In 2019 alone, a harrowing 1,870 people tragically lost their lives in road accidents, and a further 27,650 people were seriously injured on the road during this time. These statistics are drastically higher than they could be. Although there are many factors that come into play to cause a road accident, the one thing we as drivers have most control over is being aware that an accident could occur. We cannot change weather conditions and traffic but we can reduce the risk of an accident occurring ourselves – here is how.
Although you have passed your test and can legally drive, your lessons have only taught you how to drive. They have not taught you how to ensure you are keeping fellow road users and yourself as safe as possible. The first thing you can do as a driver to stay safe is to pinpoint different hazards before you get behind the wheel – you could look online at the route you are going to take and find out if accidents have occurred there before or if there are currently roadworks on your route. This will allow you to be confident before every journey and you will more likely be able to anticipate potential hazards and accidents.
One of the biggest issues in the driving world is the inability of many drivers to remain fully concentrated from the beginning of a journey to the end of a journey. Although this issue is more common in younger drivers, people of all ages struggle with their concentration and this, in turn, affects most people on the road in one way or another. It is essential that, as a driver, you do as little things as possible that could be taking your concentration away from the road. These things could be:
• Using hands free
• Using a satnav
• Talking to passengers
All of these things, and many more, may seem like small things to you – but they could be the difference between life and death for people on the road. Also, if you are sad or angry then it is best to choose another time to drive, as you will not be able to put all your concentration into having a safe journey.
Although you may be familiar with the roads you will be driving on, no road is the exact same road every single day. Many factors such as road works, weather, traffic, and crops can affect a road. It is essential that you are vigilant and look out for any of these changes as they could come back to bite you if you drive in autopilot. As the seasons change, these factors will make your driving experience very different – try your best to become familiar with all four seasons and how they affect the roads so that you can become adaptable to different driving scenarios.