10 Essential Habits for Responsible Driving That Reduce Risks and Ensure a Safe Commute

10 Essential Habits for Responsible Driving That Reduce Risks and Ensure a Safe Commute

Driving in the UAE is an incredible experience. Whether commuting to work or embarking on a weekend adventure, the captivating modern infrastructure and well maintained roads guarantee a smooth and effortless driving experience. Once behind the steering wheel, you can’t help but feel the urge to enjoy every moment and turn your journey into an enjoyable and thrilling experience.

The steering wheel makes us feel powerful, in control, and dominant. It grants us the freedom to go wherever and whenever we desire, making us want to drive faster. With a high level of importance on road safety, it’s worth noting that the UAE has made significant progress in this area. According to recent statistics, road fatalities in the UAE have decreased since 2014. In 2014, just over 700 people passed on due to vehicle-related accidents. Since then, there’s been a downwards trend that saw just over 300 people suffer fatal injuries in 2020.

So it’s crucial to remain mindful and avoid taking risks that could endanger lives. Therefore, consider that power and freedom as a responsibility. Responsibility to ensure road safety and promote a harmonious driving culture.

Adopt these 10 good driving habits for a safe & risk-free driving experience.

1. Be Punctual

If you have a meeting or an interview, or you need to be somewhere on time, ensure you leave your home early. This way, you won’t have to drive fast and put your life at risk. To make sure you’re prepared, try going to bed early so you can wake up and get ready on time. Set an alarm to give yourself enough time to take a shower, dress up, or to have a meal. As the famous saying goes, “Better three hours too soon than a minute too late.”

Being punctual is always beneficial. It puts you in a positive mood and allows you to drive at a reasonable speed, arriving on time. Many people feel anxious and agitated when they’re running late. They tend to speed up and drive recklessly just to make it on time. Remember, if you’re running late, it’s better to inform the other person rather than breaking traffic rules or driving hastily. The number of deaths on UAE roads fell by two thirds in the space of  a decade, reflecting the commitment of the UAE government to creating safer roads. Let’s remember that punctuality not only helps us maintain a sense of responsibility but also contributes to safer journeys for ourselves and others on the road.

2. Practice Patience

Every person should cultivate the virtue of patience, an essential quality that is often overlooked. This holds true, particularly when it comes to driving. During peak hours, encountering traffic and congestion is a normal occurrence. The long queue of vehicles can easily make us restless. Instead of patiently waiting for the traffic to ease, we tend to become desperate. We hastily speed-up, attempt risky overtakes, and fail to maintain a safe distance from other vehicles. Unnecessary honking, weaving through traffic, and succumbing to road rage become all too common. This behavior shows a lack of respect towards fellow drivers, leading to collisions or heated arguments. So It’s crucial to exercise patience while driving. By doing so, we can reach our destination safely, without endangering our lives or the lives of others, and without incurring any traffic violations or tickets. 

3. Follow Traffic Rules & Regulations

Before you kick start your engine and commence your journey, it’s critical to familiarize yourself with local traffic rules and regulations. Stay alert and verify the status of traffic signals before proceeding. If you detect the signal transitioning to red, reduce your speed accordingly. Pay attention to road markings, traffic signals, pedestrian crossings, & indications. Avoid slowing down or halting unexpectedly. Comply with the designated speed limit and refrain from deceiving or misleading traffic officers or fellow drivers. Most importantly, refrain from diverting your attention. Remain vigilant and attentive at all times. If you sense any danger or feel something is wrong, pull over aside in a safe zone.

4. Don’t Drink & Drive

Driving under the influence poses a significant danger not only to yourself but also to fellow drivers and pedestrians sharing the road. It’s essential to remember that alcohol impairs judgment, slows reaction time, and hinders coordination, causing fatigue & disbalance. This increases the risk of major collisions, accidents, severe injuries, and even fatalities. According to data from the Ministry of Interior, road accidents in the UAE resulted in the loss of 381 lives and injured 2,620 individuals in the year 2022. Without a doubt, Drunk driving is a leading cause of traffic accidents and fatalities worldwide. 

By consciously choosing not to drink and drive, you actively contribute to reducing the number of accidents and safeguarding the well-being of all road users, preventing life-altering injuries and potential loss of life. When drunk, it is advisable to utilize public transportation or arrange for a sober friend to provide a safe ride. But avoid driving after consuming alcohol. If you anticipate heavy drinking at a party or event, make prior arrangements to ensure a responsible means of transportation. It is important to note that in many jurisdictions, driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious offense that can result in legal consequences. If apprehended, you may face fines, license suspension, and even imprisonment.

