Tips for driving safely and effectively

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Post on 16-Apr-2017




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No matter how much experience you have behind the wheel, driving can be an absolute rollercoaster experience if you dont use common sense and follow the rules of the road.

So before going anywhere with your car, its best to prepare yourself for what lies ahead, be it traffic, potential accidents or even unexpected car problems.

Here are some driving tips to keep you safe within the confines of your vehicle and get you to your venue without a hitch.

Plan your route

Always include a route that allows for travel on secondary roads should there be massive trafficbuildup on the paths you normally use.

The MMDA has a Twitter account that broadcasts traffic conditions every 10 minutes.

For further traffic updates, AM radio stations DZMM (630 khz on your cars AM band) and DZBB (594 khz on the AM band) in particular have traffic updates every hour atop the hour.


Do your pre-flight check

Always check your engines internal fluids before leaving. You can easily tell if a certain part has trouble due to the droplets on the asphalt or garage floor that your car leaves when its parked.

A black liquid (often shiny during rainy conditions) means that your cars engine is leaking oil. A green or rusty brown liquid means that your cars radiator is leaking coolant, and may overheat.

Also check your tires before leaving, both for tread wear and tire pressure.

Follow your cars recommended tire pressure and always keep a tire pressure gauge handy in the car.

As for tread wear, stick a 25-centavo coin in the tire tread. If the tread doesnt halfway cover the Republika ng Pilipinas phrase on the coin, the tires need to be replaced.

Always practice safety

The risk of blunt force trauma due to your body hitting the dashboard or windshield is reduced when you and your passengers wear their seatbelts. Plus, its the law!

If you drive with children, always place them at the rear seats, whether theyre in a child safety seat or not. Kids sitting in the front seat are at risk of severe head injury or death if the airbag deploys.

Keep a distance of one car length between you and the vehicle in front, two to three car lengths if youre on an expressway.

If you cannot see the silhouette of the rear tires of the vehicle in front of you, youre too close.

Also, dont use your mobile phone while driving It gives you a longer reaction time, particularly during braking and traffic signal alertness.

It also impairs your ability to stay in the proper lane, and shortens the distance between you and the vehicle in front.

Adjust the drivers seat

Make sure that the drivers seat is adjusted in a way that you can turn the wheel at full tilt left or full tilt right. To do this, imagine the steering wheel as a clock face.

Put both arms forward at the steering wheels 12 oclock location, and adjust the seat so that your wrists are atop the steering wheels 12 oclock.

Once the drivers seat position is set, place your left hand at the ten oclock side and your right hand at the two oclock side of the steering wheel.

That way, it is easy to turn the wheel without crossing your arms.

This position is a massive help if youre driving at speed (60 kph or more) and something or someone suddenly gets in front of the car, or if your brakes and/or tires fail.

Maintain proper steering position

When turning the steering wheel, dont cross your arms. For example, on a right hand 90 degree turn, use your hand at the ten oclock side of the wheel to push the wheels rim and the front end of the car in the direction of the turn.

Simultaneously use your hand at the two o clock side of the wheel to pull the wheels rim and stabilize the car.

If you deem that just one full turn is lacking, rapidly put your hands at the ten oclock and two oclock sides of the wheel, and repeat the process.

Never use one hand to maneuver the steering wheel.

Should someone or something get in front of the car, you wont be able to easily maneuver away from the potential prang.

Mind the clutch

If you are driving a manual transmission (m/t) vehicle, do not ride the clutch meaning, dont rest your left foot on the leftmost pedal or clutch pedal every time you accelerate.

It wicks away the clutch lining, which serves as a heat insulator coming from the engine to the m/t, and makes shifting difficult.

Also, do not rest your wrist or arm on the m/t stick. Doing so will destroy the rubber bushings that keep the stick in place every time you push a gear into a slot.

If you are driving an automatic transmission (a/t) vehicle in stop-go traffic, do not place the a/t stick on (D)rive and step on the brake pedal if you are not moving or wont be moving for some time.

Instead, place the a/t stick on (N)eutral. You preserve the a/ts clutch lining by putting the a/t stick on N when your car is in a standstill.


Wear proper footwear

Dont wear flip-flops (read: tsinelas) or high-heeled shoes when you drive.

Flip-flops can get wedged under the gas pedal or the brake pedal, and may either get the gas pedal stuck or prevent the car from stopping.

The extended heels, on the other hand, can catch your cars floormats or carpeting, and may either wedge your shoes to any of the pedals (gas, brake or clutch).

Inappropriate driving footwear can also lump your vehicles floormats in such a manner that they become a hindrance to brake pedal travel.

Wear flats or go barefoot instead.


Dont drink and drive

Even just drinking two bottles of beer in two hours or a shot of hard drinks brings your blood/alcohol content or BAC level to 0.04 which means your reaction time, peripheral vision, vision depth, and ability to do two tasks simultaneously (such as hand-eye coordination) is severely hampered.

It also gives you a sense of overconfidence, and makes you take greater risks.

If you feel sleepy be it due to alcohol, exhaustion, driving monotony, or medical drowsiness go to the nearest gas station or rest stop and get some sleep, preferably a 15 minute nap.

Do not stop on the road shoulder, and remember that a nap is only a stop-gap solution, not a cure-all for driving drowsiness.

Also, dont get behind the wheel in an angry or stressed condition. It messes up your concentration and may lead to accidents or, worse, incidents of road rage.