For most of us, driving can be a fun and terrifying experience at the same time. Fun because it opens up the joy of driving on your own and the endless opportunities of adventure. Terrifying because of the big responsibility that you have when driving a vehicle. When you are on the steering wheel of a car, you are responsible for the welfare and safety of the passengers inside your car and the people around you. A small mistake can lead to damage to your car, serious injury, or even death.
Things To Do Before Driving
Driving is a complex process that requires you to be mentally, emotionally, and physically prepared. Always ensure that you are well-rested and not under any influence which can impair your abilities before driving a vehicle.
Before starting the engine of your car always perform an inspection of your vehicle to avoid breakdowns on the road and reduce the risk of an accident. A fault in your car’s vital components like the engine, transmission, tires, or electronics can severely affect the car handling. A properly maintained vehicle is a safe vehicle than can help reduce the risk of an accident.
- Check the engine bay for foreign debris or even pets like cats or dogs.
- Check the battery and battery terminals to ensure there is no leak or the terminals are not corroded.
- Check the wiper fluid
- Check the brake fluid level
- Check the power steering fluid
- Check engine coolant level
- Check the Engine Oil Level
- Check the headlights and brake lights
- Check the fuel level of your vehicle, especially on long drives
Things to Do Inside the Car
When you have finished checking the car and ensured that there is nothing to fix the next step is to get in your vehicle and prepare to drive. The first thing to do is to ensure that there are no objects in your dashboard that can distract you from driving. Also, avoid placing movable items in your dashboard as they tend to fly towards you or your passenger during sudden braking. Refrain from mounting objects on your dashboard as they can cause injury if in case there is airbag deployment.
After clearing your dashboard and properly stowing items in storage bins the next step is preparing to drive. Before you put your feet on the glass pedal always ensure that the gear is in the park position and the emergency brakes are applied to avoid sudden car movement during startup. The next step is to ensure that you and your passengers are wearing safety belts. Safety belts can help reduce the risk of injury in case of an accident or a sudden stop of your vehicle.
What to Do When Driving
Being distracted while driving is one of the major causes of a road accident to always concentrate on the road and avoid using your smartphone when driving your car. It also takes a split second of being distracted to cause an accident so always keep your eyes on the road. Always be familiar with the blind spots of your car and double-check your side mirrors and rearview mirrors before pulling out of your driveway or parking spot.
Always follow the traffic rules and the law of the road. Stay within designated speed limits and follow traffic lights. Avoid sharp acceleration and sudden braking to help reduce the risk of accidents. Use the turn signals of your vehicle before executing a turn to help warn drivers behind you of your intent to make a turn. Use your headlights when needed to help illuminate the way and help your vehicle become more visible to other drivers. Avoid excessively using the high-beam which can potentially blind on-coming drivers.
Yield the right of way and follow defensive driving. It’s better to arrive safe and sound than to arrive early in the hospital in an ambulance. Always yield to emergency vehicles like police cars, fire trucks, or ambulances. More importantly, always stop for pedestrians who are crossing the street, especially children. Always look both ways when crossing an intersection and double-check your blind spots before making a turn in the road. Keep your distance from other cars to account for proper braking distance in case of a sudden stop in the car in front of you.
Always maintain a 100 percent focus when driving and avoid unnecessary distractions like using a mobile phone or fiddling with the car’s entertainment system. Safety belts save lives, always make sure that you and your passengers are wearing the safety belt before starting your journey. Always understand that driving is a big responsibility and you are accountable for the safety of your passengers and the people around you. Always respect the speed limit and follow traffic laws.
Always be in control of your car and the most important thing is to keep calm and be patient. Being calm and patient helps you think properly and avoid aggressive driving that can potentially increase the chances of an accident.