According to Arrive Alive, every month there is anything between 700 and 1100 fatal car accidents in South Africa. This does not even take into consideration the number of accidents that occur and result in injury or, at the very least, damage to the vehicles that are involved. While it is all good and well to have car insurance, it is in everyone’s best interests to do all that they can in order to avoid accidents on the road.
Most people believe that they are invincible when in their cars, which is why so many of us drive over the speed limit. Unfortunately, speed significantly increases your chances of causing an accident. Not only could you lose control of the car, but you will also have much less time to react should anything happen in front of you, such as another car slowing down as a result of an obstruction. No matter how good you think your reflexes are, driving over the speed limit is never a good idea. Remember that you are not only putting yourself at risk, but other drivers on the road too.
Due to the fact that women tend to stick to the speed limit, women’s car insurance is generally much cheaper than car insurance for men.
Use your indicator
Yes, it does make an annoying noise that is enough to drive anyone crazy if they have been sitting in traffic for a while. But the fact remains that your indicator is there for a reason. While it is essential to use when turning corners, it is even more necessary when changing lanes. Even if you think that nobody is behind you, use your indicator as it will give other drivers a chance to use their brakes if you have forgotten to check your blind spot or if they are speeding and come out of nowhere.
Always have both hands on the wheel
If you have many years of driving experience, it can be quite easy to drive on ‘auto-pilot’. It is also common for people to drive using only one hand, especially in heavy traffic. This, however, can be incredibly dangerous. Should something happen ahead of you on the road, you will have less time to react and avoid an accident if both of your hands are not on the wheel. By remaining alert and driving with both hands, you can increase your reaction time and are more likely to retain control of the vehicle in the case of an emergency – or an unexpected pothole!
Be courteous to other drivers
While this is a simple rule that most considerate people follow already, it really could help you avoid a nasty accident. If you are courteous to other drivers, chances are that you will be more aware of what is going on around you. This kind of alertness will help you to stay safe on the road and avoid falling victim to someone who is going to take liberty and drive in front of you without indicating or looking behind them.
Do not drink and drive
An obvious suggestion yet one that always has to be mentioned due to the high statistics that pertain to accidents related to drunk driving. Alcohol limits one’s driving ability and puts everyone in danger. Just don’t do it and you will cut your risk of having an accident in half!
It is thus obvious that the key to avoiding accidents lies in being able to stay alert, sticking to the rules of the road and being courteous to other drivers. By following the five tips above, you will become a better driver and improve safety on the roads in general. You might even be able to cut your vehicle insurance premium down in the process, too!