I have been driving frequently since 1991 when I got my license. Since 96 I make frequent out of town trips on my sales trips to visit my customers all over the country, including Thailand. I average about 50kkm per year. My last fender bender was in 2001.
I believe that I'm a reasonably safe driver, though I have my share of traffic tickets once or twice a year. Quite low compared to the milage that I drive every year (and that I don't do bribes). There was a time when I queue up to pay for my 1 ticket, the guy in front of me almost speechless when the police clerk printed out 30+ tickets. I had to wait a long time for the tickets to be printed out...
So I think I'm not too bad lah.
This thread is not about how fast you can drive your powerful car (I'm sure its really fast), nor is it about cars, but more of the software that's doing the driving... YOU.
I'd like to take this opportunity to post tips on safe and defensive driving. As I post do join in and contribute your own tips and ideas on safe and defensive driving. Don't forget to number it. 1 tip per post.
So here goes:
1. Keep your distance
Keep a reasonable distance between your car and the one in front. In a traffic crawl, keep at least 1 or 2 car lengths. (1 length about 5 meters) At about 60kmh, about 6 car lengths. At highway speed 110kmh - (20 car lengths) 100 meters would be appropriate, and easy to estimate too. Just look out for the metal tags on the guardrails every 100 m. Sufficient distance buys you sufficient time,(& vice-versa) to avoid colliding into the front car during emergency braking, as well as noticing and avoiding obstacles that is blocked by the front car.
2. Switch on your Auto cruise
When driving on highway switch on and set your auto cruise at the speed limit. It maintains a steady speed and does away with the need and craving to floor the pedal and speed needlessly.
3. Switch off your autocruise in wet conditons
Switch off the autocruise (or just depress the brake pedal a bit) when driving on wet road surface. In most low and medium end cars, the engine maintains a set speed, regardless of road condition and if you hit slippery patch you will go out of control with the autocruise on. Instead, lower your speed and throttle manually. When you feel your car slip over a wet patch, never hit the brakes but just let go your foot off the throttle.
4. Switch ON your lights:
ON means turn the light switch all the way, the first position of your switch is meant as parking light and NOT FOR DRIVING !!!
...if in doubt wether it is dark already or not yet, switch it ON, it does not cost you a thing!!!
5. Seat Belts
Always wear your selt belt and make sure all passengers are all belted up as well.
Expatinator, Glad you can drop in, edit your tip to No. 4
6. Correct lane
Always drive in the left lane at a steady reasonable speed unless overtaking.
7. Turn signals
Turn signals are not for decoration. Give signals of your intention to turn at least 20 - 30 metres before the turn.
8. Do not tailgate
For what reason do you want to tailgate??? If you want to overtake and if you feel its safe to do, then do it! If not then back off and wait for a suitable moment. A low loader with an excavator can't possibly be faster than you.
I used to drive long distances a few years back to a few towns in the outbacks.
I did 480,000 km in 9 years in a medium size car.
9) I do about 650 km per day only.
10) By myself, I only drive for 2 hours, then pull to the side & close my eyes for a while. If there is a coffee shop, I stopped for a break.
11. If you are being tailgated
Who likes being tailgated? If you are being tailgated and cant go faster that you are driving, pump just enough brakes to illuminate your brake light. That's a sign saying, please back off.
If he's still there, slow down gradually and move over to the left and let him overtake you. If necessary wind down your window and wave him to overtake you.
Glad you can drop in Naka! 1 tip per post.
Never race or accept a challenge to race on public roads. Public roads and highways are not designed for racing. Besides endangering yourselves and others, you insurance probably will not pay out for accidents arising out of illegal racing activities.
13. Rural roads
Rural roads are not as empty as it seems so don't go too fast. All it takes is a wandering cow or goat to turn your gleaming beemer into scrap metal... and you into minced meat. I actually saw that myself along K. Kangsar-Lenggong stretch. Not a pretty sight... not a pretty sight.
14. Changing a flat.
If you have to change a flat tyre along a road, pull up at the leftmost side of the road or the emergency lane. Make sure you put up a safety triangle at least 50 meters, or better still, 100 meters, behind your car.
That'll give time for other motorists to avoid you. Don't forget to put on your hazard lights as well.