According to a report by World Health Organization, approximately 1.24 million deaths occur every year on the world’s roads and an even greater number of people are injured i.e. 50 million. Moreover, about 38% of all car accidents are, in some way, related to alcohol while another 30% are attributed to over speeding. The financial loss and the psychological impact caused by these accidents can be greatly reduced if drivers could take a few precautionary measures. Mentioned below are a few tips that encourage precautious driving.
- It is usually a good idea to take a quick nap or some rest before driving off to a long journey. Driving exhausted or sleepy can be risky. A sleepy driver is a danger not only to himself, but also to the others. However, even if you are feeling sleepy, pulling over to get some fresh air and a few snacks can also prevent you from running into a car crash. Take a short nap in the car if you feel like it.The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conservatively estimates that 100,000 police-reported crashes are the direct result of driver fatigue each year. This results in an estimated 1,550 deaths, 71,000 injuries, and $12.5 billion in monetary losses.
- Always keep a GPS device with you when leaving for long drives. Also, keep an eye on the weather forecast, especially in winters. You don’t want to get caught up in a blizzard, do you? Moreover, also keep a map with you just in case the GPS device decides to stop working.
- If you have another car driver sitting idly in the passenger seat, it would probably be a good idea to share the steering wheel with him. It relieves the pressure and both the drivers get sufficient time to rest.
- Wear a seat belt. Students, during driving tests are made to wear seat belts in every ministry approved driving school. Seat belts provide a lot of safety, especially when the passenger, just after an accident, is lunging towards the windscreen or the side windows.
- Never use cell phone while driving. It distracts the driver and he usually ends up in a car crash. The National Safety Council reports that cell phone use while driving leads to 1.6 million crashes each year. Moreover, nearly 330,000 injuries occur each year from accidents caused by texting while driving.
- If you are driving a new car or a car that you have not driven before, familiarize yourself with the car and all of its equipment (horn, brakes, hazard lights etc.). Driving an unfamiliar car without extreme caution can be dangerous.
- If you are travelling from one state to another, it would be a good idea to get a vague understanding of the laws of that other state.
- Always signal your car indicators before taking a turn. This is particularly useful whilst taking sharp turns on a considerably busy road.
- Whilst on a journey, keep an eye on the fuel gauge. It is a positive act to stop for a fuel refill every now and then the tanker gets half empty. Also, take your car to your personal car care specialist regularly for a thorough check for minor faults or errors. This keeps the car in a maintained position.