Driving may not be intrinsically easy, but drivers can adopt simple techniques for a safer, more effective drive
Practice makes perfect they say, and that is certainly true when it comes to driving. Not everyone’s a naturally skilled driver, but there are basic driving skills that with practice can make any driver better and, ultimately, safer.
LOOKING AHEAD AND BEYOND
While it’s important to keep your eyes peeled for what’s immediately in front of you and maintain a safe following distance, you should also be aware of what’s happening beyond the vehicle that’s just ahead. Should there be any unusual situation further ahead — such as an accident or road works detour — you would have more time to react and take appropriate action and not be led blindly by the driver in front.
FOCUS ON THE TASK AT HAND
The speed your car is travelling at gives you only a few seconds to react to any road situation, and that’s why staying focused is so vital. Don’t get distracted if you can help it. If you need to send a message on your phone or settle an argument with your passenger or anything else besides driving, then drive to a safe spot and settle the matter before you continue.
Proper braking can be a lifesaver for you and your brakes. When you are coming to a stop at the traffic lights, lift off the accelerator pedal and let the car slow to a stop instead of slamming on the brakes. Learn to anticipate situations so you don’t have to brake at the last minute. And when taking corners, don’t accelerate into it — just lightly apply the brakes before the turn and ease off the brakes as you turn before accelerating on the straight.
PROPER STEERING TECHNIQUE
The recommended and safest way to hold your steering wheel is at the nine and three o’clock positions. Apart from giving the driver more effective control on the steering of the car, it also prevents the driver from getting hurt if the airbag is deployed, as the hands will be at the outer sides of the steering wheel and out of the airbag’s deployment trajectory. The hands should never be too close to each other on the wheel, as this would restrict the angle of movement. And, of course, never drive with one hand — it may look cool, but you don’t have total control over the wheel to steer your car safely and effectively.
LARGE VEHICLE BLIND SPOTS
When driving behind or next to a larger vehicle such as a truck or bus, don’t expect them to be able to see you at all times. Their elevated position makes it difficult for drivers of such vehicles to see certain areas close to them, so avoid going too near to the back, sides and front of these vehicles. As these vehicles have a wider turning radius, keep out of their outer turning circle; you do not want to be there if they accidentally run into your lane when making that turn.
With patience and practice, every driver should be able to hone their basic skills.
Learn to be the driver others respect and, by doing so, make the roads safer for everyone as well.
INSURANCE FROM AAS-IA
No matter how skilled a driver you are, you should always be prepared for the worst and have extra protection while on the roads. One way to achieve peace of mind when you’re driving or are a passenger is to purchase motor insurance products, especially those offered by AA Singapore’s subsidiary, AAS Insurance Agency (AAS-IA).
Check out its AA Motor Plus insurance policy, the result of a strategic partnership between AAS-IA and Liberty Insurance. Benefits include:
- Personal Accident coverage of up to S$100,000 for you while driving your car
- Medical Expenses Reimbursements of up to S$2,000 per accident for yourself, authorised driver and passengers
For more details, visit here.