Whether you’re a trucker spending almost all day every day behind the wheel or you commute to work and back each day, if you’re spending significant amounts of time behind the wheel it’s paramount you always put safety first. When you’re getting behind the wheel of any vehicle you’re in control of something that has the potential to be deadly.
This is the obvious one, despite what some drivers might think the speed limit is actually there for our safety rather than our inconvenience. If you’re driving a small or family size petrol car you want to be in third gear at thirty and this will stop you speeding. If you’re caught speeding you can face getting points on your license (which will increase your insurance premium) and a fine.
A common mistake most drivers make when they suddenly see a static speed camera or a speed van at the side of the road is to slam their breaks on. Don’t do this, if you were going so fast you’re above the limit it’s better to accept your three points and your £60 fine than risk having the car behind you slam into the back of you because they weren’t expecting you to break.
It might not be practical to check the engine coolant and dip stick every day but it doesn’t take more than a few seconds to circle the car to look at the wheels. Most wheels have a tread marker on them which will indicate the legal 1.6mm legal minimum tread. Bald tires are not only illegal they’re also very inefficient; you’ll consume much more fuel with either under inflated or low tread tires.
Some people claim they like to go for a drive to clear their head, to be honest those people are worrying. They’re the ones who keep getting a little too close to the bumper of the car in front or they don’t notice that red light until the last second. It’s essential you keep a clear and focused head when you’re driving. If you’re preoccupied, tied, bored or just not concentrating you’re not safe.
The average car driver doesn’t have the highest opinion of the average biker, the average horse box doesn’t think much of the average car driver and no one seems to like white van drivers. Whatever stereotype you have you need to make sure you put it out your brain when you’re driving.
Technically motorways are the safest roads to drive on in Britain, mile for mile they have less accidents than A, B and country roads combined. Unfortunately when there is an accident it’s usually much more devastating than on any other road and they’re usually preventable by knowing what’s going on around you.
You don’t have to drive on a motorway to pass your test, this means you could be behind, next to, or in front of someone who’s never driven on a motorway in their life so always bear that in mind. Before you head onto any motorway make sure you know your route, you can travel quite a distance just taking your eyes off the road for a few seconds so you don’t want to be updating sat navs or checking maps while driving. If you’re really stuck wait until the next exit where you can pull up safely and check.
Know the road
The roads are covered with signs, colors, and markers etc. that tell us everything we need to know. From different colored cat’s eyes to the level of street lighting, all the basic information is there. If you’re not sure what the speed limit is and you’re in a residential area with street lights it will be 30mph unless otherwise stated at regular intervals. If you’re on a rural road or duel carriage way with no lighting the speed limit will usually be national unless otherwise stated at regular intervals.
No matter how long you’re been driving, it never hurts to pick up the Highway Code and brush up on your knowledge. Ignorance is never an excuse, if you’re ever pulled over you won’t get out of trouble by claiming you didn’t know the rules of the road.