90% of the information we receive when driving comes to us through sight, the vast majority through the windshield and the rest of the glass of our vehicle. Continuous changes in traffic conditions (environment, relative position, orientation, speed, direction …) require the driver to constantly adjust his vision focus in order to understand his surroundings and make the best driving decisions. Good visibility and visual exploration strategy are key to increasing safety behind the wheel. When you can boast an excellent track record, you have more clout just in case an incident should occur.
Safety on the roads is not just paramount for you and other drivers, but also pedestrians and cyclists. According to the CDC, early 40 percent of bicycle accident fatalities involve drunk drivers. Although this may not directly affect you as a driver, it’s worth noting that if you are a cyclist, the dangers are many. So what can we do to ensure that cyclists are kept safe on the roads?
Take the rests that you need, when you need them.
Resting properly is essential to avoid accidents. It seems like a no-brainer, but a large part of the distractions are caused by the simple fact that the driver has not had enough rest. To avoid this you must, beyond respecting the statutory breaks (if you work as a driver of any kind), be sure to stay home or take a taxi if you feel you are not in any fit state to drive.
Anticipate adverse situations and plan around them.
As we have already mentioned, the weather is one of the main causes of accidents. When planning your routes, you must take it into account to adapt to them and adopt the necessary measures. This also means that when you change your route, be sure to be extra vigilant, as these may be roads you don’t usually drive, and may incur more interactions with cyclists.
Maintenance is very important.
Checking the condition of your vehicle and keeping it in optimal condition is crucial to minimize possible accidents and, furthermore, reduce the costs associated with each route. Having poor windshield wipers, for example, seriously affects your driver’s visibility in the event of rain and can multiply the risk of an accident. If your handbrake is weakened or if your gears are slipping, these are problems that can affect the way in which you stop the vehicle and the speed in which this occurs. Also ensuring that your GPS systems are working will allow you to make the necessary changes if there are roadworks or poor weather conditions. You should avoid speaking on the phone and opt for a headset to maintain two hands on the wheel.
The number one killer on the roads is cyclists being knocked down. In 2018, two years ago, the statistics in the USA were at their highest. 854 bicyclists were killed in crashes with motor vehicles, although this has since diminished, the problem hasn’t been fully eradicated. Be safe, be secure and above all, take the necessary precautions.