You're biggest risk of having a bad accident is within the first two years of you passing your driving test. Follow these hints and you can reduce this risk.
1. After passing your test it will be strange to find an empty front passenger seat. The first time you drive take someone with you for support. Think seriously about displaying a `P' plate.
2. When you do have to drive completely alone, begin on roads that you know but remember to keep a road atlas in the car in case you get lost.
3. When you get your confidence, drive like you own the car, not the road!
4. You've learnt to drive and passed your test by sticking to the rules. Stay this way and you'll stay alive ! So will your passengers and others on the road.
5. Your quick reactions won't always stop you having an accident. Spotting and responding to problems ahead in plenty of time will.
6. Drive in a way that suits your ability and the traffic conditions. It doesn't impress anybody if you drive fast in the wrong places and you could end up in a lot of trouble.
7. Have plenty of sleep, especially before making a big journey and take plenty of rest breaks to restore your alertness. Listen to the radio for traffic reports and make sure you've enough fuel.
8. Fiddling with the radio or a cassette when your driving can be distracting, so can playing your sound system so loud that you can't hear the sirens of an emergency vehicle.
9. Give your mates a lift, but remember you're the driver so you're in control. Don't succumb to peer pressure. If they give you hassle, drop them off at a bus stop!
10. Keep your eyes moving but don't scare your passengers by turning your head away from the road ahead when talking to any of them!
11. Take motorway tuition and seriously think about advanced driver training. Research shows that it makes better drivers.
12. Driving a four wheel drive motor doesn't suspend the laws of physics. You can still lose control if you ask too much of it.
13. Don't leave valuables in your car where they can be seen because this invites a break in.
14. Keep space from aggressive drivers. Don't get involved in trouble.
15. Be seen. Whenever you need to turn your windscreen wipers on switch your lights as well.
16. If you're driving on a slippery or loose surface use the foot controls very gently.
17. Taking drugs and driving, like drinking alcohol before driving is a definite `No'..
18. Before driving abroad you need professional advice.
19. Keep some tools in your car !
20. If you're driving alone, particularly if you're a woman you should:
a. Plan your journey properly and let somebody know your route.
b. Carry a pen, paper, maps, first aid kit, torch, small change, warm clothing/blanket and a fire extinguisher.
c. Carry a mobile phone (only for emergencies).
d. Carry a personal attack alarm.
e. Be sure that your car is in good order and join a recovery organization
21. If your vehicle breaks down, don't panic. There are far more friendly people on the roads than those who would wish to harm you.
* If you can, pull up where there are houses, street lighting and a telephone.
* If you are somewhere remote you are at less risk if you stay inside your car. Use your mobile phone. If you have to walk take your personal attack alarm with you.
* If a stranger does offers assistance, note their car number, keep your doors locked, speak to them through a closed window and send them to get help.
1. After passing your test it will be strange to find an empty front passenger seat. The first time you drive take someone with you for support. Think seriously about displaying a `P' plate.
What is a "P" plate?
Regarding advanced driver training: The post office had me take advanced driver training when I was a mailman in the 90s. Aside from classroom learning, they take you out into a big parking lot and teach you how to control slides and other stuff. That was fun.
Auto insecure is going to be very expensive for any new driver so it is very important *link snipped. With so many darn cars on the roads today, it is very stressful to take to the roads just about any time of the day or night. Obey the speed limits. If you drive too fast it is much harder to avoid an accident. There are many obstacles on the road (other cars, small animals, bicyclists, pedestrians) and you never know when someone or something ahead of you will become a potential accident. Keep your eyes on the road ahead of you, and also use your rear view and side mirrors to see whatísí going on around your vehicle. If you pay attention to your driving, you can anticipate trouble ahead on the road and avoid accidents. Donít use cell phone while driving Ė you really need two hands on the steering wheel, and never, ever, under any circumstances should you listen to your iPod with headphones on while driving.
Obey the speed limits. If you drive too fast it is much harder to avoid an accident. There are many obstacles on the road (other cars, small animals, bicyclists, pedestrians) and you never know when someone or something ahead of you will become a potential accident.
