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Driving Safety Essentials: Tips Every Driver Must Know




No matter if you just got your license or if you’re a seasoned driver, we all know how important it is to stay safe on the road. When you don’t practice safe driving, you can endanger yourself, your loved ones, people around you, and your precious vehicle. Luckily, once you learn about proper driving (and parking) safety, these tips will stay in your mind and you’ll subconsciously start practicing them. Here’s what every driver needs to pay attention to: 

Pack a few emergency items

Every trip you take in your car has the potential to end disastrously—this is the reality every driver should understand. Going to the store to grab milk or road-tripping from Sydney to Brisbane more-or-less require the same gear. Make sure to always have a small fire extinguisher, jumper cables, tire repair kit, and torch in your car. In case something happens to your car, you’ll be glad you’re equipped. 

Learn about your vehicle

Your dashboard is full of symbols that inform you of your car’s condition, but unfortunately, many people have no idea what they mean. Grab your car’s manual to learn about these symbols so you can react appropriately if they light up. Also, don’t hesitate to study your car’s smells. Any odor in your car might mean trouble: if you smell burnt carpet, you should check your handbrake and brake pads; if you smell hot oil, there might be an overflow from your oil change; and rotten eggs might mean a faulty catalytic converter. 

Female mechanic running a diagnostic on a car engine

Check your car

Just like your own regular physical exams, your car also needs these to catch any issues and ensure the vehicle is ready for the road. Firstly, find a good car inspection in Sydney to conduct your exams, because only professionals have the technology and enough experience to check your car’s level of driving safety. If you notice any weird noise when braking, book a brake check, and if you notice your tires are getting slick, it might be time for a new set. Have issues when getting around corners? Your shock absorbers might be ready for a check-up—professionals will know how to handle all of these. 

Buckle up and minimize distractions

Once your car is fully equipped and safe to drive, you must also be your own safety feature by wearing your seatbelt and minimizing distractions. Your seatbelt should always be on, no matter how short your trip is, and your phone should be safely in its hands-free cradle. If you’re driving kids and/or pets, they should be safely secured in the back so as not to disturb you while you focus on the road. And if you love to play music or podcasts while you drive, set up your playlist before you embark, not while you drive, please.

Practice safe driving at night

As you know, your reaction times tend to go up when driving in low-visibility conditions. Also, you might struggle with depth perception, with your estimates being less accurate at night. To boost night-driving safety, make sure to align your headlights properly and keep a safe distance between you and other cars, especially if you’re tired after a long day of road-tripping. If your headlights are foggy, you might consider getting them polished or investing in a DIY headlight polish kit you can buy all over Australia, as well as online. 

View through a windshield on the road at dusk. Original public domain image from Wikimedia Commons

Prevent break-ins

Driving safety doesn’t end when you turn off your engine. Every time you pull into a hotel lot, valet queue, garage, or any other parking spot, private or public, you should protect your car from robberies. Everything that stays in your car should be hidden away from sight. Secure your possessions before you even start your car, because if you put things into your booth after you park, there might be someone already watching as you fill your trunk with goodies. 

Invest in security

Most new cars have a built-in alarm system so make sure it’s working properly. There are also other safety features you can invest in to protect your car such as a GPS tracking system. This gadget sends alerts to your smart device in case something happens. Plus, the authorities will have the exact location of your car in case it gets stolen. 

Once you ensure your vehicle is safe to drive and you know all the safety tips for driving and parking, you can truly enjoy the freedom and fun a car provides.

Derek Lotts is a Sydney based writer and researcher, a regular contributor at Smooth Decorator blog. He writes about décor, gardening, recycling, ecology and business. He thinks all of these topics fall under the self-improvement category. He believes in the power of sharing ideas and communicating via the internet to achieve betterment.

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