It is important for any car drivers to understand and practise road safety rules. Road accidents are caused by different factors, such as poor infrastructure, inappropriate maintenance of vehicles and a general disregard for the pedestrians and other drivers on the road. However, speeding and reckless driving still contribute to majority of the fatalities.
Here are eight road safety tips to encourage you to be better, safer driver:
1. Wear your seat belt
All car drivers and passengers in Queensland are required to wear seat belts.
A driver will be penalized with a fine and demerit points if he is caught driving without a seat belt. The driver will also be penalized if he carries passengers below 16 years of age who are not wearing seat belts or approved child restraints. A passenger may also be penalized for not wearing a seat belt.
Seat belts work because they distribute forces from a crash across the chest and pelvis, some of the strongest parts of the body. They provide safety to everyone in the vehicle and other motorists and reduce the risks of serious injuries and death.
2. Carry your documents in the car at all times
When you are on the road, you need to ensure that you are equipped with your driver’s license, your vehicle registration and proof of insurance. All of these may be requested if you are in an accident, or are pulled over for some reason. Having all documentation in place provides you more confidence on the road, and a sense of being in control.
3. Stick to speed limits
Speed limits are set with the goal of keeping everyone safe. Keeping to the speed limit will not only reduce the risk of an accident, it’ll also help you avoid demerit points, fines and licence suspensions.
4. Don’t drink and drive
Too many people continue to ignore the advice and drink and drive after drinking alcohol. The message “Don’t drink and drive” is not getting through. Alcohol and drugs reduce brain function and impairs thinking and reasoning, and muscle coordination. Therefore, driving a vehicle when impaired with alcohol and other drugs is extremely dangerous. Those who choose to drink and drive should realize there are safe options available, such as: appoint a designated driver or call a cab. However, everyone who holds a Learner, Provisional or Probationary licence will be required to drive with a zero BAC.
5. Service and maintain your car
Getting your car serviced will give you a general idea of the health of your car and help you to get on top of potential issues. A standard service conducted by your mechanic might include:
· Repairing and replacing your spark plugs
· Flushing and changing the fluids in your car
· Checking your engine oil and filters
· Checking your brakes.
6. Practise Defensive Driving
As a defensive driver, you can avoid crashes and help lower your risk behind the wheel. Is it important to be aware of what other drivers are doing around you, and expect the unexpected. You can’t control the actions of other drivers. But updating your defensive driving skills can help you avoid the dangers caused by other people’s bad driving.
7. Check your blind spot every time
Blind spots are the areas to the sides of your vehicle that can’t be seen in your rear mirror or side mirrors. You should turn your head and physically check these blind spots, for example when changing lanes or merging. It is important to avoid someone else’s blind spot. If they’re driving alongside the right of and slightly behind another car, that other car might not see you there.
8. Sleep, then drive
The risk, danger, and often tragic results of drowsy driving are alarming. “Drowsy driving” occurs when a person who is operating a motor vehicle is too tired to remain alert. As a resulted, it makes you less able to pay attention to the road, affects your ability to make good decisions and slows reaction time if you have to brake or steer suddenly. These are some ways to avoid drowsy driving:
· Get a good night’s sleep
· Avoid driving late at night
· Avoid long drives after a day’s work
· Pull over at a rest stop and take a nap
· Share the driving if you can
· Use rest areas, tourist spots and driver reviver stops