In 2017, 29% of road accidents were caused by alcohol-impaired drivers, according to Responsibility.org. While you might be careful enough not to drink before getting behind the wheel, it doesn’t mean that you are entirely safe on the road. In the case of drunken driving induced car collisions, you might innocently get involved in an accident.
Well, drunk drivers are barely a fraction of the number of hazards that are present in today’s roads. From bad weather to aggressive drivers, it almost seems like there will always be an accident waiting to happen. The trick is learning how to keep yourself safe from the unexpected when driving behind the wheel.
Here is how to drive in today’s hazard-filled roads:
Observe, Anticipate and Plan
Long before a road accident happens, you might notice some signs. For instance, you might see some dust bins on the road as you drive, which means that there might be a lorry within the area. As such, it makes sense to drive slowly to avoid any accidents. Or a reckless driver in front of you or behind you – when you see this, be cautious.
This applies to whenever you might be driving around; always be on the lookout for anything that might seem amiss. Next, prepare for the unexpected. If you notice a driver who is swerving uncontrollably all over the road, give him some space. Regardless, lessons and special driving courses will increase your alertness on the road so there’s little to worry about.
Create a Safety Bubble
Yes, you might be driving as safe as you can while on the road, but this doesn’t mean that all other drivers are doing the same. Who knows if the next driver might be using their phone? As a result, always allow some space between you and the car in front to make it easy to maneuver out of tricky situations.
Ideally, you should follow the three-second rule by ensuring that it takes you at least three seconds to get to a fixed spot right after the car in front of you leaves it. If the road is slippery or you are driving behind a trailer, give yourself a four-second allowance. This space is enough for you to react in the face of an accident.
Pull Over If You Get Uncomfortable
Some situations like having someone tailgate you can be quite frustrating. At times, they may prompt you to turn into an aggressive driver unintentionally. However, the best thing to do in such situations is to pull over and let the driver pass you.
You might not always control what other drivers are doing on the road, but you can always control how you react to it. Look for somewhere safe enough to pull over and allow the danger to pass. When exposed to a diversity of dangers, your decisions are an asset to you.
Remove Common Distractions
Eating, texting, and even calling while driving can be huge distractors on the road. Remember, it only takes a single second, or pressing the wrong thing in your car to cause an accident. When on the road, your only commitment should be getting to your destination.
Enable the ‘do not disturb’ setting on your phone, to eliminate distractions to look at your phone or answer calls. Text messages and calls can all wait till you reach your destination. If you must answer calls, buy the necessary hands-free gadgets to make calling easy. Also, avoid being engaged in tasks such as eating or switching between radio channels while behind the wheel.
In a world where accidents are always waiting to happen, be ready for the worst to improve your safety while driving. Your concentration and analysis of whatever is happening on the road will limit the chances of a fatal accident. Pay attention to your immediate surroundings and avoid common distractions to protect yourself.