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Defensive driving tips for a new driver

16 March, 2020

The feeling of getting behind the wheel for the first time is exhilarating. You have your license in your wallet, a big, red ‘L’ plastered on the windshield, a seasoned driver supervising your drive and a whole lot of freedom on the road. But as a young driver, there are a few things that you cannot simply skip. Whether on the freeway or narrow lanes, a few rules have to be observed in order to maintain road safety. 

Listed below are some tips to ensure you have a safe drive:

  • Never skip the seat belt

    The second you step into your car, ensure that you slip on your safety belt. Whether it’s a trip to the grocery store or a road trip, wearing a seat belt can keep you safe in case of a crash. It is considered the most important safety measure in your car as it protects your torso and keeps you strapped to your seat even in the worst of accidents. They even minimize your body movement while driving on rough terrains. If you are driving with a toddler, fasten the baby seat in the back with a seat belt.

  • Don’t exceed the speed limit

    Pressing down on the accelerator and enjoying the wind in your hair may sound promising but it is illegal as it puts you and other vehicles at risk. When you drive fast, it tends to become a little difficult for you to control your car especially when you are trying to avoid another car or a bumpy stretch. Moreover, you have very little time to react or press down on your brakes when you are going at a faster speed. So, remind yourself that there is no need for you to compete with other cars. This will allow you to stay within the set speed limit.

  • Drunk driving is a strict no-no

    In 2019, more than 2,000 people were booked for driving under influence on New Year’s Eve. It is not uncommon for people to drink and get behind the wheel. Even small amounts of alcohol can have an effect on your cognition and reflexes which can lead to a fatal accident. If you plan on drinking at a party or a bar, ensure that you make arrangements for a designated driver. Remember to establish this as a practice, and stick to it.

  • Drive slow during bad weather

    Not just the monsoons but every time you notice a wet road, remember to slow down. Poor visibility during heavy rainfall, fog or mist is another reason to drive slowly so as to avoid an accident. Driving fast during adverse conditions, can cause your car to aquaplane, a situation in which your car rises on a thin sheet of water without being in contact with the road’s surface, causing your car to spin out of control. Besides driving slowly, ensure that your tires have just the right amount of air pressure. Too much and it will reduce the contact between the tires and the road.

  • Always obey Traffic Lights

    When you find that there are no vehicles on the road, it makes you want to speed up and cross the red light. But don’t! If you see the red light, immediately stop your vehicle, even if it is in the middle of the night and it’s only you at the signal. When you see the yellow light, get ready but don’t move yet. Wait for the green light, then carefully cross the signal. Remember, you don’t want a few seconds of careless driving causing you an injury that will last a lifetime.

These are really simple tips to follow. Ensure that from your first drive onwards, you make a habit of these for a safe and enjoyable drive ahead. Know that you can further enjoy driving if you are cautious of the road safety rules. 

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