Monday 22 November 2021



It’s no secret that vehicles can quickly become dangerous when they aren’t driven with proper precautions. The combination of size, weight, and speed can turn even a small car into an exceedingly dangerous weapon. So, the next time you get behind the wheel, consider these basics to help ensure safety while on the road.

Protect Yourself and Others

One basic thing you can do to take care of yourself and others when you drive is to have sufficient auto insurance. 

Insurance policies can help you pay for damages, make repairs, and help in the event you hurt someone or damage property. 

The typical minimum insurance is called third party insurance, and the purpose of this policy is to pay for damages or injuries to others.  But that won’t help you if you’re injured or your car is totaled.  In this case, for total coverage you would need comprehensive insurance. 

Of course, the more coverage you have, the higher the premiums you’ll have to pay, though this figure will change depending on a variety of factors (age, gender, make/model of car, etc.). Rates can also vary widely based on which state or territory you live in. 

And those drivers who are considered “high risk” often pay more than other drivers. Even though insurance tends to cost more for high-risk drivers, it’s still required by law, so investigate your options and ensure you have appropriate coverage.

Keeping a clean driving record can be as simple as changing your habits.  Here are some ideas:

Watch Your Speed

When you’re in a rush, hitting the gas can be a natural reaction. However, speed appears to greatly contribute to car accidents. Not only is it more challenging to control a faster vehicle, but the risk of serious injury also rises substantially the faster you go. Slowing down can save your life, so make sure you have enough elbow room in your schedule to avoid rushing.  

Use Cruise Control Correctly

Cruise control can make it easier to coast down the highway, and it can also save on fuel usage, but used improperly, it raises your road risk. Inclement weather, curvy roads, or gravel all require you to turn off cruise control. Also, ensure you keep your foot near the brake pedal when the cruise is on so you can stop as needed.

Don’t Tailgate

It’s not unusual to see vehicles on the highway crowded together behind a slower-moving car. However, even if everyone is going the speed limit, tailgating isn’t safe. You should allow three seconds between your vehicle and the one in front of you, and you can measure this by counting the seconds between when the car ahead passes an object, such as a street sign, and your car passing the same object. The time should total three seconds or longer.

Watch Lane-Changing Etiquette

Street Directory notes that improperly changing lanes can lead to accidents on the road, yet it’s an all-too-common occurrence. Allowing sufficient space, using turn signals, and moving at appropriate speeds are not only common courtesy, but all of that is also required by law. Drive defensively, even when you need to get over to catch an exit. By doing things properly, the worst-case scenario is you need to double back. Done improperly, it can lead to a tragedy.

Avoid Distracted Driving points out that distracted driving occurs three ways: taking your hands off the wheel, taking your eyes off the road, or taking your mind off driving. All are dangerous, and texting on a mobile phone, in particular, involves all three types of distractions and can increase your risk of a wreck or near-miss by 23 times. If you must check your messages, pull into a parking space. 

And while avoiding handling your phone while moving is key, you can still use a phone stand to hold the device while you use hands-free, voice-activated controls to make calls, text, and navigate. A stand will also help secure the phone, which is helpful when there’s a sudden stop -- no more worrying about reaching by reaction to catch it or find it, yet another distraction. 

Please remember it is illegal for Learners and P1’s to use a phone in any way while driving.  P2 licence holders can use Bluetooth and functions like maps if the phone is hands free, for example in a cradle attached to the vehicle. However, you must always have proper control of your vehicle.

Driving has its share of risks, even when you engage in proper practices. So, avoid making it more hazardous for yourself and others. Good habits and proper protection can make a world of difference, lowering your risk and keeping you safe.

This article was provided by Jennifer Scott, a writer from the USA.  Jennifer has written extensively on topics relating to the effects of anxiety and depression.  Jennifer can be contacted at

1 comment:

  1. This advice for reducing driving risks is invaluable! Implementing safe driving practices is crucial for protecting oneself and others on the road. By staying focused, obeying traffic laws, and being aware of potential hazards, we can ensure a safer driving experience. It's important to prioritize learning and adopting these practices, just as we prioritize ta Take my online classes to enhance our knowledge and skills.