Tips for Safe Driving
**A contributed post as written for The Safe Driver
Whether you are an experienced driver or you are just about to get your driving license, safety should be your top priority. Being too safe is impossible especially in winter when bad weather can totally change the way your brakes and wheels behave. Modern cars are much safer than those produced decades ago; however, the human error still remains the main reason for many car accidents occurring annually. Practicing these basic safety tips will help you mitigate all risks and always stay on the safe side on the road.
Drive in good health
Never drive under the influence and try to avoid driving when you feel sleepy. Falling asleep during the ride is a very common reason for car accidents. Remember that you mustn’t drive further when you start noticing the moment of winking (which doesn’t happen when you are rested). Just pull over to the roadside and rest.
Belts, belts, belts
Everyone who travels in your car (including the driver) must be safely belted. Remember that the airbag won’t do you a favour if you are unfastened. Avoid transporting lose objects (cargo) that can hurt you when the car stops suddenly. Put them in your trunk instead.
Focus on the road
It is a bad idea to combine driving with eating, drinking, chatting with passengers, texting, speaking on a cell phone or listening to an audio course requiring big concentration. While at the wheel, focus on the road only. Leave multi-tasking for other situations when your life is less dependent on your focus. Try to avoid distractions especially when the weather gets worse. Do not drive with your small kids on board during the first months of your driving practice.
Drive on a right type of tyres
Your four tyres are things that are responsible not only for keeping your car rolling but also for the grip on the road without which your car simply slides in an unpredictable direction. This is actually what happens when you drive on a cold, icy or slippery road on summer rubber that isn’t up for the task. Remember that seasonal rubber (summer or winter) is always better than the ‘all-season’ compromise.
Know your speed limit
In inclement weather conditions, reduce speed to stay in control of braking and accelerating. Choose a safe following distance keeping in mind that it takes your car longer to stop on a wet and cold pavement.
Turn on your headlights
Even if it’s not dark enough, driving with your headlights on helps you see the traffic better and be more visible to other drivers.
Pack a safety kit
Regardless of how far you travel, a safety kit including basic emergency stuff is a must-have thing in your trunk. You can buy one or assemble it on your own. You will need a flashlight, jumper cables, road flares, a tyre repair kit (or a spare tyre accompanied with tools required for a wheel replacement), a blanket, a bag with sand or kitty litter (in slippery conditions, you can put this abrasive stuff under the tyre and get some additional traction), a phone charger, some snacks, bottled water and a first-aid kit. Have emergency numbers (including a tow truck service or your breakdown cover provider) recorded on a paper or on your cell phone (better on both).
Be a defensive driver
Do not expect other drivers to be alert or faultless. When the weather is bad, your best strategy is to drive defensively like everyone on the road wants to kill you.