A crash can happen at any point in your car journey. Yet the statistics show that the first three minutes are one of the most dangerous points of all, accounting for a quarter of all crashes.
That might seem odd to you. After all, you likely reach higher speeds later on, and if the trip is long, the fatigue is likely to kick in later on. So what is so hazardous about this initial period?
It’s that you are just setting off
Many drivers are not fully ready to drive when they start the wheels rolling. They use the first few minutes to carry out tasks that would be more safely done while stationary. Here are some examples that are better done before setting off:
- Clearing the windscreen: If you cannot see out of all your windows, it makes it more likely you miss something.
- Adjusting the seat and steering wheel: Most cars are highly adjustable to fit the driver better. If you share your vehicle with someone else, make sure you have adjusted it to your settings before setting off.
- Sorting out your route: If you use a GPS system, program your destination before moving. Doing so while driving requires you to take your eyes and a hand off the road.
- Selecting your listening material: Whether choosing a podcast or tuning into your favorite radio station, it is better done stationary.
- Eating and drinking: Next time you drive in the morning rush hour, check out how many drivers are having breakfast on the move. What would happen if they suddenly needed to brake with an open cup of coffee?
If a driver injures you because they were not fully ready to drive, seek legal help to hold them responsible.