DrivingTips.com

Category - Driving Safety

Implementing a Car Safety Checklist for Your Automobile

Car Safety Checklist

Did you know that car manufacturers use an average of 8,000 bolts when they assemble a car? But it only takes one loose or missing bolt to make that car a hazardous machine. As a result, there have been numerous laws and pieces of legislation passed over the past few decades to increase safety on the roads and decrease the number of fatal accidents that occur every year. Nevertheless, there are over six million accidents that occur every year, and almost half of these accidents are considered serious. These accidents and collisions cause various agencies over £200 billion every year in financial responsibility.

The three main causes for this large number of accidents are:

  • Speeding
  • Driving Under The Influence
  • Driving While Distracted

The average driver can help reduce this annual statistic by making sure they are driving a vehicle that is properly maintained. They also need to learn how to prepare for the different risks they may encounter on the road.

Do Not Drive While Distracted

This is one of the first and most basic steps that you can take to become a better driver. Stop changing the radio while you are driving. Do not look at your GPS and do not talk on your mobile phone. Never read the newspaper, put makeup on, or eat a meal behind the wheel either. You should only focus on the important task that is driving. If you need to divert your full attention away from the road whilst you are driving, pull your car off of the road. You’d be surprised by how many accidents are caused by simple distractions like these that take your hands off the wheel and your eyes off the road, so changing your habits will definitely make a huge difference and make the road a much safer place for all drivers, as well as pedestrians.

Buy a Car with a Good Safety Rating

Every year, several consumer protection agencies reveal the safest cars of that year. Before you purchase your car, check its safety rating. If you are buying a used car, you should check for the safety rating and the car’s history. The added safety features on today’s most advanced vehicles are making it easier to remain aware while on the road. For example, blind spot monitors can help you avoid collisions, and today’s cars can also sound an alarm if you are veering off into the next lane. Or you can invest in a car that has a backup camera or that parallel parks itself. Cars are now built stronger than ever, with more airbags too. The choices are endless, but be prepared to pay extra for these great safety features.

Choose a Good Mechanic

Knowing what mechanic to go to when your car is in need of repairs in vitally important to ensuring that the repairs will be made correctly and that your vehicle will operate better and more safely once the repairs are made. A negligent mechanic that is out just to make money, on the other hand, can do a lot more harm than good to your vehicle and, ultimately, to your safety on the road.

It can be difficult to know if a mechanic is reputable or not. You can ask for recommendations from friends and family. The mechanic that you choose should have all of the proper licenses and accreditations. Your car insurance company can also recommend a good mechanic because they deal with a variety of mechanics on a daily basis.

Take Special Precautions When Driving in the Winter

Winter driving can bring special challenges for a driver. You should double-check all of your blind spots before you move your vehicle into another lane, and you should drive much more slowly and carefully in order to avoid slipping on ice and snow, especially black ice that is invisible. Also, make sure your tyres have the proper tread, and purchase snow chains if you need them.

Have a Checklist Before You Go On A Road Trip

Make sure that you thoroughly inspect your vehicle before you go on a trip. It is best that you take your car to your mechanic before you leave for your trip, but if you are not able to, you can check several areas yourself:

  • Wiper Blades
  • All Lights
  • Fluid Levels
  • Battery
  • Tires

The number of car accidents will continue to increase if drivers do not become more aware of their driving habits and the safety of their cars. Always make sure your car is well maintained and stay alert!

Driving At Night: 5 Tips For Seeing Better

It’s never easy driving at night — especially in traffic. You have low visibility, headlights on high beam from clueless drivers shining in your eyes and you’re usually tired, to boot. Driving at night is provably dangerous, too — 3 times as many fatal road accidents occur at night than during day, going by the NHTSA’s figures. Seen another way, while only 25% of all driving happens at night, nighttime driving accounts for 50% of all road deaths.

Everything is worse when you drive at night — you’re less able to perceive depth and color, your peripheral vision doesn’t work very well and you have lights shining in your eyes. Basic physics works against you, too — while your headlights on low beam typically light your way no more than 250 feet, you need 200 feet to stop when you’re going at 55 mph, the legal limit in most places. There’s barely any room for error.

So what do you do? Here are 5 tips to help you get home safe when you need to drive at night.

5. Clean up your act with your headlights

Car headlights aren’t made locked in place — they are adjustable. This is why nearly no car on the road has its headlights positioned for the best possible beam — not even new cars. It’s up to drivers to either ask a mechanic to recalibrate their lights or learn the simple procedure by reading through the manual. Drives do neither. Calibrated lights enable better visibility.

Even well-adjusted lights often fail to deliver a good beam. In many cases, for instance, aging plastic headlight lens covers that grow less and less transparent over the years are to blame. You can either buy a headlight polish kit to fix the problem yourself or look up a bit of DIY advice on how it can be done with toothpaste or other simple materials.

4. Make sure your dashboard lights are not distracting you

Modern dashboard displays can have a virtual Christmas tree’s worth of bright lights. If you have them all at full illumination, they can be both distracting and bad for your ability to see in the dark. This is why nighttime race drivers completely turn off their displays — they need to be able to see well and to concentrate on their driving. While turning displays off is a bad idea for road cars, it makes sense to turn the illumination down as low as it will go. This is what the dimmer switch is for. Map lights need to be turned off, too.

3. Forget those night driving glasses

Many sunglass displays at stores carry a certain yellow tinted product that is supposed to offer better nighttime visibility. You only have the manufacturers’ word to go on, though. The American Academy of Ophthalmology advises drivers to stay away from these glasses because they only offer the illusion of better vision.

The idea behind these yellow tints is that they enhance contrast, making dark objects stand out better. All they do really, though, is to cut down on the light you see and offer a misleading illusion of improved sharpness. If you have normal vision, vision aids can do nothing for you. If you do need prescription glasses, you should wear those and choose lenses that have antireflective coating. Normal eyes don’t need extra help.

2. Stay alert for bright eyes

Running over an animal can involve terrible pain and certain death for the animal. If it’s a larger animal, though, it isn’t good for the car, either. If you hit a large deer, for instance, you can easily lose control of your vehicle or even be crushed under its weight if it lands on your roof. The trick to avoiding these collisions at night is simple — you need to learn to watch out for redeye glints. It’s the same effect that you get with poorly composed nighttime flash shots. The flash hits the retinas and shows them up brightly.

When there is an animal in your path, your headlights will make its retinas shine — you’ll usually see them as two small bright spots in the darkness. When you train yourself to watch out for retinal reflections, you’ll soon learn to effortlessly spot them.

1. Finally, make sure that everything’s clean

A dirty windshield or mirrors can easily obscure a great deal of detail. Even a quick wipe is likely to help you see better. Getting windscreen cleaners that repel dust can help you keep your windshield clean long after you clean it.