Thursday 25th August 2016
As with most rental companies one of our largest problems is vehicle damage. Prangs, bumps and even more serious accidents are a daily issue, but many could be prevented.
We’re not suggesting everyone enrol onto an advanced driving course but there are simple steps you could take to improve your driving skills. We take a look at some basic measures which if introduced could improve your daily driving and reduce the number of accidents on our roads:
Be a proactive rather than a reactive driver – know what’s around your vehicle. Not only be aware of motorcycles or vehicles approaching from behind but also leave plenty of room between the vehicle in front. Keep a safe distance when travelling at speed and when stationary remember the tyre to tarmac rule. When stopping behind a vehicle always ensure you can see the rear tyres of the vehicle in front touching the tarmac. This leaves a safe space if the vehicle in front were to roll and space to allow you room to move forward if needed.
Parking manoeuvres are the cause of many minor bumps. Practiced religiously on driving lessons, it’s a skill often forgot. If there’s one parking skill to use it has to be reverse bay parking. Not only is it easier to reverse into a bay than pulling forward but it’s by far easier to leave the bay. It’s faster, safer and all round easier and a skill often used by advanced motorists.
There have been plenty of studies to determine whether speeding actually achieves a faster journey time. Many are inconclusive. Speed limits have been set for a reason – safety, so stick to them! If someone is speeding allow them to pass.
Often a contributing factor in accidents, poor overtaking skills can lead to disaster. Basic common sense should prevail here. Always make sure it’s a safe place to pass, indicate clearly in advance and never overtake if you’ve already reached the maximum speed limit.
Many of us have encountered fatigue when driving and it can have some of the worst consequences in accidents. If a driver falls asleep at the wheel they won’t apply the brakes before impact which can have a serious outcome. According to the Department for Transport one in five accidents on main roads are caused by fatigue. If feeling sleepy while driving, road safety groups recommend you stop, drink an energy drink and then close your eyes for 15 minutes. This gives the caffeine enough time to work before restarting your journey.
Mobile phones, the radio, talkative passengers and children in the back can all cause major distractions for drivers. It’s illegal to use a hand-held mobile phone while driving. Anyone caught doing so will receive a minimum of three penalty points and a £100 fine. Never answer your phone while driving, it’s not worth it. There’s also debate on the use of hands-free systems. Although not illegal they can prove to be a distraction. Again if possible pull over to take a call or wait until your destination.
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