Falling asleep on wheels kills. Everyone knows the importance to stay awake and alert while driving a car. But being alert means more than just having your eyes opened and focused on the road and your surrounds.
That is a fantastic start, of course, but if you get behind the wheel without up-to-date road rules fresh in your mind, you cannot be fully alert to your situation. Every country will have location-specific rules that vary from one country to the next.
A mandatory element of being licensed to drive is knowing the rules in your country’s ‘road code’. Before you can operate a vehicle, you start with a ‘written’ test of questions and multi-choice answers, and picture-based scenarios. You have to be able to recognise the rules of the road in theory before you can learn to drive and sit your practical driving test.
Knowing the signs
Some countries will have different natural hazards in which to be vigilant. Signs can be confusing, especially if you are in a foreign country trying to navigate your way around. Make sure that you have the most up-to-date road rules version available not only for your country of residence but familiarise yourself with the road rules of any country you drive in.
Sharing the road
Safety is key, not getting over the finish line first. The public roadway is not a race track. Basic rules of humanity still apply to all and for all, such as kindness, patience, and consideration.
Being vigilant and patient will save lives, and you will still be able to get where you are going. In fact, without these things, you may not make it to your intended destination. Remember that we share the road; it is not ours alone.
Sharing the road with cyclists can sometimes seem inconvenient, especially in high-volume traffic, but your perspective can go a long way to preventing accidents and harm. Sometimes people don’t always make the best decisions. We cannot control what others do, but we can control our decisions and our preparedness.
Education and awareness are important. Rules regarding cyclists and the Highway Code may also vary from country to country. Fundamentals will likely be the same, but make yourself aware of cycle road rules whether you are a cyclist or a car driver. Consider specialised cycle training for you and especially your kids.
If you live and ride in a high-traffic area with under-developed cycleways, cycle training is essential.
Pedestrians are extra vulnerable near the roadways. They do not have the metal armour surrounding them that people in cars have. Drivers and cyclists need to be cautious and prepared to stop always.
It is so important that children learn the rules of the road too. They are pedestrians for many years before they take any road knowledge tests. Therefore, they are susceptible to the dangers of the road as are other pedestrians and bystanders. As such, they should learn as much as possible about those potential dangers.
There are plenty of resources online to help teach kids about road safety. There are also some junior road codes written especially for children. Find a couple of resources that are designed specifically for kids and make it fun for them to learn about safety measures.
Children love to learn and have independent responsibilities because you do as their parent. They are born emulators. Get them practising the rules while you are there to guide them before they take to the road alone.
Driving is an immense responsibility. In effect, being in a motor vehicle is like driving tanks toward each other at high speeds. Okay, maybe cars aren’t as heavy and tough, and it is likely there are no projectiles shooting out from your vehicle.
However, the speed factor of cars makes the danger of driving exponentially deadly, as do other variables, such as road conditions and the unpredictability of pedestrians and animals, etc.
Defensive driving is an excellent way to prepare yourself for the road and prevent instinctual freak-outs, such as swerving. Sign up for a refresher course, even if you have been driving for years and years.
Brushing up on your road rules to freshen the mind is a necessity to staying alert on the road. Driving rules change with time as do landscape and natural conditions. Being aware of these changes is part of your on-road responsibility.
Taking a refresher course in defensive driving and cycling ensures an excellent advantage to your safety and your family’s and for others, you encounter while out on the road.