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Running a Car - How to drive safely


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Driving is probably the most dangerous thing you do. Recognize this fact, and you're one step closer to becoming a safer – and therefore probably more well off –driver.

• Check your car. Brakes, tires, windscreen wipers and lights are all critical. See our maintenance tips for more advice.

• Concentrate. There's a lot happening, so stay on the ball. Look well ahead to spot potential dangers and always be ready to react.

• Keep calm. Don't let congestion get to you. Accept that the journey that used to take 20 minutes now takes half an hour, and leave more time.

• Don't tailgate. Slow drivers hogging lanes on motorways are annoying, but intimidating them is not the answer.

• Slow down. Everyone's in a hurry but speeding to your next appointment could mean you don't arrive at all.

• Be aware of weather conditions and that they can change quickly. Just because the roads weren't icy where you started off doesn't mean they aren't covered a mile away.

• Never use a handheld phone. Even if you've got a hands-free system in your car, it's best to limit conversations as they'll distract you.

• Don’t drive tired. If you're flagging, you have to stop. Take a 20-minute nap and drink some caffeine. Opening windows and turning up the stereo don't work.

• Don't drink and drive. Your ability at the wheel is seriously impaired even by one drink.

• Always carefully read the label of any medicines you are taking. You should not operate machinery if taking certain medicines – this, of course, includes driving a car.

• Emergency braking. Most cars have anti-lock brakes. Press the pedal as hard as you can and remember that you'll still be able to steer. If you don't have ABS, pump the pedal and brake in a straight line.

• If your brakes fail, try to stay calm. Pump the brake pedal, gradually apply the handbrake and use the gears to slow your car down.

• If you start to skid steer in the direction that you're skidding in to counteract the movement.

Hope these help!

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Another suggestion to add to your list:

Take a defensive driving course. The on-line courses are especially fun and educational and they'll probably save you money on your car insurance too. I recently took such a course here Comedy Driving School and not only did it refresh my driving knowledge, it knocked about $100 off my car insurance policy. I took the course as a refresher and not because traffic court sent me :huh:

If you really want to make people safe drivers again then simply remove all the safety features from cars. No more seat belts, ABS brakes, traction control, air bags or stability control. No more anything. You'll see how quickly people will slow down and once again learn to drive like "normal" humans.

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