Road Safety Review: Drive Defensively
The hazard of driving could be greatly diminished if most people adhered to common sense and followed a few simple precautions. By driving safely and avoiding crashes, drivers keep themselves and their families safe while they also lower the insurance premiums that they have to pay—in fact, companies like Budget Direct and other insurance providers often offer safe driving discounts to qualified drivers.
Keep Your Distance
Most car accidents in Australia are rear end collisions. Drivers can reduce their chances of involvement in a rear end collision simply by increasing the amount of space between themselves and the vehicle in front of them. Ideally, drivers should follow at a distance of at least three seconds.
To determine how many seconds your car is behind the car in front of you, you will need check your following distance. To do this, you should start counting as the vehicle in front of you passes a stationary object like a telegraph pole. When your bonnet is even with the stationary object, you can stop counting.
Pay Attention When Other Drivers Are Not
Many collisions occur when cars fail to give way at crossroads. If you are traveling on the main road, you should not assume that the vehicles on the side streets will see you and yield. If a vehicle appears to be turning onto the road in your path, you should brake and give way. In cases like these, it is better to be safe than to be right.
Similarly, many accidents occur when a turning car makes a poor decision about the gap in traffic. If you see a vehicle waiting to turn, you should prepare your foot to brake. That way, if that car turns in front of you, you will be ready to react quickly.
Take Curves Carefully
Drivers should always pay heed to the cautionary signs at corners. The recommended speeds on these signs are the fastest advisable speeds for ideal driving conditions. In inclement weather, drivers should approach corners at a slower speed than advised.
Speeding through curves often causes vehicles to run off the road. The best way to avoid this threat is by slowing down. When you approach the corner, you should slow down as your visibility decreases and continue to slow down until your visibility starts to increase. As soon as you can clearly see the road in front of your car, you may increase your speed out of the corner.
Do Not Swerve
When something jumps into your driving path, it can be tempting to swerve, and on an empty dual carriage road, swerving may be the safest thing. However, with the current level of traffic density throughout much of Australia, swerving is no longer a safe option. Unfortunately, many drivers who attempt to swerve simply end up crashing, and ultimately, they end up paying more for their insurance even if they get their insurance through a cost effective company like Budget Direct.
Rather than swerving, drivers should brake as soon as they notice a potential road obstruction.
Keep Your Hands on the Wheel
Drivers facing an emergency situation may need to drive aggressively to get out of that situation. In order to facilitate this kind of safe driving, drivers should always have their hands ready to steer aggressively. The best places to keep your hands on the steering wheel are at the 9 o’clock and 3 o’clock positions—as your driver’s education instructors advised.
This position give drivers the greatest degree of arm leverage and control over their vehicle, and it makes them extra aware of where the vehicle’s wheels are positioned and how best to adjust them.