There’s nothing quite like the freedom of having your own vehicle- being able to go where you want when you want.
While our roads are relatively safe, there’s still a risk every time you get behind the wheel and as a driver, you have a duty to keep yourself and others safe.
When everyone takes responsibility for their actions, doesn’t take unnecessary risks and keeps an eye on what everyone else is doing so they can correctly respond, our roads become a lot safer.
Here are some of your responsibilities as a driver.
Maintain Your Vehicle
Sometimes things can go wrong with the vehicles that we aren’t able to predict. However it’s our duty as drivers to make sure as far as we’re aware, what we’re driving is safe.
Most countries will require an annual check to ensure the vehicle is road legal, but a lot can happen in twelve months.
Any strange sounds or smells, warning lights or handling issues should be checked out immediately by a professional.
Even something as silly as running out of fuel can cause serious issues- if you stop on a busy lane at night and someone goes into the back of you, it could cause extreme injury to both you and them.
Be Fit to Drive
As well as ensuring your vehicle is safe to drive, you need to make sure that you’re in a safe and fit condition to operate it.
This, of course, means never getting behind the wheel when you’re under the influence of any drink or drugs. If you’re prescribed medication, it’s down to you to speak to your doctor if it will influence your driving.
If you’re feeling sleepy, you will need to either stretch your legs and drink some caffeine to give you a boost or pull over in a safe and legal place and have a nap. On long journeys, it’s tempting to want to keep on going to get to where you need to be but falling asleep at the wheel kills many every year.
Personal injury lawyers like Bill Hurst have seen it all, and state how those affected are left with significant anxiety and stress as a result. Don’t put yourself or anyone else at risk, if you’re not fit to drive then don’t!
This can even be if you’re feeling upset or stressed, even your emotional state can affect your driving so always be sensible and don’t drive unless you’re fit to.
Follow the Rules of the Road
The rules of the road are there for a reason. You might not agree with every speed limit that’s set but you absolutely have to follow them. You should be indicating correctly when turning, merging, changing lanes or on roundabouts so other road users know what you’re doing.
You should be careful at traffic lights, ensuring you don’t go through on red. These are all things that could lead to an accident if they’re not followed. We can all fall into bad habits, aim to correct these and drive the way you were taught.
What are you doing to be a better driver on the open road?