Did you remember the first time you learnt how to drive a car and when you were given your driver's license? The excitement and freedom that you felt? Then, you knew everything written on the driver's manual. And even some you could barely understand.
As it is with life, the more we gather experience, the more shortcuts we also learn, from the good to the bad. We start getting comfortable with stuffs that where first terrifying to us. At the same time, we also forget some vital rules and regulations. It’s more of the reason you should revisit these basic safe driving rules. Here are some which Naijauto.com believe you are likely not remembering again.
1. Wearing your seatbelt
This should have become a habit by now. However, a lot of drivers are still ignoring the importance of a seatbelt as a life-saving feature. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) made an evaluation that when a seatbelt is wore in front seat of a vehicle, it can reduce deadly injury by 45% and 60% in small trucks.
In Nigeria, not wearing seatbelt contributes to thousands of deaths in recent car accidents. The statistics are collected by NBS.
2. Adjusting the headrest and mirrors
You should be doing this every time you are about to hit the car if you aren't the only person driving the car. Adjust your headrest to your size and also check the mirrors too. The headrest (also known as head restraint) has been designed to assist in limiting whiplash in the event of a collision at the rear end .Be sure your headrest and top of your head is at the same level.
3. Driving through foggy areas
It's stressing driving through foggy areas. Because of this, the National Weather Service provided some tips to help drivers drive through the fog safely.
- Slow down
- Put on your light
- Make use of your low beams. When you use high beam, it will be difficult to see because the fog will display high beam light.
- Look out for the lines marked on the road to maintain your lane.
- Concentrate while you are behind the wheels.
Remember the steps while driving through foggy areas!
4. Using high beams
Drivers tend to use high beam when there is a mist, which can be detrimental. Whichever road you may be plying, whether it's an interstate or city street, lower your beam to enable you see another car. It’s always difficult for cars ahead of you or oncoming traffic to see when you're using high beam. The bright light emanating from the high beam is distracting.
There are situations when the need for a high beam will arise, like when you are driving on a dark road.
5. Parking on a hill
When you are parking on a hill, which direction do you turn your car wheels?
If you park your car, facing uphill, your wheels should be turned towards the street, with the curb as a wedge to stop your car from rolling off. If your car is facing downhill, the wheel should be facing the curb. And if you're using a manual transmission, use your parking break while you place the car in first gear.
6. Driving in the rain
This is also similar to driving in the mist. Use your low beam and slow down because hydroplaning/ aquaplaning may occur.
Always watch out for hydroplaning while driving in the rain!
7. Knowing what to do when hydroplaning
When you are driving in the rain, chances are hydroplaning may happen. Even on wet roads too. You should be able to know how to handle it when your car hydroplanes to ensure your safety. Go slow. If you can avoid driving in puddles, then please do.
8. Stopping for school buses
You will always identify a school bus when you see one, yet many drivers seem to ignore school buses conveying pupils. Even when they make a stop to lift or drop school children along the road. Always stop for a school bus. Don’t endanger the lives of these children while on the road.
9. Sharing the road with bikes
Some states have banned bikes from operating in the urban areas. However, they are still plying some major cities across the country.
Do you know that cyclists and vehicles have equal rights on the roads? Don't be quick to push cyclists out of the road because you are driving a car. Learn to share the road with them.
10. Avoiding distractions
Driving and engaging in another activity is distracting enough to cause accidents. Making phone calls and texting while driving is prohibited while driving. Avoid any sort of distraction whenever you are driving. Focus.
11. Don’t tailgate
Are you fond of tailgating other cars? You don't give space to the vehicle ahead of you. When there's an emergency, like when the car suddenly stops, how will you stop also without bumping into the car? Doing this puts you and your passengers in danger. Stick to the three seconds rule of giving the vehicle in front of you space of three seconds. This is to ensure you adhere to safe driving rules.
12. Give heavy-duty trailers space
Trailers are weightier than cars by 20 times and it doesn't stop the way cars stop. It may take up to two soccer fields to stop. Give them enough space and be careful as you go over taking them.
Admittedly, hardly can we give them space in this type of Nigerian traffic
13. Never drive while tired
You may not know this but driving while you are tired is akin to driving in a drunk state. Yes, it's as bad as that. If you notice yourself sleep-driving, pull over and have a rest. You can as well drink water or caffeine to rejuvenate.Note: these aren't a permanent solution.
Revisiting safe driving tips will ensure your safety on the road and boost your confidence whenever you are behind the wheels.
>>> You might want to check out other safe driving tips here on our site.