Tips to stay alive on the road
Following the tragic death of the late Minister of State for Labour, James Ocholi and his wife and son in a fatal accident as a result a tyre blowout, ENCOMIUM Weekly spoke to some driving instructors on what to do when you have a burst tyre in motion to forestall future occurrence.
JOHN, Hope Driving School
The first thing you should ensure is that you do not panic and hold your steering wheel firmly to maintain control of the car. Else, the car will be out of your control.
You should not touch the brake at all, the car will somersault if you do. Just allow the car to keep moving, the speed will reduce gradually as long as you don’t accelerate until it stops completely and then you can park safely.
More important, limit your speed. Do not exceed 100km/hour while driving, if not, when things like that of the late minister happens, it would be fatal. If you’re driving at over 120km/130km/, the likelihood of fatality is high.
Things like this happen because most people shy away from theory classes at the driving school. In my school, I make sure my students attend the theory classes, not just practical because it is in theory classes that things like this are learnt.
Abdulkareem Atanda, Kareem Driving School
First, do not panic, remain focused, hold firmly onto the steering wheel because your car will start misbehaving. Don’t lose control of your car, don’t try to turn to the left or right, just maintain your lane.
Take your foot off the accelerator, stop accelerating. Then gently step on the brake at intervals to gradually reduce your speed. Do not apply it at once, if you do, the car would somersault.
As the speed reduces, you can regulate your gear, for instance from gear four to two.
HOW TO STAY ALIVE ON THE ROAD
Figures show that human errors cause about 80 percent of road accidents, while mechanical failure make up the other 20 percent.
The driving instructors also outlined some key safe driving tips.
Inspect your vehicle thoroughly before hitting the road.
Before hitting the road and at regular intervals, inspect your vehicle’s roadworthiness. Clear all doubts by cross checking. The inspection should cover: rear and side view mirrors, windscreen wipers, speedometre, brakes and brake lights, trafficators, reverse and parking lights, oil and water level, etc.
They may seem like little unimportant things, but sometimes, the seemingly little things make the big difference.
Obey traffic rules, lights and officials
Motorists in metropolitan cities are notorious for flaunting traffic rules in their haste, which has led to many accidents.
Traffic rules and lights regulate the flow of traffic, and obeying them will ensure, to a large extent that everyone arrives home in one piece.
Avoid parking on road sides, especially where there’s a ‘no parking’ sign as it creates unnecessary traffic congestion; avoid making u-turns indiscriminately; avoid driving against traffic and other traffic rules.
Traffic lights and officials are also important in ensuring that everyone arrives alive, obey them.
Avoid using your phone while driving
Whether it’s to respond to a text message, answer a phone call, or anything else that could take your concentration away from the road, avoid using your phone while driving.
If you must use your phone while driving, use a hand-free model.
Avoid over speeding, use trafficators, side view mirrors and seat belt
Over speeding exposes the driver to a host of risks, especially when an emergency occurs as he has little time to react and control the car.
When switching lanes on highways, use side view mirrors and trafficators to indicate to other road users.
Seat belts safe lives is a well-known line, and they actually do. Seat belts ensure that the damage to the driver and/or passenger (s) is minimal in the event of an accident.