Safe driving is something we probably all claim to practice but is it possible to say - hand on heart - that you never make a mistake while on the road? It’s a fact of life that mistakes happen, but those made while you are behind the wheel could cost you your life, not to mention that of other road users.
At Snooper, we know you’re probably tired of hearing the same old advice when it comes to staying safe on the road, so we’ve put together this list of tips and common mistakes that drivers make that are a little bit different.
1) Concentration (or lack of) is a killer
According to the Transport Research Laboratory, most drivers only concentrate for 25% of their driving time. That’s a scary thought and means that three out of every four drivers around you are not paying attention at any given moment. Usually, motorists don’t concentrate because they are distracted by something else.
The research also revealed that those who drive for business purposes are 40% more likely to be distracted while on the road, as the temptation of reading emails, fiddling with a sat nav or taking phone calls plays a bit part in this type of journey.
Therefore, it is absolutely vital that you do everything you can to maintain concentration, or, if you’ve spotted a distracted driver, keep a safe distance to ensure your life isn’t unnecessarily put at risk.
2) Techno lovers = bad drivers
All cars come with a stereo and speakers, that’s a given. But did you know that the music you choose to play through them could be impacting your driving ability? While we once thought it was safe to assume that whatever music you listen to, it doesn’t matter as long as you maintain focus on the road. However, research has shown that your genre of choice could be making you a worse driver!
Research carried out in Israel, which was published on New Scientist, revealed that the higher the tempo of music (between 120 and 140 beats per minute) the more likely a motorist was to run red lights, and these drivers were also more likely to be involved in an accident. 120 and 140 beats per minute are generally the speed of most dance and techno music, so be warned.
3) Your mirror is probably positioned incorrectly
Most of the time you spend driving in your car is done so travelling forward, but it’s vital to be able to see what’s behind you in an instant. It’s especially important that you can see what’s going on behind you without taking your eyes off the road ahead for longer than necessary. Where most people fail considerably with their mirror positioning is with the side mirror, with many drivers opting to position them so a portion of the back of the car is visible. However, you should actually not be able to see any of your own car, and leaving them in this position is actually creating an unnecessary blind spot.
Yes, we know it seems obvious, but we’ve been surprised by the number of people still failing to adhere to this pretty simple tip.
4) Pay more attention to traffic, less to road signs
It may be hard to believe, but some traffic experts actually believe that there is an overabundance of road signs and these are making drivers complacent and blindly follow instructions, rather than paying attention to the behaviour of their fellow drivers. While this may seem far-fetched, there are some examples that could prove this theory. Just think, have you ever seen a car plough through a green light only to crash at a junction? Yes, the light was green, so they had right of way, but it might not have been the best time to go.
It’s worth considering….
5) You’re waiting too long to check your tyres
Everything is working just fine in your car until the light flashes, right? Although this is usually the case, it certainly doesn’t mean you should simply assume everything is perfect. The truth is, if the low tyre pressure indicator light is showing on your car’s dashboard, you’ve probably already left it too late.
Drivers should check their tyres regularly to prevent accidents, and in the event that your light does flash, pull over immediately. If this happens and the tyre looks almost completely flat, don’t attempt to drive on it. And, if you find that all four tyres do not have the correct tyre pressure, you will find it much harder to manoeuvre in emergency situations, so your life could actually be at risk.
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