Road accidents can be avoided if drivers inculcate self-driving discipline

 PRESIDENT Samia Suluhu Hassan on Sunday urged citizens travelling during this festive season to observe traffic laws, rules and regulations, including exercising maximum caution to ensure happy celebrations.

President Samia issued the call  in her Christmas wishes to Tanzanians, bearing in mind that during this festive season individuals travel from one place to another to join their family members in the celebrations.

During this season, inexperienced drivers have also been finding themselves behind the wheels hitting the roads, some driving long distances to their ancestral lands.

But, experienced drivers, some driving public vehicles that ferry passengers from one point to another, have also been finding themselves exploiting the season by increasing the number of trips between destinations to earn more money.

Reports from traffic police say both experienced and inexperienced drivers are to blame when it comes to occurrence of road accidents on the country’s roads, with reckless driving featuring as the major factor, raising concern on the driving discipline of drivers.

Literature that is awash in various platforms shows that reckless driving is a major cause of accidents, injuries and deaths on the road. In fact, reckless driving has been shown to be one of the leading causes of car accidents in Tanzania. What’s worse is that many people who engage in this behaviour are not even aware that they are doing so.

In Tanzania, like in other parts, there are traffic laws, rules and regulations that guide motorists, passengers and other stakeholders when riding on the road to ensure they arrive safely at their planned destinations.

Despite the existence of laws, rules and regulations accidents have continued to occur, claiming innocent lives. The problem, in most cases, has been attributed to human errors (reckless driving).

According to traffic police and other road safety experts, reckless driving can be avoided by a number tips.

The first rule to avoid reckless driving is to obey traffic laws that include observing things like speed limits and other road signs. 

The second rule to avoid reckless driving is to get rid of all forms of distractions- visual, auditory, and cognitive.  Experts say visual distraction involves taking eyes off the road while auditory distraction involves taking ears off the road. Cognitive distraction involves take mind off the road. To avoid all three types of distractions, one is advised to put phone away, turn off the radio and focus on driving. If one must use the phone, he/she advised to pull over to a safe location first. 

The third rule is to take time before making any decision on the road. It is stated that when one is in hurry, it is easy to make mistakes.

 Fourthly, drivers are advised to avoiding drinking. Experts say driving under the influence of alcohol can be more dangerous than driving tired.  The last rule to avoid reckless driving involves avoiding overtaking without precaution.

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