Driving safely is something everyone knows is expected of them if they elect to get behind the wheel. There are no shortcuts, nor room for ‘I’ve been driving for thirty years I know what I’m doing’ kind of attitudes. Every road user is held to the same standards, regardless of who they are or how long they’ve been driving.
Despite this, accidents still needlessly occur by preventable causes, such as speeding, distractions, tiredness or faulty car components. Does it all stem from sheer ignorance, and how can you ensure you’re not the cause of a horrible accident?
Consequently, here are our top tips to help you drive safely.
Show Calm Awareness of Other Drivers
When people drive, they focus on themselves greatly. Therefore, road rage kicks in, as road users engage in shouting matches with each other without being prepared to admit any fault within themselves. Stemming from this, people use the roads as if they’re in an aggressive competition, where in reality people can only get home safely through a teamworking approach, so to speak.
Having an awareness of other drivers is key to driving safely. After all, you needn’t be the root cause of an accident to be involved in one. There are plenty of irresponsible drivers out there, more than you might even think, so be polite and always be aware of your surroundings.
You might be wondering how you can possibly drive safely if you’re not driving at all. Well, the experience isn’t all about you! Sometimes parking up and ceasing to drive can create a safer environment for other drivers. This could be applicable if you’re tired, agitated, have a distressed passenger or emergency services are trying to get past. Put simply, you don’t have to be in active transit to be considered a respectful driver.
If you want to take a call, a nap or stop for a vape/smoke, pull over. Indulging in your favourite pastime is a lot more fun if you pullover and give it your full attention. Especially on long drives, people understand that you can’t maintain your focus for hours upon hours. You will at the very least get hungry, so pullover and spend a minute or two eating. Breaks aren’t a sign of weakness nor a waste of time, so if you’re giving anything less than 100% to your driving, pull over. Why risk it?
Refresh Your Knowledge
It doesn’t matter if you’ve been driving for twenty years or twenty hours, sooner or later your brain is going to start forgetting pieces of crucial information from your driving lessons. Everyone has a lapse in judgement from time to time, and no one is immune to human error. Moreover, people can’t retain everything forever either! That said, some mistakes are bigger than others, and more consequential.
When driving, you should navigate the roads based on the highway code, not what works for you or what your natural instincts tell you. What does each road sign mean? How should your mirrors be adjusted? Spend a few minutes online and test your knowledge. If you find yourself forgetting the legal requirements in how to drive safely, take a refresher course and get back up to scratch. There’s no shame in educating yourself if you’re rusty, and there’s no better way to be informed than by going to the experts. Lives depend on your knowledge!