Ten ways to survive road c*****e

Wednesday, December 1st, 2021 00:19 | By
Photos from an accident scene. Photo used for illustration purposes only. PHOTO/COURTESY

Sit upright

Your driving posture matters a lot as far as safety is concerned. It will reduce your risks of getting head injuries in case an accident occurs.

The angle of your seat back should be a little greater than a perpendicular 90 degrees. At 100 to 110 degrees, the angle will also help put the least pressure on your back.

Leaning too far back forces you to push your head and neck forward, which can cause neck and shoulder pain and tingling in the fingers.

Buckle up

Vehicles are now well equipped with more safety features than ever before, including lane departure prevention systems, tire pressure monitoring systems, and backup cameras, but none of these devices plays a crucial role to a driver and passenger safety as a seatbelt.

During a crash, being buckled up helps keep you safe and secure inside your vehicle, whereas being completely thrown out of a vehicle is almost always deadly.

Seat belts are the best defence against impaired, aggressive, and distracted drivers. Airbags are designed to work with seat belts, not replace them.

Hit the brakes

The braking system is amongst the most fundamental safety features in your car. The ability to stop or slow down at a split second significantly helps curb incidents and accidents, thanks to the braking system.

Several components of your braking system work together to help keep the driver safe.

Therefore, keep them well maintained. Due to the importance of your braking system, it’s a wise idea not to overlook its importance.

Secure loose items

When road carnage occurs, the items inside the car get scattered, putting the driver and passengers at risk of getting injuries from these items due to the impact on contact.

Some of these items can be sharp objects that can cause serious harms. Therefore, it is always advisable to make sure that loose items such as umbrellas, water bottles, and notebooks, are well packaged and placed on the trunk when necessary. 

Cell phones are for emergency use only 

According to Owuor Otet, a road safety expert, text-driving is the number one cause of road accidents.

Texting and fiddling with the radio or GPS should all occur when you are at a complete stop or avoided altogether.

Give all of your attention to the road. Pulling out of the road to answer a call or a text will cost you nothing. They can likewise wait.

Your buddies and loved ones should understand that you are driving and that your safety and the safety of others are far more crucial than replying a WhatsApp text message.

Avoid tailgating

Tailgating is driving behind someone too closely. Always keep your distance while following other cars since the driver may hit an instant brake, putting you in a mess.

There is a recommended safe following distance that varies with speed and is indicated by time; the ‘two-second rule’.

This means that the time difference between the back of the vehicle in front and the front of your vehicle should not be less than two seconds.

The two-second rule would give you approximately 24 metres at 50kph. In wet weather, or if you are towing a trailer, drivers should increase this to four seconds.

The safe following distance should give the driver enough time to stop if the vehicle in front stops suddenly.

Be courteous and cautious 

Like they always say, you are the only sober person on the road. Never assume that the other driver is going to stop or turn.

It’s better to assume they may not! For instance, when going through a red light, still look both ways to check if anyone is going to run it.

Not only do intoxicated drivers often run red lights, but so do distracted drivers. Remember, it may be an accident that their turn signal is even on. Better to drive carefully and also be others’ keepers on the roads.

Use the mirrors

The majority of drivers never use their mirrors. You should normalise using the ‘Stop, Look, Listen’ rule. Be aware of blind spots, including those in rear-view mirrors and behind windshield pillars or highway road signs.

Also, when at an intersection making a left-hand turn, look both directions at least twice before proceeding. Vehicles can appear almost out of nowhere very quickly, so exercise caution when pulling into a busy intersection.

Regular car maintenance 

Before commencing on a journey, always ensure that the car’s service is up-to-date, to avoid sudden stalls or vehicle failures.

Change the oil regularly, check on the spark plugs and keep tires properly inflated. Also, don’t forget to check on small details such as the wipers and horn.

Scan forward

Always concentrate on the area where you will be driving in 10-12 seconds. Scanning forward is also a good technique of avoiding potholes on the roads and allowing you enough time to slow down for the bump ahead. So, practically, you should be driving ahead of time. Be speculative and highly alert of eventualities that may occur as you drive.

-Compiled from internet sources

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