Driving defensively this December
The end-of-year frenzy has arrived, accompanied by busier and fuller roads as the holiday season looms. With that in mind, driving cautiously and proactively should be top of mind for road users. This is where defensive driving comes to the fore.
“With more vehicles on the road this summer, drivers need to be even more alert,” says Chris Lett, Australian tyre dealer, and owner of Branigans Tyres. Lett discusses how important it is to be a defensive driver and keep yourself and others safe on the road.
Defensive driving is defined as the practice of maintaining full awareness of the road and weather, other vehicles and road-users, as well as taking steps to prevent potentially hazardous or dangerous situations and to prevent being involved in a car crash.
“Defensive driving starts with being prepared,” says Lett. “There are many things drivers can do to ensure they are well-prepared. This includes, understanding how their vehicle performs; their own driving abilities; road and weather conditions; and their knowledge of the road rules,” adds Lett.
Vehicle performance: A defensive driver is aware of their vehicle’s limitations and capabilities. A defensive driver ensures that their vehicle is well-maintained and road worthy. This includes checking that the brakes, engine and tyres are in optimal condition and that the vehicle is not overloaded and can effectively respond to a potential road threat.
Driver’s abilities: Drivers should drive according to their abilities. Stay focused and alert and ensure you are not tired. Driving is primarily a thinking task, and you have a lot of things to think about when you’re behind the wheel. Don’t multi-task and get distracted. Being alert allows you to react quickly to potential problems — like when the driver in the car ahead slams on the brakes at the last minute. Being tired or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol affects reaction times and judgement, so rest up before a long trip and take regular breaks during your journey.
Road and weather conditions: Be aware of the road and weather conditions and drive to those conditions. Understand how to drive on different surfaces, for example, unsealed roads, sandy or dusty roads. Know how to drive in the wind, rain, snow or in the glaring sun or when there is poor visibility. Use your lights appropriately and as soon as dusk descends make sure your headlights are on. Listen to or read the weather report before you set out on your journey and check for road hazards, closures or heavy traffic; you may have to re-plan your route. Do not take chances in risky situations on the roads, it can cost you your safety, and ultimately your life.
Knowledge of the road rules: Defensive driving is predominantly based on understanding the rules of the road. Be aware of road markings, rights of way, road signs and load restrictions. Ensure you understand how to proceed at intersections, roundabouts and T junctions or where there are road works. Keep to the speed limits and pay attention to what other drivers are doing.
“Defensive driving is essentially the art of safe driving, and should be practiced everyday,” says Lett. “So enjoy the holiday season, keep safe and drive into the new year with heightened on-road awareness,” he adds.
At Branigans Tyres, Chris Lett and his team ‘go green’ and are experts in the recycled tyre business. Branigans Tyres has well-established workshops in Burleigh Heads and Southport in the Gold Coast region. Check out their full range of services or current featured promotions. Branigans award-winning affordable tyre subscriptions package start at $7.97 and help motorists budget for their ongoing tyre needs.
Vehicle owners are encouraged to drive in at their convenience as pre-bookings or appointments are not required. Branches are situated at 13 Flagstone Drive, Burleigh Heads, contact number (07) 5535 2660 or 1/277 Southport-Nerang Rd, Southport contact number, (07) 5591 8633.
Written and Syndicated by: YDMA News