Friday, July 19, 2024

Driving Myths That Are Sat In Park.

January 16, 2018 by  
Filed under Opinion, Weekly Columns

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(ThySistas.comWhen we are growing up, there is a lot to learn, but nothing gets more emphasised than road safety. It is that all-important topic that gets given a new spin each time we reach a different stage in our lives. When we are nothing but tots learning to toddle about we get taught how to cross a road safely, whether that means waiting for the green man to appear or looking left and right. When we become teenagers, we get taught what safe driving means by our parents and why we should never-ever get in a car with someone who is under the influence. Then we learn how to drive officially, with an instructor and everything, and our abilities then get tested based on what it is we are going to drive – car, motorcycle, bus, lorry, truck etc.

As such, by the time adulthood comes around, we tend to think we know everything there is about a) driving and b) road safety. But what if you don’t? What if some of the stuff you have picked up along the way is false and some of the so-called facts are in fact more tidbits of false-news?

Well, in order to clear a few things up and address the issue of road safety one more time, we have decided to straighten out any misunderstandings so that your knowledge is sharper than ever before:

  1. The Young And Inexperienced Are The Biggest Crash-Causes

It is easy to understand why this statement has been held onto so tightly. After all, it is reported than 25% of all fatal or serious car vehicle collisions are caused by youngsters (that is people aged between 17 and 25). That’s a pretty high figure. That’s more than enough to see you go and have words with your teenage child about erratic driving, especially when you think about the proportion of young drivers on the road. However, think about it from the other perspective for a second and that means there is an inexcusable 75% of serious vehicle collisions caused by drivers over the age of 25; drivers that cannot blame their inexperience or their teenage-feelings of immortality.

  1. The Festive Period Is At Fault For DUIs

It makes sense, right? Christmas is that time of year where friends and family come together and let their hair down which, for most, means drinking some sort of tipple they are usually a bit more conservative with. However, the studies and statistics simply don’t back this claim up. In fact, quite the contrary happens because the highest proportion of incidents involving DUIs take place in the summer months. It is the combination of long summer days and heat waves that sees people get carried away or think that the glass a lunchtime will have done its thing and gone by the time evening comes around. But that isn’t how it works. Alcohol has shocking effects on your body. Period. As such, the best thing to do is implement a zero-alcohol policy on yourself. If you’ve had a drink, then don’t drive. Simple.

  1. Motorcyclists Are To Blame For Their Own Crashes

Yes, motorcyclists are at a much higher risk of being seriously injured in a collision than someone driving a car. That’s a fact. In fact, for every mile travelled, the number of motorcycle deaths was over twenty-five times the number of cars. That speaks for itself. However, they aren’t to blame for their own crashes. Instead, more often than not, a rider comes off their bike because the driver of a car wasn’t paying attention, or wasn’t checking their mirrors, or was distracted by their phone, something almost any motorcycle accident lawyer will back up with a thousand statistics. What does this mean for you? Well, if you are a rider, it means wearing leather or kevlar that can be seen in every type of light and knowing how to ride safely. If if you are a driver, it means thinking about bikes. It means looking in your mirrors, signalling properly and performing manoeuvres that are by the book, instead of passing the blame to the person on two-wheels and stating stability issues.

  1. Speed Has Very Little To Do With Accidents

There has been a lot of lobbying in recent years that has seen people start to accept that speed has little to do with most road accidents. But the stats and facts do go and tell us otherwise. When the speed goes up, so does the risk. It is that simple. Yeah, sure, modern cars are equipped with better brakes and better anti-collision tech, but that doesn’t change the simple equation we just supplied and are going to repeat: when your speed increases so does your chance of an accident. There is less time to respond, less seconds to react and more damage to be inflicted. There are no two ways about it.

  1. Technology Is Making Cars A Thousand Times Safer

There is no denying that tech has had a huge role to play in increasing the safety of cars. Three-point seat belts, ABS braking systems, crash detection technology, sleepiness detections, airbags, lane assist, heads-up displays and automatic braking. It is all good stuff. But for every new gadget that gets added to a vehicle, there is also a higher chance of the driver being distracted and, as studies prove, distracted driving is the second biggest cause of collision after driving under the influence. The technology we have that addresses car safety – the stuff we mentioned – is all fantastic. It has to be. But the other things, the touchscreen infotainment systems and the Bluetooth connectivity and the gizmos that mean you can adjust the back seats at the flick of som buttons and whatnot, all of this runs the risk of taking eyes off  the road, and that can be nasty. So, just because there is more tech to save you, don’t make the mistake of forcing it to prove itself.

And with all that covered, well, you’re probably safe to head back out there. So long as you remember to take it safe and take it steady.

Staff Writer; Paula Parker

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