On this day (17th August), in 1896, Bridget Driscoll was the first person killed in the UK by a car. 121 years later, our love affair with cars has gotten us into a few bad habits that can sometimes result in a crash occurring. Today, 5 people die on roads in the UK every day.
So, since it’s National Road Victim Month, try and break a few bad habits that even the most experienced drivers are guilty of.
Use your indicators
More prevalent in drivers of certain kinds of vehicles, we’ve all been guilty of this at some point. That point is usually a place that you’re most familiar with, like on your morning commute. Repetition breeds idleness and many crashes occur on roads very familiar to drivers when something very unexpected occurs.
Always use caution when changing lanes. Cutting in front of someone, changing lanes too fast or not using your indicators may cause an accident or upset other drivers.
So no matter how well you know the roads, break the habit of complacency and focus on the drive.
Reaching for the phone at the lights
Sat-nav sales are in decline with the advent of more powerful and accurate smartphone apps. Despite the fines you can accrue by touching your phone, thousands are fixed to dashboards across the country. And when you’re at the lights it’s so tempting to just quickly reply to that text you just recieved. But resist the urge!
Don’t be the one holding up the traffic when the lights change. No one likes that person.
Unplug your headphones
Got an older car? Love the newest tunes? Either dust off your cassette tapes and CDs, put the radio on, or just enjoy that engine noise. Listening to music with headphones will impair your ability to read the road and detect problems with your own car.
You don’t want to be the last one to realise you’ve got a problem with your treasured vehicle.
As fellow passionate drivers, we understand how easy it can be to get frustrated by bad drivers. But road rage stresses you out, throws off your concentration and puts you in a bad mood. When you experience road rage, you become a more dangerous driver. Your adrenaline rises, you take riskier decisions and you don’t focus enough on the road.
It might feel cathartic to shout about bad driving for a while, but don’t let other drivers get to you when you’re at the wheel.
Build time into your trip schedule to stop for food, rest breaks, phone calls or other business. Adjust your seat, mirrors and climate controls before putting the car in gear. It takes only a few minutes.
Avoid driving when you’re tired. Be aware that some medications cause drowsiness and make operating a vehicle very dangerous.
To get the most pleasure from every drive, stay 100% committed to the road. Focus on your driving and don’t let yourself be distracted by other drivers or devices.