Despite having had my license almost seven years, I’m a somewhat nervous driver.
I’m not sure exactly why this is, I’ve never been involved in a serious accident or anything, but I imagine it’s partly because I live in an area which is full of red routes, and partly because I now have two children to consider (my precious cargo!).
Planning a safe journey can make me feel a lot happier about driving, especially when I’m using an unfamiliar route, so I thought I’d share my tips on driving safely.
The first (and most obvious) consideration once you’ve earned your license is to get insured. I always go for the cheapest car insurance that offers the most. Your needs might be different to mine, but I like to know I’m covered for all eventualities, just in case my car is written off or some other unfortunate incident occurs.
Next up is basic maintenance. Getting an MOT is required by law, but you should practice a certain level of maintenance all year round. I have a little light on my dashboard that tells me when I need oil, so I respond to that, but if your car doesn’t have that, then you need to check it regularly.
I also keep my screenwash and anti-freeze topped up and replace windscreen wipers when they don’t seem to be doing their job very well.
Tyre pressure is really important, as well as checking the tread on the tyres is thick enough. When your tyre pressure is too low, it can affect how much control you have over your car, most petrol stations have a tyre pumping area that’s either free or about 20p. The ideal pressure for your particular car will be in your handbook, it’s important to check this because it does differ from car to car.
My last piece of advice is to plan the journey well. I imagine (like me) if you’re familiar with the route you’ll remain reasonably unfazed by it. I could probably do the school run with my eyes closed (don’t worry, I promise not to try!) but unfamiliar routes can be really stressful.
I’m lucky enough to have a satnav, but I prefer not to rely on it solely because it can be quite distracting. I generally tend to look up the route online beforehand so I have a rough idea of where I’m going. That way, if there are particularly winding roads that I’d rather avoid, I can program my satnav to do just that. I find it better to do my homework beforehand and let my satnav be a gentle reminder.
I think when you have children it makes a lot of sense to prepare for every journey, no matter how small. That way, if you’re faced with an unexpected delay or particularly nasty weather conditions, you’ll always be able to keep your cool.
Chill car insurance surveyed some Irish drivers to ask them about road safety and dangerous driving conditions, then made this handy infographic for the results. Do you have any experience of driving in Ireland?
I’d love to know what you do to plan your car journeys, let me know in the comments!
This was a collaborative post.