The roads can be a terrifying place sometimes. What should be a routine journey to work in the morning can quickly turn into a nightmare, and if you are not fully focused on the task at hand you may run out of luck very quickly. Driving a car or motorcycle has become as normal as breathing or walking to most people. The problem with this is that people take driving for granted. What most people don’t realize is that every time you get behind the wheel or handle bars, you are not only possibly putting your own life in danger, but also the lives of those around you. It is not like walking or breathing, you are in charge of operating a “machine” that is much more powerful than human legs. There are some precautions that need to be taken in order to ensure your own safety and that of those around you.
Check your vehicle
Before you can hit the road you need to check your vehicle. This includes checking the tires, the lights, the seatbelts and your breaks. You also need to be sure that your windscreen wipers are in good condition and in working order. Checking the oil and water levels regularly is also of great importance to keep your vehicle from breaking down unexpected. It is crucial to keep your vehicle in good condition.
No bending or breaking the rules
The rules of the road are there for a reason and it is primarily to keep you safe. If you bend or break these rules you cannot expect to be safe, even if you are driving to the shop on the corner. The most important thing to remember about the rules of the road is that it is also for the safety of those around you. You want those around you to obey the rules of the road, so the same is expected of you. If you fail to comply, you will have to suffer the consequences.
There are certain things that you are not necessarily taught when going for driving lessons, or they may have just been forgotten conveniently. This includes things like keeping a safe following distance behind cars and looking ahead. If you give you and the drivers around you some room for error, you will be safer and better prepared when the guy in front suddenly breaks. Not only will you have more time to react, but you will also avoid having to pay for the damages to your car. You need to think for those around you sometimes, as not everyone enters their vehicles with the same care and diligence. Also, avoid distractions that may cause you to lose control of your vehicle. Mobile phones are a particular culprit in this case and cause loads of accidents every day.
If we can just adhere to these simple tips we would make the roads a much safer place. Start with yourself and the rest will follow. As the saying goes, “be the difference you want to see”.
Waldo van Den Berg is a keen cyclist, and therefore does a lot of research on road safety barriers.