All road users have a responsibility to keep our roads safe, whether as a car driver, a driver of trucks, lorry or heavy vehicles, a motorcyclist, trishaw rider, cyclist, or pedestrian. Every road user must exercise patience and must always stay alert and careful on the road. Road users must always follow traffic rules, signs, and signals and they must be considerate to other road users. Following simple safety reminders will greatly enhance road safety for motorists.
DEFENSIVE DRIVING SKILLS
It’s always to all road users’ advantage for drivers to adopt a defensive driving attitude. Defensive driving requires drivers to:
- Always keep in mind the existence of road hazards
- Be prepared to take evasive action, as road users may not obey the law at all times
- Avoid a collision and make allowances for other road users to correct their mistakes
- Be on the lookout for traffic signs and pedestrian actions that may cause traffic hazards
- Minimize the chances of an accident from mechanical failure by the habit of proper vehicle control and maintenance
ADAPT TO ROAD CONDITIONS
Motorists must be able to quickly adapt to road conditions while maintaining proper control of their vehicle. Motorists need to be alert at all times and anticipate road hazards. They must be able to respond safely to the following hazardous or difficult road conditions:
- Road works
- Scenes of accidents
- Oil patches
- Sandy stretches
- Debris scattered on the road
- Pot holes
- Bad weather
If necessary, motorists should signal, slow down, or make a full stop when faced with these situations. They must never speed up, change lanes, or swerve and squeeze their way through traffic.
Drivers must take extra caution and care when:
- Entering a school zone
- Passing a bus stop or a crowded taxi bay
- Approaching a pedestrian crossing
- Passing vehicles parked along roadsides
SAFE DRIVING TIPS
Source: “Handbook for Road Users” by Traffic Police Department, Singapore
- Get familiar with the controls and manoeuvrability of your vehicle.
- Drive at a safe speed; going faster means a longer distance will be covered when you brake.
- Signal in advance when turning or changing lanes.
- Follow traffic rules and regulations at all times.
- Be on the lookout for children and the elderly, who may dash across the road.
- Give way to emergency vehicles such as ambulances and police cars.
- Observe lane discipline and keep watch for traffic hazards ahead, such as traffic congestion due to road works and accidents.
- Do not speed.
- Do not tailgate.
- Do not overtake unless the road is clear, and never do so at bends and corners.
- Do not drive when you are very tired and sleepy.
- Never drive when under the influence of alcohol or when you have taken medication that causes drowsiness.
- Always be alert even when you’re travelling on familiar roads.