TIPS TO AVOID AN ACCIDENT
Updated: Jan 21
When it comes to smash repairs and panel shops, Panel One has been an accredited BMW bodyshop for 30+ years; making us one of the most qualified BMW repairers in Australia, if not the world. With Christmas just around the corner we prepared this checklist so you can reduce risk of a car accident and make the most of the holiday season.
Racing to hospital in an Ambulance is not something we’d hope for, but it's something too many of us will experience over the coming holidays. Lack of concentration, excessive speed and the pressure to reach our destination by a set time are some of the reasons why. But there are specific things you can do and other things you can avoid that will reduce the likelihood of this outcome. So, before you get behind the wheel this holiday season take a moment to read the points listed and if you comply to them all, then you will have reduced the risk. Of course this won't eliminate the risk all together, but it will reduce your chances of seeing the inside of an ambulance.
1. Distance & Risk
Did you know 52% of accidents occur within 8km of home and a massive 77% within 24km.? Perhaps it’s because as we get closer to home our thoughts turn to the events or circumstances of the day rather than concentrating on driving. It’s important to be aware of these statistics and use this knowledge to remain vigilant regardless of the distance from home.
2. Know Where You’re Going and How to Get There
You’d be surprised to learn how many people choose to drive ‘blind’ and navigate with a street map as they go rather than study and plan a general route to their destination before leaving. This can cause unnecessary stress or distraction, particularly when driving in unfamiliar territory. The best approach is to study the route in advance and if you have a navigation system, set and activate it before you leave not while driving.
3. Alcohol & Drugs
Illicit drugs, alcohol and prescription drugs can affect cognitive ability, reaction time and behaviour. More importantly the affects can continue long after they were consumed. It is critically important that you never drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs and that you check the potential side-effects of prescription and over the counter medicines. Even cough medicines can be dangerous because they often cause drowsiness.
4. Excessive Speed
Be alert to the speed limit, particularly on suburban streets that often vary from 60 to 50 or 40km zones. Regardless of the signed limit, reduce your driving speed according to the road, weather and traffic conditions on the day.
Don’t attempt to multitask and avoid being distracted by passengers. Where fitted - use auto settings and the voice activated function to adjust the vehicles entertainment system, air-conditioning, lights and other operations.
6. Tired or Emotional
A high level of stress or distress is typically accompanied with feeling tired and emotional. These symptoms can affect concentration and reaction time, so driving under such circumstances is dangerous and should be avoided.
7. Fasten Seatbelts
Although obvious, it remains a common failing. Make sure all your passengers are buckled up then buckle your own seatbelt and respond to any seatbelt warnings from the car safety system. Double check children to ensure they have fastened their seatbelt correctly and ensure any person using the front seat meets the body height safety standards for the vehicle.
8. Storms & Heavy Rain
Avoid driving in storms and heavy rain. If your unable to wait till it passes, then reduce your speed in relation to visibility and increase your distance to other vehicles to allow for emergency breaking in wet weather.
9. Drive at a Safe Distance
You should drive at least 2 seconds behind the vehicle in front during ideal conditions to allow enough breaking distance if the car ahead should stop suddenly. Add 1 second extra for each 3m of trailer length — if towing a trailer or caravan and double the distance/or time when the road surface is wet.
10. Cyclists & Motorbikes
Cyclists and motorbikes have an equal right to be on the road, but those riding them have significantly less protection than the occupants of a car. Being much smaller than a vehicle, they can appear suddenly and without warning. Be alerts and allow a safe distance and only pass when it’s safe to do so.
11. Brakes & Tires
Particularly if driving long distances, have both the pressure and tread checked on all tires including any spare tires on board before you leave as well as brake pads. Plus, respond immediately to any warnings from the car safety system while driving.
12. Comfortable Temperature
Avoid extreme heat or cold and set the climate control to a comfortable temperature (i.e. 22.5 degrees) before you leave.
13. Be Patient & Calm
Adopt a considerate and not a combative approach to others on the road. Remember, driving is not a competition and it’s not about winning or losing. Rather it’s about getting from point A to point B safely and if that means showing courtesy to other drivers who may not appear to deserve it; then so be it.