There are many kinds of emergencies that you may need to face while driving a car. Some could lead to just minor damages to the vehicle, but others could cause tragic consequences.
Proper training in the driving practice, like the one provided by LTrent Driving Lessons, might determine essential differences in the outcome. But you can also focus on foreseeing and avoiding, as far as possible, those eventualities.
Identifying Risk Factors
A clear “map of the danger while driving” subdivides the risk factors that can develop into an emergency in the few following categories:
- Driver-related factors
- Vehicle-related factors
- Environment-related factors
This simple list already suggests the three main areas that can present critical issues; the first point is the one on which you have more control.
Driver-related Risk Factors
Both the physical and mental condition of the driver influence the way a vehicle is conducted, along with knowledge and respect of circulation rules. Beside chronic pathologies or clinical conditions, or use of certain medicines, there can be occasional disturbs that may as well turn into danger, like migraine-related aura attacks or fading because of blood glucose drop.
Get used to paying attention to your body and its messages. If your symptoms could turn into danger, possibly avoid driving. If you already are, stop as soon as possible. If you really can’t, get mentally prepared on how to face that situation safely.
Also, extreme psychological conditions like intense emotions can influence your way of driving dangerously. Listen to your feelings as to your body, keeping a slight detachment from them, to understand if they’re altering your behaviour. If needed, stop and try to calm down, or to recover. If you feel overwhelmed, ask for help without hesitating.
Another matter, on the psychological side, is how you tend to react to unforeseen events and emergency situations. Do you use to get blocked, or to panic and lose control? You can work on it with a therapist, or try practising activities that can safely train you to manage high-stress sceneries (like a professional self-defence course).
Also, take some time when you’re quiet to consider your way of driving: how much respectful of the road rules are you? Do you tend to get easily distracted? Are you too much in love with your mobile phone?
Identify as honestly as you can your weaknesses, and do your best to correct them.
Vehicle-related Risk Factors
The first thing to do to drive safely is to get sure all the car systems – ESPECIALLY THE SECURITY ONES – are working fine.
Good functioning depends on having regular and adequate maintenance, both on the vehicle and on the tires. It will prevent worse problems. If constant cares seem too expensive, consider passing to a car that makes them affordable.
When you drive a machine new to you (just bought, lent by somebody, or rented) remember you don’t know all its characteristics and problems. So, raise your level of attention while driving, be more careful and go slower; if something seems weird, possibly stop and check the situation with who provided you with the car.
Environment-related Risk Factors
In this category, you can include all that is outside you and your car. From the road and its conditions to the atmospheric events, the other people and animals along the road, and also things like flooding rivers or slopes that collapse.
You’ll rarely be able to have control over those, but you can still do something:
- Keep a high level of attention and awareness about what surrounds you.
- Get informed and analyse situations and behaviors as best as you can.
- Use imagination, logic and common sense to foresee developments.
- Don’t act automatically but adapt your reactions to the actual situation.
- When in doubt, be cautious and ask yourself: “What would I suggest a beloved one do, in this case?”.