"Forewarned is forearmed."

These tips are common sense but even experienced drivers are likely to be taking unnecessary risks.

We would like to think that all drivers carry out these tips/checks each time they drive but we have yet to find one that does!

1 When you go to get in the car walk the long way around it and check if the tires appear to be fully inflated and there are no toys kids etc behind it.


2 Belt up before start up. Make sure there are no twists in the belts and tighten the sash strap to reduce slack so belt will lock sooner in a crash.

3 Check operation of all the lights before opening the garage doors but not with the motor running

4 Seating position . Place your foot on the firewall under the brake pedal and slide the seat forward so you can't straighten and lock your knee,Then lean forward and place your wrist on the top of the wheel then adjust the seat back to support you in this position. This positions you in the correct position for the belts and SRS airbag to work correctly.If you drive with straight arms then the air bag will be too far away to save your head from whiplash.

5 In a crash one would normally brace for impact and if you can lock your arms and legs then they will most surely break/dislocate in a severe crash. This is why the correct seating position is so important .

6 When driving concentrate on the job at hand and not on whatever you are going to do when you get there.

These top driving tips could save your life, or prevent injury or damage!

7 Some females have a habit of loosening the belt over their breasts or hooking the sash under their arm .Both are extremely dangerous in a crash.

8 The steering wheel is there to control the direction and NOT to brace yourself so use the foot rest/foot brace to push yourself back to counter the forward force as well as bracing yourself in corners .You can also use your knees against the door or console to help hold yourself while keeping soft hands on the wheel.

9 Your right foot's heel should be positioned on the floor app 1/2 way between the accelerator and the brake pedal and you simply pivot on the heel onto the brake and modulate the pressure with the ball of your foot.You will have far better control this way over lifting your leg and having to control all that weight as well as being fractionally faster in an emergency. If you save 1/4 of a second at 60 kph then you can stop approximately 4 meters shorter.

10 When turning look where you want to go and DO NOT lean your head sideways as it gives you a different aspect as to where the car is on the road.

11 Keep your eyes moving and try not to develop target fixation or tunnel vision.car-mat-audi

12 I recommend that you engage the parking bake when stationary in traffic and keep the wheel straight if waiting to turn.

IF you happen to be rear ended then you will not be shunted into oncoming traffic whereas if you do not have the handbrake on then your brake foot may be dislodged onto the accelerator. Note push the button in when pulling on the handbrake to avoid the horrible clack clack noise.

13 Rear vision mirrors. The wing mirrors should be adjusted out so you can not see the sides of your car and when reversing you can lean your head so you can see the sides. Remember the more of your car you can see the bigger your blind spot.

14 I recommend checking tyre pressures once a week when COLD and note which tires need air so if say the RT front is 5 lbs low then add 5 psi onto whatever the servo gauge says to get back closer to the right pressure.

15 Running commentary is something that everyone should try as you will notice traffic flows,prevailing conditions,sunny,wet,fog changes in road traffic signs, road surfaces etc. When the car is empty make a point of speaking out loud as much information as you can to develop better anticipation.

16 Parking, always select PARK in an auto OR say 1st or reverse depending on direction with the wheels turned towards the kerb to stop the car should the handbrake not hold. It also helps to push the brake pedal hard when pulling on the hand brake.

17 Changing lanes. I like to indicate my intentions early by letting my indicators click at least 4/5 times to give following or oncoming drivers plenty of warning. I still recommend a shoulder check as well. NOTE the indicators DO NOT give you right of way.

18 Try to do say a defensive or skid pan course as IMO it would benefit most drivers who most likely have had no further training/instruction since they got their license and have lapsed into bad/poor habits.

19 DO NOT let your passengers lay back the seat to have a sleep as in a crash they will slide under the belts and end up in the footwell.DO NOT let front seat passenger put feet on the dash where the SRS air bag is hidden.

20 DO NOT drive with the windows 1/2 way down as this can be extremely dangerous in the event of a 'T'' bone /side impact crash as the 3 point belts are not designed to hold your upper body in place and you will whiplash sideways and your head will come ind contact with the top /thin edge of the glass with potentially life threatening injuries.

IF you must then wind them ALL the way down OR app 1/4 down so your head will hit the flat surface of the glass or the top of the door and not the top edge of the window.


21 Hold the steering wheel in a 9&3 position as all the controls will be within easy reach and they will be clear of the airbag should it deploy in a crash.

From my observations far too many drivers lapse into bad/poor /sloppy habits and drive with one hand on the wheel and the other on the gear stick or handbrake.

This is not the best position for fast reactions in an emergency situation where fractions of seconds count when say you have a hand on the wheel at 12 o'clock BUT you need to turn left when you are used to pulling the wheel to turn and have to get your left hand off the shifter and on to the wheel to turn.

22 The way you sit in a car and feel "comfortable" is a direct result of your muscle memory and when you decide to sit correctly as I have outlined feel strange BUT I would urge you to stick with it for say a week and it will begin to feel normal .It takes willpower but IMO is worth the effort IF you want to be the best driver you can be .

23 If you see something ahead that could be a problem then don't keep on the accelerator but roll of it and cover the brake as this will reduce your stopping distance in emergencies should the need arise. In essence I am saying "brake first think second" Because if you think first before applying the brakes you are reducing the distance available to able to stop safely.


24 If you can't avoid a crash then you need to have if full frontal at the slowest speed as this is how the car is designed to spread the impact best for the driver and passengers to survive.

Swerving and having an offset crash will almost certainly send you side on to oncoming traffic/ post/tree etc.

25 Outdriving your field of vision by that I mean that if you suddenly see something ahead say an animal on the road and you cannot bring your car safely to a stop without hitting it or running off the road avoiding it then you are most certainly driving way too fast and out driving your field of vision.

Remember your total stopping distance in an emergency situation is made up of 3 things

1 Recognition ,Your brain realizing and telling you that you need to brake hard NOW
2 Reaction time, getting off the accelerator and onto the brake pedal.
3 Actual distance to stop once the brakes have been applied which will be governed by the type of surface, if it is wet or dry and tire grip available.

These driving tips were submitted by Rad, aka TCJBoldie a member in our forums, who has covered these topics in detail in many posts & discussions.

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One Response to “Life saving driving tips”

  1. Anthony Brush says:

    Road rage should also be voided, because making an eye contact with angry birds can be dangerous.

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