Adopting defensive-driving techniques can keep you safe on the road and may even save you money. Many insurance companies reduce policyholders' premiums if they maintain accident-free driving records or take an accredited course on defensive-driving techniques. If you want to learn how to drive defensively, follow these steps.
1. Keep yourself well fed and rested – Before beginning a long drive, always get enough sleep and eat something before you go. Energy drinks and coffee are not the best way to stay awake while driving. Their effects recede with time and cause you to lose concentration while driving.
2. Is your car up to the drive? – Cars require regular maintenance. When was the last time you changed the oil, tires or filled up with fuel? Keeping your car in top form will reduces risks on the road.
3. Buckle up! – Seatbelt safety is important. Wearing one is known to decrease casualties and save many lives on the road. Make sure you and your passengers wear a seat belt before you venture out.
4. Keep your eye on the skies – Check the weather forecast and plan your route before the journey. Weather conditions such as heavy rain and snow storms increase travel time and risks.
5. Keep your mobile at bay – Know the laws along your route concerning mobile phone use and stick to it. While it may be legal in one place, it may be illegal in another and ignorance of road laws excuses no one. If it is legal to talk on a mobile phone where you are travelling, the best and safest option is to use a hands-free device.
6. Always be above empty – Don’t wait until your gas gauge is sitting on E to refuel. On an unfamiliar road, you never know when the next gasoline station will appear. As soon as you hit a quarter of your tank’s capacity, start looking for a station to fill up.
7. Lock valuables out of sight – Take valuables off car seats and make sure they are out of sight of passers-by. Try to keep all expensive and valuable items with you when you exit your vehicle. If it is not possible, place them in the boot or glove compartment.
8. Road assistance and assurance – You never know when you may need your vehicle to be towed or engine to be looked at whilst on a journey. Have a look at local or online insurers to ensure you are not alone on the road and problems can be fixed quickly.
9. Headlights on – Always drive with your headlights on at night. This makes your car more visible to other drivers by nearly four times the distance.
10. Pay attention – Be sure to look properly at all signs and road markings to ensure you are travelling safe and be able to avoid unexpected accidents.
We want your time on the road to be safe—whether it’s a short city drive for groceries or a long-distance highway journey.
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Image Source: Safety in Lagos