Driving is a necessary activity, and the lifeline of a whole gamut of human activities. With the number of vehicle owners rising, as well as the number of accidents, it is essential to have responsible and efficient drivers on the road who ensure safety and risk- free roads for their selves and others. Excellent hand eye coordination, good judgment, sharp dimensional understanding, love for your vehicle and a genuine sensitivity towards others on the road are key attributes of a responsible and confident driver. But remember, driving is a skill that can constantly be bettered. So whether you are a new driver, or have a few decades behind the wheel, the following nine tips will be helpful to you.
1) Keep Your Vehicle in Good Condition
Equipment failure is a major cause of road accidents. However, the car is not to be blamed. It is human error that the car was not checked properly. It is absolutely a must to get your car periodically checked, and ensure that all parts are in good condition. Keeping a vehicle in an impeccable condition is the foremost duty of a good driver. Vehicle engine, brakes, seat belts, headlights, tires, steering wheel, fog lights, and wipers should all be functioning properly.
Fragile and imperfectly fitting seat belts are a huge safety hazard. Seat belts diminish the impact of the collision on passengers and prevent thrusting out of the dashboard and windshield when there is a really heavy crash at high speeds. Seat belts have been known to save lives. Keeping your vehicle seat-belts in good conditions may prevent many unforeseen injuries. A responsible driver always wears his seat belt, and ensures that the other passengers are wearing them correctly as well before beginning to drive.
2) Avoid Speeding and Overtaking
Sure you may like speed, but speeding beyond the given limits and constant overtaking is the mark of a callous and careless driver. Thrill does not come before life. It has been established that speeding leads to maximum accidents. The greater the speed, the longer time and distance it takes to brake. The vehicle is also less under the driver’s control when the speeds are very high. On wet roads, the risk is double when you are speeding.
A responsible and confident driver always follows speed limits, and makes sure their speedometer is functioning properly. Being a confident driver is different than being overly confident and obsessively overtaking every vehicle on the road can result in a reckless driving charge.
3) Driving Under the Influence
Consumption of alcohol or drugs create changes in our body that basically make us unfit to drive. It slows or accelerates reactions to driving obstacles. At the same time, alcohol affects coordination and the overall control over the vehicle. Sometimes you also tend to fall asleep behind the wheel. It’s a well-known fact – you cannot drive properly when you are intoxicated.
Driving under the influence of drugs is just as dangerous. It is extremely risky for you (and others on the road) to drive in a drug induced state, and not to mention illegal. And if you thought we were just talking about the banned drugs, think again. Cough syrups, analgesics, and over-the-counter sedatives can be just as dangerous, causing drowsiness, vision problems and the like.
4) Be Cautious While Changing Lanes
Check your blind spots before changing lanes. It is easy to miss motorbikes and cyclists as they are not prominently seen. Also keep a lookout for emergency vehicles in general, and more so while changing lanes. They may operate without sirens or lights during the day but will be just as fast. Similar to overtaking a vehicle, don’t change lanes recklessly or unnecessarily.
5) Follow the Two-Second-Gap-Rule
A safe separation distance that takes a minimum of two seconds to meet must be established between you and the vehicle in front. Increase this gap in hazardous weather conditions. This is important to establish as this will prevent you from getting too close to the vehicle and simultaneously gives you more time and space to react in case something goes wrong.
6) Minimize Distractions
Many falsely believe that once you learn how to drive, you do not really need to concentrate on the task anymore. You can drive and call, text, read, smoke, and even type, right? Wrong. While you are indulging in all these activities, only half or probably even less of your attention is on driving. Driving requires unparalleled concentration at all times. You never know which vehicle suddenly turns or stops, where the road gets slippery or, the light gets dimmer, or a cyclist comes in from nowhere. When you’re in a state of semi concentration you might even press the accelerator instead of the brake.
All of these can be hugely dangerous. A responsible driver does not indulge in any distractions on the road. However, if you have unintentionally been doing the above, take a good reality check. The text message can wait, the food can wait; life lost is never retrieved. So minimize the distractions and pay attention to the roads and vehicles when you are driving.
7) Think of Others on the Roads
With your airbags, and the most modern safety systems in your car, you may be less vulnerable in case of an accident. But what about those who aren’t as well equipped to deal with them? Pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists are the most vulnerable on the roads. You have to take care of their safety as well when you are driving, especially at the roundabouts, and crossings.
8) Traffic Rules are for Your Security – Follow Them
Never trespass on footpaths or past closed-road crossings. Remember that traffic laws and road rules have been designed for a purpose. Many people have gotten into life-threatening situations because they drove their car past a closed-road warning sign. Keep in mind that during floods or road work, authorities will close road passings for good reason. You don’t want to subject yourself and those in your vehicle to mud slides or flood zones. If the sign says “Keep Out,” there will often be a detour route close by.
9) Take Notice of Directions and Read Maps Prior to Journey
While I swear by a GPS and its utility myself, I have realized that it does take my attention off the road sometimes. The best option is to take a good look at the map of where you need to go – before you even start your vehicle. If you are traveling very far, keep a tab on the GPS periodically. For detailed check ups, and direction, pull over to a safe place and take a good look.
How do you rate as a responsible and confident driver?
Patience, alertness, tactful maneuvering, and an overall sensitivity towards others on the road make a confident and responsible driver. However, while we do hope that drivers everywhere become more cautious, and aware of their driving rules and responsibilities, there is no denying that there is no dearth of reckless drivers either. If you or your loved one suffers or gets injured in a road accident in the Indiana area, take care of them and contact Indianapolis family law and personal injury lawyer.