Road Driving Safety
Basic Road Safety Principles
Respect traffic rules/regulations and signs/symbols:
As a road user your acts should be governed by an inborn will to be safe and let others safe on roads. This would come only when you have respect for traffic rules and regulations. Lookout for road signs and symbols and follow them.
Maintain your cool even in adverse situations:
You may be burdened with unending number of problems at the home or office, but keep them aside before you venture on to the roads. Always keep yourselves fresh and cool.
Care & concern for others:
Keep in mind that you are not the sole owner of roads but others have similar right on it. Remember that road is not a place to show anger. Prevention of accident should be a major concern of road users.
Be prepared for any kind of eventuality:
Drivers and pedestrian may behave in an unpredictable manner. As a road user you should judge the situation correctly and act accordingly.
Qualities of Good Driver
A driver should always be in good health and state of mind before attempting to driver. He should be courteous, responsible, confident and patient and be able to concentrate. Thus, he avoids road accident and prosecuted by a police officer.
The golden rule for speed
Drive at a speed that will allow you to stop well within the distance you can see clearly
Always maintain sufficient distance between the vehicle you are driving and the vehicle in front of you in order to avoid collision in case the vehicle ahead slows down or stops suddenly. Avoid applying the brakes abruptly unless it is necessary to do so for safety reasons.
The law also provides that the driver if a motor vehicle moving behind another vehicle shall keep at a sufficient from the other vehicle to avoid collision if the vehicle in front should suddenly slow down or stop.
One of the major causes of road accidents is callous overtaking. So, you have an important responsibility while overtaking. Be careful while you observe oncoming vehicles in the overtaking exercise. You must only overtake when you are sure that after completing the manoeuvre you can return to your side of the road without obstructing the oncoming traffic or getting in the way of vehicles you are overtaking.
Take extreme care when overtaking on roads with undivided carriageway. Impatient drivers may not want to reduce their speed and may remain in the middle of the road resulting in head-on collisions.
When overtaking, keep in mind:
- Overtake from the right of the vehicles you are passing
- Do not overtake if the driver of the vehicle in front of you indicates that he is turning right.
- Never cut onto heavy vehicles. They need more room to slow down and stop.
Do not attempt to overtake if:
- Your passing is likely to cause inconvenience or danger to other traffic proceeding in any direction.
- You are near a pedestrian crossing , intersection or railway crossing
- You are on a road where overtaking is not allowed.
- The vehicle you are wanting to overtake has started accelerating
- The vehicle to be overtaken is displaying ‘L’ plate.
- Emergency vehicle
- VIP entourage
- You cannot see clearly ahead due to dazzle of oncoming traffic
- A large vehicle is blocking your vision, as there may be slow moving vehicles in front
ROAD SAFETY TIPS FOR PEDESTRIANS
Walk on footpath - 50% of those killed in road accidents are pedestrians.
ALWAYS REMAIN ALERT WHILE ON ROAD
- Walk on any side of road if there are footpaths.
- On roads having no footpath, walk on extreme right side facing the oncoming traffic.
- Always use Zebra Crossing, Foot Over-bridge & Subways to cross the road.
- Cross the road when the vehicles are at a safe distance.
- Wear light coloured dresses during night.
A LITTLE CARELESSNESS CAN BE DANGEROUS
- Do not cross the road in hurry or by running.
- Never Cross the road in front of or in between parked vehicles.
- It is very dangerous to cross the road at blind corners, turnings, etc. where you are not visible to vehicle drivers.
- Do not jump over the railings to cross road.
10% of the persons being killed in road accidents are cyclists.
- Cycle must be fitted with standard gadgets – bell, brakes, rear view mirror, both front & black mudguard painted white, reflective tapes affixed at the front & back.
- Use service road/cycle track, if available. Cycle should be on extreme left side of the road.
- Avoid busy roads.
- Keep a safe distance from fast motorized vehicles.
- Give proper indications before stopping or turning.
- Do not indulge in any kind of stunts.
- Do not load the cycle with another person or heavy goods.
- Do not ride holding on to fast moving vehicles.
- Do not ride parallel to another cycle.
TRAVELLING IN BUS
- Get up early and start from home in time.
- Board the bus from the designated bus stop in a queue.
- Behave properly inside the bus.
- Hold on to the railings of the bus.
- Alight only at the designated bus stop.
- Get down only when the bus has completely stopped.
- Rush or run to catch the bus.
- Stand on the steps of the bus.
- Make noise that may distract the driver.
- Put any part of the body outside the bus.
- Alight from a moving bus.
- Cross in front of the bus you have alighted.
RIDE TWO-WHEELER SAFELY
28% of the persons being killed in road accidents are two-wheeler riders.
- Wear a full mask good quality BIS approved helmet.
- Ensure that pillion rider also wears a helmet of the same quality.
- Fasten the helmet tightly.
- Check the inflation of both front and rear tyres.
- Ensure the front and rear lights are functional.
- Give proper indications before turning.
- Switch off your indicators after turning.
- Use front and rear brakes simultaneously.
- Ride in the middle lane.
- Keep a safe distance from the vehicle ahead.
- Indulge in zig-zag riding.
- Overtake from the blind corners of a heavy vehicle or from the left side. It is highly dangerous.
- Apply brakes suddenly.
- Carry heavy loads or more than one person as pillion rider.
- Use cell phone while riding.
- Ride in the bus lane.
- Allow a minor to ride.
WHILE ON FOUR WHEELS
- Ensure that co-passenger on the front seat and the driver has worn seat belt.
- Drive within the prescribed speed limit (Car-50, Bus/Truck-40).
- Drive in your lane.
