Car Safety: 5 Things You Should Do Today

Dear Driver,

You love your car – we know you do – but no matter the thrill of the drive, no matter the number of ways you pimp your ride, safety should always be your number one concern. For your sake, for your passenger’s sake, and for the sake of every other vehicle user and pedestrian on the road, there are some things you can do today to avoid the possibility of an accident. Here are just five of them.

  1. Concentrate on safer driving

Okay, so you probably know not to drink and drive. You should be fairly familiar with speed cameras and the consequences of driving recklessly (both legally and personally). But there may be other things you do that don’t fall under the remit of ‘being safe.’ Checking your phone whenever you get a text. Waving to your mate across the road. Eating a sandwich. Drinking your morning coffee. All of these things are fine, except when you’re behind the wheel of a car. Concentrate on the road ahead of you; concentrate on your driving, and don’t be distracted by anything else.

  1. Inspect your car regularly

You don’t have to be a car mechanic to make a few basic checks on your car. Checking your fluids, for example. Testing the air pressure on your tyres. Ensuring all the lights are working correctly. Simple checks that won’t take you very long, and necessary to ensure your car is safe to drive. And if you don’t know what you’re doing? Fine, we appreciate not everybody is confident with what’s under the bonnet – you don’t want to confuse putting the oil where the washer fluid should go – but you should have a handbook, so you know… read it already!

  1. Respond to warning signs

If your car is making noises it shouldn’t be; if there are smells that shouldn’t be present (though you might want to check your shoes); if your dashboard has more lights lit up than a Christmas tree…then you need to curb your driving and respond accordingly. After all, you may be driving something that isn’t currently fit to drive. If you are au fait with car maintenance, then you may be able to figure out the problem yourself. You might also consider these scan tools when you’re looking at your dashboard. But when in doubt, do the sensible thing, and head to the nearest garage for help.

  1. Carry the essentials

There a few things you can carry in your car that are near-indispensable when you’re faced with an emergency. These include (but are not limited to) a first-aid kit should an accident occur; a can of oil in case you have forgotten to check your limit before heading out; a blanket, should you break down at night or in the winter; a tyre inflation tool to breathe extra life into your wheels; and a spare tyre, because… well, you know what that’s for. You don’t want to be caught out, so make room in your trunk for all the essentials, to ensure you’re covered in the event of an emergency.

  1. Enforce passenger rules

Every driver should instill a few rules – not only for him/herself, but for the passengers too. No talking (too loudly), no smoking, no putting feet up on seat, no heads/hands/legs/bottoms out of the window, no distracting sounds, no pranks, no bossing the driver, no…. well, you can add your own rules. Simply put, if your passengers distract you or other drivers in any way, you need to enforce the rules. And if they don’t like your draconian measures? Tell them to get out and walk!

Thanks for reading!