Improper Turning 3
May 2, 2014
Driving left of centre
July 1, 2014
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Improper Turning 2

improper8The focus is still improper turning, this is the third and last in this series among unsafe driving behaviours we are considering; I am tips have been useful to our day to day driving experience and become a better defensive driver.

It is very rare for any vehicle to change direction by itself without input from the driver except in circumstances where the driver is asleep, impaired or subject to mechanical faults; right or left turns, U-turn and roundabout manoeuvres are common situation where we engage in turning, improper approach have seen leading to crashes and preventable injuries and fatalities.

In wrapping up, I will briefly highlight turning procedures that would help us achieve a smooth and safe turning. The procedure is represented with an acronym “M.S.P.S.L”; M stands for mirror, S stands for signal, P for position, S- speed and L for look.

In every situation even those we term emergency, we should always check our mirror before we attempt a turn or lane change; this helps to avoid cutting in front of a vehicle abruptly, some drivers enjoy taking this risk on premise that who hits from the rear is at fault, but they will never consider that they may not have the opportunity to tell the story. Mirror scanning should be part of our driving routine and most especially when changing lanes or making turns.

Signal to let other motorist know which direction you are heading, right or left; be sure indicators are working properly to avoid mis-representation  of information; as I mentioned in previous edition, I have seen situation where some individuals signal left and make a right turn vice versa, this in itself is more dangerous than not giving a signal.

Position your vehicle when it is safe to do so, depending on the type of road and where you are turning into; position as close as possible to your point of exit. This prevents panic lane switching to avoid exit on a highway which often shows inattention of the motorist, if you are not familiar with the environment, it is much better to stay on the extreme right lane for easy pull over in a safe place while you ask for help, it is not safe to stop on a highway for route enquiry; this is seen to constitute bottleneck, suddenly slowdown of vehicles leading to rear crashes.

Speed, reduce speed for smooth turn and to avoid skidding; this will also allow for a proper sight of where you are heading, the traffic environment is dynamic, it requires every motorist to remain focus and be in-charge.

Finally, look before you turn; check over your shoulder to clear any blind spot, someone selling in the traffic might think you are slowing down to buy some items, you don’t want to end up running over them, don’t leave too much room to the curb that another vehicle gets in the space, I have seen a couple of salon car drivers making turns as if they drive articulated trucks for different reasons; let us make the road safe for everyone, turn safely always!