- Never get out of your car even for a minute while leaving it running with the car key inside, a thief could just get in and speed off with it.
- Mind where you park your car, don’t park in lonely or dark places, your car may get stolen without anyone noticing.
- Ensure all car doors are locked and windows fully closed before leaving your car. Partially closed windows even a little space gives an opportunity for the car thief to easily break in.
- Park your car with the front facing an obstacle, this will make it less easy for a thief to maneuver your car and speed off.
- Do not keep your car papers/particulars inside your car; if your car ever gets stolen, it can aid the car thief in getting it out of reach.
- Never keep your spare or valet car key inside your car; car thieves always tend to know where it is kept.
- Make sure steering lock is engaged after parking your car.
- If your car has a security system or anti-lock device, understand how it works and use it to your advantage. Car thieves tend to avoid cars with anti-theft device at all cost.
- If your car doesn’t have an anti-theft device you can purchase a steering lock or clutch and brake locking device.
- Putting an anti-theft stickier on the rear windshield or car windows can help.
- Always observe your surroundings when driving and getting out of your car, ensure no one is trailing or monitoring your movements.
- If you purchased a second hand car, ensure you are giving all the car keys, they are usually 3; the original, spare and valet.
- If your car doesn’t have a tracker, you can install one. If your car ever gets stolen; the tracker can help know the car location and get it recovered.
Driving is a serious business; any mistakes could result in serious injury or even death. Good driving is a skill, you learn the first part at driving school and the other part during your driving experience.
Check that your car is in perfect condition before driving, open the bonnet, check the level of engine oil on dipstick and confirm it is ok, check brake fluid level and also confirm it is ok, if either engine or brake oil is inadequate, you must refill before you start or move your car. Open the radiator and fill up with water if necessary, ensure no leakage of oil under the vehicle, check the tires, make sure they have adequate pressure and ensure that the nuts are tight.
Other things you should check before driving but not critical, include head lambs, brake lights traffic turning signals and horn; if any is malfunctioning, it should be repaired at your earliest convenience. If road safety officials stop your car and realizes any of these aren’t working, you may be fined
It is a good practice to put on your seat belt and put your phone on hands free mode before driving. Don’t drive under the influence or if you are sick.
Safe driving should be part and parcel of your daily driving habit. Always drive at safe speeds and distance from the vehicle in front of you, be patient and use your turning signals when negotiating a turn. Use the rear and side view mirrors to see what is around you. Anticipate mistakes that co- drivers and pedestrians can make in advance and take precautionary steps to avoid them.
Treat pedestrians with respect when driving, on a road with high population of people, drive slowly and use the horn. Remember a hit of your car on a pedestrian can result in you spending a lot of money on treatment, manslaughter charges or jail term.
When driving at night, or very dusty or foggy weather always use the headlamps and fog lights when necessary. To reduce glare when driving at night use the head lamps at low beam. Use high beam and fog lights during heavy rains.
Always park your car in a way it doesn’t obstruct traffic, don’t park in areas where your car is in danger of being hit. Engage the hand brakes when parking to prevent the car from moving. When bringing the car to a stop on a slope; in addition to engaging the hand brake put the gear in one or reverse or parking gear if your car uses automatic transmission.
As a driver and/or car owner, you may sometimes find it necessary to go read your car manual to resolve some issue or get some clarification, In the process you may notice some abbreviations used in the car manual that you don’t understand, although the meaning are usually somewhere in the manual, you may not have the patience to search the page. Sometimes it may be an abbreviation flashing up on your dashboard or written somewhere on the body of your car. Here are some commonly used abbreviations in car manuals /dashboards and their meanings.
ABS; Anti-Lock Brake System.
ALR; Automatic Locking Retractor
CRS; Child Restraint System
ECU; Electronic Control Unit
EDR; Event Data Recorder
ELR; Emergency Locking Retractor
EPS; Electric Power Steering
GAWR; Gross Axle Weight Ratings
GVWR; Gross Vehicle Weight Rating
I/M; Emission inspection and maintenance
LED; Light Emitting Diode
LT; Light truck
M + S; Mud + Snow
MMT; Methylcy clopentadienyl Manganese Tricarbonyl
MTBE; Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether
OBD; On Board Diagnostics
SRS; Supplemental Restraint System
TIN; Tire Identification Number
TPMS; Tire Pressure Warning System
TWI; Treadwear Indicators
VIN; Vehicle Identification Number