Although accidents will happen, you can drastically reduce the likelihood of being involved in a car crash, by being a responsible and aware driver. According to research, the majority of road traffic accidents are caused by human error, or carelessness, which often equate to the same thing.
While we all try to drive safely, here are a few tips to help you create safe practices, and therefore lessen the chances of having a bump.
There are certain things a driver should do prior to setting off, and they include a visual inspection of the vehicle, during which, you would be looking at the tyres and checking that the indicators and lights are working. A quick beep on the horn could be the difference between a nasty accident and a near miss, so always check that your horn works, as you never know when you will need it. Look for any leaks beneath the vehicle, and any fluids found should be identified. Engine oil or brake fluid would require immediate attention, while water might be from the overflow, or even the a/c.
Once inside the vehicle, adjust the seat to your preferred position, and you should have a clear view in both the rear view and wing mirrors, so make any necessary adjustments. There are certain blind spots with most cars, and some careful positioning of the wing mirrors can all but eliminate this.
The car should have a weekly under the hood check, which would include the following:
- Engine oil level
- Coolant level
- Brake fluid level
- Power steering fluid level
Other things to look for are slack belts, which are often accompanied by a screeching sound, as the belt loses traction, especially in the wet. If you hear this sometimes, the chances are it is caused by belt tension, or lack of it.
Many accidents are caused by people who are texting their friend, or talking to their boss on the phone, and if you really do need to be contactable at all times, a hands free device will do the trick. If you are looking for your favourite CD, or trying to find that new FM station, stop the car first, and then you can focus on what you are doing. If you are going to need maps or anything else during the journey, make sure they are close at hand and easy to access.
Limit Your Time At the Wheel
Driving can be very tiring, and you should never drive for more than a couple of hours without a break. Long distances mean immobility and after a while, those aches and pains arrive, and even this could cause you to lose focus while driving. Aside from this, your eyes will be tired and stretching your legs and drinking a tea or coffee will refresh you, and you will be more aware generally.