By Nigel Hilton
There are thousands of motor vehicles on the roads today, and the potential for accidents and fatalities are huge. In 2016, the National Safety Council estimated around 40,000 people lost their lives due to motoring accidents and millions more were injured.
Making the road safe is your responsibility. Having a car or a motorbike offers you tremendous freedom and convenience, but if you are an unsafe driver, you are risking the lives of others as well as your own.
Safe driving is not only about saving lives. The cost of a road accident can be huge. Not only will there be the potential for medical bills, but you are also liable to pay higher premiums on your insurance. Motorcyclists are at particular risk of being shortchanged and there are law firms who will fight on your side, but your priority should be safer driving before you get into that position.
Here are four ways you can be safer on the road.
Take further lessons
There aren’t many people who could call themselves a perfect driver, and those that do are probably being a tad arrogant. We can all do with more practice, especially if we have been driving for a long time and become complacent in our driving standards. Taking a refresher course, such as in defensive driving, will make you a better driver and save money on your car insurance.
You should already know what you shouldn’t do when behind the wheel. Using your phone when driving, getting in your car while under the influence of alcohol, and driving while feeling sleepy, are just some of the ways you are being negligent. There are countless other ways you can behave badly. From speeding to road rage, you need to take greater control of your attitude when out on the road. Other drivers may behave irresponsibly, but you don’t need to follow their actions. Do the right thing, follow the Highway Code, and reduce the risk of an accident through your good behavior.
Keep your car maintained
No matter how good your driving skills, if your car is a potential deathtrap, you are increasing the chances of an accident or fatality. Always keep on top of your car maintenance. Follow this handy checklist to help you take better care of your car. While there may be things you can do yourself, you should still take your car to a qualified technician if you are unsure. At the very least, you need to make sure you get your car serviced annually for your peace of mind.
Buy a safe car
When possible, consider a newer car with the latest safety features. While the cost will be high, you will at least have a better chance at staying safe on the road. However, whatever car you choose, ensure it is roadworthy before purchase. Always hire a technician to check a used car, as there may be potential pitfalls you are unaware of. A brand new car is safer but check online for any known problems that may have occurred with the manufacturer.