Even though truck and car towing is our business, we would prefer if they didn’t happen in the first place. We all know speed is the cause of many road accidents, but there are a number of other common contributing factors. We’ve compiled a list of road safety tips to help minimise your chances of being in an accident.
Stay Safe on the Roads…
Vehicle Maintenance – Having your car regularly serviced ensures it is in good mechanical order. Any major faults will be detected before they cause problems and you will be alerted to worn tires and brakes. Avoid sudden stalls or other vehicle failure by changing the oil regularly and keeping tires properly inflated.
Pull Into Traffic Slowly – Never assume anything on the roads. Look both ways and then look again. Just because a light is red doesn’t mean other vehicles will stop. There is always someone trying to rush through an orange light!
Stop, Look, Listen. Be aware of blind spots, including those in rear view mirrors and behind windshield pillars or highway road signs. Also, when at an intersection making a right-hand turn, look both directions at least twice before proceeding.
Watch For Children & Animals – This is especially important around schools and residential areas where children are likely to be playing. Both children and animals have a habit of running out into the road from nowhere. Look, listen and slow down.
Children and animals have a habit of suddenly popping out from between parked cars and into roadways. If you are driving in a residential neighborhood.
Look When Reversing – Many of us rely on cameras and sensors when reversing but this technology is not always reliable. It can be slow to respond so by the time it catches up you’ve already hit something. Fender benders in parking lots are all too common, so look out for cars leaving parking spaces. Don''t depend on mirrors alone -- physically look over your right shoulder while steering to alleviate blind spots mirrors can create.
Stop Tailgating – Most of us are guilty of this at one time or another. No matter how frustrated you feel, it is never a good idea. If the driver or drivers ahead suddenly hit their brakes you won’t be able to stop and the accident will be your fault.
Leave a three-second cushion between you and the car in front of you and begin your journey early enough so you don''t speed to make up time. As tempting as it may be when in a hurry, tailgating is a major cause of accidents.
Drive To The Conditions – Adapt your driving to the road conditions you are presented with. Heavy rain, fog, snow and ice are all extremely hazardous. Make sure you slow down, switch on your dipped-beam headlights and increase the distance between your car and the car in front. Always concentrate on the area where you will be driving in 10-12 seconds. For highway driving, keep positioned far enough from other cars so if someone were to suddenly stop or swerve, you could avoid them.
Hands On The Steering Wheel – Sounds obvious, but again, most of us are guilty of being distracted by phones, food and stereos that cause us to remove our hands from the wheel. If your hands aren’t on the wheel, unexpected events, like a pot hole or a blown tire, could cause you to lose control of the vehicle. Reduce in-car distractions such as changing radio stations or CDs, cell phones, eating or momentarily taking a hand off the wheel. A gust of wind, pothole or a blown tire could send the vehicle into another lane and cause a serious accident.
Wear Your Seatbelt – Nothing else needs to be said. Wear your seatbelt. Vehicles can appear almost out of nowhere very quickly, so exercise caution when pulling into a busy intersection.
Look After Yourself – If you feel like you shouldn’t be driving then you probably shouldn’t! Fatigue is one of the major contributing factors in accidents so if you are feeling tried, run down or just out of sorts, don’t get behind the wheel!
Plan Your Journey – This is especially important if you are going on a long journey. Plan your route, try not to drive at night and factor in rest stops so you don’t suffer from fatigue. No one owns the roads, so treat others with respect and report any suspicious driving activity to authorities.
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