Image via Flickr user Patrick Strang
Image via Flickr user Jack Shainsky
There has been an increase number of cars on the street in recent years. Unfortunately, the number of motorist accidents and deaths also increase over the years.
It’s really high time that motorists start behaving courteously toward one another. Traffic jams are primarily caused by unabashed violations of simple rules by many motorists who don’t know how to respect others who are using the road. These little acts of discourtesy could lead to verbal confrontations and even road rage.
Eventually, it’s always the driver’s behaviour. The truth is you can’t control the actions of other drivers on the road. However, becoming a defensive and safer driver can help you avoid the dangers caused by other people’s bad driving.
Here are 10 helpful tips on how avoid car accidents during this rainy season:
Rule 1: Wear your seat belt at all times.
Before you start your car, make sure to wear your seat belt. Almost 90-percent of Filipino’s don’t use seat belts. In a crash, you’re twice as likely to die if you don’t wear one.
Rule 2: Always remember the checklist points.
Before you hit the road, always check your tire pressure, brake fluid, engine oil, engine coolant, washers, wipers and fuel gauge. You also need to secure or remove any loose objects, set the correct driving position and adjust your mirrors.
Rule 3: Keep a safe distance.
Always keep a 3-second gap rule between you and the vehicle in front of you. This will allow you to avoid hitting it in case you need to brake suddenly.
Rule 4: Don’t drink and drive.
This is probably the most common reason for road accidents. Don’t drive if you’ve had alcohol. Any amount of alcohol will affect your driving ability.
Rule 5: Don’t drive tired.
Sleepy drivers are eight times more likely to crash. Take a 15-minute break for every two hours of driving.
Rule 6: Avoid distractions.
Using a mobile phone while driving is dangerous, so don’t even think about it. In the Philippines, mobile texting while driving has become the number one distraction for many motorists, frequently resulting in death or serious injury.
Rule 7: Plan your trip.
Always check the weather, traffic and road conditions. Don’t panic if you miss an exit on a highway; get off at the next one. The life you save could be your own.
Rule 8: Don’t use hazard lights during a heavy downpour.
When your hazards lights are on, the drivers following you will not know if you intend to switch lanes or stop. The reason why it is called a “Hazard” light is because you are in a state of emergency. Flashing those headlights might distract motorists especially in a heavy downpour.
Rule 9: Be observant on the road.
Be sure to use your signal lights properly when changing lanes or overtaking. Always stay alert and watch for road signs that indicate danger. Do not steer sharply on tight bends; your vehicle may lose balance and rollover. A good driver is one who looks ahead to spot any changes in the road surface.
Rule 10: Pray.
Being a defensive driver means that you are preventing accident before it occurs. Aside from the right attitude, awareness and driving skills, it’s also important to understand that every motorist shares his own battle on the road. So before you take the wheel, a quick prayer could save the lives of many people.
By Kris Lim
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