Tips to become a safer driver

Due to the current influx of road accidents year by year, it is important to be constantly vigilant and careful when getting behind the wheel. With an abundance of traffic, obstacles and reckless drivers on the road, it is easy to get distracted and lose control, making it crucial more so than ever to observe our driving habits and take precaution to be a more responsible driver.  

Here are some easy to follow tips and guidelines to keep yourself and your family safe while on the road!

  • Do not use your cell phone while driving. Using your mobile is one of the biggest distractions when driving as you have to take your hands off the steering wheel and your eyes off the road.
  • Be extra cautious at intersections as vehicles are moving in from all sides.
  • If you are driving in bad weather conditions, pullover and wait for it to pass. If it is raining too hard that you can barely make out the road, it’s a smart move to stop somewhere safe, wait for the rain to reduce and then continue driving.
  • Look far ahead when driving. Keep constantly scanning the road at least about a mile ahead.
  • Do not tailgate. Since you can’t predict the movements of the driver in front of you, always maintain enough distance between you and the other car to give yourself time to respond to sudden turns and stops.
  • Always obey road rules, road signs and traffic lights.
  • A seat belt can help save your life, therefore make sure that you and your passengers are buckled up and ready to go before starting the ignition.
  • Do regular maintenance checks on your car to ensure that it is in perfect condition to drive. Have your car fluid levels, lights, brakes etc. checked by a professional.
  • Be aware of unsafe drivers and maintain your distance. If you notice a car swerving on the road it could be a sign of a drunk driver, therefore keep plenty of space between yourself and the other car.
  • Always use your signal lights when switching lanes or overtaking.
  • If you are easily distracted when driving, ask the other passengers in the car to keep the noise down while on the road and focus on reaching your destination safely.
  • Avoid eating while driving.
  • Keep fit! Physical activity improves your flexibility, reflexes and strength which can help improve your driving skills.
  • Stay in the slow lane if you aren't comfortable driving fast. The right lane should be left for those who want to overtake.
  • If you are entering a highway, use your signal light before taking any gap you see. Once on the highway, increase your speed to match the speed limit.
  • Make sure that your wiper blades are in good condition, especially during the rainy season.
  • Alcohol hinders your driving abilities, therefore avoid drinking and driving at all costs.
  • Do a safety check before driving. Take time to adjust your mirrors, seat and seat belts.
  • If you are using Google maps on your phone to reach your destination, set the location on the device prior to driving off so that you don’t need to use your phone while on the move.  
  • Consider using public transport if the road or weather conditions are bad.
  • Adjust your car to meet your requirements. I.e. if you feel pain when gripping the steering wheel, use a steering wheel cover.
  • Schedule regular hearing and vision tests to ensure that you are fit to drive.

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