By Jakowiti Atwech
It’s a fact that the attitude of drivers is what can make or break whether or not there are road injuries or fatalities.
Millions of drivers hurt themselves and those around them each year because of attitude. The “fatal 4” in road safety come to mind here.
What are the “fatal 4”?
√ Distracted driving
√ Lack of seatbelt use and
These are all preventable if the driver changed their driving attitude. Drivers who involve themselves with these “fatal 4” believe the bad things won’t happen to them. They belong to the “it won’t happen to me” club.
Well, sorry to inform you but it can and will happen to you…and your passengers…and other road users near you…if you don’t change this attitude.
Stubborn, naïve, careless all come to mind here. But there is a solution.
√ When it comes to speeding, Plan ahead, leave early enough so you’re not tempted to speed. Many drivers who speed are often late for their appointment. The reality is, those who speed will often speed toward a red light or stopped traffic. So in reality, speeding may have gained them just a few seconds. Leave sooner so you’re not tempted to speed. And if you know you’ll be late, accept it and learn for the next time. For more on speeding.
√ We’ve heard so much about distracted driving over the years but it still happens. When it happens it’s not because the driver didn’t know the law or how it could affect them or anyone else, it’s because they didn’t think they would be caught, maybe because they thought they were above the law or because they thought “it would only take a few seconds – what’s the harm?”. When distracted driving is causing almost as many injuries and fatalities as impaired driving, it has to stop. It can stop when the driver begins to take ownership of their own actions. Let the passenger make the call or text. Put your phone away until you reach your destination. Install an app on your phone that stops you from using it while driving. There are many more things you can do to avoid distracted driving, but it’s you that has to stop. Distracted driving is more than just a phone.
√ Our vehicles have been designed to become safer each year, but if you’ve noticed, seatbelts are still included in safety devices. Seatbelts keep the driver in an upright position which allows them to maintain control of the vehicle. Without a seatbelt on, the driver can be thrown around the seating compartment. Not only would that create injuries to the driver, but it has a high chance of the driver losing complete control of the vehicle, which would cause passengers or other road users to be injured… or worse. It only takes a few seconds to put on a seatbelt. Even a short trip can lead into an action where the driver has to suddenly brake or swerve to avoid a collision. Sudden braking can also cause unbelted passengers to go flying through the windshield – even from the backseat. Ensure your passengers have their seatbelt on as well. No exceptions.
√ About impaired driving, Drinking doesn’t happen suddenly. Make a plan to avoid driving after, but make this plan before you drink. If you end up having a few drinks when you weren’t planning it, there are things you can do to avoid driving afterwards. Take a cab, stay the night, call a service which will drive you and your vehicle home. These are all the responsible things to do, but it’s better to make these decisions before you’re impaired.
So the plan to avoid road safety injuries and fatalities is easy. Plan ahead and remember that it really could happen to you and the ones you love. Drop the attitude. Lives depend on it.