Twelve Tips for Careful Driving

Whether you’re planning a long road trip or you’re a daily commuter, it’s vital that you drive carefully and with consideration for other road users. It’s easy to get into bad driving habits after a few years and you could well end up needing help from people like, turning that trip of a lifetime into something you’d rather forget.

Here’s twelve tips for staying on the right side of the road – and the law…

Eat and sleep well

If you’re facing a long drive, make sure you sleep well enough and have a good breakfast. You should also stay well-hydrated. It’s best to drink water rather than lots of caffeine as the effects of caffeine wear off without you realising and you may lose focus.

Take regular breaks

Pull over and stretch your legs, breathe in some fresh air and give your eyes a rest. Enjoy a snack and a drink and, if necessary, have a quick nap.

Share the driving

If possible, share the driving with someone, so that you have a co-pilot and someone to read the map, talk to and watch the road. If you have to drive alone, have the radio on and keep a window open so you don’t get drowsy.

Pull over in designated areas

You should never park your car on the hard shoulder or on a breakdown zone unless you really need to.

Don’t use your phone

This has been illegal for a few years now and can get you an on-the-spot fine. It’s also a leading cause of accidents, so just wait until you’ve pulled over to make that call. You should also restrict your use of handsfree as it can still be a distraction.

Don’t drink alcohol

Enough said.

Don’t take drugs

This may sound like an obvious one but many people still do not realise that even a small amount of an illegal drug will result in them being over the legal limit which have been set at zero tolerance levels. Being over the limit in blood will lead to a charge of driving whilst over the prescribed limit.

Watch the weather

Watch out for heavy rain, keep sunglasses for very bright days and make sure your fog lights work. Listen to weather reports before and during your drive.

Get to know your rental car

Spend some time getting to know your rental car, or your new car. Find out where everything is, feel the steering, the brakes and so on. You never know when you’ll need to hit the hazard light.

Pimp your ride for a long drive

If you’re going on a long trip, make sure your tyres are inflated, all your fluids are topped up and you have a full tank.

Think of the children

Travelling with kids can be fun. Occasionally. To help along the way, take regular bathroom breaks, hand out snacks and drinks and make sure they have enough to do in the back seat. Make a couple of bigger stops, maybe to visit an attraction or a park, so they can wear themselves out.

Do your seatbelts up

On longer trips, or on quiet roads, it’s sometimes easy to forget to do up your seatbelt. Kids in particular can develop the habit of unbuckling themselves and this can be a real problem. Think of ways to encourage the kids to stay belted up, even if it involves getting a police officer to have a friendly word. It’s better to do it that way than risk a less-friendly telling off…

~ by velofinds on September 1, 2009.

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