Most people go through a great deal of stress obtaining their driver’s licences, and just as many forget a lot of what they have learnt over the ensuing weeks, months and years of driving and often do not even realise they are developing some bad driving habits.
At Cartrack, we’ve come to understand that being safe and secure on the road is about more than being able to protect your vehicle. It’s about being able to drive with due care, consideration and courtesy to ensure that everyone is safe on the road.
A bad driving habit can be defined as any driving practice that is inherently unsafe, increases fuel consumption and/or places greater strain on a vehicle’s components leading to greater operational costs.
With this in mind, we’ll be unpacking some good driving habits that you can start developing so that you can improve your driving and stay safe when in transit.
At the start of your journey
- 5-Minute safety check – no matter how short the trip may be, you should always conduct a safety check. Look under and around your car for bricks, balls, toys or other items that may cause an unsafe condition. As you do this, also check your tyres, side mirrors and lights. Remember once you’re in the car to check your seat belt’s resistance and ensure your mirrors are in the right spot.
- In the car – make sure you and your passengers are seated correctly – not the same as comfortably – to ensure that the safety measures such as seat belts and airbags, work together as they should. Remember to buckle up and sit with your arms slightly bent when on the steering wheel and legs slightly bent when the pedals are pushed down –this will help prevent broken limbs if you’re in an accident.
- Get your head in the game - driving requires both mental alertness and physical skills. When you get into your car, take a few moments to calm yourself and employ the aspects of patience, understand that you are not alone on the road and use common sense
While on the road
- Road rules – while the South African Road Ordinance is a rather cumbersome document, the K53 learners’ books are easy to read. Every so often, it would be a good idea to read through a K53 book as a refresher exercise.
- Common sense – many of the rules of the road are also the “rules” of common sense. These rules include keeping a good distance between you and the car in front and keeping to the speed limit, which, by the way, is implemented to give you an optimal drive. Here are some other common-sense ideas that will help you stay safe:
- Wear your seat belt so that you have improved protection in the event of an accident.
- Be constantly vigilant, not just when looking to overtake.
- Come to a complete stop at stop street or traffic light – at a traffic light, pull up the hand brake and take a few seconds to relax.
- Don’t assume the intersection is safe just because the light is green for you, check in all directions for oncoming traffic.
- Don’t ride the clutch or coast to a stop.
As a passenger
- Your responsibilities – sit facing forward, with both feet on the floor and with your belt properly in place and buckled in. Don’t distract the driver – rather, help them by being another set of eyes and a means of keeping them alert. Keep your arms and hands out of their view points and always be ready to be the DJ!
With technology constantly evolving in the transportation field, it’s important that you and your drivers remain at the top of your game. Let Cartrack help you with monitoring your drivers’ behaviours so that you can enforce positive driving habits and break the bad ones.