Even though most of SA is under lockdown, our essential workers are still on the road. With the Covid-19 pandemic in mind, drivers are a lot more stressed on the road. They are working longer hours, and are under very stressful conditions. So, mistakes on the road can happen while driving.
When it comes to car accidents, up to 90% of them are as a result of driver error. When a person learns how to drive, they learn a great deal about driving safety precautions to obtain their driver’s license. When it comes to daily driving, it is necessary to conduct your driving ability around these mannerisms. But let’s look at some tips on how to drive safely or even improve your driving.
All car occupants must always wear their seatbelts. By just doing this will be a life-saving decision. Wearing a belt reduces your risk of dying by up to 45%. When a small child is travelling with you, make sure to buckle them up properly into their safety chairs on the back seat as per government safety regulations.
While driving, tiredness can creep up very slowly and subtly.
Blind spots are the visual areas around your car that, when you are seated in the driver’s side, you can’t see.
To check your blinds spots, you need to look over your right shoulder, centre mirror and side mirror to look for any vehicles before you change lanes. A car accident can happen very quickly if blind spots are not checked thoroughly and correctly. Some of the more modern cars can actually indicate that there is a car in your blind spot with a censor that features in the side mirror.
A safe following distance needs to be maintained in order for a motorist to stop safely in an emergency or just stopping in general. Larger vehicles like trucks will take longer to come to a complete stop and need more distance between themselves and other vehicles. Do not cut off a truck as it will not see you and will not have enough time to stop. Always practice the 2-3 second rule in normal circumstances and the 4-6 second rule in poor driving conditions. This rule refers to the number of seconds between two points on the road.
If a car is driving very closely behind you, allow them to overtake you in a safe manner. You do not want them to crash into you if you need to make an emergency stop.
Texting and driving are one of the biggest distractions while driving, so please avoid this. It’s also against the law to use your cell phone while driving. Don’t let your passengers draw too much attention from you and your driving. You need to be fully aware of your surroundings when you are driving, and you need to react when in an emergency on the road.
Always make sure to maintain your vehicle correctly. A roadworthy car is a safe car. Always check that your tyres, fluids, windscreen and windscreen wipers are in good condition. Always do a thorough check before you do long-distance travels. No one wants to get stuck on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere.
Try and be patient while driving. Driving recklessly will increase your chances of having a car accident. Obey all street signs and rules of the road; and don’t speed or jump red traffic lights. To avoid such behaviour, try to leave earlier to your destination.
Driving on SA’s roads does involve a level of risk, which is evident if you study any road safety statistics about car accidents. Perhaps you should consider getting car insurance for additional peace of mind. Cheap car insurance is available with PMD, which comes with unique benefits such as fixed premiums* and a reduce to zero excess*.
This article was prepared by Eric Sandmann in his personal capacity. The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own. The views and opinions in the article should not be attributed to anyone but the author unless expressly stated. Nothing in this article should be relied upon as advice, this publication is presented for informational purposes only. No person should act or refrain from acting in reliance on any information found in this article, without first obtaining proper financial advice from the appropriate professional. The author makes no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, or completeness, of any information linked from, referred to, or contained in this article. The author reserves the right, to edit and change the content of this article.