Today driving a car feels like such a necessity that it’s hard to imagine they haven’t always existed. With the amount of traffic on our roads along with the amount of time we spend on them increasing, it is becoming more and more likely that at some point in our lives many of us may experience a driving accident. With these factors in mind, it pays to think about the ways in which you can lower your risks with some simple automobile safety ideas.
So many accidents occur from a vehicle breaking down or malfunctioning. This is not only a danger to yourself but also the other members of the public who share the roads. To keep your vehicle safe, you should learn some basic maintenance work and have your car serviced annually by a reputable mechanic. Get in the habit of checking the tire pressure, including on the spare tire, at least once every two weeks. Learn what type of oil your car needs and learn how to replenish and change the oil along with how to change a wheel. You should also have the brakes and wheel alignment checked about every six months and coolant levels checked at least every two weeks. Frequently check that your headlights, signals and brake lights are working and find out how to change them if they aren’t.
The most important and most obvious factor in being safe on the roads is to develop a safe driving style. Aggressive and inconsiderate driving is just as much a danger to you as it is to others. Avoid ‘tailgating’, breaking the speed limit, and overtaking when there isn’t enough time or space. We all feel stressed out and in a hurry when driving at times but is it really worth risking your or someone else’s life?
One of the greatest causes of driving accidents is driver’s fatigue when the driver literally falls asleep at the wheel. Take it as an un-negotiable rule not to drive for long periods of time without taking a break. At any time that you need to make a long driving trip, take a break every 90minutes. Make sure to actually get out of the car, walk around, eat some food, and drink some water. If you ever feel yourself becoming tired and your eyes start to roll, stop at the first available parking spot and take 15 minutes to sleep in the car. You’ll wake up feeling refreshed and in a much safer condition to continue driving.
Unfortunately there are always going to be times when there is an accident on the road. Should this ever happen to you, you can make it safer for yourself and others by packing a basic car safety kit in your vehicle that has the tools needed to assist yourself and others. Include a small hammer to smash any windows in an emergency to release someone trapped in a vehicle and a cutting device to slice through a seat belt. Also include a first-aid kit, blanket, bottled water, flashlight, tow cable, jumper cables, knife, tool kit, duct tape, spare fanbelt, footpump, and ice scraper. If you want to be even more safety conscious take a basic first aid class to learn how to assist others and perform CPR.
Aside from simple driving accidents, car safety extends to the very unlikely circumstance that you may face a carjacking or robbery while you are in the vehicle. In these circumstances, awareness is the greatest security. As a general rule, get in the habit of locking your doors immediately once seated inside. Don’t allow people too close to your car if they make you feel uncomfortable. Offer to give directions from behind your car window. If you are going on a long trip, you might want to plan ahead and check for the safest routes through areas that are unfamiliar or make you nervous. This doesn’t mean you have to feel petrified to offer help to a fellow traveler broken down on the side of the road. Instead, just be cautious, only stopping if you are sure they genuinely are in need. If you feel really concerned about a breakdown you can simply call the police and give them directions so they may go directly to assist the situation.