Car safety is so important; when you’re in control of a very large machine that travels at fast speeds, you of course want to be careful to avoid accidents! However as time goes on and you become more and more experienced as a driver, it’s easy to get a little complacent. When you’ve got behind the wheel thousands of times without issues, you might feel as if there’s nothing that can go wrong. But is your driving really as safe as you think it is?
The fact of the matter is, your life (and the lives of others) are in your hands whenever you get behind the wheel. It’s not just your own driving you have to be aware of but how you’re responding to others too- not every road user is going to be perfect and in some cases it can be downright terrible. If you’ve ever been injured due to someone else’s bad driving, then it could be worth speaking to a car accident lawyer. You might know better than to get behind the wheel drunk, speak on your mobile phone or on medications that affect your concentration- but did you know there are other things you could be doing every day that affects how well you can drive?
Eating and Drinking at the Wheel
On long journeys, you might be tempted to grab a snack and eat at the wheel. However this can be a huge distraction, and if police believe it’s affecting your driving, you could be hit with penalty points, a fine or even a prison sentence. It’s important to plan your routes properly, give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination and make regular stops.
Driving When You’re Tired or Emotional
You wouldn’t drive after a few pints because you know it would impair your ability to react and drive properly. But lack of sleep and being over emotional can have the same effect. Make sure you’re in a fit state to drive before getting behind the wheel. A cup of coffee could stave off a small amount of tiredness, but having a nap or sleep will be needed if you’re exhausted. Don’t jump behind the wheel if you’re very angry or upset, give yourself a chance to calm down, breathe and clear your mind first.
Neglecting Vehicle Checks Before Journeys
Before every long journey, you should be doing checks of the car. Do all of the lights work, wipers, are the tyres inflated correctly? Are all the fluid levels topped up, and do you have the things you’d need in an emergency? A hi-vis vest, a warning triangle, a torch, and blanket will be invaluable if you break down.
Ignoring Warning Lights
You’re happily driving along minding your own business, and a warning light illuminates. Uh oh, that's going to be expensive. For this reason, it’s tempting to just ignore it or decide to get it seen to ‘later,' especially if the car seems to be driving ok. However, it’s crucial that you go and get it looked at right away. If the car breaks down in a difficult spot, you could endanger the lives of you and others. What if it stops working properly and causes an accident that could have been avoided? Have a savings account especially for car repairs, then when these things happen, you can get them looked at right away.