5. Stay Focussed & Alert

Driving demands unwavering attention. Continuously scan the road with your eyes, firmly grip the steering wheel with both hands, position your legs on the brake and accelerator pedals, and keep your mind fully active and sharply focussed in the act of driving. 

Always be alert, promptly recognizing and responding to potential dangers. Switch off your phone to eliminate any distractions that may arise from texting, calling, or using it, as these distractions can result in grave accidents or collisions that could harm both yourself and other drivers or pedestrians. You have mere seconds to react, so remain active, vigilant, and aware. 

One of the most crucial driving habits is to stay focused and attentive while behind the wheel. Remember, accidents not only cause personal injuries but also damage your vehicle.

6. Be Polite & Kind

Aggressive behavior leads to aggressive driving. So it’s crucial to ensure that you are in a positive state before embarking on your journey. Never operate a vehicle immediately after engaging in an argument or altercation. Take the necessary steps to calm yourself down and obtain proper rest. Your emotional state and thoughts can significantly influence your driving behavior.

Maintaining a composed mind, fostering a cheerful mood, and wearing a smile while on the road are pivotal for promoting a harmonious driving culture. Refrain from allowing your mood to sour or succumbing to road rage. Respect the space of fellow motorists. Avoid provoking others or being provoked yourself. Do not deliberately obstruct traffic flow, but instead, allow other drivers the freedom to change lanes or make turns.

7.Respect the Speed Limit

Humans love speed. A speeding vehicle evokes an adrenaline rush. While behind the wheel, the temptation to drive fast, disregarding speed limits, and engaging in overtaking maneuvers is all time high. The quest for speed can cloud your judgment, causing you to neglect the prescribed limits and increasing the likelihood of accidents or collisions. Speeding significantly reduces your reaction time, affects your control, and may induce panic, leading to the pressing of the wrong pedal, causing an accident. A responsible driver remains cognizant of the speed limits applicable to various road types, including residential areas, highways, and urban zones. 

8. Using Indicator While Changing Lanes

Ensure you provide clear indications when changing lanes, merging, or making turns. Stay attentive and avoid causing confusion among fellow drivers and pedestrians. Pay close attention to the signals and actions of other drivers, quickly identify blind spots, and track the movements of every driver, cyclist, and pedestrian sharing the road. Before signaling your intentions, ensure you have properly adjusted your position, allowing others to adapt their driving accordingly. Effective signaling eliminates confusion and minimizes potential risks or dangers.

9. Proper Vehicle Maintenance

A smart driver not only prioritizes safe driving but also maintains their vehicle by regularly inspecting tires, brakes, lights, wipers, and more. A well maintained vehicle guarantees driver safety, minimizes the likelihood of breakdowns, and reduces the risk of accidents. For a safe and enjoyable driving experience,  schedule routine inspections and address any issues before you take control of the steering wheel. Taking care of your vehicle not only enhances your safety but also preserves its resale value.

10. Adapting to Weather Conditions

From scorching summers to occasional rainstorms, to extremely hot winds, & sandstorms, UAE boasts the most unpredictable climate in the world. Unfavorable weather conditions can lead to challenging road conditions, decreased visibility, and more congestion and traffic. The key lies in adapting your driving approach to the weather at hand.

To mitigate risks, it is essential to reduce your speed, maintain a safe distance, using seatbelts and GPS navigators. Take the time to verify that your car’s wipers and headlights are in proper working order. If driving becomes increasingly challenging, exercise caution by either reducing your speed or safely pulling over to the side of the road. Regardless of the conditions, maintaining vigilance and a safe distance from other vehicles is of utmost importance. By adjusting your driving habits to align with the weather, you contribute to a safer journey for all road users.

Wrap Up: Essential Driving Habits Should Follow

Developing good driving habits is a responsibility that every UAE driver should embrace. By staying focused and alert, being polite and kind, respecting speed limits, indicating properly, maintaining your vehicle, and adapting to weather conditions, you contribute to a safer driving environment for yourself and others. Remember, each small action you take on the road has the potential to save lives and prevent accidents.

Let us all commit to developing and practicing these habits to make UAE’s roads safer and more enjoyable for everyone.

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