6 Tips to Prevent an Accident
By Ishaan Rastogi
1 mins read
Published on December 4, 2015
1. Be in control of your senses
Driving when under the influence of alcohol is extremely dangerous. Alcohol is known to reduce human inhibition which means that once you get behind the wheel, developing a sudden sense of overconfidence in your driving ability is very likely.
Most accidents that occur when a person is driving when under the influence of alcohol begin with the driver being confident of being able to handle a vehicle perfectly in his or her inebriated state. And they actually may be perfectly capable of controlling a vehicle but what they can't control is the dulling of their senses by however small a per cent. By getting behind the wheel after having consumed more than the permissible limit, not only would you be committing a crime but you would also be endangering the lives of your passengers and other people on the road. Additionally, the minor lack in attention span may not affect your driving ability by much but what it does affect is your ability to make quick, reflex decisions in case another motorist in your vicinity has a lapse in concentration.
2. Stay attentive
Cell phones, conversations, and loud music all have a negative effect on your driving ability. Despite most cars now coming fitted with hands-free connectivity to your cell phones, having a conversation with someone requires you to divert part of your attention away from the road. Hence it's highly advisable to only use your cell phone to make urgent phone calls and when possible, park the car on the side of the road when using your phone. Similarly, avoid listening to loud music or conversing with your co-passengers as both actions curtail your attention.
3. Make sure that you're well rested
Another factor to keep in mind is lack of sleep or fatigue, especially on long drives. Always make sure that you are well rested before getting behind the wheel of your car and on long drives, take regular breaks and pit stops to refuel yourself. Falling asleep behind the wheel is a common mishap and is extremely dangerous for you and everyone around you. As an additional tip, try to have a person sitting next to you while on a long road trip and ensure that they stay awake as well. This way, your passenger will be able to keep an eye on you to watch out for signs of sleepiness. It would be a bonus if the passenger were to be capable of driving as it will allow the burden of driving continuously to be shared.
4. Try and predict what the other driver is going to do
A lot of accidents are caused due to the lack of understanding of common Indian road behaviour. Accidents can be prevented by putting in just a moment's thought towards predicting what the other motorist may do. The terrible road etiquettes followed by a vast number of motorists may result in you being involved in an accident but despite it not being your fault, you yourself can try and prevent the accident from happening.
To do so, you should keep a safe distance from the car ahead and look for an indication of which direction he or she intends on going. India doesn't really have a lane-system so it's quite difficult to pass a vehicle that's loitering in the middle of the road. In such situations, it's best to be patient and let the other driver drift into a lane. Another important situation that may arise is when there's no divider between both sides of moving traffic. When in the right lane, be very aware of any on-coming vehicles not only because they might swerve into or across your lane, but because there could be another vehicle behind it that may blindly pull into your lane when trying to overtake.
Most importantly, always check for cars at an intersection, even if it's your light. Be aware of the fact that even if you follow the rules, there are many selfish motorists out there who have no regards for the law.
5. Use proper driving techniques
One of the most observable follies that can be seen in Indian roads is when people drive with their side mirrors folded in to prevent them from getting scratched when in tight spaces. This eventually becomes a habit. Side mirrors were not invented because they look good; they allow you see a much broader picture of what's going on around you which is essential to preventing accidents. Develop a habit of constantly looking at your mirrors to get a constantly updated idea of what's approaching you and from which direction.
Besides this, the use of turn indicators, correct use of hazard lights during heavy rain or fog, slowing down at intersections, stopping at red lights, and driving within the speed limit will help you hone your driving skills and become a better, safer driver.
6. Maintain your vehicle
Keeping your vehicle in good shape goes a long way towards preventing accidents. Always make sure that your brakes are in good shape, your tyres are inflated properly and there aren't any engine warning lights that are lit up when you start your car. Over time, tyres wear out and need changing as well which a lot of people ignore to the high cost of purchasing a new set but it's imperative that your tyre tread is deep enough to provide good grip.
Last Updated on December 18, 2015
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