Ever since I got my license at the age of 18, I have driven almost daily. Back in those days, I drove to my university whereas nowadays it’s mostly to work or to my “extracurricular activities” after work.
If you follow me on Twitter, you would be able to find me complaining about road users almost daily. Even though I have low blood pressure but I think my blood pressure always increases whenever I’m behind the wheels because of the attitudes of other road users. Most of the time I feel really angry because of the actions of these road users that jeopardize my safety.
I admit, when I first started driving at the age of 18, I thought I was Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) in Fast & Furious. I was lucky I didn’t have a Honda S2000 because I might have stepped on that accelerator and driven off to the end of the earth. But as time went by, I realized why as road users we need to be safe drivers, so that we will not endanger ourselves and other road users.
Read the daily news. Never a week goes by that we are free from news of accidents and lives lost. Should we be proud or sad of this?
What about you? When you’re on the road, are you a safe driver?
How To Be A Safe Driver
Rule number one: Follow the rules
There’s a reason why everyone is required to take and pass the Highway Code test before they receive their drivers’ license. It’s so that you know the highway code and the rules when you’re driving or riding your vehicle.
By following the rules, you will minimise accidents especially in places where there are prone to be accidents i.e. bending paths, hilly areas, crosswind locations. This is why additional signboards, windsock, double lines and additional road reflectors are placed at places like these. If you do not follow the rules, however, how can you or other road users be safe?
Rule number two: Be patient
Yes, as soon as you punch your card out of work, you want to get home immediately. Well, so does everybody else! That does not mean you can cut the queue on the road or swerve between the lanes. You are endangering drivers in other cars that might have to press the emergency brake out of surprise or you might not even notice motorcyclists and they end up in an accident too.
Trivia: Did you know that 40.7% of accidents are caused by speeding?
Impatience also causes many road rage cases. So before you make anybody else angry, start by calming your own self down and drive safely.
Rule number three: Be alert
By being alert, this includes not texting or talking on your phone. If you really need to talk on the phone, use a handsfree. But please, do not text. An accident can occur in a split of a second. Texting takes your eyes off the road and on the screen of your phone for at least 5 seconds (minimum). Many things can happen in 5 seconds, even if you’re driving at 20km/h.
Trivia: 1/4 accidents happen when phones are being used while driving.
If it is really urgent, pull your car over to the side, put on your hazard light or your signal light, and then proceed to text or speak on the phone.
Not many people can multitask. And even if they can, texting or answering a call while driving is still unsafe. You must always be alert and focused when you’re driving.
Rule number four: Learn what the buttons and indicators in your vehicle are for – USE them.
It does not matter what type of vehicle you have: a cheap car, an expensive car, a big car, a small car, a local car, an imported car, a low or high cc motorcycle, each of these vehicle comes with many buttons or indicators that can and should be used while driving.
Indicators like the signal light, the hazard warning light, the headlights and car horn are usually used to communicate with other road users. So, use them. You should not fork out good money monthly to pay to the car manufacturer just so that these indicators would go idle, you know.
Get It Covered
But no matter how safe we drive, accidents could still happen. Which reminds me how important it is to get our vehicles covered by insurance. Not only that, the premium rates for motor insurance is not fixed anymore so we should all start to compare plans and prices from different insurance companies or takaful operators. I found this link rather useful as you can get as many quotes as you like.