehicle condition, distractions, etc., and then you know exactly what you can improve upon. Here are five such factor categories that you should be aware of.

Prepare mentally

Before you set out, you need to be in the right mindset. First of all, for new drivers, this can be quite stressful, so the first piece of advice here is – trust in your driving! However, this doesn’t mean that you should overestimate yourself. It’s better to keep it safe. If you’re questioning whether you can do something with your car, it’s always safer to assume that you can’t. Second, you need to be in the physical condition to drive. Being tired, sleep-deprived, intoxicated, etc. will seriously impact your decision-making ability. Never drive in one of these conditions.

Adapt to the conditions

Driving on a slippery, wet, hole-ridden road is not like what you’ve been taught. Also, the visibility will sometimes be limited due to fog, rain, snow, or just due to the fact that you’re driving at night, while the majority of your lessons were during the day. Remember that other drivers won’t always keep safety in high regard, so, you need to be extra careful for them, as well. The way to do this is to keep your distance. Keep them at least one and a half-length of your car away and you’ll have enough time and space to react. 

Forget about your phone

The most important thing you need to do in order to be a safer driver is to completely ignore your phone while you’re driving. Not looking at it while driving is not enough. Even while waiting at the traffic light, you’re still a traffic participant, which means that it’s not safe (nor legal) for you to play with your phone. Some people might be using their phone for navigation but even in this scenario, it’s far safer to get a GPS head up display than to keep tampering with your phone. Seeing notifications while looking at the navigation can be quite distracting. Ideally, you would turn the vibration and sound off while driving, since you don’t want this distraction either.

Abide by the rules of the road

It is important that you understand two things. First, the rules of the road aren’t arbitrary. Second, they’re there for a reason. There’s a reason why the speed limit in that area is what it is. Also, if you read the signs carefully, you can see what the road conditions are ahead. There’s always a sign if there’s a dangerous bend ahead and this is information that could potentially save someone’s life. The same goes for the situation where overtaking is prohibited. There’s a reason why some things are not safe and others are advised against.

Check your car

Sometimes, it won’t be your fault. If your tires are flat, you’ll have less control over the vehicle. If your engine is faulty, you might have a problem with acceleration, which means that you won’t be able to overtake a vehicle in front of you (even though you know that your car is capable of it). This puts you unnecessarily at risk. Even if you don’t fix everything right away (which you definitely should), just knowing that your car isn’t in perfect condition will make you be more careful. All in all, knowing the condition of your car is a precondition.

In conclusion

In the end, driving safer is difficult for one reason – it requires consistency. The above-mentioned are something you need to abide by at all times. You need to respect road signs every time you encounter them. You can never afford to sit behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol. Your vehicle needs to be checked at regular intervals and you should always take road conditions into consideration. No, not even a peep at your phone is acceptable. It sounds quite difficult but it’s worth it.

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