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The roads are full of hazards and dangers such as rain, black ice, and other drivers. Therefore, it is up to you to be vigilant as a road user. Further, being a more responsible driver will help reduce some of the more significant issues that could come your way and help save lives.
This might sound obvious, but bad drivers are probably the biggest problem you will encounter. It is sometimes hard to believe how some people got their licenses, and it is helpful to keep an eye out for harmful people on the road. For example, some fool will pull out in front without using turn signals, causing you to crash your car, or worse, come off your bike. If you’re lucky enough to survive, you can resolve an issue with a reputable motorcycle accident attorney. But even the most courteous driver in the world can’t make up for the stupidity of others.
Climate change has made the weather of today more extreme and unpredictable. Severe storms can hit towns and cities at the drop of a hat, causing chaos on the roads. As a driver, you can avoid most adverse weather by keeping a close eye on local forecasts. But you never really know when you will be struck by massive wind speed, torrential rain, or golf-ball hailstones. Fortunately, you can help yourself and others by reducing your speed in a storm and taking turns more carefully in case of ice. Additionally, braking gently can help when slippy.
Texting or calling when driving accounts for 1.6 million crashes per year in the United States alone. Using your phone while driving is illegal almost everywhere because the distraction it provides is just as dangerous as driving while intoxicated. You can’t possibly prevent others from using their phone when driving, but you can prevent yourself from causing an accident. No call is worth risking the lives of others. If you think you can’t help answer your phone, then switch it off, put it on silent, or place it in the glovebox until you reach your destination.
Some Driving Tips
Driving is an ongoing skill that you can develop over time. Of course, a bad habit will just get worse, but you can enhance road safety with some simple changes. Some you can do before you set off, and others need to be done when operating your vehicle:
- Always check your vehicle’s tires, lights, and fuel.
- Stick to the speed limit, not over and not under.
- Plan your route.
- Accelerate and brake smoothly.
- Always use your turn signals.
A simple FLOWER check will help reduce the chances of a roadside breakdown or even a terrible crash. Driving on unfamiliar roads is also dangerous but necessary. However, you can plan your trip beforehand and get assistance using a GPS system or smartphone app.
Drink and Drugs
Like mobile phones, alcohol and drugs cause millions of vehicle incidents per year. However, where most mobile phone-related accidents are non-fatal. For example, in New South Wales, Australia, 85% of intoxication traffic accidents result in death. And in many cases, the drunk driver is OK, while innocent victims suffer. So, first of all, if you think someone is driving while intoxicated or on drugs, find a safe space to pull over and report it immediately to the police. All apprehension about being labeled a snitch should go out the window as you will save lives.
A Vehicle is a Weapon
You are responsible for your vehicle and you alone. As the driver, you should always be aware that a car, van, truck, or bike is a high-speed weapon if misused. The reaction times of pedestrians aren’t typically good enough to dodge an incoming vehicle, and you could cause massive damage to a building. Accidentally, losing control of a car does happen from time to time. But when you get behind the wheel, try to treat the vehicle and its power with respect. And keep in mind that you could cause untold misery if you aren’t responsible.
A Good Conscience
Keeping in mind that a vehicle is a dangerous machine, and should be treated as such, will help you operate and maintain it properly. At the very least, you could cause minor injury to yourself, and at the worst, you could cause multiple fatalities. However, accidents do happen, and if you unintentionally get into an incident, you have nothing to be afraid of when it comes to the law and answering to yourself. Therefore, you can go about your business with a good conscience when you know you did everything possible to avoid a tragic accident or mistake.
Driving itself is inherently dangerous. Fast-moving vehicles, adverse weather, and bad driving habits make the roads even more hazardous. But you can be more responsible by checking your car, driving sober, and not letting yourself become distracted when driving.
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