Every time you get behind the wheel of a car you are taking responsibility for controlling that vehicle and driving safely. Deaths on the road are increasing and therefore it is time that every driver does their very best to be the safest driver they can possibly be. Everyone knows the rules around speeding and not driving after drinking or taking drugs – but what else is there to know? How else can you improve your driving safety?
Firstly, be responsible for the car you’re driving. Even if it’s not yours, or is a shared car, you should still check out the basics yourself before you leave home; don’t rely on other people. Ensure that you have a sufficient amount of fuel and that there is plenty of windscreen washer fluid. Check that your tyres are inflated to the correct degree and that the tread is within legal limits. These things take seconds to check – but could make a big difference in a road traffic situation. Also ensure that you are fully aware of all of the terms and conditions of your car insurance.
Be aware of the road around you. Cars are just one type of vehicle using the roads and you must be alert to pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists. Looking out for other road users gives you the best chance of avoiding any collision.
Adjust your mirrors so that they are at an optimum level for you, giving you the maximum degree of visibility around you. Remember to check them before you make a move – mirror, signal, manoeuvre.
Don’t drive while you’re tired. The law focuses on not driving after drinking alcohol or taking drugs (both prescription medicines over a certain limit and illegal drugs) but road safety campaigners also target those who drive when they’re too tired. In fact, you shouldn’t drive if you’re compromised in any way, be it by poor sleep, medication, alcohol or illness. If you feel unsafe to drive then change your plans, stay at home or use public transport or a taxi.
Merge safely in traffic, you don’t need to rush. Drive carefully and slowly, indicate where you want to merge and make sure the car in the queue brakes to let you join. Don’t force your way in where there isn’t room or another car isn’t willing to let you in.
Be distraction free. This isn’t just referring to mobile phones or eating, but to anything that distracts while you should be concentrating on driving. This includes fiddling with the radio stations, changing CDs or selecting playlists from your phone. Even an overly chatty passenger has the power to distract you to a dangerous degree. When you’re in the car, your focus should be on the road. The law mainly relates to mobile phones but be aware of the underlying message that it conveys – it’s all connected to your safety.
Work out where you want to go before you set off. This avoids the need to glance at maps enroute, stopping to check details or wasting time taking wrong turnings.
And lastly – practice makes perfect. Spend time driving more than perhaps you need in order to hone your driving skills. Put yourself in unfamiliar situations, whether this is new areas or different road layouts, when you don’t have to be anywhere. No rush equals no fuss.
By driving safely and taking control of your vehicle on the road you will be able to take advantage of no claims discounts awarded to customers who do not make claims on their motor insurance policies. Go Girl, provide a range of car insurance options for responsible young drivers.