John just left the party at around 11 pm and was heading home. He wasn’t planning to drink, but a few shots turned to many. When his phone rang, he started rummaging for it. The next thing he knew, he was in the hospital. It’s a good thing he only had minor injuries.
Accidents happen when we least expect them. As much as possible, we want to avoid it since we know the consequences would hurt. The repercussions of road accidents can range from a scratch on your car’s chassis to injuries that could lead to death. So no matter what, your safety and your passenger’s safety should always be your priority in driving.
So here are a few tips to keep you safe on the road:
Don’t Drink and Drive
In the US, 39% of casualties are related to drink driving, while 30% of deaths in Canada are results of accidents due to drink driving. With this information, we can say that you put your life and your passenger’s life at risk when you drink and drive. That is why the best way to remain safe is not to drink and drive.
Drink driving can be defined as driving while intoxicated with alcohol. Many people say “I can handle it” or “I will only drink a few glasses” as an excuse, but the truth is any amount of alcohol can affect your driving performance. So there is really no excuse. If you really plan to drink, like for instance you are going to a party, make sure someone else can drive you home, or you can opt to take a cab instead. Additionally, if you notice that your driver is under the influence of alcohol, offer to drive or just get off the vehicle if in case he refuses.
Follow Speed Limits
Speed limits are there for a reason. If you drive too fast, you will have less time to stop in case an unforeseen incident happens, such as children crossing the street, blind bends, or cars that would suddenly cross your way. There is also a higher risk for damage or collision when you drive at a fast speed. It is better to take your time in driving than having to face the effects of causing an accident due to driving at an excessive speed. Moreover, it would be best for you to drive slowly and more carefully during a bad weather.
Know Your Road Signs
Stop, Look, and Listen. Be attentive of your road signs, signals, and markings. Know what they mean and obey them because they can save you from any untoward incidents or simply from incurring a traffic violation fine which can range from P150 to P2000 here in the Philippines.
Regularly Check your Car
Check before you go. Erasmus was right when he said that prevention is better than cure. It is important to do a regular car inspection to prevent unexpected wreckage on the road. Things to look at would be your tire wear condition, engine coolant hoses, fluid levels, drive belt, wiper, safety belt, air bag, and lights. Sometimes, we skip doing our car check and maintenance because we feel we do not have enough time. We often feel too busy. But we have to realize that the consequences of a road accident are more time consuming and stressful than performing a regular car check.
Avoid Using Mobile Phones
Driving requires your full attention. A split-second lapse may result in grave, irreversible damages. If you use your hand-held mobile phone while driving (or even when you are not moving due to heavy traffic or you’ve stopped at a red light), you become 50% less sensitive of your surroundings, and therefore your reaction time decreases. This will make you more prone to accidents. It is best to park your car safely first before using your mobile phone. Furthermore, do not call someone if you think that person may be driving.
Get Enough Rest
Studies say that 20% of accidents in major roads are sleep related. I have heard of a lot of stories of drivers who doze off while driving because of fatigue. Make sure that you get enough rest and sleep before driving. If you suddenly feel sleepy while driving, stop over to a safe place. For an immediate yet short-term boost, drink coffee or energy drinks, or take in some mints. If you are going to have a long drive, it is best to bring someone with you who can help you stay awake, and take the wheel if you already feel exhausted.
Always remind yourself of the possible consequences of a road accident and the benefit of avoiding such. As a driver, it is very important to keep in mind these road safety guidelines because you and your passenger’s safety should always be your topmost priority.