- Drive Safe-Tips/Guides-Safety
21 November is World Remembrance Day for Victims of Road Accidents
Beginner and veteran drivers alike know what the rules of the road are, but we sometimes forget that the rules are there for the safety of ourselves and other road users.
If every single road user, whether motorist, cyclist, or pedestrian, obey all the road signs and every traffic rule, there would be substantially less accidents. In fact, it could go so far as to say there would be no accidents at all! But to err is to be human, and unfortunately accidents will prevail. While death and personal injury are the worst that could happen, there are additional unpleasant consequences, such as expensive bills, inconvenience, traffic congestion, to name a few.
Obeying road rules is the 101 of safe driving (such as not using a mobile phone while driving, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or speeding), and there’s no need to repeat them here. The following is a list of items outside of the dos and don’ts of safe driving that can go a long way to help prevent an accident from occurring.
Many accidents are a result of the wrong attitude and behaviourof a driver. Practice responsible and calm driving, there is no competition on the road. Have the discipline to put safe driving first regardless of what any other drivers do.
Distracted driving is one of the highest causes of road accidents. Avoid talking on the cell phone, tending to kids in the car, reading billboards and lamp posts, eating, and anything at all that takes away your concentration off the road even for a split second.
3. Defensive strategy
Awareness is key to defensive driving and is a proactive tactic as opposed to a reactive state. Being aware of potential hazards and other road users' actions around you allows you to take action in time to avoid an incident.
Short of reading the minds of other road users, part of defensive driving involves the art of anticipating what they might do. For example, you’re coming up to a traffic light intersection and the light turns green for you. At the same time you notice a car travelling fast towards the lights in the interjoining road. Instead of driving through even though you have the right of way, you hesitate and stop. The other car skips the red lights without stopping. You avoided a potential accident by anticipating what the other driver might do.
Skipping red traffic lights and speeding through amber ones are dangerous, unacceptable, but sadly all too common in South Africa. Defensive driving is your life saver. To anticipate hazards, look 15 seconds ahead to give yourself enough time to react.
The ability to manoeuvre a vehicle around is one thing, the ability to control a vehicle safely out of tricky high-risk situations is another. Driving is a skill that can always be improved upon, no matter how experienced you are. If you haven’t yet, advanced driving courses are a worthwhile investment.
Sometimes, when we’re stressed, in a rush, or have a lot on our minds, common sense can fly out the window. However, as motorists, by practicing these five aspects every time we get behind the wheel, we can help decrease road accidents and on a personal level, avoid expensive medical and vehicle bills. Definitely a good incentive to go for it!
Disclaimer: This information is for educational, or entertainment purposes only. It must not be construed as advice, legal, financial, or otherwise. We do not make any warranties about the completeness, reliability, and accuracy of this information.