Over the past decade, governments around the world have shown a high commitment to reducing the number of collisions and casualties we see each year. One way of achieving that has been by promoting education about road safety, even from a very young age. This range of programmes is sometimes started from pre-school and continues until further education. The main goal is to ensure the safety of pedestrians, cyclists, and motor vehicles drivers –both now and later on in life. This way the idea of safely driving is embedded within us from a very young age. This attempt will not only reduce casualties but will also help acknowledge the risk of traffic offences.
Here are smart strategies every driver should know, in order to protect themselves and others on the road:
1. Skidding Out of Control
In many countries, rain is a common occurrence. That’s why this situation is realistic, as your car can easily skid on a wet surface, thus spinning out of control.
In this situation, it’s important to take your foot off the gas, and then to very gently steer the car towards one point in the distance. The vital aspect to remember is to not over-steer or press the brakes violently, as this can cause a rollover and won’t stop you from skidding.
Your driving should directly complement the weather conditions you are facing. If it’s raining, snowing, or icy, the best thing to do is slow down. Additionally, don’t underestimate speeding limits, especially during these weather conditions.
2. Fog Clouds Your View
Certain weather conditions create fog which not only affect your visibility but rather create inadequate road conditions –wet and slippery. You need to drive slowly and use your fog lights, however never switch on your bright lights, as the light will ultimately be reflected back to you.
Unless you’re caught in these conditions, don’t drive. It’s essential to reduce your speed and to open your windows to listen for traffic you are unable to see.
3. Tire blows on motorways
Picture this scenario: you’re travelling to and from work each day, having to pass the motorway on both occasions. While happily going home, you hear a loud noise and what feels like you’re run over a speed bump. This is more or less how it feels to have your tire blowout. When you’re on a rural or urban road, this is more manageable. But what do you do when on the motorway?
First of all, be mindful of maintaining control of your car, not trying to pinpoint where and what could have gone wrong. There is no need to look out the window or peak over the steering wheel. A common misconception is that you need to push hard on the brakes; however, this may spin you out of control –putting yourself and others in danger. The second thing to follow after regaining control is to hold the steering wheel with both hands, allowing the car to gain a natural rhythm of slowing down.
Afterward, it’s time to warn other drivers by switching on your hazard lights. Once you’re out of the car, it’s time to call for help. Although you may be excellent at changing your tire under normal conditions, it’s more dangerous to do so when on the motorway, especially if you’re accompanied by any young children.
Although most people tend to solely look a short distance away, you should be able to scan the road far ahead. In this case, you can acknowledge and evaluate any debris or materials which may affect the function of your vehicle –giving you enough time to safely decide if you should switch lanes or stop. Additionally, make sure that your tyres are often checked, especially when the weather transitions from one season to the other.
4. Toddler gets out of the car seat
Any parent can tell you that a toddler is smart enough to figure out how to unbuckle his car seat, being able to do the Houdini escape within minutes. Although you may be frozen with fear at the thought of your 5-year old getting out of his seat, it’s important to not lose focus of the road. Needless to say, this is a delicate situation, however shouting or panicking will make you lose track of what you’re doing, and this could endanger your little one even further. When you find a safe space to stop the car, try to maintain your composure. Explain why and how this behaviour is risky, and that you won’t drive home until everyone is buckled in.
Before heading off, ensure that the harness fits perfectly (i.e. you can’t pinch any harness fabric between your fingers).
5. Baby Starts Screaming
Another common experience for parents is when their baby starts screaming and nothing seems to console them. As responsible parents, our first instinct is to turn around and try to speak or hold your child. Although this may be hard to hear, don’t turn around!
Your job is to fully focus on the road ahead, and only when you find a safe stop then you can do your parental duty. Don’t also get tricked into bringing your baby in the front seat so that you can keep on eye on them –that’s due to the airbags which can deploy even with minimal impact, severely injuring your little one.
Babies love to be the centre of attention; they learn that from us. Try to make it a rule that you always have someone with you, someone who can ride in the back to ensure the baby is not alone. The person who they’re with should keep them entertained with toys and books. When you’re going on long trips, consider resting your eyes and spending time with your baby by taking frequent breaks which can complement your baby’s needs and wants.
Despite the advice given in this article if you are unlucky you may still be involved in an accident. Its important to deal with an accident in an efficient manner.
You will need to swap licence and insurance details with the driver of the other vehicle. The police should only be called if any vehicle occupants are injured. The insurance companies will seek to determine liability for the accident. Undoubtedly, you will need to have your vehicle repaired. There are various vehicle repair shops available to help get your car back on the road. An example of such a company is these guys-