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Always drive defensively, expect the worst from other drivers, and remember - Speed Kills. Rather be a little late than DEAD on time.
HIT THE SACK, NOT THE ROAD WHEN
You have been drinking alcohol.
You are under the influence of any drug.
You have taken any prescription or over-the-counter medicine that can cause drowsiness.
You are very tired.
Your vehicle has mechanical defects.
In addition, avoid driving when you are emotionally upset, extremely angry, or very depressed.
CHECKS AND BALANCES
Check your car's wipers and make sure they are in good condition, fluid levels are full, tyres properly inflated and worn tyres replaced.
Open your car door without blocking the way of cyclists, bumping the door into pedestrians or into other cars.
When inside your vehicle, Shut and lock doors, locate all controls.
Make sure there are no loose items on the floor and under the seat, especially bottles, cans, and balls that can roll under the foot pedals and prevent their proper operation.
Check over shoulder (blindspot) and move off.
- Ensure handbrake is on.
- Ensure gear lever is in neutral.
- Adjust seating.
- Adjust mirrors.
- Fasten seatbelt.
- Start engine (check dash warning lights and familiarize with positions of the key, i.e., ignition/accessories, etc.).
- Select appropriate gear (in an automatic, foot must be firmly on brake).
- Release ratchet on handbrake (pull up a little, press button, and hold).
- Check mirrors.
- Give five second indication.
DRIVE TO SURVIVE
Be aware of weather conditions such as rain, snow, or even strong wind and take note of hazardous road surfaces covered with oil, water, loose stones or gravel and drive accordingly.
- In addition, keep a lookout for pot holes or debris, which had come adrift from trucks or bakkies such as building material or refuse. In strong wind, large paper or plastic bags could blow up against your windscreen and obscure your view of the road.
- Paper or plastic clinging to the front of your car blocking air ducts or your radiator grill while driving could cause your car to overheat.
- Do not drive erratically such as stopping abruptly or changing direction without a good reason such as an emergency. A smooth predictable driving style does not give other motorists nasty surprises and after all, it is better for your car.
- Always maintain a good vision ahead and around your car.
- Stay alert and be prepared to react to the unexpected, remember a vehicle stopping in front of you may be letting a car or pedestrian cross.
- Take care when overtaking. Moreover, when overtaking, remember: cars but especially motorcycles could be travelling much faster towards you than you anticipated...
- Anticipate the mistakes or unsafe manoeuvres of the other drivers.
- Keep your eyes moving.
- Watch for the brake lights of moving cars ahead but also the reverse lights of any stationary vehicle that may enter your path.
- Pay close attention at pedestrian crossings and when driving near playgrounds, schoolyards, and shopping centres.
- Be cautious of cyclists or children playing near the road.
- Use your horn only to warn pedestrians or other drivers of possible trouble or to avoid accidents.
- Use headlights in rain, snow, fog, in evening, or early morning.
- Allow extra space between heavy-equipment vehicles, motorcycles, or bicycles and your vehicle.
- If a tailgater is following you, move to another lane if possible or pull to the side of the road and let the tailgater pass you. Avoid road rage at all times.
- Never race other motorists.
- Do not drive in another driver's blind spot.
- Do not weave in and out of traffic.
- Avoid &rduo;highway hypnosis.“ during prolonged trips.
- Be aware of road works or temporary speed reduction signs.
- If you plan to drive a long distance, stop and stretch after every two hours.
- Stay in the middle of your lane in between the lines.
- Slow down in unfamiliar areas and watch out for sport events such as fun runs, marathons, and cycle races.
TURN THE OTHER CHEEK
Even when other motorists drive foolishly, give up your right of way to prevent an accident when necessary. Do not retaliate, you do not know what sort of character you would be dealing with.
WALK THE TALK and don't STALK
Chatting to passengers or adjusting a car stereo, eating, and drinking can be distracting.
Do not even think of talking to some one driving next to you through an open car window.
Use cellphones with hands free equipment only but avoid lengthy conversations anyway.
Never send SMS messages while driving.
In addition, while driving, never allow passengers to physically interfere with you including sexual petting, which could be seriously distracting.
AND IN THE EVENT OF
- Learn how to react in emergency situations like skidding or tire blowouts.
- Deteriorated handling or a heavier feel of the steering wheel are tell tales of a deflating tyre.
- Have a keen ear for traffic noises such as sirens, screeching tyres, and revving engines of other road users.
- Do not play your car stereo loud and listen for strange mechanical noises in your car suggesting mechanical problems.
FOLLOW ME, I'M RIGHT BEHIND YOU
The two-second safe following distance rule.
- When the vehicle ahead of you passes a fixed object, start counting. Count "one thousand and one, one thousand and two." If you have reached the fixed object before "two", you are following too closely. If this is the case, slow down to create the two-second space.
- In poor driving conditions, add one more second for each weather condition encountered. For example, rain and fog would add two more seconds to your following time. If you live in a large metropolitan area, you may think this is not possible.
Most accidents occur at intersections, and within two to three seconds after the light changes. Follow these tips to avoid many intersection accidents:
- As you approach any uncontrolled intersection, never assume the other driver is going to yield. Cover your brake with your right foot and prepare to stop.
- If you are approaching an intersection where the light has been green for a while, cover your brake and prepare to stop.
- If your vehicle is stopped at an intersection with a traffic light, and it turns green, wait. Make sure the traffic has stopped. Never assume. Look left, right and back left before proceeding through the intersection.
- Always look for pedestrians at intersections.
Simply put, you cannot stop on a dime!
Braking distance is a factor of three components:
In ideal circumstances, perception time is about one second and reaction time is three-fourths of a second. If you are tired, under the influence of drugs or alcohol or distracted (i.e., using a car phone), these times will increase.
- perception time
- reaction time
- and braking distance.