In-Car Safety Information You Should Be Aware Of
Driving your own car is a great convenience that allows you to get to places in a short period of time. As with any other things, however, driving and riding in a car comes with some responsibilities. One of which is to keep yourself and your passengers safe while cruising on the highway or driving around town.
If you are a driver yourself, below are some important in-car safety tips that you should live by to ensure your safety as well as your passengers’.
Poising yourself inside the car
As the driver, how you position yourself inside the car can greatly affect your vision, your perception of the conditions of the road and weather as well as how you would react and stop. Hence, prior to hitting the streets, it is imperative to carefully check how you position yourself inside the car.
- To achieve the right driving position, fine-tune your seat position at a level that you feel most comfortable and would allow you to properly reach the steering wheel.
- By standard, your wrist should meet your steering wheel, but make sure that you do need to lean forward.
- On the steering wheel, your hands should be positioned at 9′o clock and 3′o clock, just like they appear on your watch with your elbows bent at about 45 degrees.
- Also make sure that you can see your car’s dashboard clearly, including the view through your windscreen.
- Adjust the rear view and side mirrors of your car to a position that will give you excellent visibility, ensuring that “blind spots” are covered.
- Your left leg should rest on the console and footrest, as this will let you react quickly on different road conditions.
Steering your car
Placing both your hands correctly on the steering wheel whenever you drive is a definitive means to ensure that you maintain your control over your vehicle and that you can steer it smoothly regardless of the road condition. As mentioned earlier, the best steering position is with your left hand on the 9′o clock post and right hand on the 3′o clock post. This will keep your chest open, allowing for easier breathing, reduced fatigue and improved concentration. Other important steering tips include:
- Keeping your grip slightly loose
- Avoid holding the wheel underneath or through the inside when starting a turn
- When turning, apply the so called pull-push technique. For instance, when you are stating to turn to the left, place your left hand on the steering wheel’s top. Pull down carefully and let the steering wheel to follow suit. Through the turn’s halfway corner, poise your left hand halfway on the wheel. Once you have completed the turn, slowly turn the wheel to its original position.
- When making a turn, allow your knees to carry all your weight, as this will let you keep your control over the vehicle and help you maintain your body’s balance.
Proper Seat Belt or Restraint Usage
While wearing seat belts is a common sense and is required by the law, not everyone follows it. In fact, as many as 46 drivers or front seat passengers die in crashes annually from being struck by rear seat passengers, who are not using seat belts. As such, it is your responsibility to make sure that you and your passengers wear seat belts at all times, regardless how short the trip is. Below are some tips on proper seat belt usage.
- When you get in the car, buckle up right away.
- The lower part of the seat belt should sit low and tight across the upper portion of the hip, and should not go across half of the belly.
- The seat belt’s shoulder part should fit well across the chest and shoulder, and not under the arm or across the neck or face.
- If you have children passengers, it is important that you pick the right seat and restraint for their weight and physical size rather than their age.
- Make sure that the harness is properly adjusted to fit secure around the children. You should be able to fit two fingers flat between the child and the straps. The buckle at the center should sit low over the abdomen.
Addressing Distractions (Pets, Mobile Phone, Music Player, Satellite Navigation System)
Driving is an activity that demands your undivided attention and concentration. There are as many distractions inside your vehicle as the ones outside, include your pets, mobile phone, music player and your satellite navigation system. Remember, even a momentary distraction can lead to an accident. What follows below are some tips to avoid distraction while driving.
- Never use a mobile phone. Keep it switched off. If you need to take call or read a message, however, stop in a safe place and use the phone there.
- Avoid using a hands-free phone, as this can also distract you from concentrating fully on the road.
- Phones are not the only distractions. It can be as dangerous to change a CD or switch to a different playlist. Do not do these things while driving.
- If you are driving with your pet, keep it harnessed securely or better yet place it in a pet carrier box.
- When using a satellite navigation system, it would be wise to:
- Not to place it in location that can obstruct your vision or anywhere where an airbag is deployed.
- Program it before hitting the road, not while you drive.
- Use the device’s audible instructions as your guide
- If you need to program an alternative route, pull up and do it somewhere safe.
- Make sure that a visible ring is removed from your windscreen
- Always have a map as a back up and if the need arises, pull up in a safe location and refer to your map.
Post above was researched and written by Sean Burns who is a Driving Instructor in Edinburgh he enjoys writing about anything related to driving and cars in general.
Published in Automotive