It is estimated that around 60% of all accidents on the road are due to a drivers vision being obscured; the reasons for this are numerous but mostly avoidable.
Your rear-view and wing mirrors are perhaps the most important tools in accident prevention your automobile has to offer. By optimising their positioning, to minimise blind spots, you are giving yourself the best possible view of the road. Interestingly enough, blind spot related accidents are on the increase due to new cars being bulkier; ironically the reason for cars becoming bulkier is crash safety legislation – go figure.
Poorly Functioning Wiper Blades
Windscreen wiper blades may seem like a fairly insignificant part of your vehicles anatomy but they play a vital role in road safety. It is estimated that your average wiper blade will make over a million wipes annually; meaning they will cover enough windscreen to cover 40 baseball pitches. This is quite a statistic but goes to show the strain these little parts go through. There are few signs to look out for that may signify your windscreen wipers need replaced.
- Excessive noise or “chuddering”
- Leaving streaks or marks on the glass
- Inability to remove sufficient water from the glass in heavy rain
- Wind lift – well fitted wiper blades should be able to stay in position in most weather conditions
There really is no excuse for this one but we see it all time. People driving around with dirty windscreens are a hazard to themselves and others. So next time instead of writing “Wash Me” or “I wish my wife was this dirty” on someone’s windshield maybe consider “Can you see other people’s cars?” It might get the message across.
If you wear glasses for short sightedness then it essential that you wear them for driving. We all know people who are guilty of hopping behind the wheel without their glasses; giving little consideration the risk they are taking. Regular eye tests are also crucial if you are a driver with glasses.
It is the law in many states across the USA that headlights are turned on a half hour before sunset until a half hour after sunrise but in countries such as Sweden it is the law to have them on constantly. I live in the UK and here it is purely down to driver responsibility to decide when it is sufficiently dark. While this lack of legislation seems positive, it does mean I have seen first-hand the dangers of idiotic driving in the dark, especially on the Scottish country roads where I grew up.