By Theodore Opara
DRIVING requires hun dred per cent concentration. Road traffic accidents account for one of the highest causes of deaths in Nigeria. It has been discovered that most accidents that happen on our road are avoidable. And with a little caution lives could be saved on our roads. Here are some driving safety tips, which if observed could save lives and properties.
Before setting out, prepare your car for the trip. If you would do night driving, keep the headlights, tail lights signal light and wind-shield inside and out clean. Ensure that your headlight is properly seamed while driving in order not to blind other road users and also reduce your ability to see the road clearly.
Don’t drink and drive. It could affect your judgement and response on wheel. Drunk driving can induce fatigue. Avoid smoking as nicotine and carbon monoxide hamper night vision. Drive at reduced speed and increase your following distance. It is more difficult to judge other vehicle speeds and distance at night. Keep your headlight on low beam mode to avoid blinding the driver on the opposite lane.
Avoid direct glare at a high beam of an oncoming vehicle, instead gaze at the irght edge line or centre line of the line of the road as a steering guide. Avoid use of mobile phone. It can affect your concentration. Pull off the road as far as possible if you car develops fault and warn approaching traffic by setting reflecting triangle at 300 feet behind your vehicle.
Maintain mild pressure on the brake pedal and drive slowly when driving through flood or stagnant water. Remain calm, ease your foot off the accelerators and carefully steer in the direction that is safe for your car when you are faced with skid. Always wear your seatbelt. Ensure that your tyres are properly gauged and in good condition too. Remember that good vision is necessary when you drive. Look with your eyes but see with your mind. Comply with all traffic rules.
Remember that safety comes before right-of-way. Proper signalling should be observed at all times. Failure to signal could result to serve consequences. Drive with the right frame of mind. Allow another person to take the wheel if you are not physically or mentally alert.