Driver Safety: Going Back To Basics In 2019

3rd July, 2019 in Car Topics

If you’ve held your license for a few years, guaranteed you will have picked a few lousy motoring habits in your time. 

driver safety

It’s easy to think that you’re a great driver if you’ve never had an accident. Chances are you’ve got some kind of dangerous habit that you need to correct. 

Driving Too Fast or Too Slow

Speeding is an obvious issue. But it seems that when we are in a rush to be somewhere else, we often overlook the fact that speeding causes accidents. 

There are times when driving along a long straight road, that we don’t notice the dial creeping up. This is understandable that this might happen. When we’re not having to do much while driving, it’s very easy to increase speed gradually. Train yourself to check your speed regularly. 

Going too slow can also be a problem too. Often on a highway, it is hard to gauge the speeds of cars far into the distance, and when a vehicle is moving considerably slower than the speed limit for no discernable reason, you might find that you are very close to that car before you know it.

Speed limits are designed to be an upper limit, but it is not unreasonable to expect a safe speed to be maintained in line with other users on the road. 

Reckless Parking

It’s annoying when other people’s inconsiderate parking means that we can’t find a place to park. When vehicles are left straddling over the lines in parking spaces, it can be infuriating. But when cars are left in areas where parking is not permitted, this can be dangerous. Often, designated no parking areas are set up because there is a risk to moving traffic.

This might seem a tad inconvenient to many, however adhering to rules will minimize the risk of your car getting damaged, as well an injury occurring. 

Parking close to junctions obscures sightlines for turning cars, and the risk of someone stepping out off the pavement and being knocked down, or a full collision between two or more vehicles is high.

Using Phones When Driving 

If you’re at the wheel, your only focus should be the road and making sure you are keeping safe distances from other road users. Taking calls, reading or sending messages, or checking social media should not happen while you are in control of your vehicle. Get more information on car accidents, and you will see that a large percentage of them are caused by distractions such as this. 

Using Bluetooth headsets, or connecting your device to your in-car entertainment system will allow you to take calls when you are on the road safely.

Having your phone in a cradle attached to the dashboard or windscreen will enable you to access sat navs while enabling your voice control options will allow your phones AI to update your travel information should you need to make a stop-off. It can also be used for changing tracks on the stereo without needing to touch anything or look down.

Not Indicating 

Signaling to other drivers is not just a courtesy. You are letting those around you know your intentions. If you plan on turning, indicating ahead of time allows drivers who may be affected to slow down or brace for a change.

How often do you forget to indicate? Or, worse still, how often does the thought of indicating not cross your mind when turning. Indicating is an easy habit to fall out of, but it’s an easy one to fix.

Similarly, remembering to check your mirrors before pulling out, turning or changing speeds is vital. So often we forget about the people on the road behind us to check their safety. 

Aggressive Driving

How often do you come across another driver that drives close behind you in an attempt to make you move out of their way? Now, that driver can’t see what you can see. They can’t react to a hazard that you know of, and they don’t. Leaving a respectable stopping distance between cars allows for the delay in hazard response time. 

Drivers that aggressively attempt to pass another driver may be putting themselves and other road users at risk if they meet oncoming traffic. 

Identifying your habits now can save you from hurting yourself and others. It will also stop you from putting yourself in a position where you may end up losing your driving licence or cause your motor insurance premium to skyrocket.

When you are behind the wheel, you are in control of your safety and that of others around you. Remember that responsibility next time you are out and about on the roads.

author avatar Written by Joe Terrell Drifted.com founder, motoring journalist and all-round car enthusiast. Visit the author's website