What to Do Before you Drive

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What to Do Before you Drive

Learn the safety precautions to take before getting behind the wheel.

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Discover life-saving road safety advice you should take before driving. Don't drink and drive, and always try to be well-rested before long journeys.

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Tereza Pazderová - Sikana
Tereza Pazderová
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The possibility of travelling by car or motorcycle gives you more freedom and improves your daily life, but you should beware of possible dangers that come with them. Here are some tips on what to do before you set out on a journey.

Driving after drinking alcohol, even one glass, is always dangerous because alcohol slows down your reaction time.

If you plan to go out and drink, make sure you plan your return journey in advance. Ask a friend who doesn't drink to take you home, look up taxi numbers or bus timetables and write them down, or draw a simple map so you can walk home - if it's an option.

Failing that, ask your friend or your parent if you could sleep at their place.

If one of your friends has drunk alcohol, you could save their life by discouraging them, or even stopping them, from driving. If your friend doesn't want to listen to you, here are two tips:

The first trick is to try to wear your friend out: ask them to help you wash the dishes and talk with them until they fall asleep.

The second trick is to hide their keys and to help them find a place to sleep. Remember that you'll have a greater chance of success if you have other people to help you, and that you're doing it for your friend's own good.

If you drank several glasses of alcohol the night before, the best way to be sure that you are safe to get behind the wheel again is to take a breathalyzer test.

For occasional drinkers, blood alcohol content of 0,2 grams per litre or more is dangerous. If your blood alcohol level is 0,5 grams per litre or more, don't drive. It would be very dangerous and is illegal in most countries.

Moreover, some countries impose a lower rate of blood alcohol content or even a limit of zero

Another factor that mostly affects young drivers is fatigue. The risk of a car accident is 8 times higher for a tired driver.

If you have to travel, remember that the two most dangerous time periods are between 2 and 5 o'clock in the morning, and 1 and 4 o'clock in the afternoon.

Before a long journey, have a good rest and consider taking around a 15-20 minute long break every 2 hours. If possible, the best solution is to take turns driving with another person.

If you start to feel tired on the road, don't continue with your journey. Instead, find a safe place to stop - stopping on the road or on the emergency lane is not safe.

Drink one or two cups of strong coffee then take a nap for about 15 minutes.

Finally, if you take medicine, familiarise yourself in advance with side effects. Lots of over-the-counter medicine can cause fatigue which can result in drowsiness.

If you haven't been drinking and you had a rest, you are ready to drive! Before a long journey, check the weather conditions and your car's engine oil.

Also make sure your tyres meet the road conditions, are in good shape, and are properly inflated.

If you have passengers, make sure they have securely fastened their seatbelts. Use a child seat for babies and children, and transport animals in a suitable carrier.

Together, we can make the road a safer place for everyone!

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