First things first: What you really need to do before driving

By Jeanette Ipapo-Tuason July 13,2016
LEARN more defensive driving tips from TRS DDA founder JP Tuason at the Chicdriven Women Empowerment Expo.

LEARN more defensive driving tips from TRS DDA founder JP Tuason at the Chicdriven Women Empowerment Expo.

IF I posted this as a question on my Facebook page, I would probably have gotten the following comments: Put my shades on. Fix my music playlist. Put my seat belt on. Or the very sarcastic “Get inside the car.”


Actually, 25 percent of being a defensive driver happens before you turn on the ignition. The preparation that you would do before stepping on the gas pedal can save you a lot of hassle and possible car breakdowns in the future.


So what do you really need to do before driving?


In the road safety course my husband JP teaches, they usually start and end with the TRS Better Driver BASIC checklist, which is:


Are you BUCKLED up?


Using seat belts on the first row for the driver and passenger is a law, but you probably didn’t think that if you are sitting at the back, it is also important to wear your seat belt.


People at the back have three times more risk of getting injured if they are not wearing seat belts because they have no airbags to break their collision against the front seats. They also have the risk of passing through the windows or hitting other passengers.


Are you ALERT?


Are you feeling sleepy, tired or drunk? You probably heard a lot of accidents where the driver fell asleep at the wheel.


A lot of people underestimate the effects of being tired and/or drunk when driving. If you think you are experiencing any of these that can affect your driving, give yourself a few minutes to rest or ask someone else to drive for you.


Are you SAFE?


Are you going to be a danger to yourself and/or other fellow motorists? Do you drive defensively?


The definition of being a defensive driver is that you drive efficiently and with your safety in mind.


Do you feel like you are living on the edge or feel like you want to race someone on Edsa? Stop and take a deep breath, and drive only when you don’t feel like an Angry Bird.


Have you INSPECTED the vehicle?


Before you get into the car, inspect your vehicle for the following:


Leaks under the car


If there is a leak, try to decode it by checking the color and viscosity. A brownish, oil-like leak means it is from the engine; while a watery fluid could mean it is just AC condensation.


Tire pressure


Is your tire fully inflated? Check every time you fill up gas.


Inside your car


Secure or remove any loose objects. They can distract you, or in the event of an accident, can cause additional injuries.


Is your driving seat position comfortable? Are you able to step on the brakes effortlessly? Can you see over your steering wheel and hood?


Check the position of your mirrors. Make sure you have the best view from the side and rear.


Check fuel, water and oil indicators on your dash. You might be running on empty.


Are you CAPABLE?


Are you calm, not emotionally stressed? Do you have full control of your physical and mental state? We usually see this in movies, where the heartbroken character drives away only to be hit by an incoming truck. You don’t want this drama in real life.


Think of this checklist as a safety meditation before you drive. It makes you aware of your machine and attitude toward driving defensively.


After doing this checklist you can add your own such as applying your lipstick, putting sunblock, wearing your gloves, so on and so forth.


As long as you are in your defensive driver zone, you can channel whatever persona you like.


Want to learn more about defensive driving? TRS Driver Development Academy will be doing a road safety seminar at the Chicdriven Women Empowerment Expo on July 16, 2016, at Glorietta Activity Center.


Follow @chicdriven on Instagram or like the Facebook/chicdriven page for more details. TVJ

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