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Driving is an important activity in our daily lives. Some people are fond of it while it’s like a herculean task for others but it’s unavoidable. Whatsoever the situation may be, whenever you are driving, you need to be responsible because not just your lives but the lives of many on the road is at stake. Here are a few rules you need to follow in order to drive safely:
1. Be cautious of the blind spot: Blind spots are areas that can’t be seen through your peripheral vision while driving such as looking forward through your windscreen, rearview mirror, or side mirrors. These are areas that are beside the car and you have to physically turn to see them. Changing lanes can be very hard because of these blind spots. Flip on your turn signal to let other cars know that you will be changing lanes. To check your blind spot, keep your body facing forward and turn your head 90 degrees towards the right. This way, you can use your peripheral vision to see vehicles in front of your car. You will also be able to see besides the car as well as use your peripheral vision to see the backside of the car. Similarly, turn your head 90 degrees towards your left. If you don’t see vehicles in these spaces, you are safe to change the lane.
2. Maintain distance for a smooth brake: Whenever you brake, your car doesn’t stop immediately. Your car will slightly move and then stops. It's called a braking distance. Braking distance is the distance traveled by your car from the point when its brakes are fully applied, to when it comes to a complete stop. So, you should always maintain a distance from the vehicle ahead of you to avoid a collision in case you apply the brake. You should press the brakes smoothly and gently as hard braking is unsafe.
3. Avoid unnecessary honking: Some drivers use their horns to communicate effectively and alert other drivers whereas there are some drivers who vent their traffic frustrations and anger thus increase road rage incidents. As a general rule, you should avoid unnecessary honking when driving. Honking causes a lot of noise pollution, increases stress and anxiety among drivers. Use horn only in situations such as a driver is drifting into your lane, a driver is about to back into your car in a parking lot or a pedestrian is unknowingly walking into a dangerous location. A quick beep is all that is necessary to get the attention of the other person rather than a long annoying honk.
4. Avoid using a mobile phone: You should avoid using a mobile phone while driving otherwise it can break your concentration. Drivers who use a mobile phone when driving are four times more likely to be involved in an accident, according to the World Health Organization. Keep your phone at arm’s length while driving. The glove box is a perfect place to keep your phone as you are less likely to be tempted to use it if you can’t see it. If it’s absolutely necessary to use your phone, use a hands-free set or ear pod.
5. Check road signs: You should always check road signs and should have a good understanding of them like the narrow road ahead, speed breaker, speed limit, etc. You should be aware of which signs are mandatory, cautionary, or providing information. The government has made it mandatory for any person to have a driving license should know these signs. Violation of traffic signs is an offense punishable by law.
6. Overtake carefully: You should use the right turn indicator to signal that you want to overtake. Give an indication at least 10-15 seconds prior to overtaking. Do not cut off a vehicle by suddenly moving in front of it. Never come in the lane of the vehicle immediately when overtaking, rather give the other vehicle an indication that you want to switch lane.
07 May, 2021
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