We live in a world where cars are commonplace, they seem ordinary and mundane. We feel safe walking down a busy road. However, step into a time machine and dial back the controls to 100 years ago and you’ll be amazed at how empty the roads are. It is only this past century that humans have had the luxury of owning cars and we have become acclimatised to their presence very quickly. We are so used to road vehicles that we’ve adapted to a point where the dangers don’t feel real.
The truth is that a moving vehicle is deadly. It’s heavy machinery – a massive chunk of metal that can freely move about and is controlled by a human that is susceptible to tiredness, distractions, lapses in concentration and road rage.
If you drive for a living it’s prudent to keep in mind the potential dangers of driving a car, van or lorry and the great responsibility you have when in charge of one.
Driving is such an unnatural thing to put yourself through it’s no wonder our minds get overwhelmed and angry. Being in a metal box stops our intuitive reflex for politeness. If another vehicle does something rude you don’t react in the same way as you would in person. We feel disconnected and entitled to our rage, but if you can curb your temper, you’ll feel much better about your driving job and your general mental wellbeing will benefit too.
Try a bit of meditation before you drive, it’s a really positive way to train your brain. YouTube has an abundance of short meditations you can do quickly in the car while you are parked. It can make a huge improvement to your mood and prevent the road rage from getting the better of you
Turn off your phone
Your mobile phone is the biggest distraction in your life let alone your vehicle. The best thing you can do is turn it off, or at the very least turn off the sound. According to the RAC, over 2,000 road crashes were caused between 2013 and 2017 by drivers using a mobile phone.
Quote taken from a church notice board… “Honk if you love Jesus, text while driving if you want to meet him”
Maintain your health
Staying healthy is good advice in any occupation, but driving is a surprisingly physical task. Indeed, you are sitting down, but your concentration needs to be tip top. Be kind to yourself when you know you are driving the next day and say no to alcohol and late nights. Avoid medication that may make you drowsy and take regular breaks when you are on long journeys. Keep your radar for danger engaged, your private little box is a great place to practice your singing and drift off into daydreams but stay alert to the dangers of the road and you won’t lose your licence or your life.
Rules of the road
Remember that the highway code applies to all of us, and don’t be tempted to take risks or bend the rules. If you do a lot of motorway driving keep your distance and remember that the 2 second rule goes up to 10 seconds in bad weather. Don’t be tempted to break the speed limit and be polite whenever possible. Okay so politeness isn’t in the highway code, but you’ll be a better human being for it, and the Universe will pay you back tenfold!
Your vehicle should be roadworthy so a yearly service and MOT are a must. But let’s go beyond the obvious and think about the parts that can wear out when used every day.
The oil and water should be looked at on a weekly basis and a regular tyre check is advisable at least once a month. (The minimum tread depth is 1.6mm).
Make sure your lights are nice and bright and turn them on well before it gets dark or even if it’s overcast. Being seen by other drivers will go a long way to keeping you safe.
Perhaps the most important life saver is your seat belt. Make sure its inertia feature is working by giving it a quick tug and listen for the proper clunk-click sound when it’s secured in place.
Last but definitely not least make your own survival kit. It doesn’t have to be full of first aid stuff, although a small kit in your car is never a bad idea. Fill it with things that will make you comfortable if you need to stop and can’t get to a service station, snacks, water, a change of clothes, blankets, map books, phone charger. You never know what’s going to happen when you are on the road, and you’ll thank yourself for being organised.
In the long term you need to look after your earnings, pay the right amount of taxes, and keep accurate accounts records. Get someone who’s good at numbers so you can stick to being good at driving. Here at Xpert Technologies we have experts who specialise in accounting for delivery drivers and agencies. There is even training and specialist software. Click here to find out more…click here