Basic safe driving tips
The rainy season is here again and there is an urgent need to sternly warn and educate all categories of drivers and vehicle owners on the need for them to be much more safety-conscious in this season and beyond. Research has revealed that most of the road crashes occur as a result of driver error most of which emanated from their ignorance of the basic traffic rules, regulations and defensive driving techniques.
Here are some of the tips to enhance safety on the roads particularly in this season:.
• Understand all the traffic signs and road markings, their meanings and implications for safe driving.
• Don’t use mobile phones when driving. Also avoid holding any object in your hands when driving. Don’t turn your face backward when driving forward.
• Avoid the use of alcohol and other psychoactive drugs that can bring about mood change. They work against co-ordination and reaction time.
• Avoid drowsy driving. Don’t drive if you are tired or if you have not had enough sleep. Sleep – debt is a safety risk.
• Regularly maintain your vehicle to make it roadworthy (engine, brakes, lighting system, etc).
• Be careful of second – hand and worn-out tyres. Remember that tyres have expiry dates. Your tyres must be appropriately inflated
• Avoid over-speeding. Be conscious of the fact that Nigeria roads are not in good state. Always adjust your speed according to the condition of the roads (including raining, foggy and night environments). At the same time, be conscious of the operation of kinetic energy and circular motion principles in your driving. Remember, “hurry leads to sorry”.
• Don’t assume that the other road users are perfect. They can also make costly mistakes. Always apply your hazard perception skills.
• Avoid road rage even when you are offended by other road users.
• Always use your seat belt. Wear the lap and shoulder belts.
• Avoid seating underage children at the front of the vehicle. In case of accident, the airbag can suffocate children. Keep your children – in – car seat in the middle of the back seat.
• Avoid distraction when driving (For example make-up, reading, phone call, texting, writing, adjusting car stereo, watching roadside scenes, shaving, etc). Pull over if you must do it.
• Always apply the MSM rule when overtaking (That is, check your mirror, use your signal and manower).
Only overtake when road signs and markings permit.
• Be Cautious at road Curves. Don’t negotiate any road bend with high speed to avoid.
• Be cautious at turns. Always use your turn signals at the appropriate time and distance. Always cancel the signal whenever it is not in use.
• Apply your brake with caution particularly if your vehicle has an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS). Don’t “pump” ABS brakes
• Master emergency driving skills. A driver must know what to do in cases of emergencies such as brake failure, overheating, tyre blowout, fire incidence, etc. Don’t panic in emergency situations.
• Drivers must master lane and space management in driving. Lane changes must be done with the interest of other road users and safety at heart.
• Avoid dangerous overtaking (passing). Only overtake when it is necessary and when you know you can complete it without over-speeding and without causing problem for the oncoming vehicles. Don’t block fast (passing) lanes.
• Nigeria road signs: Knowing about the common road signs is not enough. One must be able to recognize them immediately and obey them without hesitation. A thorough knowledge of Nigeria road signs, signals, roads and pavement markings is compulsory for all drivers. Road signs in Nigeria and markings together with signals by authorised traffic officers are to ensure a smooth and safe traffic flow. You must know about the common road signs in Nigeria and be able to recognize them immediately.
In the case of road signs, signals and markings, you must obey them without hesitation. Traffic signs tell you about traffic regulations, special hazards and other road conditions, construction areas speed limits, etc. You should not only be familiar with each of the signs, you should recognize the special shapes and colours. Regulatory Signs They are mostly circular in shape and are of two types. Those with red and yellow circles are prohibitive signs. Those with blue circles but no red border are mandatory signs. They give positive instructions and are regulatory signs, Informative signs.