The Christmas Holidays provide time for exploring old and new places with families and friends. This article is about practical tips for a safe and happy motoring. These reminders comes from someone one who have been a mechanic, a trainer in driving, an apprentice to a car racer, and a car and motorbike lover who have met several accidents – caused by others who have forgotten of have not observe the techniques of defensive driving. I hope this can help.
I will assume that the car or motorbike drivers are wearing their respective driving gears.
1. Always overtake on the left side of the vehicle ahead, never on the right
2. Be sure that there are no vehicles IN front of the vehicle you want to overtake for at least 30 meters
3. For motorbikes, be sure that there is at least 3 meters wide space where you can pass
4. Don’t shift on neutral while overtaking, accelerate until you are safe ahead of the vehicle you are overtaking
5. Be sure to turn on your signal lights, left before you overtake and right afterwards
Dealing with a mal-functioning brake:
1. Apply the handbrakes which are usually mechanical, and/or
2. Resort to engine brake - use your clutch and shift the gear to the next lower stages in succession until the lowest gear is reached.
3. You may turn off also the engine while shifting gears, but do not turn the key to the point that the steering wheel will lock in position
4. Stay alert, control the wheel and look for the safest place to end the slide of your vehicle.
5. Hope this will help and be included drivers training and testing for license application
Riding along busy streets (For Motorbike Drivers)
1. When riding along busy street focus your attention to the vehicles or bikes ahead of you. Your concern is not to bump them. Let the riders at your back and sides take care of their respective ways. For motorbikes always put your two fingers on the rear wheel handbrake.
2. When on the highway focus your eyes to at least 500 meters ahead or more. Do not look on the road in front of you. Watch out for road obstructions including pedestrians and stray animals.
3. When approaching a curve always slow down, use your rear brakes first then the front brake if you have to stop. When proceeding to drive the curve use your feet or body to balance the bike, master the techniques of Banking.
4. When approaching a crossing watch out and follow the traffic lights. If there is none always stop until both sides are clear.
5. In all cases remember that you are not on the racetrack and you are not a motorbike racer
Dealing with speed maniacs
1. When someone on a roaring car or motorbike overtakes you don’t get affected or offended. They might just be on emergency, or maybe they are looking for a public toilet to relieve themselves. You will just catch up with them in the next corner or crossing.
2. Just pray that they will achieve their objective and you will not hear about them in the morning TV news.
Dealing with traffic officers:
1. When a traffic officer flags you down stop your vehicle in a safe place, but do not alight
2. Pull out your drivers’ license and have it ready
3. Greet the officer casually, good morning or afternoon sir or madam, show your driver’s license (don’t give it unless asked)
4. Do not asked about your traffic infraction, they will tell you that if they want to
5. Do not argue with the officer, treat him as someone who is just doing his job for us, he/she will not allow themselves to be taught on what and how to perform their tasks
6. Look at them also behind their uniforms. They are just humans with the same problems that we have. If you encounter them at a time when they have issues with their families, you will not win the argument. If your dispute will end up using his/firearm - you are dead.
7. Your family can report to media, have interviews and shout to the whole world that the departed is right, they can file a case in court, and they may win - BUT YOU ARE DEAD.
Merry Christmas and safe and happy holidays.