Every day we read of mishaps on the road that claim lives and unfortunately road accidents. Speeding and dangerous driving were the biggest causes of road fatalities in the year 2014, says a report of the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).
That means being careful and law-abiding drivers could reduce the number of accidents. Here is how you can contribute to ensuring road safety.
Carry Your Documents
When on the road, carry a valid driver’s license and documents like your car’s registration certificate, pollution certificate, and motor insurance. How does this help? For one thing, you feel more confident and in control when you have the paperwork in place. You do not need to dodge a cop by swerving lanes or jumping the signal and risking an accident.
Use Safety Gear
Paying attention to your own safety is as important as thinking about the safety for others. Wearing a helmet and fastening the seatbelt protects you from the risk of injury. If another automobile hits your bike or car, the helmet will protect you and the seatbelt will stop you from crashing into the windshield. You can make a difference by investing in a good helmet and ensuring that you have fastened the seatbelt.
Follow Speed Limits
‘Speed kills’ is a commonly used phrase in ads about road safety. Yet, people disobey speed limits. Driving at 60 kmph on a road that has a limit of 50 kmph might save you 20 minutes. But it will also add to the chances of an accident.
Maintain a Safe Distance
There will always be traffic on the road. If you do not maintain a safe distance from the car in front, you have little scope to apply the brakes suddenly. At the very least, this could damage your vehicle and result in expensive repairs.
Drink, But Don’t Drive
You might be able to walk and talk perfectly after that drink. You may not even have had a strong drink. But science proves that alcohol impairs your body’s reaction time. This means you are not fully capable of driving when under the influence of alcohol. If you have been drinking, always ask a teetotaller friend to drive you home or call a cab instead.
Maintain the Car
Keeping your car in good shape can ensure road safety. For example, maintaining the correct tyre pressure or replacing worn-out tyres can prevent skidding. Similarly, replacing the brake fluid in a timely manner and checking on coolant levels during hot weather can save your life. When an engine catches fire due to overheating or the brakes fail, lives are at stake.
Common sense can help you avoid accidents. For example, the rule is to overtake from the right. If the person ahead is not giving you way, being patient will get you better results than honking and swapping lanes to get ahead. You should also be calm and avoid road rage when stuck in a difficult situation. When driving or parking at night on the highway, make sure you have neon reflectors.
If you are a pedestrian, be attentive while crossing the road. Use public amenities like footpaths, subways and foot over-bridges wherever possible.