While I agree that one should obey the speed limits, the speed needs to be adjusted to suit THE CONDITIONS. The appropriate speed relative to the conditions can be lower than the speed limit (mainly in buisy residential roads or near schools, where the proper speed can go between 35-5km/h where the limit is sometimes just 50), and in times it can be higher (mainly in some highways limited at 80-100km/h, but when clear allow safe travel at 110-140km/h).
Also, there are/should be NO surpises while driving. EVERYTHING needs to be anticipated in advance and brought into account. You don't need to "react" to things, you need to realize that something is going to happen or might happen, plan what you are going to do about it in your mind, and only than execute your plan. By planning first and than executing, rather than just reacting (=executing) your driving will become much more refined and safe and eventually it will become natural and easy.
What do I mean by the conditions?
- The type of the road: Is it rural, residential, suburban, two-lane country road, winding mountain road, open multilane highway? Is there an intersection ahead?
- The road surface: Is it tarmac, concrete, gravel, ice?
- The road conditions: Presence of water, dirt, mold, grease, fallen leaves, mud, hail, frost, snow? How does the grip feel? Is there anything shiny or dirty ahead? How good is the visibility? Is it dusk, early morning, night, high-noon or so?
- Quality of the road construction: Quality of tarmac, presence of "grooves", patches, cracks and tar "snakes" on the surface? Are there safety rails (armco) alongside the road or between the opposite lanes?
- Width of the road and number of lanes
- Shoulder of the road: Is there a shoulder? how wide it is? is it paved?
- Distance of clear view: How far ahead can you see clearly. How wide and "open" is your visual field to the side.
- Light: How well is the road lighted? is there a shade?
- Density of traffic: How many cars are there? how fast is the traffic moving? are any cars following close to you ahead, behind or besides you? Is there a presence of pedestrians? Is there oncoming traffic?
- Direction of the road: Is it uphill, downhill and how steep? Is it straight or curved? Is there a left-hand turn or a right-hand turn? How sharp is the corner ahead?
- Hazards: What hazards are there in place? Is there any particular hazard which you might expect? Is there any subconcious sense of unease? Are there "too much" details for you? or maybe there is too little information? Are you expecting other drivers around you to have similar difficulties like you?
- Driver condition: How do you feel? Are you confident? How well concentrated are you? Are you under conditions of fatigue, distraction or bad visibility?
- Car conditions: How well maintained is the car? How good are the dampers, brakes? How good are the tyres? Are they properly inflated? Is it all feeling "in place."
- Road-Driver: Is the particular road/road-section notorious for crashes? Maybe you yourself have a bad feeling about it or had a bad experience with it in the past?
It's a normal open highway: Three lanes in each direction with a safety rail between the opposite directions. The road is wide and has wide paved shoulders, currently clear of standing cars, bikes or debrees. The tarmac quality is good (dark and not shiny, clean of dust) and when I look up ahead I can see half a mile ahead. There is very little traffic, mainly sedans (to differ from trucks and bikes), all moving around the speed of 70 mph. Since the traffic is light, there is no vehicle tailgating me or close in front or besides me.
It's noon and the sun provides more than enough visiblity. My car is obivously well maintained: My tires look great, there are still well under the three-year lifespawn and did very few miles, and they are properly and carefully inflated. The car is not loaded with passengers and load and the dampers and brakes are also in great conditions. I personally am fully concentrated on the road -- eyes ahead, focused on driving, not wandering into deep thoughts, conversations or talking on the phone.
This is an example of a condition where you can drive at quite a fast speed, and the speed limits should match it. Of course, if we change the data, it might change the speed we need to have. For instance:
Let's take the same road, but this time it's the late afternoon, it's raining and the wet road seems "shiny" and the cars around seem to create a lot of spary (which indicates a deep water build-up). There is relativelly dense traffic all around, coming back from work. It will be safe to assume that the drivers are also having difficulties due to the winter conditions and that they are not at their full concentration levels after work. These conditions must make you slow down somewhat, even siginficantly. Let's add another condition to stress this: If your tires are around the age of three (about to be replaced), than the risk on this wet road increases and you need to slow down even further.
