How To Avoid Road Risks And Stay Safe While Driving
Driving can be an enjoyable activity, especially during vacations. Sadly road travel isn’t always fun, and more and more people seem to be on the roads these days. This means more traffic and congestion, more roadworks and more accidents.
You may be wondering how to make your journeys safer. Whilst you may not be able to protect yourself from the mistakes of others, there are many things you can do. This article provides some helpful tips to maximize your peace of mind whilst driving.
Understand What You Can Do
It’s important to always keep your vehicle in good condition, and this is even more crucial before long journeys. There are some simple tasks you can undergo such as cleaning the windshield, mirrors, and windows to maximize visibility. Ask a friend to check your lights are all working and test your tire pressure and tread. Also make sure your car fluids are sufficiently stocked, including screenwash, brake fluid, and oil.
South Carolina has been described as the deadliest state in the USA for car crashes. During 2008/9 most fatalities involved truck incidents, and in 2017 60,566 people were reported injured. It would be worth contacting an auto accident attorney in South Carolina should a collision occur, and many provide free consultations. If someone else was at fault the lawyer could help you claim compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering.
Plan Your Journey Beforehand
It’s always wise to check a map before a long or unfamiliar trip. GPS signals can sometimes be lost, and if you glance at the device you won’t be looking at the road. However, you can make use of Google Maps Route Planner before driving so you can have a digital overview of your stops and traffic as well.
If you look at a physical map beforehand, you can schedule some breaks for rest and refreshment en route. If children are able to eat and stretch their legs they will be less restless in the car, and you will be more empowered for the next phase of the journey.
Be Mindful Of The Weather
If there are extreme conditions predicted you should reconsider whether or not to travel. If there will be rain, fog, sleet, or snow your visibility would be impaired, and so would your grip on the road. It’s therefore key to use your lights (e.g. headlights, fog lights) and to drive slower than normal. The latter will protect you should your car skid or if you need to suddenly slow down.
Bad weather often creates traffic delays. If you schedule this into your plans and leave earlier, you will be less tempted to drive too fast. If it’s hot weather or the sun is going to be low in the sky, be sure to bring sunglasses with you to protect you from the sun’s glare.
Beware Of Tiredness
Long-distance traveling on the freeway can be mesmerizing and hypnotic. If your eyes begin to feel heavy it’s essential that you take a break as soon as possible. If you don’t, your powers of concentration will become impaired and so will your ability to respond quickly. This could inhibit your ability to stop in time, and you could potentially fall asleep at the wheel.
Whilst it can be tempting to ‘push through’ in order to complete the journey, both your life and others could be put at risk. Rest breaks should be for at least thirty minutes.
If you drive too close to the car in front, you may not have sufficient braking distance should they stop or slow down. As we have just said, tired drivers can take longer to react, which can make tailgating even more dangerous.
It can be a form of bullying and road rage to stick too close to a vehicle in front. You may be impatient and they may feel intimidated. This could cause them to drive faster than they are comfortable with, thus causing an accident. If someone is driving erratically because of alcohol or poor road skills, it is wise to increase your distance from them.
These are often the cause of many road accidents, whether it’s loud music or eating and drinking at the wheel. Mobile phones have become an increasing issue, whether it’s people texting or having conversations whilst driving. Even hands-free phones reduce peoples’ capacity to focus on the road ahead.
As we have seen, cars should be in tip-top condition and people should drive responsibly. This includes everything from planning and preparation to following the rules of the road. In turn, both you and your fellow passengers will be safer, and so will other motorists and pedestrians.