MOTORING CORNER : “How to Drive Safely on the Road with Everyone Else”

When you talk of driving, it is not just a matter of turning on the ignition of your vehicle, engaging the gears and speeding into any driveway or road but the ability to do so and keep on going without the potential of making that road a nightmare for other road users.  Driving safely requires that you be very meticulous. You have to pay extra special attention to the road and to everyone around you. One simple or careless mistake can lead to an accident.

When you talk of driving, it is not just a matter of turning on the ignition of your vehicle, engaging the gears and speeding into any driveway or road but the ability to do so and keep on going without the potential of making that road a nightmare for other road users.  Driving safely requires that you be very meticulous.

You have to pay extra special attention to the road and to everyone around you. One simple or careless mistake can lead to an accident.

You would drive with the flow of the traffic and don’t drive too slowly either. If the traffic is fast and everyone is moving fast then you must drive fast too.

You should not drive slowly just because the sign says 50kmph; driving is a tacit skill, once you condition yourself to driving, you must drive reasonably so that you do not inconvenience other road users.  Imagine driving at say 60kmph and you suddenly find someone driving in front of you at say 30kmph and such a driver not wanting to give way at the same time, he is not willing to move faster! 

This may infuriate the driver behind as well as force the insolent driver to make wrong decisions and the consequences could be quite undesirable for both drivers including other road users!

If you are ever to last on the road, make sure you drive smartly and clearly.  It does not require a university degree to drive safely but it does require lots of common sense.

If we are to go by the saying that “common sense is not common”, then many a people should not be on the road driving.

The biggest asset a driver will require is common sense.  It is this sense that helps to inculcate the ability to make speedy and rational judgements while you are on the road. 

Once you make a decision, please go ahead with it, changing your mind might lead to total confusion on the road.  Imagine someone ahead of you indicating that he is about to make a right turn, this would in turn prompt you to move to the left in a bid to overtake him, suppose he turns left instead!

This could result into you ramming into him, someone else ramming into you etcetera.   Such poor and uncoordinated decisions are the main cause of chain road accidents. 

Alternatively, when you decide to make a move, for all road users’ sake, go on with it, abrupt change of decision can lead to confusion, which may in turn lead to road rage or worse still, to fatal and avoidable accidents.

Though accidents are accidents, many of them are caused by an element of “human error”, this could be on the part of any of the road users (drivers, cyclists, pedestrians and bystanders) alike.  Surveys have shown that, proper, careful and considerate road use can greatly reduce the rates of road accidents.  
 
Know best when to apply your brakes, you should never brake when you change lane or when negotiating a bend or corner; such action (manoeuvring) exerts an opposing force on the vehicle, resulting in a reduction (deceleration) of speed, if anything, you should somehow accelerate in order to counter such opposing force.

Braking while changing lanes would lead to you moving at a slower speed than you were moving on before, this might cause the other drivers to ram into you from behind since they are moving at the previous pace.

So do not brake when changing lane but rather just go at the same speed you were going or even faster so that traffic from behind doesn’t hit you; remember to use that indicator showing where you are moving or about to move to.

Most drivers tend to slow down when changing lanes or about to overtake, this is wrong; once you have indicated and made a decision (assuming the conditions are right), go on, and do not hesitate.

This way, whether you were on the wrong or not, the other drivers will make an equal judgement and are likely to avoid you rather than you coming back to confuse them!

You should not drive on the highway (freeway) or main road if you’re not experienced or if you’re a slow driver or if you don’t know how to drive on the highway because it’s very dangerous doing so and you could endanger yourself and other road users alike.

You should not drive too fast or without looking around. Your vehicle was fitted with both the side and driving mirrors better use them to observe the situation behind and at the sides of your vehicle.

Many times, when in the company of ladies, they will turn the driving mirror such that, they can look at their faces as they comb their hair or do make up.  This is a very dangerous situation.

Some car models have taken care of this by fitting a mirror in the passenger “sun visor”, most probably to stop the person in that seat from tampering with the very important driving mirror.

As for trucks and buses, you will have to contend with mastering how to use the side mirrors. A consolation is that, these come with enhanced capabilities to enable the driver have a very wide angle of view! 

Drive Safely, Stay Alive!

motoringcorner@live.co.uk

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