Vanessa's Comprehensive Guide to Road Safety
Road safety is more than looking both ways and holding hands while crossing the road (although that is a great first date if you’re out of ideas). When you’re finally behind the wheel there’s numerous other factors to think about – intoxication, vehicle safety, distractions and of course, an accidental trip to Slumbertown. Luckily for you, we’re here to get your road safety on point.
Just like that time you got drunk and sucked at Mario Kart, drinking affects your actual driving, meaning you’ll suck at that too. The difference now is that people’s lives are in danger, not just your Mario Kart rep. If you’re on your P-plates your blood alcohol concentration has to be zero. The simple way to avoid drink driving is to separate your drinking from your driving. If you want to go out and drink, don’t get behind the wheel. If you want the drive, stick to soft drinks, water or a nice cup of tea (add a biscuit and you’ve got yourself a party).
Drugs can mess up your ability to drive. Things like distorted reaction times, hallucinations, feelings of invulnerability and excess energy might be great on the dance floor but can be fatal while driving. Remember that drugs can stay in your system for long and varied periods of time. This means it’s a good idea to have a plan in place so you won’t need to drive during that time (or operate heavy machinery and complex Japanese toilets). If you don’t feel like you’re 100% in control, there’s a 100% chance you shouldn’t get behind the wheel (and that makes 200% so, you know, that’s pretty serious).
Checking a simple text message can cause you to drive blind for up to 27 metres. And it’s not just phones; anything even slightly distracting isn’t doing you any favours while you’re driving. Don’t let Frank Walker’s annoying voice on the radio make you lose control. And no amount of SpongeBob memes is worth an accident in the car. If you can’t trust yourself with your phone, shove it in the glove box behind those free motel pens and crumpled service manual.
There’s nothing quite like a road trip. The unhealthy food, the leg cramps, that one friend who controls the music. Unfortunately it’s not all sunshine and lollipops; long hauls can cause fatigue. Yawning, droopy eyelids, micro-sleeps; these are the three horsemen of the sleepocalypse. No matter if you’re on a road trip or simply driving to the shops, if you don’t feel completely awake, pull over and have a power-nap (or a party-nap... it’s the same thing but with a more fun name). Conversely if you’ve developed a time machine you should go back and tell yourself to get a good night’s sleep before a road trip (just don’t mess with the space-time continuum).
Prepare to Party
We put so much effort into going out you’d think we’d plan the one part of the night that matters most – getting home safely. Whether it’s a taxi, a designated driver or some good old public transport, it’s a good idea to plan your exit strategy before you’re three sheets to the wind. You’ll never know more stress than trying to call a taxi with 1% battery at 3 am.
If you spent the same time researching safe cars as you did trying to find the best brunch spot on Zomato, you’d be set. You see, not all cars are created equal and some have the durability of a coke can. Accidents can happen at any time and aren’t always your fault, so the best defence is a safe car. The simple safety star system is in place to help you choose which car is filled with more inflatable cushions and other nifty safety technologies. The more stars, the more safe you are from serious injury.