India records the highest number of deaths in road rashes worldwide. This has been declared by the World Health Organization (WHO) in their Global Status Report on the aspect of Road Safety. It therefore calls for a concerted effort from all of us to minimize the probabilities of accidents, by driving safe as well as inculcating good habits of driving.
This article provides you with certain guidelines that will help you stay safe while driving.
Guideline 1- Both the side view and rear mirrors have to be properly adjusted:
Before you start the vehicle, you need to adjust both your side view as well as rear mirrors to ensure that you get the correct angles which would maximize your visual range. It is necessary to get unobstructed and clear view from your back window as well as the sides of your vehicle.
Guideline 2 – Always use the seat belts:
Seat belts significantly reduce chances of meeting with death or getting seriously injured, if accidents occur. You should not only fasten your seat belt before starting the vehicle but also ensure that all other occupants in the car do the same.
Guideline 3 – Do not get distracted while driving:
While driving, you need to be completely attentive, because distraction can increase chances of having an accident. Try to avoid adjusting your car stereo system, communicating on handsets or chatting with fellow passengers etc. These are distractive activities that can increase the probability of accidents.
Guideline 4 – Drive in a relaxed manner having proper anticipation of traffic situations:
You should avoid constantly speeding and braking the vehicle. If you have to change lanes, due to obstructions ahead, do so by using the turn indicators. Do not indulge in a racing game with other drivers.
Guideline 5 – Effective use of gears:
Shifting to the next gear should only be done when 2000-2500rpm is reached by the engine. The engine speed should be maintained uniformly at 2000rpm or below. Start your vehicle at 1st gear, change to the 2nd gear only after one car length, and use the 3rd and 4th gears at 30kmph and 40kmph respectively. Shift to 5th or higher gears only after reaching 50kmph.
Guideline 6 – It is safe to maintain a three seconds distance between two vehicles:
It is advisable to maintain a relatively safe distance between the vehicles that you are driving from the one just ahead so that you can avoid crashing if the front car suddenly stops. Try to maintain a 3 second gap from the vehicle ahead of you, on days of poor weather and low visibility, this gap has to be increased to 6 seconds.
Guideline 7 – Selectively switch off your car engine:
You can identify appropriate situations that require more than 20 seconds of stoppage and switch off your engine in that situation to save fuel. You can switch the engine off when you are loading or unloading your car, in traffic lights, when in severe traffic jams, at railway crossings and the likes.
Guideline 8 – Appropriately use the built-up energy and momentum of the vehicle:
You can stop using the accelerator and roll along with ongoing traffic while approaching red lights, before changing the vehicle direction, in traffic jams and when approaching “Stop” signs.
Guideline 9 – Remove additional weight from your vehicle:
With the addition of 20kg weight, fuel consumption increases by 1%. Hence, you should remove those weights that lie unnecessarily in the vehicle. Racks on the roof and the rear should be taken off when not in use.
Guideline 10 – Check you tyre pressure regularly:
The tyres should be regularly checked and the pressure should be appropriately adjusted for increasing safety as well as saving fuel. Plying the vehicle with correct pressure on tyres can increase fuel economy 1% to 3%.
If followed appropriately, these guidelines will go a long way to keep you safe from the risks of meeting with an accident and at the same time ensure that all the features in your car function at optimum levels.