ROAD SAFETY: Safety Guide for 2022

Happy New Year and welcome to 2022. Hope you had a great time with your family and friends as well as your neighbors. Well, as you plan your trip home, please take a look at my article last week and this week to guide you on the way home. What you read is the last part of my focus on how to get back safely with your loved ones. Let me start with defensive driving which is a must have driving skill required by all drivers.

Overall, defensive driving is the ‘voodoo’ of road safety. It is therefore a medicine in its own right. A defensive driver assumes that he is the only sane driver on the road. Since accidents are caused by individual mistakes, he is always cautious, obeys all the rules and develops the right attitude such as patience, attention, skill as well as consideration for other road users. . A defensive driver never lets his safety depend on the response of others. He therefore anticipates the bad actions of others, always gives a correct prompt as well as adequate and clear signals.

Are you a prayer warrior? An experienced driver? Do you know too well the roads you take? Do you drive a stylish car? State-of-the-art car? Or do you drive an articulated vehicle? A luxury bus? All of these have a way of building up your confidence on the road. Never let the size of your vehicle get into your head and cause you to drive aggressively towards others or affect your behavior. Drivers often feel that they are in control of the road and tend to let these and other factors affect their attitude towards using the road. Remember, this machine is beyond you. Although you are the pilot, never assume that you can never be in an accident. Therefore, please always follow the rules

This season is a season of fun with lots of drinks. Driving under the influence of alcohol or hard drugs is dangerous and illegal. This is because alcohol causes overconfidence, poor judgment, lack of coordination and recklessness and also affects your vision. To stay alive, please drink but avoid the wheels.

Although data on road accidents to justify the danger of fatigue in Nigeria is scarce, fatigue remains a hidden killer overall. Many have died in the name of bursting tires, speeding, dangerous overtaking when in reality the real factor may have been fatigue which was ignored as nothing serious. What is fatigue really? According to Australian material, a combination of any of the following warning signs means the driver is becoming fatigued: yawning, sore or heavy eyes, or vision starting to blur. Others include daydreaming – thinking about everything else but not about your driving, not concentrating, becoming impatient, reactions seem slow, speed goes up and down, makes bad gear changes, wanders the center line or on the side of the road or feels stiff or cramped, is hungry or thirsty, has difficulty keeping your head up or eyes open, hearing a buzzing or buzzing in your ears or when you don’t notice a vehicle until it passes you.

When you notice these signs, please don’t ignore it. Don’t plead blood either. Don’t even limit binding the “innocent devil.” Hey, this isn’t even the time to blow up unfamiliar languages. It’s not the devil. Not your in-laws. Not your angry landlord. Not even your jealous coworker in the office. But you, yes you. Once fatigue sets in, there’s nothing you can do except stop as soon as possible and take a break. Take a break, as soon as possible. Driver fatigue can be just as fatal as drunk driving or excessive speeding. The problem with fatigue is that it develops slowly and drivers often don’t realize that they are too tired to drive safely. Ironically; there is always a warning sign. Mine began with a yawn. Fatigue, according to research, is caused by a lack of sleep or interrupted sleep. Alcohol and certain medications can also cause drowsiness. Although the need for sleep varies among individuals, sleeping eight hours in a 24-hour period is common. The effect of sleep loss accumulates. Regularly losing 1 to 2 hours of sleep per night can create “sleep debt: and lead to chronic drowsiness over time.” Just because you are in bed does not mean that a person has had enough sleep. Disturbed sleep has the same effect as lack of sleep, sickness; sound activity can interrupt and reduce the amount and quality of sleep.

Like all other driving habits or problems, fatigue has its share of myths. For those who fear night trips or night trips, the idea is that it is safer to make the trip at night in an integrated rhythmic pattern. If you drive while you were sleeping normally, you will struggle to stay awake. The chances of falling asleep while driving after normal bedtime, especially early in the morning, are very high. There is also the idea that it is a good idea to start the journey after work. But do you know that the risk of traveling after work is certainly not ideal and it is a fact. After the demands of mental and medical work during the day, you will be too tired even if you don’t realize it. The safest thing to do is get a good night’s sleep (around 7-8 hours of undisturbed sleep) and start your trip the next morning. There are those who think loud music will keep you awake. Agreed that loud music can. However, this will only be useful for a while. It might even distract you from the task of driving or even make you fall asleep.

What about the coffee? Gworo (kolan)? What if combined with Cigarette? Caffeine is only a short-term solution and will have less effect the more often you use it. It may make you more alert, but it won’t keep you long. Sleep is the long-term solution. So please learn to get enough sleep and rest before you even attempt this trip.

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Susan W. Lloyd