Tips for Safer Driving

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1 Fleet Management

2 Fleet Management Introduction Improvements in technology will continue to help bring auto accident numbers down, but the bottom line remains that most car accidents are the result of human error. The best way to reduce the risk of being involved in an accident is to practice safe driving behaviors. Whether you're just learning to drive or you've been behind the wheel for decades, it's a good idea to review some basic rules for safe driving. Here are 10 driving tips that will help bring you, your passengers and your car home unharmed.

3 Don t Drive Drunk Alcohol causes a number of impairments that lead to car accidents. Even at low blood-alcohol levels, intoxication reduces reaction time and coordination and lowers inhibitions, which can cause drivers to make foolish choices. At higher levels, alcohol causes blurred or double vision and even loss of consciousness. Keep Your Distance You can t crash into space! The more space you keep around you, the less risk of a collision. Rear-end collisions are one of the most common forms of traffic accidents but you don t have to be a victim. Managing the space of the driver behind you is just as important as the space in front of you and you may well need to build into that space, the braking distance of the driver who is too close behind.

4 Don t Over Speed As the old public service campaign so succinctly put it, "Speed kills." Even on long trips, the time you'll save is inconsequential compared to the risks associated with speeding. Take your time and obey posted speed limits. If you really need to get there as fast as possible, there's one fool-proof solution: Leave earlier. Look Ahead and Anticipate Don t just look at the vehicle in front and in your mirror to observe what is going on immediately around. Anticipate what is happening ahead of you by looking at the furthest point along the road as well as observing the behaviours of your fellow road users. One of the main causes of accidents is the failure to recognize a hazardous situation. If a driver fails to see the possible danger, he or she cannot take steps to avoid it.

5 Avoid Distractions Working a cell phone behind the wheel can delay reaction times by as much as 20 percent. It isn't just cell phones that cause distractions, however. Eating, applying makeup, fiddling with electronic devices or interacting with passengers also diverts a driver's attention in potentially deadly ways. Perhaps the best advice on driving distractions came from rocker Jim Morrison: "Keep your eyes on the road, your hands upon the wheel." Be Seen, Be Safe! People don t generally hit what they see so put yourself where you can be seen. Why stay alongside huge trucks and vans where the driver cannot see you? Position yourself for easy visibility and early decisions. T will help you a lot.

6 Keep Kids Away Don't allow children to fight or climb around in your car (they should be buckled in their seats at all times). One accidental bump or too much noise can easily distract you from concentrating on driving safely. Practice Defensive Driving Defensive driving incorporates the other tips shown here, such as maintaining a safe distance and not speeding, but remaining calm in the face of frustrating traffic issues is another major part of the concept. Accept small delays, such as staying in line behind a slower car instead of abruptly changing lanes. Yield to other cars, even if you technically have the right of way.

7 Don't Drive Drowsy If a driver is tired enough to actually fall asleep while driving, the results are predictable. Even on a relatively straight highway, a sleeping driver will eventually drift off the road. You might think a few yawns are nothing to worry about, but just being a little drowsy is enough to increase your risk of getting in an accident. Responses can range from dozing off for a few seconds at a time to simply "zoning out" and losing all focus on the road. At highway speeds, one or two seconds of inattention can lead to disaster. The solution is simple: Get a better night's sleep! Make sure you get a solid eight hours of sleep, not just on the night before a long drive, but on a regular basis. Failure to get enough sleep every night builds a sleep deficit that can leave you drowsy and unable to focus.

8 Wear Your Seat Belt Seat belts save lives. Worn properly, they prevent you from being thrown around the inside of a crashing vehicle or, worse, thrown through the windshield and ung completely out of the vehicle. In the overwhelming majority of car crashes, you have a greater chance of surviving if you're wearing a seat belt. Even a low-speed crash can send an unbelted person careening into the dashboard or side window, resulting in severe head injuries or broken bones. At higher speeds, the possible fates of the unbelted occupants are gruesome.

9 Be Careful in Bad Weather If you're driving through a heavy rain, be extra cautious. Take all of the other tips presented here and make full use of them: Drive below the speed limit if necessary, maintain extra space between you and the car ahead, and be especially careful around curves. If you're experiencing bad visibility due to heavy rain, and you end up off the side of the road (intentionally or otherwise), turn off your lights. Drivers who can't see the road will be looking for other cars to follow along the highway. When they see your lights, they'll drive toward you and may not realize you're not moving in time to avoid a collision.

10 Watch Out for the Other Guy Sometimes, it doesn't matter how safely you drive. You could be driving the speed limit and obeying all traffic rules and someone else can crash into you. One good rule of thumb to use is, "Assume everyone else on the road is an idiot." In other words, be prepared for unpredictable lane changes, sudden stops, unsignaled turns, swerving, tailgating and every other bad driving behavior imaginable. Chances are, you'll eventually encounter someone like this -- and it pays to be ready when you do. Keep Your Vehicle Safe Vehicle maintenance isn't just an important way to extend your car's life -- it's a major safety issue. Ensuring that your vehicle is serviced regularly (in line with the manufacturers recommendations) will help to avoid breakdowns and accidents caused by vehicle faults. Make sure that your fuel, oil, water, lights, electrics, horn, tyres, brake and the whole engine are just right!

11 Adhering to our driving safety tips will help you develop safer habits that can protect you, your passengers and your vehicle.

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