A good command of defensive driving knowledge is the only thing that stands between drivers from serious accidents. In 2012, Ireland achieved a feat of having an all-time low of road fatalities. According to the Road Safety Authority, the number of casualties on Irish roads fell to 162, which was down 24 from its 2011 record. Technological advancements in creating modern cars made it possible to reduce vehicular accidents in Ireland, but in the end, most road mishaps are still the cause of poor judgment by the driver. This is quite evident in many countries and the US is no exception. According to ABC News, there has been a 7.1% increase of highway accidents in the first 9 months of 2012.
During driving lessons, instructors always remind their students of the basic no-no’s on the road such as never to speed, don’t drink and drive, and always wear a seatbelt. While these may be enough to keep one safe, here are a few more tips that will make one safer while driving on the road:
1.) Always remember the three-second rule
The best way to avoid collision with other cars is by remembering this three-second rule suggested by SmartMotorist. In fact, if every driver will always keep this rule in mind, there would be little to no car accidents on the road during a fine weather. The rule suggests that all motorists should have a three-second distance between their car and the one in front of them. This can be easily done by finding a fixed object on the road such as trees or poles. When the car in front passes by the object, begin counting to three slowly. If one reaches the object before completing the count, then a driver is going too fast. The three second distance should give motorists enough time and distance to react in case an unexpected problem arises with the car up ahead.
2.) Don’t try to beat the wind
Many people panic when a strong wind is present. They think that the best way to avoid road casualties on a windy day is to drive past the wind. However, this is a very dangerous gesture as the wind may play a part in accelerating the car into uncontrollable speeds. Worse, the strong winds may change a car’s direction in an instant without giving the driver time to react. Strong winds are a great threat because they can easily push SUVs and large trucks into the different lanes. The best defense a motorist can do when a strong wind is present is to go slow or better yet, pull over to a safe place and let the strong winds pass.
3.) Keep the vehicle regularly tuned up and insured
Vehicle maintenance is something that many people overlook. Many drivers only submit their cars for maintenance when the “check engine” light comes up. If a car is difficult to start, producing emissions that are darker than usual, faltering to accelerate, or has poor maneuverability, by all means, have it checked. It’s also a good idea to keep the tire pressure at normal levels on a daily basis. In addition to tune ups, all cars should definitely be insured. No matter how defensive a driver is, some other clumsy drivers may still get in one’s way of safety. These days, car insurance usually doesn’t cost much especially if one practices defensive driving. According to car insurance company aviva, drivers get a 50% discount if they make no claims for 5 years. Car insurance plus defensive driving is the ultimate combination of car safety and driver comfort.
In the following years, one can only hope that the roads will be safer in the US. If Ireland can do it, the US citizens should be able to follow suit.