Keeping Yourself Safe On The Roads
Our modern roads can be dangerous places. With more people in more cars than ever before, we’re facing potentially significant threats to our safety when we set off on our commutes.
From road traffic accidents to weather, what are the main dangers posed on the roads today? How do you keep yourself safe on the roads?
Our cars are getting safer every year and fewer people than ever are losing their lives on the roads. However, car accidents are still happening. In the UK, for example, 1,784 people died on the roads in 2018.
To keep your car as safe – and responsive – as possible, keep it serviced and make sure the tyres have enough tread. But it’s more important to make sure you’re not distracted and that you’re focused fully on the road in front of you. Switch your phone to driving mode, keep your music low enough to hear the outside world and try not to engage too much with passengers.
Don’t engage with anyone on the roads. If someone wants to express their fury at you for passing them on the wrong side or not indicating, let them stew in their own anger – and their own vehicle. If you feel like someone on the road is trying to pressure you, just apologise for whatever they think you did wrong and keep going.
The most important thing is to stay in your car. Don’t let someone entice you out and into a potentially dangerous situation. Having a dash cam can help to get your side of the story across after a road rage instance. You may want to invest one for the front and back of your car to get as much coverage as possible.
Think about joining a breakdown recovery service to ensure you’re covered wherever you may suffer a breakdown. It can also pay to learn some basic car maintenance to give yourself the best shot at helping yourself in a situation like this.
Ensure you always have a charged phone with you. If you have breakdown cover, it’s no use if you can’t get in touch with them to help you. Once you’ve called them, it’s important to get out of the car. If you’re on a highway, get behind the barrier. Accidents are more likely to happen if there’s already a broken-down car on the road, so you’re in more danger if you’re still in it.
Although a theft is more likely to happen when you’re not in your vehicle – like when it’s parked outside overnight – you still run the risk of someone deciding they like the look of your possessions. And if they do, you could find yourself in danger.
Keep your valuables out of sight and your windows closed. Even if it’s hot and your air-conditioning is playing up, when you get to a red light or a stop street, roll your windows up high enough to prevent anyone reaching through.
We live in changing times when it comes to weather. We’re seeing more drastic storms and hotter summers. The unpredictability of the climates we now live in can pose real dangers to our safety when we’re on the road.
Flash flooding, falling trees and ice can all pose risks. If you can, avoid driving when the weather is due to turn bad. Keep your car well-maintained to be able to deal with anything nature throws up. And if it’s getting hot, make sure you have water with you. If you end up stranded on a meltingly hot road, you’ll be grateful for it.