Travelling in your car can be a relaxing experience. However, if the place you are going to is different from where you live, there can also be potential risks involved in driving on a road that may not be familiar to you. Here’s how to stay safe if you’re travelling to another place in your car.
Fix Up Your Car
Before you leave, make sure your car is in tip-top shape. You can also get your vehicle inspected for any potential problems that were not originally evident. Car defects are a big cause of accidents and they can further open you up to legal liability. This means you’ll need a Las Vegas car accident lawyer, a New York lawyer, or a Florida car accident lawyer depending on where you are, should you negligently cause a car accident. Here are some common problems to fix:
Low Tire Pressure
Your tires are your car’s primary means of contact with the road. This means that if they are not in good condition, you will have a tough time controlling your vehicle when it is being driven on an unfamiliar surface. Make sure to check the tire pressure regularly and evenly across all four wheels before every trip.
Worn Brake Pads
Applying too much pressure on your brake pedal can hamper your ability to stop your car safely in the event of an emergency. This is especially true if you are trying to stop your car on a surface other than what you are used to. You should have them checked regularly, but it is even more important when you are travelling to another place in your car.
Malfunctioning Brake Lights
If you will be driving at night or in low-light conditions, it is important that your brake lights are working properly to ensure that other drivers know when you’re stopping or slowing down. If you plan on doing a lot of night driving during your trip, then it’s also a good idea to have your headlights checked or replaced if necessary.
Practice Defensive Driving
Defensive driving means anticipating what other drivers on the road might do next. It also means practising patience on the road, even if it is taking some time to get where you are going. Here are some tips on how to do so:
Drive the Speed Limit
The speed limit for every road varies from one place to another. If you know that it is 35mph where you live, but there is no such sign when you get on a road, then it is best to assume that the speed limit there is 40mph. While some drivers may speed up on that road, you should not follow their lead. Slowing down can keep you safer if another driver suddenly changes lanes or makes an unexpected turn.
Keep Your Distance
Distance is an important factor to consider on the road. It does not matter how good a driver you are: if another vehicle crashes into yours at full speed, it will cause an accident. A good rule of thumb is to stay around two seconds behind another car and to make sure there’s sufficient space between your car and the lane next to you.
Avoid Texting and Talking on Your Phone
While you may be tempted to text or talk on the phone while driving, it is important to resist those temptations as much as possible. Even if you normally do not engage in those activities during everyday driving, you should avoid them when travelling to another place—especially if that means driving in an unfamiliar environment.
Know The Road Signs
Knowing the signs for potential road hazards can help you anticipate them and respond accordingly. Here is a list of common sight words you may wish to familiarise yourself with before driving to another place:
- Merge – this means there is an upcoming lane closure on the road ahead as a result of construction or due to congestion from other cars merging on the road.
- Divided Highway Ends – this means that you are about to go onto a highway with only one lane in each direction. It also means that there is no divider between the two lanes (thus, it’s important to drive carefully and keep your distance).
- Fork – this means that you are coming up to a fork in the road, where two lanes will split into three lanes. If you see this sign, it is important to know which lane you should be travelling on so as not to collide with other vehicles.
- Yield – this means that beginning drivers need to be aware of oncoming traffic. It is also important to remember that the sign—by itself—does not necessarily mean that you need to stop completely, but instead that you should slow down to make room for other drivers (especially if there are cars behind you or travelling alongside you).
Travelling to another place can be a great deal of fun and an excellent way to see the world. When you travel in your car, however, it is important to do so safely. The last thing you want is for your car to break down or suffer some other type of mishap.