There’s a disturbing trend we’ve been noticing amongst car owners as of late. There are many people that there are willing to put effort into being safe on the roads. But there are just as many who seem to neglect their responsibility altogether. These people are the ones first to play the blame game when problems surface. But the truth is, most accidents are caused because we fail to prepare where we easily could have. Here, we’ll look at how you prepare and take responsibility for mitigating your own risk.
Let’s get this out of the way. As responsible as you might think you are, there will always be risks on the road. It might be an unexpected pothole or another driver. Sometimes, you won’t have any room to mitigate the risk. But most times, you will. The factor in mitigating those risks is focus. That’s why it’s important always to drive when you’re able to pay the utmost attention when driving. Avoid drowsy driving but using caffeine to wake yourself up or even by stopping somewhere safe to take a nap. Make sure that you leave any distractions like your phone out of reach when driving. If your friends can’t stop chatting, then don’t take them in the car anymore.
Recognise the risk of drink-driving
All too often, sober people make judgements that lead to drink driving. People who drink drive are often all too aware of the dangers, normally. It’s only after they’ve been drinking that they start underestimating the risk. The problem is that too many people keep their keys on them when they start drinking. They think their judgement now won’t change later in the night. To make sure that you avoid drink driving, always entrust your keys to someone else or leave them home altogether. Set up a designated driver if you’re worried that you might repeat risky behaviours you’ve done in the past. If you’re the designated driver, then you need to act as the judgement for your friends and take their keys.
Get better at assessing risks
We all take it for granted that younger, inexperienced drivers are just going to learn from experience. That there are risks they’re not accounting for now, but they will in future. Yet for a lot of drivers, there won’t be a second chance. You need to start being more mindful of the road. When you pay attention, it’s easy to see where risks come from. It’s easy to understand that poor weather, visibility and icy roads are serious risks. It’s easy to understand that trucks have blind spots where you might be in more danger, so you should give them more space. A good way to get better at assessing risks is by asking a more experienced driver to come with you and help you spot those dangers.
Choose more reliable cars
The condition of your car can play just as big a role on your safety when you’re out on the road. Proper maintenance and choosing the best parts is a big factor in that. But so is your choice of the car, itself. Safety features alone don’t make a safer car. A car that’s less likely to fail you is a safer car. So you should keep reliability as one of your key criteria for choosing your next car. Look at the brands that score high on reliability tests and need a lot fewer fixes from mechanics.
Stop warning signs early
Of course, no matter how reliable a car is, they are all liable to fail us at some point. Most failures are preceded by warning signs that we could all get a lot savvier in recognising. For instance, one of the most common warning signs are the fluids that might be leaking underneath your vehicle. Identifying what fluid that is needs to be a priority. In some cases, like with coolant, it could be toxic to animals and kids. In other cases, like brake fluid, it could mean that your car is officially too dangerous and even illegal to drive. It’s up to you to start learning what warning signs need to be recognised. Fuel smells inside the car, screeching sounds from the brakes. Get to know your car and what these mean.
Get parts that actually work
When we do go to get our car fixed, a lot of us will put cost above all else. However, doing it that way, or trusting the wrong garages, can get you parts that are only more likely to fail you sooner again. You need to choose the right providers. For instance, you need to look at dealers like Spire Automotive that only source parts directly from car manufacturers. You shouldn’t trust parts that aren’t specifically designed for your car. Nor should you try and replace them yourself unless you’re one-hundred percent sure you know what you’re doing. Botched repairs and replacements can be just as dangerous as ignoring those severe warning signs.
Know who to call
You need to be armed with right information just as much as the right car parts. Being able to get in contact with help is going to make any crisis on the road a lot easier to deal with. It’s recommended that you keep a fully charged phone in your car emergency kit at all times. You should also have a written list of phone numbers to contact. Saving them on your phone might not be enough in case it’s dead or has been broken in an accident. Your emergency numbers, like insurance, lawyers, and breakdown services, should all be there. As should any family contacts you need to call in the case of an emergency. You never know when it might happen to you, so it’s imperative you prepare in advance.
From practicing safer driving to being a more responsible car owner, there’s a lot you can do. Keep being as mindful and preventative as you can. The more people that take responsibility for their own actions on the road, the safer they’ll all be.