Most of us are likely to commit a driving offence at some point, however minor. Even a small lapse in concentration could lead to a costly mistake. Following these top tips will help you to maintain concentration and stay safe on the road.
Before your journey:
1. Plan your route. This stops you having to make rash decisions during your journey. If you are using a satellite navigation system, look at the route before setting off to get a general idea of where you are going. This way you won’t have to keep taking your eyes off the road and risk committing a traffic offence.
2. Give yourself plenty of time to get there. You don’t want to be caught in a traffic jam and feel you have to speed the rest of your journey to make the time up. There are resources (internet, satellite navigation systems) that highlight traffic hot spots to give you an idea of where your journey is likely to take longer.
3. If you are stressed or angry, take five minutes to calm down. Being emotional when driving will affect your concentration and make you more likely to commit a driving offence. It’s amazing how much difference a few minutes will make.
4. Eliminate all distractions. Tune the radio to your preferred station, turn your mobile phone off, and remove any food. Make sure there is nothing that will distract your concentration.
5. Check your car is in fully working order. Check break lights, headlights, indicators, tyres, windscreen washer and petrol levels so you don’t get any nasty surprises or end up committing a driving offence before you have even set off.
6. Make yourself comfortable. Adjust your seat, set the air conditioning level, and open a window. This will make your driving experience more pleasant and safer.
During your journey:
7. Don’t let other people affect your driving and make you commit a driving offence. If someone in the car behind is getting too close to you, don’t be forced into speeding up and breaking the speed limit. Instead slow down gradually to increase the distance between yourself and the car in front so you and the car behind will have time to react to any sudden breaking.
8. Take frequent breaks. Stretch your legs and get some air at least every couple of hours so you remain fresh and alert while at the wheel.
9. Don’t perform silly manoeuvres. If you have turned the wrong way or are in the wrong lane, you may have to drive on and turn around when safe to do so. This is a better option than to take a risk changing lanes and causing an accident.
10. Keep cool and calm. Don’t get road rage if another driver is driving badly. If you do, pull over at the nearest available place to stop and take a few minutes to calm down before you end up committing a driving offence.
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