15 tips to stay safe on the road

Driving on a daily basis can be an adventure in itself.

Adhering to road rules and safety regulations is important for any driver.  Aside from ensuring that you are well aware of all of the road rules, and always carrying a relevant driver’s licence, there are also some crucial safety tips that you can take into account to ensure your safety and security.

Here are 15 tips which will help to keep you informed, alert and safe on the road:

Routine maintenance:

  • Have your car serviced regularly at a reputable garage to ensure that it is in tip top condition and won’t put you in a dangerous situation.
  • If you will be going on a long journey, be sure to do a pre-trip inspection of your vehicle to check for any faults that could land you up in a dangerous or emergency situation.
  • Knowing how to change your tyres, how to jumpstart a car or other minor maintenance things that don’t need a mechanic can come in handy should you get stuck on the side of the road. Take some time to learn how to do it yourself.
  • Never ignore warning signs or lights that appear on your vehicle.
  • Try to fill up your vehicle with fuel before long trips or once it has reached the halfway mark. Never allow yourself to run out of fuel, as this is the easiest way to wind up stuck on the side of the road!
  • Be sure to regularly check the condition and pressure of your tyres. Worn tyres pose a greater risk of bursting and a flat tyre can leave you stranded. If financially viable, invest in run-flat tyres. In the same breath, ensure that you always have a spare tyre in your boot that is in good condition.

Be aware whilst driving

  • Be alert and aware while driving or when you have stopped for any reason and keep the doors of your car locked at all times.
  • Place all valuables, or anything that could attract chancers, in the boot of your car.
  • When stopping at intersections, keep enough space between your car and the car in front of you to pull out and drive away in an emergency situation.
  • Be aware of vehicles that are travelling behind you. If the car behind you continues to follow you for a long time, take alternative left and right turns to see if the car continues to follow you. If they do, then there is a possibility that you are being targeted. In this situation, drive to your nearest police station, petrol station or busy / lit up area to seek help.
  • Don’t play on your phone while driving or stopped at intersections! Not only is this a distraction, it only makes you vulnerable and thus a target for predators.
  • Plan your trips and know your destination before getting on the road – don’t just drive if you’re unsure of where you’re headed to. Have a map or GPS system ready and at hand to use should you get lost.
  • Be careful of picking up hitchhikers – predators can come in different disguises.

Car broken down?

  • Should you find yourself in a situation where your car has broken down, you’ll want to have everything you need at hand – a fully charged cell phone, emergency numbers, first aid kit etc.
  • In the event of a breakdown or emergency, do not exit your vehicle until the requested help arrives or you feel safe to do so. If someone stops and offers to help, wind your window down minimally to chat to them and let them know that your help will be arriving shortly.

Needless to say, being safe while you’re on the road is your sole responsibility. By applying these safety tips on a regular basis, you will ensure that you travel safely at all times and make sure that you acknowledge your fellow road users at every turn. When getting comprehensive car insurance for your vehicle, make sure you opt for a cover that also provides roadside assistance.

Caxton Central

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