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Top Ten Tips to Avoid Accidents

You’ve got a sweet ride and you can’t wait to hit the road. But have you ever given any thought to road safety? Sure you may know how to drive even with your eyes closed but it’s also important to acknowledge all the steps that help us stay safe.

It is important to drive safely, not just for yourself but for your family, fellow passengers, pedestrians, other drivers etc. Statistics show that Indian roads witness a greater rate of accidents. Nearly 150,000 people die in road accidents every year, and another 5 to 7 lakh people end up injured.

In this post, we have listed out ten tips that every driver, new or old, needs to remember. Follow these, and you have a much better chance of avoiding an accident.

Tips to keep accidents at an arm’s length

1. Develop the right attitude about driving.
Most accidents occur not because someone has zero driving skills, but because they pay zero attention to how they are driving. What happens when someone thinks they’re fit to take on Lewis Hamilton one-on-one, right on a jam-packed road? The number one rule of road safety is to respect the roads. It’s the attitude that makes the difference. Driving requires dedication and responsibility, not reckless endangerment just because you were in a hurry or wanted an adrenaline rush. That’s a 3,000 pound, fast-moving metal beast you’re controlling right there. If not yourself, you owe it to your fellow passengers, pedestrians, and other drivers to drive safely.

2.Make sure you wear your seatbelt.
We don’t even have to explain this one, it’s a given. The minute you get in that driver’s seat, strap your seatbelt on. Wearing one can make all the difference between life and death. Dramatics aside, seatbelts do protect you especially if there’s any sudden breaking or lurching and you find yourself dangerously close to flying out the windscreen. Whether you’re the driver or the passenger, get into the habit of wearing a seatbelt. There are no exceptions to staying safe!

3.Drinking and driving is a strict no-no.
Just in case you’ve missed the memo to never drink and drive, here’s another reminder. Never, ever drink and drive! Even if you can’t give up the drink, give up the keys to the car. Alcohol puts the kibosh on your judgment, slows down your response time, causes blurred vision, and a severe loss of consciousness. Doesn’t matter if it’s the weekend, and it’s only one drink. Driving under the influence won’t just cost a license, it can cost a life!

4.Restrict your speed.
As much as we want to feel like we’re in the middle of our very own F1 race, the fact is speeding can be lethal. Day-to-day traffic is already super uncomfortable with multiple zooming cars, you don’t need to add to the chaos! Whether it’s driving on the highway, or driving on city roads, always stick to the prescribed speed limit. A collision is more likely to occur when vehicles put on bursts of supersonic speeds. Always remember to:

  • keep an eye on your speedometer while driving.
  • observe all signs.
  • stay within the speed limit.

5.Avoid getting distracted.
Probably one of the worst things you can do while driving is checking your cell phone. Drake was in a recording studio, you’re in the car seat so let’s leave that phone aside please. While it’s okay to have your phone with you in the car, it’s definitely not okay to use it unless it’s an emergency. If you desperately need to check your phone, do one of three things:

  • check it before you start driving.
  • pull over to the side of the road.
  • Look at it when you have reached your destination.

6.Limit night-time driving.
Stats show that chances of a fatal crash are three times higher at night than in the day for every mile driven. It’s also a proven fact that you just can’t avoid driving during the night. There’s the question of office timings, family excursions, socializing, traveling (particularly flights that fly at ungodly hours) etc. All we ask is that you limit the amount of driving done at night and stay cautious when you have no other choice.

7.Avoid tailgating.
Tailgating is driving too closely behind another vehicle. Remember when we were taught to keep a “one arm distance from each other” back when we were at school? The same rule applies here. There’s no “arm” here, but a three-second distance between your car and the vehicle ahead of you works wonders. Tailgating is one of the leading causes of rear-end crashes. While it can feel annoying to have someone block your way, safety always comes first.

8.Get everything set.
Before you set out, always make sure that everything’s in place. Keep regular tabs on your car lights, tire pressures, brakes, water and oil levels etc. Even get a first aid kit put in the car. Also, make sure you’ve got plenty of insurance coverage just in case things go south.

9.Get used to driving in different weather conditions.
Indian weather pretty much has a mood of its own. One moment the sun’s beating down on you so ruthlessly effectively turning your car into a microwave, and the next moment it’s pouring so hard you wonder why you even bothered to take out the car instead of a raft. Which is why it’s so important for you to familiarize yourself with driving in all sorts of weather conditions. It’s always better to avoid going out in poor weather but it doesn’t hurt to be prepared nonetheless.

10.Stay alert.
Setting aside poor weather and even poorer traffic, you also have to deal with unexpected obstacles. You could be dealing with:

  • The sudden appearance of a child running out on the road.
  • Local wildlife (Dogs, cats, cows, buffaloes etc).
  • Pedestrians casually crossing the road like they’re strolling in the park.
  • Mini mishaps that soon turn into full-fledged roadside brawls.
  • Local vendors wheeling their carts through heavy traffic.
  • Motorcyclists that seem to think they’re part of Need for Speed etc.

Do you get our point? How often have you had to slam down on the brakes because of the aforementioned reasons? There’s also the unfortunate fact that the driver of the vehicle will be blamed no matter what. Which is why it pays to keep your attention glued to the road.

Driving can be one of the most exhilarating experiences in the world. Nothing can compare to the rush of independence that driving brings a person. However, while you may have a license and the experience, it’s important to have an education as well. Next time you take the car out, remember these tips. Stay safe, stay alive!