Distracted driving has been estimated to contribute to an average of 25%-50% of road accidents.How many times have you told someone that you are a safe driver? How many times have you heard someone say “I have been driving for years”? But the reality is that you may not be the expert you think you are.
As simple as driving can be, the real issue here is adhering to the rules and regulations of the road. Here are some common safety rules that are broken almost by all!
Skipping traffic lights
How many of us increase our speed when we see the traffic signal light changing from green to yellow in an attempt to beat it before it turns red? This is something almost everyone does on a regular basis without realising that this is wrong.
The whole purpose of the traffic lights, especially amber/yellow is to give you and the person behind you a heads up to slow down when it turns yellow as opposed to stepping on the accelerator.
When you race instead of braking and slowing down, there is scope for all kinds of accidents - from hitting pedestrians who have started crossing the road or ramming into other vehicles in a rush to cross the signal. Please avoid this mistake and ensure that your actions will not endanger anyone in your surroundings.
Using a traffic circle
Driving on a traffic circle or roundtana as we call them in India, is not as complicated as drivers make it out to be.
Yet this is where a lot of honking and unpleasantries are exchanged.
The most important thing here is to be patient and to give way to cars approaching from the right. Another important safety rule which most forget, is to use the indicator lights in your vehicle to notify other drivers and to keep them informed as to which direction you are going and what action you are about to take.
Doing this will definitely help keep each other and the road a safer place.
Giving way to pedestrians.
Most drivers think they always have the upper hand on the road and that pedestrians can see them while coming and hence they need to wait, but this is not the case all the time.
Some things to keep in mind, when turning at an intersection, drivers should give way to pedestrians crossing the road, whether there is a traffic light or not. A rule that needs to be followed at all times is to always be on the lookout for pedestrians when driving in residential areas. Remember to stop at pedestrian crossings and stop signs to allow pedestrians to cross safely without having any hassle or worries. It is important to realise that most pedestrians have no real sense of the speed at which you’re travelling towards them and may sometimes misjudge and walk across. It best to be alert and slow down in anticipation when you spot a pedestrian crossing the road ahead of you.
Using Cell Phones
While mobile technology is considered a boon, using a mobile phone while driving is definitely a bane. This is a constant battle that the traffic cops face these days and trying really hard to curb on the road. Texting and driving is the latest affliction of many drivers. It’s just a quick call/text!” or “I can still see the road and they can see me” are lines we hear a lot from people who are using their phones while driving.
The only time you should be using your phone while driving is through voice activation or hands-free kits or the use of Bluetooth technology. These are some alternatives to keep you safe while driving.
Making a ‘quick’ U-turn
How many times have you made a U-turn in areas you shouldn’t be or without being fully aware of our surroundings? You might feel that it’s not wrong but this move can cause a lot of repercussions and also threaten the safety of others in your surroundings.
When making a U-turn in any situation or area, as a driver you need to have a clear view of your surroundings and what is happening. Before making a U-turn, you need to make way for all pedestrians and vehicles in that particular direction.
There are areas where U-turns are not permitted at all! The area where this rule is most commonly broken is at a traffic light where there is a clear “No U-turn” sign. Even on the highway, there are many “no U-turn” areas (for good reason) and still many people violate this rule.
Every road and intersection is built differently, some have multiple lanes whereas others might have only two. When lanes get merged and are reduced, this can cause confusion which might lead to a lot of cross-lane movements, causing some chaos where one does not realise who has right of way.
In these situations, you should give way to the car that is ahead of you – this means you shouldn’t step on that accelerator to beat them and close the gap! On the other hand, if you are coming from the lane that is being merged into an already existing one, you must give way to any car already driving in that direction and wait for a safe gap to switch into the lane.
What exactly does it mean to keep a safe following distance?
The main problem is that many of us use the gaps between cars as opportunities to swerve into the lane flowing quicker than the one we’re in.
There is no logic in being right on the tail of the car ahead of you though. Keeping a safe following distance allows you enough time to slow down and brake gently. In bad weather or rough road conditions, increase this following distance so the chances of you driving into the car in front of you are reduced.
Keep a safe distance so that you are able to assess what is happening around you and react appropriately.
Remember! These are common mistakes that most of us make while driving but another added advantage of following road rules will prevent you from making unnecessary claims on your car insurance. (can link it to our product page)
As a driver, it is important for you to be vigilant at all times and focus on what you are doing to avoid putting your life and the lives of your fellow drivers in danger