Driving is part of our everyday lives and car accidents are inevitable but there are certain precautions we can take to avoid them.
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Defensive driving is defined as “Driving to save lives, time and money, in spite of the condition around you and the action of others.” Below are useful tips on how you can avoid car accidents.
Before leaving the house there are some things you would need to have with you always:
A driver’s license or permit - whenever you get called on the road by the officer, they would ask this from you.
- Car’s Papers - whenever you get into an inspection or an accident you would need the papers to show to the officers.
- Cellphone - whatever happens to you or the others on the road you can call the police, emergency or fire fighter’s hot line. Just remember, “Don’t talk on the phone or text and drive.”
First things first, when you get on your car, you should check your B-L-O-W-B-A-G. It stands for:
- Brakes - check your brake fluids and brake pedal. You wouldn’t want to have a broken brake on a rainy weather will you?
- Lights - check your headlights, brake lights and signal lights. This would help other vehicles to be aware of where or what you’re actions are.
- Oil - check the oil itself and if there isn’t any oil leak.
- Water - check the water if it’s full to avoid overheating. Check also for water leaks, don’t forget to check the windscreen washer bottle, too.
- Battery - be careful in checking the battery, there are wires and cables that can electrocute you so wear a glove.
- Air - check the air pressure of your car and that your tires have no damage or any holes in it.
- Gas - check on your gas gauge or say hello to a traffic ticket. By all means, it’s not that hard to keep track of your gas gauge when it’s just there right in front of you. So go to your nearest station and refill.
After making sure you have all your road essentials, here are some safety on-the-road guidelines:
1. Slow down
Drive at or below the speed limit and make sure you don’t surpass it. Even when you see another car running at more than the speed limit, let him just do that even if he over takes you. Remember that police officers are hiding from the view of everyone. if you get caught driving too fast, they wouldn’t hesitate to give you that ticket.
2. Let other pass you
Everybody’s always in a hurry but never compete with them when they over take your spot on the road. They are the kind of drivers who are prone to accidents. Anyway, you’ll get to your destination sooner or later. So be patient and just let them pass.
3. Try to avoid driving in bad weather
Bad weather may include the rainy and snowy days. Keep your windshield wipers going when its raining or snowing to see the road properly. Dim your lights so other cars can see you. When you are in a blind corner or turning corner, honk your horn enough to make them know you are there. Control your speed limit or might as well drive at the limit of 40. Increase your braking distance.
4. Never get into a car with a drunk driver
Need I say more. You shouldn’t even be letting your drunk friend drive. A single bottle of beer can alter your ability to drive safely so help out a friend and drive him home.
5. Wear a seat belt
This is a universal rule, also it’s a state-law in all countries around the world. It would only take a second to put on that seat belt. Everyone riding the car should buckle up. Children, ages eight or below, should be in a booster seat. Pets should be carried or held properly by a person.
6. Keep your car and its accessories in good condition
Remember the B-L-O-W-B-A-G I just discussed above, it would be included in this category (it’s not really hard to remember a word that starts with blow, now is it?). Inflate your wheel and get it checked at least once in two weeks. Replace the windshield blade to streak.
7. Use your signal properly
Even when there are no vehicles around, make it a habit to use your signal light. Don’t use your signal light at the same moment you would be turning into a direction or during the change of lane. Signal in advance or a couple of seconds before you change lanes so that others behind you would know where you’re going and could slow down from afar.
8. Don’t tailgate
No matter how slow the traffic is, take at least two seconds before following the car ahead of you. Any less and you won’t be able to stop in time when the car in front of you slams on their brakes.
9. Keep your eyes moving
Break the habit of just staring at the car in front of you. Shift your eyes from your side-mirrors and rear-mirror. That way you would see the car behind you and spot dangerous situations before it happens. Time to turn on your multi-tasking powers.
10. Dim your lights when driving at night
If your lights are too high, you can blind other drivers and worse case is, he would lose control of his car’s steering and you know what happens next.
11. Avoid distractions when you are driving
If you need to read a map or newspaper, answer a text or call, drink or eat, then just pull over. It only takes a second or two of distraction to get in trouble.
Don’t drink and drive folks. Have a safe drive and Happy New Year! - Motor Guide Team