The condition of roads and infrastructure of the country is becoming better year after year. However, the fact that the number of road accidents keeps on increasing with every passing year tells a lot about awareness of people in following basic rules and etiquettes while driving or riding. There are some basic rules which need to be taken care of while driving or riding to remain as safe on the road as possible, which are no rocket science. Here are those rules:
Do not over-speed
Over-speeding is one of the biggest reasons behind the uncountable road accidents which happen daily. Both urban streets and highways of India have confined speed limits, breaking of which is punishable legally. However, despite various speed limit signboards and road safety advertisements, many people overlook the speed limits fixed for city traffic and long highways. So it is better to stick below the speed limits mentioned for the road or area, to ensure the safety of both you and your passers-by and avoid any unnecessary speed tickets penalized on you.
Maintain a safe distance from the vehicle ahead of you
You are well aware of your driving pattern and behaviour on the road, but you cannot take any guarantee for the same of the person riding or driving ahead of you. Rather than tailgating behind a vehicle in both city traffic and highways, it is safe to maintain a distance of at least two meters on the road. It will surely come in handy whenever the person riding or driving in front of you suddenly applies brakes. In such conditions, if you do not maintain a safe distance, you are bound to rear-end the vehicle ahead of you and invite unnecessary road rage and damage.
Wear protective gear
Just for the sake of at least your safety, wear a proper ISI-marked helmet in case you are riding or seat belts when you are driving a four-wheeled vehicle. While driving, if you are not wearing seat belts, you will eventually crash into the windshield and injure yourself seriously in case of an accident. Likewise, if you are met with an accident while riding a two-wheeler and are not wearing a helmet, you are bound to injure your head severely.
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Avoid drinking and driving/riding
It is legally punishable to ride or drive under the influence of alcohol. Consumption of alcohol usually derails the reaction time of a human. So, while riding or driving, you might eventually feel dizzy and lose control over your vehicle, which can lead to fatal accidents. Even if you think that you are very much stable even after alcohol consumption and want to head somewhere, it is advisable to not hold control of your vehicle and take a lift or book a cab in such situations.
Keep your vehicle documents handy
It is important to be well aware of certain documents which you should always have while riding or driving. These documents include a registration certificate, insurance policy, pollution under control certificate and your driving license. Carrying all the documents along with you not only gives you a sense of safe driving or riding but also avoid the unnecessary hassle of avoiding traffic policemen at signals or barricades. Also, carrying your documents along with you give you an upper hand in case you meet with an accident due to the mistake of the other party, who might not be carrying these documents during the time of the incident.
Keep your car/two-wheeler condition intact
At the end of the day, your car or two-wheeler which you drive/ride is a machine, which demands constant attention and care to be kept in good shape. Before driving or riding to a place, there are some key points about your vehicle to keep in mind. These are maintaining the right air pressure in tyres, check the wear and tear of your tyres and optimal level of brake fluid, engine oil and coolant. Checking all these factors will help you avoid situations of being stranded midway while driving.
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Avoid distractions while driving
Nowadays, it has become a very common practice of talking on phones while driving or riding. Even on a two-wheeler, people ride with one hand on the phone and the other on the accelerator, while not wearing a helmet. This is not only a seriously foolish thing to do but also a highly unsafe one. So, avoid taking calls while driving or riding, and if that phone call is urgent, allow yourself to park sideways, turn off the vehicle and attend your call. Also, refrain from driving with loud music in your vehicle, which is another major mode of distraction while driving.
Follow the practice of defensive driving
While driving or riding, it is better to anticipate the scenarios of accidents, especially related to other people on the road who are driving or riding recklessly. Just to be on the safer side by yourself, it is advisable to practice defensive driving. Under this practice, you need to maintain your calm even in the most difficult conditions and surroundings on the road and be attentive to the most foolish and irresponsible of the driver/rider, pedestrian or stray animal. Drive at a slow pace, especially you are driving within city peripherals.
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Drive more carefully during bad weather
Climatic conditions like heavy rainfall, snowfall or fog do create adverse conditions for driving and riding. During such scenarios, the visibility of the road and traffic ahead of you and sideways reduces drastically, which can lead to fatal accidents. So, for driving/riding in such conditions, it is better to drive as slow as you can and turn on all of your lights to improve visibility around you. In case you are driving, the windshield wipers of your car should be in optimal condition. It should be done to make sure your windscreen is free of falling rainwater and scratches while driving.
Avoid driving in drowsy condition
In case you are driving continuously for a long time or are driving in low light conditions or at night, ‘zoning’ out is a common phenomenon to face. Due to tiredness in such driving conditions, it is inevitable for the driver to start falling asleep. It can result in loss of attention and control over your vehicle that can result in an accident. If you face such a condition, it is better to take a break and turn chances if you are driving with another person on board who knows how to drive a car.