Driving Tips

Few Qualities a good driver should Possess

A driver should be alert all the time and should focus his whole concentration on the road ahead and should drive carefully, cautiously and defensively.

  • CONCENTRATION: The main factor on which safe driving depends is the quality of the driver. He should be alert and should only concentrate on driving safely and cautiously. The driver should ensure that he has rested well, is not tense but cool and calm. He should also not be under the influence of any intoxicating drinks or any narcotic or other drugs at the time of driving.
  • DEFENSIVE DRIVING: A good driver is one who plans well in advance and is ready to face any unwarranted or unexpected situation. He may encounter many drivers on his ride and not all will react or behave the way he wants to. A driver would never know or realize how the other driver is going to act or react. So be prepared to react or behave in a calm manner. If a crash is inevitable, then don’t panic and choose the lesser dangerous one. Try to avoid a head-on-collision as far as possible. It is rather less dangerous to run into a trench, as it would ensure lesser injuries. Always keep the vehicle in good condition for such vehicles offers more survival chances in case of an accident than a vehicle which has not been maintained well.

Know more about Highway Hypnosis

If one looks at the reason behind a majority of road accidents in India, then the most common reason is the ‘highway hypnosis’. This is the condition referred to when a driver falls asleep while driving a vehicle. ‘Highway hypnosis’ may occur due to fatigue or over working or lack of rest or lack of adequate sleep. There are many ways one can avoid this condition. One main way to avoid highway hypnosis is to ensure that the driver gets proper and enough rest from time to time when he is on a long trip. If it is found that the driver is feeling drowsy, then it is better to take a break and allow the driver to take a short nap or rest. During long trips, take frequent tea breaks. Stop at regular intervals and exercise a little so as to refresh body and mind. Let the eyes also take some rest. Close eyes at regular intervals or give them some exercise like reading a road sign or a board or looking at some other way. Remember reaching your destination little late safely is more important than making haste and not reaching at all.

Ensure Proper Speed Limit

Maintaining a proper speed limit means not driving too fast or too slow because both the conditions are dangerous. There is always a speed limit that is advised while driving. But the driver should adjust his driving and speed to the climatic conditions and the traffic. He can drive slowly if the climate and traffic at the time demands so. A driver should adjust his driving speed as per the weather conditions and the traffic flow but never exceed the prescribed speed limit.

Driving under Fog Conditions

As far as possible, avoid driving if there is fog. If it is not possible, then do take some precautions, as listed below:

  • Drive slowly. Look out for lights, headlights or tail lights and if you see one, then drive even more slowly. It is possible that a driver is ahead either in the middle of the road or he must have stopped on the way.
  • The headlights of the vehicle should be set on the dim. Use fog lights as far as possible.
  • Ensure that you stay within the limits of your headlights and never cross it.  Just stop and stay at some end of the road if the fog turns too dense. Try not to drive at 5 km or even 10 km per hour when driving through fog.
  • Another very important point to be noted is to ensure that the turn signal is on much before you need to take the turn. If there is any stop you encounter on the way, stop early so as to send a timely warning to other drivers on the way.

Driving during Rain

A driver has to take maximum precautions while driving during rains. Roads tend to turn slippery because of water and dust. Oil spills, leaves, and mud make the condition worse. Increasing the following distance is the best way to ensure safe driving on such slipper roads. Extra attention should be paid while applying brakes or when taking turns or driving on curves. Since the wipers would be on during rains, it is better to keep the headlights on while driving during rains. It is better to switch off the parking lights for it often produces an illusion which might be dangerous.

Driving in High Winds

Another problematic weather condition for drivers is the speed of wind, especially for the drivers of heavy vehicles. If the speed of wind is more, it is best to drive slowly. If the wind is blowing high, then there is a chance of rains too. In such a case, take adequate precautions.  While driving during high winds, be prepared for rains and slipper roads ahead and plan the driving accordingly.

Driving in Winter in Hills

Winter is a difficult climate for drivers, especially for those who have to drive in hill stations or hilly regions. There is always the possibility of ice fall or snow fall that makes driving difficult and even impossible. The falling of temperature adds to the adversity. Winter means days are shorter. By following the below precautions one can ensure a safe driving in such adverse climatic conditions:

  • The road conditions of hill stations might vary as per the climate and even the condition of roads in that particular area. In such a case, always drive slowly but raise the following distance.
  • Always remember to carry a non-freezing windshield washer liquid. Clean the windshield off ice and snow. Defrosting is quite necessary and only resumes driving after the clean up. Ensure that the headlights and tail lights are noticeable from even a distance at all times.
  • Good maintenance of vehicles is of utmost importance. All the parts of the vehicle, especially the radiator, brakes, and the defrosters should be in good working condition. Also ensure that the lights and windshield wipers are working properly for these parts of utmost importance while driving.
  • In some places, snow tyres and chains are not allowed. In such places, there is no other option than to avoid their use and focus on other driving tips. If the use of these is allowed, then use them to ensure a smooth driving. Extra traction can be achieved with snow tyres and using chains ensures safety on snow filled roads. Also these do not allow driving at normal speed if the road condition is bad.
  • Start the engine slowly and not at the regular speed. Finding about traction on such roads is important and this can be done by applying gentle brakes. Apply brakes much in advance when entering an intersection.
  • Even if the current road that you are driving is clear, it does not guarantee that the road ahead might be so. In such a case, always remember to drive slowly if you see bridges or overpasses. Chances are that these spots might be still filled with ice. So drive accordingly and carefully.
  • Winter driving is difficult and should be taken up only if necessary and unavoidable. If you have to, then plan wisely and carefully. Ensure that you carry enough food for the road. Make a list of survival equipment or carry such items. A shovel is a must for if you are stranded at some deserted ice filled road, then the snow can be removed with the shovel to clear the road and resume driving. If this is not a possibility, then do not leave the vehicle. Remain where you are. Open all the windows to let out the carbon monoxide. Run your engine briefly at regular intervals. Check the tailpipe of your vehicle and clean it if you find snow and debris accumulated on it.

Driving During Night

  • Night driving is not easy because it is night time, that’s why! There is no adequate light and things are not clear during night as they would be during day time. Night lights can also block vision. It is important to remain alert and sensible while driving during night.
  • Use headlights sensibly and carefully. Overdriving the headlights can be dangerous, so avoid it. Maintain the headlights well and use it both during early morning and dusk driving. Another rule that must be followed by drivers diligently is to dim bright lights at least 500 ft before confronting an approaching vehicle or at 300 ft. before overtaking a vehicle.
  • Street lights should be looked out for in any roads. If they cause too much glare, then let your dashboard lights dim and let the sun visor take charge. Do not use any other light inside the vehicle.
  • Since it is quite difficult to read road signs at night, it is best to find edge lines and center lines as guides on the roadway.
  • As far as possible, avoid stopping on a roadway and if you have to, let a red warning light go to warn other motorists of your presence on the way.

Precautions During Water Accidents

Accidents cannot be avoided but you can ensure to lessen its damage and frequency with proper and safe driving tips. If in an unfortunate situation, your vehicle runs off into water, try to use the window for escaping before the vehicle sinks in. The difference in water pressure will prevent the car doors from opening. If your vehicle starts sinking, then jump into the back seat because it is where an air pocket is usually formed. Pause, take a deep breath and jump out from the rear window.


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