- Keep a safe distance from the vehicle ahead.
- Talk on mobile phone while driving.
- Allow children below 12 years of age to sit on the front seat.
- Allow minors to drive.
NEGOTIATING AN INTERSECTION JUDICIOUSLY
- Almost 50% of collisions occur at intersections.
- Choose the left lane if you want to turn left, the middle lane if you want to go straight, the right lane if turning right, at least 100 m in advance.
- Give proper indication before you turn.
- Slow down while approaching an intersection.
- Stop before stop line at red light.
- Even if the signal allows you to go, proceed slowly and cautiously.
- While approaching an unmanned intersection cover the brake and be prepared to stop.
NEGOTIATING A ROUND ABOUT
- Choose your lane as per your exit, at least 100m in advance.
- Slow down while approaching a round about.
- Enter the round about at an angle.
- Give way to traffic on your right.
- Merge slowly with the traffic inside the round about.
- Move towards your exit gradually giving proper indications.
- Be watchful of a pedestrian or an animal that may suddenly appear.
- Never overtake from left, always overtake from right.
- Make clear your intentions of overtaking to your fellow drivers.
- Give proper indications.
- Be watchful of a pedestrian or an animal that may suddenly appear in front of the vehicle you are overtaking.
- On roads having two-way traffic overtake only when the oncoming vehicle is at a safe distance.
- Give proper indications.
- Start changing lane only when the vehicles behind you have understood your intentions.
- Slow down while approaching the turning point.
- Turn only when the vehicle coming from the opposite direction is at a safe distance.
- The vehicle coming from the opposite direction has the right of way.
- Watch out for pedestrians as well as vehicles coming from your right side.
RIGHT OF WAY
- The children and the disabled have the right of way.
- Pedestrians have the first right of way at unmanned intersections.
- At an unmanned intersections traffic on the right has the right of way.
- At a round about, traffic on your right has the right of way.
- Traffic on major road has the right of way.
- On hilly and steep roads vehicles going uphill have the right of way.
- Emergency vehicles like fire brigade, ambulance, police have the right of way.
These vehicles, while on emergency duty, can jump a red right, drive in non entry areas or on wrong side.
These vehicles should be given priority and clear passage.
DRIVING AT NIGHT
- Be alert: pedestrians, bicycles, animals and hand drawn vehicles that travel without light are difficult to be seen.
- Drive at a slow speed to react safely and stop in time.
- Turn on the headlights when it is dark.
- Drive with dipped headlights in places where the roads are amply lit.
- Keep the headlights clear and clean and check them frequently. Keep your windscreen clean because dirty windscreen can impair your vision.
- Avoid looking to the dazzling light if an oncoming vehicle is driving in high beam and gradually slow down your speed.
- To reduce the glare of lights following you, switch your interior rear view mirror to the night position or slightly tilt it or tilt the exterior rear view mirrors.
- Before overtaking ensure that the oncoming vehicle is at a safe distance.
DRIVING IN RAIN
- Check the working of wipers, windscreen washing fluid system, all vehicle lights, tyres, exhaust pipe.
- Be careful and reduce your speed as people may run across the roads in panic.
- Be considerate to other road users, avoid splashing of water.
- On slippery roads drive carefully and slowly. In case the vehicle slips, stop acceleration and press the clutch, hold the steering in a straight position and do not brake. Wait till you regain the grip.
DRIVING IN FOGGY CONDITIONS
- Drive slow as distances are hard to judge and low visibility decreases your reaction time.
- Do not hit your brakes in panic, you may get hit from the back.
- Turn on your wipers and defroster and turn off the music.
- Drive with dipped headlights, high beams produce too much glare in fog.
- Use the central verge of the road to guide you.
- Honk periodically to let other drivers know you are there.
- Never attempt overtaking.
DO NOT DRIVE WHEN DRUNK
- Alcohol slows down the mental process.
- It increases confidence but decreases performance.
- It affects brain’s ability to control and coordinate body’s movement.
- It slows down the reflex and hence the reaction time increases.
- It impairs the ability to judge speed and distance.
- It also impairs vision and hearing.
- Seat belt saves life and reduce the severity of injuries.
- With seat belt tied around, you become a part of the vehicle, rather than a loose object that can be tossed around inside in a crash or thrown outside.
- If you are thrown out of a vehicle in a crash, your chances of being killed are 25 times greater than if you stay inside.
- If your vehicle goes out of control, with the seat belt on you may be able to regain control. Without it, you may not even be able to stay in the driver’s seat.
COEXIST PEACEFULLY ON ROAD
When confronted by an aggressive driver
- Avoid eye contact.
- Stay calm and relaxed
- Make every attempt to get out of the way safely.
- Avoid confrontation
- Do not take other driver’s behaviour personally, he might have some reason to drive erratically.
- If you feel you are being followed too closely, signal and pull over to allow the other driver to go by.
- Ignore harassing gestures and name calling, and do not return them.
Avoid becoming an aggressive driver
- Allow enough travel time to reach the destination on schedule.
- Alter your schedule to avoid driving during peak congestion periods.
- If you late, call ahead so that you can relax.
- Do not drive when you are angry, upset or overly tired.
- Make your vehicle comfortable and avoid situations that raise your anxiety.
- When driving, relax and remain aware of your posture. Sit back in your seat and loosen your grip on the steering wheel.
- Give others the benefit of doubt; be polite, courteous and forgiving.
- If you commit any driving error, apologize by simply waving your hands.
- Do not follow too closely. Allow at least a three-seconds space between the vehicle ahead.
- Do not make gestures that may offend others.
- Remember, driving is not a contest. Hence, forget about winning.