Safe driving techniques

Thursday September 6 2018

There is nothing as dangerous as wanting to

There is nothing as dangerous as wanting to drive at the same speed as other motorists on the road, more so the fast drivers. Similarly, it also subjects you to crushes if you are the kind that does not want to be overtaken. FILE PHOTO 

By Roland D. Nasasira

In this age of technology, we are more distracted than ever. It is, therefore, crucial to not only know but also practice the basics of safe driving.
Elly Abenawe agrees to the fact that he is a fast driver. However, much as he is, he does not drive under the influence of other fast motorists especially when he is on a highway. Driving under the influence of other motorist are habits Abenawe attaches to most highway drivers, especially bus and truck drivers.
Here are basic yet crucial safe driving techniques every driver must apply:

Do not be influenced by other motorists
“When I am driving at a high speed and I am overtaken by a faster motorist, I do not race to catch up or overtake them as well. I drive at a speed at which I can still control the car in case there is a need,” Abenawe explains.

Do not follow a friend
It is a common habit by some motorists to tail their friends on seeing them on the road. Darius Amwine, a motorist, opines that the disadvantage of following a friend or someone you know on the road puts you in a position where you abuse traffic laws, especially speed limits and road signs. “If there are speed limit road signs, you may not see or follow them because you are fast. With that, you may end up driving over big speed humps and your car could overturn because you did not give yourself time to control the car,” Amwine explains.

Give room for faster motorists
There is nothing as dangerous as wanting to drive at the same speed as other motorists on the road, more so the fast drivers. Similarly, it also subjects you to crushes if you are the kind that does not want to be overtaken. “If you are on the road and a motorist shows signs of wanting to overtake, give them space to overtake because their car could lose control and rams into yours. For your safety, and that of others, do not be stubborn or adamant and stay in their way,” Amwine advises.
Some of the signs indicated by many, if not all motorists with intentions to overtake include hooting, flashing lights, and driving too close to your car.

Avoid depending on other motorists
Some motorists have a tendency of depending on other road users, especially commuter taxis that create extra lanes during traffic jam. However, at times, as they drive on, the created lanes come to an end, and so do the shortcuts, leaving you stranded.
“If you depend on other motorists to make a decision, they might lead you into undesirable situations where you could get stuck. For example, if you follow a driver whose car has a raised ground clearance and yours is low, it might be hard or impossible for you to manoeuvre through the potholes successfully,” says Paul Kwamusi, a road safety consultant with Integrated Transport Systems Limited.
The only solution to avoid getting stuck is to keep in gazetted lanes, more so if you are not sure of the nature of the shortcut and where it leads or ends.

Allow other drivers to make mistakes
Mark Sserwadda, a motorist, says when driving, put yourself in a position where you are the only one who understands what you are doing. “If they hoot at you for being slow and want to force their way ahead of your car, do not fight with them for space, especially at around roundabouts and junctions,” Sserwadda advises. “If the other motorist’s car rubs against yours, they subject themselves to compensating you or paying for damages caused. However, if you choose to compete with other motorists, they could push you into causing an accident or causing damage to the cars of other motorists,” he adds.

Yield when in doubt
The portal also advises that if you are not certain who has the right of way, err on the side of caution. If you know you have the right of way, but another motorist seems to disagree, give in. Better to lose a bit of time than to get caught in a collision.

Stop on red
According to Trusted Choice, the leading cause of intersection collisions is running the red light. The portal says, sometimes it is lack of attention to the road and sometimes it is glare from the setting sun, but at other times, the motorist is simply in a hurry. The best practice is to slow down before each intersection, and evaluate the situation. That said, never race the yellow light.

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