Drive Safe and Be Road Aware
THUNDER BAY – LIVING – Nobody wants to have a car accident but at some point, most people will be involved in one. However there are a number of steps any driver can take to stack the odds in their favour.
Kick the tires
Check to see if your tires are inflated properly, are the tyre walls showing any signs of distress? Pop the hood and check the oil and water levels. When you turn the engine over, are there any warning lights on? Do your brake lights and indicators work?
When you first started having driving lessons, your instructor would have gone over these basic checks, resurrect them if you have not done them since your test. Also, take the time to adjust the seat position and mirrors before you head off and make sure you know where your blind spot is.
Planning your route can be a little bit like going back to driving school, it’s all about preparation. Where are you going? How far away is it? If it is only a few kilometres, have you considered walking? 52% of car accidents happen less than 8km from home. If, however, you cannot avoid a car journey then have you planned your route, taking roads that are either familiar and/or less busy is an easy way to ensure your safety. If you are using a GPS device make sure the route is programmed into it before you leave the driveway.
On The Road
Once you have made it onto the road, make sure you drive within the speed limit, take note of all road signage. Be vigilant and try to anticipate what the other road users are up to.
Also remember to keep your distance from the car in front. It is recommended that you keep a distance of about two seconds from the car in front of you, depending on how fast you are going this translates to two to four car lengths. These distances also increase depending on what the vehicle in front of you is and the weather conditions. For example, stopping distance tend to double in the wet.
What is the weather doing? How much traffic is on the road? Where are you driving? If you are new to driving or an experienced driver but are uncomfortable in certain conditions it is worth finding a driving school which specializes in dealing with your specific concern?
Are you driving in conditions or on roads that are appropriate for your vehicle? If they have forecast heavy snow, do you need to put the snow chains on? Are you trying to drive up muddy dirt roads, designed for four-wheeled drive, in a small city hatchback? If you own a four-wheel drive, do you know how to drive it properly? Maybe you need to seek out driving lessons specifically for off road four wheeled drive cars.
Remember, a nervous driver is more likely to mistakes. Confidence will stop you from second guessing your reactions.
Candice Hubbard had been working at My Driving School Brisbane and had lived in the city for over two decades. Candice’s patented Brisbane driving lessons help nervous drivers safely navigate the CBD as well as Queensland’s bush roads and freeways.