1. A car stopped alongside the road: The presence of this car poses a hazard. It is a good custom to put on the signal and stray away to the far end of the lane when moving alongside a standing car in these conditions.
2. A car is tailgating behind: A car is following very close behind. You slow down even more and keep twice the following distance from the car ahead, so you maintain a gap both for you and the car behind.
Another situation: It's a two-lane roadway on the country. There is one lane in each direction, no divider guardrail. The shoulder of the road is unpaved: it's a drop down to the dirt besides the road, a width of 7 feet up to the verge. The drop from the tarmac to the dirt is not too steep though. There are two cars ahead, one car following behind. The quality of the tarmac is not very good, it seems worn and repaved with "patches." It's somewhat covered in dirt too. There is light traffic on the opposite direction. It's evening. This situation is more hazardous: less grip, less "run-off" areas, more hazards. You need to drive more slowely.
1. A car ahead acts peculiarly: A driver in the opposite direction is coming closely behind another driver. He seems to "wiggle" in his lane, flash his lights agressively. You suspect he might try to overtake even though you are coming up. You slow down and stick further right. Let's assume your worst fear does occur: You brake as hard as you can and slow down. As you slow down, you see that the driver ahead still cannot make it back to his lane, so you veer sharply to the right towards the righthand shoulder nad off the road.
2. There is a pothole: The quality of the tarmac makes you suspect a chance of potholes. As you look ahead, you see one in the distance. You slow down as best as you can. You know there is a car behind, and you knwo that the shoulder of the road is soft (made of gravel) but it's not too narrow or low relative to the road, so you choose to perform full emergency braking while veering right and placing the car over the edge of the road (two wheels off of the pavement) and stop. If the shoulder was tighter, you might go with slowing down less and than eventually trying to go around the pothole from the opposite lane. If there is oncoming traffic, you might choose to go over the pothole itself.
It's a residential road. The speed limit is 30mph. However, the road is very narrow, and even more narrow because of columns of parked cars on both sides. There is a nearby school and you manage to see a few children on the pavement, through the lines of parked cars. There is no traffic around. This conditions requires slowing down much more than the speed limit. My recommendation in these cases is to put a "mental speed limit" of half that number: 25mph.
1. A parked car: You see a parked car with the wheels turned hard towards the road. You suspect it might pull out ahead, so you slow down even more.
2. A running child: You reach a painted crosswalk. You suspect the possibility of a child running out ahead. Let's add another detail: There is a car behind you. The following driver seems to tailgate and does not seem bound to the conditions -- he does no slow down as much as you, so he honks at you agressively. You suspect he might do something unexpected. The greatest risk is that as you stop for a pedestrian, he might not notice and either fender you or pass you and run down the pedestrian.
You react by slowing down MORE so that even if a child runs out, you won't have to brake too hard. If a pedestrian is present, you stop AHEAD of the crosswalk, and you use the steering to place the car in a position that makes it harder for another driver to pass around you.
It's a normal urban road. It's not as tight as the former example and it's not even busy with traffic. There are two lanes in each direction. The conditions allow moving around the legal limit of 30mph. There is a divider but there is also an oncoming intersection. You have a green light.
The intersection requires slowing down. You let go of the gas and place your foot in front of the footbrake. Let's add some data regarding the driver. Say that for some reason I am talking on the cell (which I won't). I'm not talking about holding the cell, but merely on talking over the speaker. This reduces my concentration. Here, the solution is to stop the distraction during the hazardous area of the intersection and use the magic words "just a sec" to hold up the person you are conversing with.
1. The light has just changed into yellow. However, you are too close to the intersection to stop (you are past the "point of no return", PoNR) and there is a car following closely behind. You choose to keep on and cross the intersection. If far enough and with clearence, one might choose to brake, even very hard, to avoid entering the intersection.
2. Another car seems to not yield to the red light and cross the intersection: You see it and choose to stop. You are past the PoNR (point of no return) so you don't have enough room to stop. You choose to brake hard and after wipping off speed in a straight line, you veer around that car. If there is traffic following closely behind.
Understand? You always need to adjust yourself to the conditions. Adjusting yourself means:
1. Adjusting your concentration levels: Being more concentrated when the situation requires. Share information with other drivers by use of signals.
