In order to be a safe driver, there are some basic tips that you should keep in mind. Granted, even if you are a safe driver, that doesn’t mean others are, and there are many examples of people who were involved in accidents through no fault of their own. However, the more aware you are of your surroundings, the more you are paying attention to driving conditions, other drivers, and your own vehicle, the less likely the chances of being involved in an accident.
First let’s start with your vehicle.
Having a safe vehicle is probably just as important as the way you drive, and if your vehicle isn’t in good operating condition, you are more likely to have an accident, no matter how safe you are. You need to make sure that your tires have the proper amount of tread on them, as well as inflation. It used to be the penny check, to see if your tread was thick enough, now it’s a quarter, Placing a quarter in the tire groove, it should cover George Washington’s head. If it doesn’t, you may want to consider replacing them. The proper inflation is also important. There are numbers on the side wall of the tire, and this includes the proper air pressure. You should buy a tire gauge, and make sure that your tires are always filled properly.
You need to have regular tune ups done on your vehicle to keep it in proper working order, as well as having regular brake checks. Brake failure is a big cause of car wrecks. A general inspection of the vehicle, making sure your brake lights, turn signals, and running lights are working properly is essential for you and other drivers.
When you are out on the road,
You can’t just be a defensive driver, waiting to react to another driver. You have to be offensive as well, paying attention to everything around you, giving plenty of space between you and the other cars, and looking ahead for things that can happen, like a sudden gap in the traffic ahead of you. It could be that someone is preparing to turn, or waiting for another car to turn. You have to be aware of these things in order to be safe.
Always use your turn signals, no matter what, and signal well before your planned turn. No one can read your mind, so anyone who is following behind you needs to know well in advance when you plan on turning, so they can slow down or even stop if they have to. Waiting until the last minute, or not signaling at all is just asking to be rear ended.
Know your driving conditions.
If you plan on driving at night, then give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination. If you live in an area where there are cold and snowy winters, then make sure you slow down, anticipate signals and stop signs and give plenty of space to slow down and stop. Be aware of the dangers of winter driving, icy spots, snowing conditions, and skid outs. It may even be a good idea to learn winter driving skills from a qualified instructor.
Make sure you are wearing sunglasses during the day to improve your visibility, cut down on sun glare, and even adverse weather conditions. You want to find ones that have a copper coating, since this will improve your visibility without making things too dark. There are also sunglasses with a yellow tint to them, which can be ideal for driving at night.
Rules of the Road For Safe Bicycling and Riding
Bicycle and motorcycle riding are fun, but as with all fun, comes responsibilities. There is a portion of the population’s bicycle riders who choose not to accept, or are uninformed that their two wheeled “pedal” form of transportation is also governed by the same laws that pertain to motorized vehicles.
All bicycle riders regardless of age should be required to submit to an age appropriate written test and “test ride.” Those who pass are to be issued a bicycle license. Automobile drivers, truck drivers, motorcycle riders have to pass similar tests to be on the road. Far too many people are uninformed of the traffic laws, responsibilities and expectations of them to be consistently safe driver of their chosen vehicle (s). Ignorance of traffic laws is no excuse for unsafe conduct. The “Rules of the Road” belong to everyone who rides or drives. Accidents, injuries and bicycle deaths could be reduced if everyone would do their part in sharing the road.
If all licensed automobile drivers were required to successfully complete a Bicycle Safety Awareness course, in order to renew their driver’s license, maybe the two groups of drivers would start to share the road, safely and diplomatically. Bicycle riders need to be educated to the fact that a bicycle is a vehicle by law, and that in so being, they are subject to obeying all traffic laws, also!
A Bicycle Rider Training Course needs to be established for each state. Safety equipment such as (front, back and wheel spoke reflectors need to be part of the “vehicle body.” Oregon law regarding front and rear bicycle light states: that “either the bicycle or its rider must be equipped with lighting equipment during limited visibility conditions (that) must show a white light visible from a distance of at least 500 feet to the front of the bicycle…(and) a red reflector or lighting device visible from all distances up to 600 feet to the rear.” Violation of Oregon’s law: ORS 815.280 regarding will cost you a $90.00 ticket.