We all know that cars are, by the sheer nature of them, a risk. You’re driving in a huge device of metal at speeds well surpassing what could be considered safe. But as car drivers, it’s our judgement and our ability to deal with difficulties on the road (and off) that keep us safe. It’s about more than being a good driver. It’s about developing the foresight and knowledge to pre-empt and prepare for trouble.
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Taking care of your car
First, how you look after and equip the machine itself is obviously going to have a clear effect on how able it is to protect you from danger. The first step is making sure that you follow your maintenance schedule. There are some problems in the car that seem like they can come out of nowhere. A good mechanic can identify those issues for you at a check-up, where you might otherwise miss them. Similarly, there are problems that you will be much more equipped to identify. Keep an eye and an ear out for the warning signs of malfunction. Screeching brakes can indicate worn brake pads, which prove an obvious risk. If there’s fluid dripping from under the car, you should be able to identify what it is. It could coolant or brake fluid amongst several other options.
Treat the road seriously
Many drivers might fall into the danger of overconfidence on the road. When you’ve been driving for a while, it’s easy to let your focus slip. But it’s also one of the most dangerous things you can do on the road. You always have to keep an eye out for the potential hazards that can lead you into trouble. Be a defensive driver, not an aggressive one. Drive slower if you can in bad weather. At the same time, avoid speeding or driving too slow. You have to have an awareness of the ‘flow’ of the traffic’. Similarly, have an awareness for the other drivers on the road. You need to be able to identify problem drivers to be able to react more suitably to them. The same goes for problem vehicles. Trucks, for example, do not have the range of awareness that you do. You need to be particularly careful around them.
Dealing with disaster
Even after you encounter a problem, you need to know how to deal with it. For example, if you break down, you should have an emergency kit ready to go. This includes first aid kits and other things to keep you safe. But it also should have high visibility equipment to keep your car from getting hit. The right contacts in a phone or on a notepad are important, too. Not just things like breakdown recovery but having an auto accident attorney in the event you’re in a crash.
The points above obviously can’t keep you safe from every kind of risk on the road. But we hope they do make you a more prepared and conscientious driver. As long as you are doing your part, then we’re one step closer to having much safer roads. Keep it up.