Being a road user makes you responsible not only for your own safety but also for the safety of drivers and pedestrians around you. However, being responsible on the road takes more than obeying traffic laws only. It is crucial to always focus on the road and staying alert at all times.
In this article, you will find six essential rules you should follow when driving to avoid any possible accidents, as well as additional penalty points on your driver record (read more about 12 points on license here). They range from minimizing all potential distractions while driving, making adjustments for weather, and always wearing your seatbelt to never driving under the influence and keeping your speed down, among other things. Read on and stay safe on the road!
Minimize Distractions While Driving
When you are behind the wheel, you should focus your attention on the road, potential hazards and the traffic. Nothing else should be able to distract you from the road. It is crucial to be fully aware of what is happening around you to react in time, without unnecessary delays.
Some of the most common causes of distracted driving include:
- texting and talking on the phone,
- eating and drinking,
- browsing social media or emails,
- watching videos or even playing video games,
- adjusting the radio or music player,
- talking to other passengers in the car,
- daydreaming behind the wheel
Any of these actions significantly increase the risk of causing or getting into an accident. It is crucial to remain alert and scan the road ahead at all times to avoid any potential dangers or distractions (i.e., oncoming traffic, pedestrians, cyclists, animals, etc.). That is why you should try and eliminate all possible distractions while driving.
Make Adjustments for Weather Conditions
Weather conditions can change suddenly, resulting in some dangerous or even life-threatening situations on the road. You should adjust your driving accordingly to adverse weather conditions to avoid any possible problems.
Some of the most common weather-related problems are:
- Fog. It reduces visibility and makes it harder to spot other vehicles, pedestrians or cyclists on the road. If you are driving in fog, you should slow down and be extra careful.
- Rain. Rain slicks the road and makes it more slippery, which could cause your car to skid or lose control. This is especially true when there are puddles on the road, which are very dangerous as they hide potholes and other road hazards. In such cases, you have to slow down.
- Snow and ice. These can make the road surface dangerously slippery and challenging to drive on. When driving in such conditions, always keep your speed down and be extra cautious to avoid skidding or losing control of your vehicle.
Always Wear Your Seatbelt
Seatbelts save lives. This is why it is crucial always to wear one when driving. Statistics show that seatbelts reduce the risk of death by 45% and decrease the risk of serious injury by 50%. This is why you should never forget to buckle up, even if you are only going around the block or making a short stop at the corner shop.
Wearing a seatbelt is not only a legal requirement but also a vital piece of safety equipment that can help save your life or prevent serious injuries in an accident. Do not neglect it.
Never Drive Under the Influence
We all know how dangerous driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is – that’s why we need to minimize our risk as much as possible. It is crucial to avoid drinking alcohol before getting behind the wheel, as it significantly increases your risk of crashing and entails harsh drunk-driving penalties.
You should also avoid using drugs as they impair your driving ability and judgment. It doesn’t matter whether you think you still can drive after using drugs – you shouldn’t do it as it puts your life and the lives of others in danger.
Keep Your Speed Down
Speed is one of the major traffic violations that often lead to crashes and serious injuries or fatalities, especially if you don’t keep your speed within the legal limits. So ensure that you never exceed the maximum speed limit for your vehicle type and, if necessary, adjust it to road conditions (e.g., slower speed on wet roads).
Also, consider your own capabilities – if you are in a hurry but feel that you cannot drive at a certain speed safely without breaking the law or endangering yourself or others, then slow down! It is better to arrive late than never.
Never Adjust Your Vehicle When Driving
You may have to adjust your vehicle to improve visibility or reach something in the back seat, for instance. However, never perform any adjustment that requires you to take your hands off the wheel, feet off the pedals or eyes off the road while driving. If you need to make an adjustment, stop at the side of the road first.
As you can see, being a responsible driver requires a lot of self-discipline and self-control. However, this is what you must do to avoid collisions and the associated serious consequences.
The best way to avoid any accidents is to maintain a safe speed and always stay alert and scan the road ahead. If you follow these rules, you will increase your safety on the road and minimize the risk of being involved in an accident.