2. Adjusting your speed: Adjust speed to the conditions.
3. Adjust your position: Drive in the proper lane and think about where you place the car across the lane.
The practical way to do this is to look up higher than you might be used to so far. Don't look five-ten feet ahead, don't look at the bumper of the car ahead. LOOK UP. As far as possible. Like you see in the examples, in the open highway this can be half a mile ahead, where on the example with the road near the school, you could probably only see clearly for 50 meters ahead. Look further ahead and you could see hazards from a greater distance, and you could run scenrarios in your head and make plans ahead like I illustrated above. You simply notice things earlie down the road and earn time to respond.
Adjust your speed so that you can always stop WELL within the distance you see to be clear -- and that you know would remain clear. Don't worry about what is right ahead of you. That's what the peripheral vision is for. With practice, skilled drivers learn to drive through a queque based fully on their peripheral vision. Race drivers also drive through corners mainly with their peripheral vision.
Perhaps the best example is this driver. Although behind close to a car ahead, and driving at full speed through the corner, he is clearly NOT looking at the car ahead, his eyes are focused far ahead on the road through the bend. He trusts his peripheral vision to keep him out of it's way. Additionally, if you can see 100 feet ahead, what is 10 feet ahead of you is what you have already seen 90 feet earlier.
Try to drive and look up and use your imagination to visualize the line you want the car to take through the road and around the hazards towards the furthest point you see to be clear. If, while driving, you can't wrap your head around everything, than you are currently driving too fast. Slow down to match the conditions, and you will eventually get better at this and you speed will increase again.
Donít use cell phone while driving Ė you really need two hands on the steering wheel
Wrong! The point on not using the cell is not about keeping both hands on the wheel, it's about a cognitive distraction and it forces you into using your imagination to complete details that are missing in the conversation -- like the face of the person you are talking to or the subject of the discussion. This means that you should not talk over the phone even with a speaker!
It's best not to be on the phone while driving. At all! Especially when you need extra concentration:
- Dense traffic
- High speed
- Bad visibility (dark, dusk, heavy rain)
- Bad grip (rain, snow, ice)
- Unknown roads
- If you can't easily reach for the phone (or, of course, if you can't use the speaker).
- When in a hurry
- If you know that the conversation will be emotional, loud or long.
In these conditions, it's best not to pick up the phone, even though it's ringing. If you really must, you can choose to find a SAFE stopping place to pick up the phone and complete a short conversation.
If for some reason you must both answer the phone and continue on driving, follow these rules of thumb:
1. Start off by telling the person on the phone that you are driving.
2. Talk without stress, but try to finish the call quickely. If you find a safe stopping place while driving it's best to pull into it even in the middle the conversation, especially if it seems to get longer than you expected.
3. Reduce speed by at least 20%, increase gap from the car ahead by 50% and stick right. The actual cost in time is a few seconds over all!
4. To increase concentration, keep a mental "red alert" to remind yourselves that you are not in full concentration or control and am in fact under risk. Work on performing some tasks repeadetly, like forcing yourselves to check the mirrors once every eleven seconds to help maintain even greater a level of driving concentration.
5. In areas of extra caution, like any intersection, or near schools, use the magic words "just a sec" to keep the person on the phone at hold for a few moments and deal with the hazard.
I repeat, the risk is still very large, so you need to avoid picking up the phone to begin with.
N.B. I know these whole "guidelines" are hard to soak in and it might seem like too much, but it's really not that hard. You need to get used to observing and planning while driving, as early as you can. In fact, every driver learns to "observe" and notice the different details while driving, but if you do it's conciously like I wrote, it will in fact become quite easy, natural and very safe and smooth. This is the foundation of effective driving.
Good information!Driving is an action to perform ride with concentration and ability.Safety precautions like sleep before going long journey,take support while taking first individual ride etc.,.can be advantageous and valuable to the newbie while driving.
Really nice tips. Thank you for sharing with us. Its seems like very important. According to me Millions of lives lost in horrific road crashes which rip families, close friends apart. Use all indications wisely to signal other drivers of your intention. Do not drive under the influence of any substance be it alcohol or drugs.
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