First Car? Stay Safe!

The point at which you pass your driving test is when you first really learn to drive. Once your driving instructor leaves your side and you don’t have the security of dual controls you are on your own! It’s exciting, but daunting and you need to be armed with knowledge of how to drive safely. You also need to put knowledge into practice!

Once you take delivery of your first car or motorcycle through shiply. You need to remind yourself on road safety. Indeed, even experienced drivers need a reminder once in a while as bad habits can creep in.

Here are some safe driving tips for your consideration.

Pay attention!

There are so many potential distractions for drivers. Mobile phone usage is banned in the UK whilst driving, but there is still the distraction of music, passengers, other road users and pedestrians. It is important to stay totally focused. Try to get into the habit of predicting potential hazards, keep your eye on the road and look ahead to see how the traffic is flowing. If someone is driving erratically close to you, keep your distance and be wary.

Avoid driving when tired and take plenty of breaks. It’s exhausting staying focused. Many accidents are caused by people falling asleep at the wheel.

Always take heed of speed limits, they are there for a reason and not as an annoyance. Ensure stopping distances are maintained and slow down in tough driving conditions such as poor light and poor weather.

Driving at night

Your vision is affected considerably in poor light conditions, which can affect your ability to react. If poor light conditions are combined with rain, wind and snow the road becomes a particularly hazardous place to be.

Use your headlights correctly and make sure you regularly check that your lights are in good working order. In snow, lights can become covered relatively quickly and will need cleaning before travel. Don’t rely on your cars low light sensors as a sign of when to turn on headlights as they can often be unreliable. If in doubt – turn your headlights on!  Ensure your headlights are dipped to prevent blinding other road users. Full beam should only be used on roads with no other drivers in front of you.

If you are one of the many people who suffer from poor night vision, take advice from your optician. There may be some special spectacle coatings that may help reduce glare or vision aids.

Take a lot more care when driving at night and give longer stopping distances. It’s harder to predict the flow of traffic when your vision is reduced.

Drugs and alcohol

Driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol will seriously affect your ability to drive as well as compromise the safety of yourself and every other road user. Some prescription drugs can also affect driving ability, check side effects and precautions.

Alcohol and drugs can stay in your system for many hours and may still be affecting your body the following morning after a night out.  

Driving is enjoyable and shouldn’t be something to fear. With a little care and consideration you will develop safe driving habits that will hopefully last a lifetime!

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