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Ever since Phase Two started, the roads have gotten busy again. Here's how you can drive safely and avoid being caught in a nasty road traffic accident.
Category: Miscellaneous Advice
After an arduous two-month 'Circuit Breaker' period, and around two weeks of 'Phase One', Singapore had opened up most of her economy, with most retail outlets allowed to operate, and social gatherings with five or less participants are also allowed.
'Phase Two' also meant the roads here are returning to its usual, cluttered state. Seeing how there was apparently at least 15 Singapore road accidents on the first day of 'Phase Two', it seems like many have also forgotten how to drive safely. Nobody wants to be caught in the centre of a nasty accident, and that's why we are sharing some safe driving tips that all drivers need to know.
1. Don't drive when you are extremely tired
Yes, we all lead hectic lives in Singapore, but that doesn't mean we should all be driving while suffering from severe lack of sleep. In fact, driving while tired can be extremely dangerous, comparable even to drink driving!
Many drivers will agree that they sort of go into an 'autopilot' mode when they are too tired. In fact, if you've experienced it, you would have wondered how you even got to your destination in the first place... everything was just a blurry vague memory.
2. Always check your blind spots (and avoid being in others')
One of the first things to get thrown out of the window after leaving driving school is the practice of checking blind spots - how many seasoned drivers still turn their heads to check for vehicles in their blind spot? Not that many I suppose. Some might even ridicule you as a 'noob driver' when they see you doing it.
As the terminology suggests, blind spots are areas that are obscured from your view, by forgoing the practice of checking your blind spots, it is easy to get into an accident as you simply did not notice the other vehicle's existence!
Likewise, you should also stay out of the blind spots of other vehicles to keep yourself safe, especially if you belong to the more vulnerable group of road users - motorcycle rider.
3. Look further ahead when driving, and don't follow too closely
With the high speeds that vehicles travel at, things can happen a little bit faster than you expect. Take a second off the road, a moment of shut-eye or maybe just looking down to adjust the audio volume, and you might be in for an unpleasant surprise the next time you look at where you are going.
It is always beneficial to look ahead and pre-empt yourself for any upcoming obstacles while driving, by doing so, you can slow down or manoeuvre your car to safety should there be any obstacle. Of course, it will definitely help if you keep a safe distance from the car in front as well. By keeping a safe following distance, you can give yourself more time to react in unexpected situations.
4. Make full use of your car's lighting - head lights and indicators
Yep, signaling your intention before you make a lane change or a turn can make driving much safer. By doing so, your movements become more predictable. As such, other drivers will be able to stay out of your way, and in safety.
While signaling is important, making a conscious effort to turn off your indicators at the correct moment also makes a huge difference to safety - sending out wrong signals will make your movements much less predictable!
As brightly lit as the roads are in Singapore, it is important to turn on your head lights. While it wouldn't affect the visibility of the roads substantially, it makes a huge difference to the visibility of your car to other road users! Surely, you wouldn't want someone to cut in front of you while you are travelling at a considerable pace just because he did not notice you.
5. Don't rush or make rash decisions while driving
Humans don't really perform well in highly stressful conditions. We tend to make mistakes when we are stressed out, or rushing for time, or both.
Yes, being late won't look good on you, but not arriving at all will be worse. Making rash decisions such as last minute lane changes, completing a discretionary right turn without checking for traffic, aggressive overtaking in bends or in the wet, or simply speeding can all lead to accidents on the road.
6. Keep your focus on the task at hand - driving
Driving is a complicated task that requires your full, undivided attention. Take your eyes off the road for seconds and the next thing you know, you are sitting in a pile of wreck.
Distracted driving is a very real problem these days as we are all preoccupied with our smartphones, be it for communication, work or leisure.
To avoid the urge to use your phone while driving, you should put it away, somewhere out of reach while driving - surely, with the short distances we drive here, you can always reply someone after you have completed your journey.
7. Don't drink and drive
Drinking impairs your cognitive ability. It affects your ability to make accurate judgment, and dull your senses - clearly not something desirable when you are piloting a chunk of metal that weighs enough to create a sizeable carnage.
Oh, and if the notion of getting someone killed or badly injured doesn't turn you off, surely the hefty penalties will - apart from a hefty fine, you will also lose your driving license!
8. Keep your car in tip-top condition
Cars consist of many wear and tear components, such as the tyres, brakes and various components that relates to keeping the car in control, and right side up on the road.
A mechanical failure can cause the most cautious driver to get into an accident. As such, you should always keep your car in perfect working condition, for the safety of yourself and all other road users.
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