One of the most common causes of requiring your vehicle having to be towed by a tow truck, is after having an accident. Now, we are not so naïve that we don’t realise that not all accidents are preventable. Sometimes things just happens, and sometimes the parts that are preventable are the result of the actions of somebody else. With that in mind, there are still a number of different things you can do to help prevent those accidents which are preventable. Driving with safety in mind is an important factor in getting you and your passengers to the end destination safely and the below pointers may just help you get there in one piece.
Obey the rules… All of them
Other than the risk of getting a fine or being pulled over by police, the rules are there for a reason – they prevent accidents and bad things form happening. Many would like to think these are non-negotiable however even those people probably break them every now and again – they speed occasionally, they don’t indicate – no ones perfect. Being a diligent driver and paying attention to the rules allows you to get into good habits that hopefully become second nature.
The first step in obeying the law is actually knowing the law. If it has been sometime, it is probably worth re-doing even the basic road rule test offered by the Queensland Transport Government Department. An electronic online quiz can be done over the internet for free and is similar to what those applying for their learners provision undertake. Further, remember if you are travelling internationally or interstate to check up on the local rules that may differ, as this can cause massive problems if you don’t know them
Some of the most common safety laws that are broken laws in Queensland are listed below.
- Speeding – The limits are set for a reason, even if you might not be aware why. Speeding reduces reaction distances and causes greater damage upon impact the faster you travel.
- Phones – Another big one, and now a $1000 fine, this has caused a number of deaths since mobiles became popular. You may think that quick look is just a moment, but anything can happen in that time.
- Drunk and Drug Driving – While you would like to think this wouldn’t happen, people still do it. It is not worth the effort and if someone else is trying to do it, stop them.
- Driving Tired – Driving tired can slow your reflexes to the point that you are almost drunk and passing out at the wheel has caused a number of deaths in the past. While it is normally never recommended to pool over and sleep in the car on the side of the road, if that is your only option, it is preferable to tired driving.
- Running red lights and stop signs – This is a common mistake that people seem to think won’t matter if no one else is around. All it takes is for someone to actually be there and accidents can occur. Lights and stop signs are installed for a reason.
- Reckless driving – whether on purpose or whether you were simply trying to fix the radio while driving, reckless driving is a common cause of accidents and fatalities. Any experienced drive will tell you that anything can go wrong at any time.
Driving to the Conditions
Sometimes it’s not always about following the rules, sometimes the driver needs to take responsibility for their action outside of the legal framework provided. Just because a particular law says you can do it, for example, a speed sign that states you can go one hundred kilometres an hour, does it mean that you always have to reach that limit. There are a number of times where you may want to change your driving habits to suit the conditions around you. Some examples are below.
- Bad weather – with bad weather it is almost always recommended to change your driving habits. Drive mush slower, leave a larger distance between cars and take corners more precautiously. Pull over if weather gets real bad and pay closer attention to drivers around you. Even if you were obeying the speed limit, police can still fine you for driving too fast (under reckless driving provisions) if they believe the conditions required a slower driving speed.
- Unfamiliar locations – If you don’t know what you are driving into, don’t rush even when late. This includes unfamiliar locations even in your own neighbourhood. You never know what’s just around the corner, and if you feel like you are about to miss a turn, don’t pull over suddenly, take the time to continue on and turn around in a safe area.
- Roadworks – Even if the roadworks aren’t being undertaken at that time, still obey temporary road signs that change conditions. Although sometimes they are just left in the spot (laziness??) sometimes it is intentional as the road up ahead may be loose gravel, or there may be a dip or bump that can cause you to damage your car.
Be aware of blind spots
Be aware of blind spots, both yours and where you may be sitting in the field of vision of other drivers. Make sure you check yours regularly when changing lanes or pulling over. Further make sure that you are aware of those around you, especially larger vehicles such as trucks and buses that may have restricted vision and larger turning circles. They often have signs asking to give way and warning you that they may not be able to see you if your behind them for a reason.
Driving with Kids
While kids are now required to be seated in a restricted baby seat until they are 7, even older kids can be a nuisance, whether it’s them moving around or arguing. Teach kids about road safety and driving from an early age and make sure they understand the seriousness of driving. If they do argue, don’t let yourself get distracted and don’t turn to speak to them. Instead find the next available safe spot to pull over and address them then. Hey, it’s way more intimidating that way as well.