According to the World Health Organization, more than a million individuals die yearly from road accidents worldwide. This is quite unfortunate since a majority of these accidents can be avoided. NHTSA estimates that nearly 102 Americans die each day as a result of motor vehicle crashes. The big question is, is there something you can do to protect yourself and other road users? Yes, there is. Below are some things you can do to stay safe and prepared on the road.
1. Prepare Your Car
The condition of your vehicle can lessen or increase your likelihood of getting into an accident. Vehicle service involves more than getting your car washed, it can ensure your safety on the road. Yes, that’s a crucial activity as you need to make sure that you have the best possible visibility. However, every now and then, you should get a tune-up where the expert inspects your car to identify any leaks, repair any damages and replace any worn-out parts such as the spark plugs. Are the fluid levels right? Are the lights working as they should? They’ll check to see whether the breaks are fully functional and listen for any strange sounds that might be coming from your vehicle.
They’ll also check whether the treads of your tires are worn down and whether the tires are correctly aligned/balanced. This is very important since worn tires can lose air faster, making them more susceptible to sudden blowouts and punctures, causing you to lose control and cause an accident. Aside from ensuring that your vehicle is ready for the road, regular tune-up plays a vital role in extending the lifespan of your car. Don’t forget to purchase car insurance to ensure you are protected from any incidents.
2. Get Enough Sleep/Rest
Did you know that sleep can significantly impact your ability to react? According to studies, sleep deprivation can lead to reduced reaction times, putting your life and other road users at risk. Fatigue-related accidents are pretty common among long-distance/commercial drivers. In order to stay safe, you should ensure that you get enough sleep. In the event that you’re alone on a long-distance trip where you might have to be on the road for several days, you could either stop by a hotel and book a room or get some sleep in your car.
Although sleeping in your car might not be as comfortable as sleeping on your bed, you could try and make it as comfortable as possible by carrying the necessary “sleeping equipment,” including a favorite blanket and a pillow to keep you warm and comfortable. For your safety, ensure that you park in a safe place. Avoid parking on the main road and entrances. Don’t forget to turn off your engine and lock all doors/windows. Sleeping in your car is not highly recommended, especially if you have valuables. Therefore, it would be best if you keep track of time to look for accommodation before sundown.
3. Ensure There are No Distractions
Although you might not be able to control other drivers on the road, you can do plenty to minimize your own distractions. First off, you need to ensure that other passengers in your vehicle are on their best behavior. That can be accomplished by assigning different tasks. For example, one person can be in charge of the map, another in charge of booking hotel reservations, while someone else can be responsible for selecting music. Most importantly, they should refrain from shouting and move only when necessary. Avoid using your phone to make calls or send messages unless it’s an emergency. And even when that’s the case, it would be best to make a stop before responding to the crisis. If you have to eat, first, pull off from the road.
4. Bring a First Aid Kit with You
Sometimes, even when you’re a careful driver, accidents might occur due to someone else’s mistake. Therefore, always be equipped with essential items that you might need. These include but are not limited to disposable gloves, hand sanitizer, cotton balls, allergy medication, pain relievers, aspirin and non-aspirin, emergency contact numbers, elastic wrap bandages, and antibiotics.
Don’t forget to put your seat belt on. According to the CDC and the NHTSA, you can reduce the probability of death due to road accidents by putting your seat belt on. Do not drink and drive. In case of an accident, seek medical attention immediately, even when you have no physical signs of injury. In some cases, you might have an internal injury causing bleeding, and when it’s not addressed on time, it could be fatal.
Categories: Automotive Talk Stuff