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How carefully do you check your tyres?

There are a variety of different causes of accidents, many of them not your fault; for example, when you are the victim of another’s poor or reckless driving. However, it also pays to keep your car in good order, carefully checking that it’s roadworthy.

One key area for careful assessment is to check your tyres on a regular basis. Here are some reasons for taking such action.

# General wear and tear

Here, people assume that, providing they have the minimum legal tread depth, then it’s all okay. Remember, that is a minimum; replacing worn tyres before they reach this point is a wise precaution to take.

# Inflated correctly

If your tyres are over-inflated, it becomes more difficult to maintain contact with the road surface. This also leads to stress in the structure of your tyres, meaning their life expectancy is reduced. Under-inflated tyres can lead to poor handling, a higher chance of punctures, and the possibility of under-steering – one of the key causes of traffic accidents.

# Cracked or bulging tyres

This type of damage is often caused by inadvertently coming into contact with holes in the road, or kerbs. Cracking is also a key indicator that tyres are ageing and may well need to be replaced.

# Misalignment

Here, your tyres show increased wear on one side, and misalignment can lead to the level of traction and grip on the road surface being reduced. This can again be the result of coming into contact with kerbs

# Harsh braking

Some drivers like to break at the last moment rather than incrementally. This can lead to tyres becoming worn in certain areas; and it’s even worth checking for this type of damage, even after a single emergency stop.

Your tyres may be fine but you’re not accident-proof!

No matter how carefully you look after your tyres, you can still fall victim to the mistakes or careless driving of others. Under Australian law, if you are the victim of a not your fault accident, then you are entitled to a replacement courtesy car whilst yours is in the repair shop.

So, keep our Not My Fault contact number in your phone – 1800699034 – and call us as soon as possible if you fall victim to another’s poor driving.

The things you should do immediately following an accident

Regardless if you’re a new driver or if you’ve been on the road for forty years, you’re only accountable for your own car safety – you have no control over what other drivers on the road do. Because of this, accidents are never impossible. You should always be prepared for the eventuality of an accident occurring. Read on to learn what you should always do where possible.

Stop the car

As soon as you’re able to do so, you need to stop the car. This is to prevent further potential damage to yourself and the other driver, as well as any passengers between the two cars.

Turn the engine off

After stopping the car, turn the engine off. This prevents the accident from being exacerbated if there are any oil or fuel leakages, which could lead to a fire and potential escalation quickly.

Turn your hazard lights on

Particularly critical if your vehicle is stranded in the middle of the road still, you need to turn your hazard lights on to alert other drivers to the situation.

Check for injuries

Now that the car is stationary, everything is turned off, and surrounding drivers are aware of the accident, you’ll need to check yourself and any passengers over for injuries. Remain calm while doing so; if there are no injuries as it was a minor collision, make a note of this for your own safeguarding against potential lawsuits. If it was a major accident and there are injuries, try and get out of the car unless you feel incapacitated to do so – particularly if there are neck or back pain.

Call for help

If your car is a write-off and you have no way of leaving the scene, call a pick-up to help you out. If there are injuries, be safe and call 000 – even if you think someone else has done it, it’s better to be certain. If it was a minor accident, exchange details with the other driver(s) and make extensive notes on the conditions and time of the accident. It may be worth notifying the police too, in case any follow-up is needed.

Hire a replacement vehicle

While your car is written off and under repair, it’s wise to hire an accident replacement vehicle. For not at fault car hire, look no further than Not My Fault. We provide replacement courtesy cars for those who had an accident that wasn’t their fault. Get in touch today to find out more.

Driving tips to help boost the confidence of nervous drivers

It’s easy to lose your driving confidence; most people struggle with confidence as they get older, after a car accident, or during the early stages of learning to drive. Instilling confidence in unsure drivers is essential, as hesitation and nervousness can lead to poor driving choices and inevitable accidents. Below, we share some driving tips to help unsteady drivers take to the road confidently.

Avoid high-stress driving times

When more vehicles are on the road, our driving skills are tested. We find we need to be more alert, vigilant and exercise quicker reactions than during quieter times. If you’re looking to boost your confidence, try driving when there is less traffic, or through areas where there isn’t a high volume of cars, such as side streets or smaller towns. However, if you need to travel during peak times on the road, it’s best to take roads and routes you’re more familiar with, even if it takes a little longer. Alternatively, make shorter trips and break up the driving time.

Keep a safe distance

When we are worried about our driving skills, basic actions like braking, changing lanes and making turns are often compromised. Therefore, to stay safe while on the road, exercise extra caution at all times by adding space between you and other cars. Let others around you know what you’re doing as well; use your indicator sooner than usual, for example, before changing lanes, so you have time to make better head and mirror checks. Such precautions will help you avoid not-at-fault accidents, whether you’re in the wrong or right.

Avoid distractions

With low confidence, you need to be more focused when driving than usual. You need to be alert for cars making unpredictable moves, or hazards blocking the roads. As your driving experience is stressful enough, it’s paramount you eliminate anything else that can add to your stress, like distractions. Solo driving may be the best solution for you, as a passenger may distract you or make you more nervous. Loud music and even driving with the windows open may also be off-putting and should be avoided.

Avoid driving during poor weather

Much like peak times, driving in poor weather conditions challenges our driving skills immensely; torrential downpours, low light and snow challenge even the most experienced, seasoned drivers, and require intense concentration. If you don’t need to drive when the roads are unusually dangerous, don’t make unnecessary trips which could set you back.

How good are you at applying your brakes?

We’re not just talking about accidents or emergencies here, but also about using good technique when braking during normal driving situations. Here are three questions to help you check some key points…

Do you keep scanning your stopping area?

The key is to stop as smoothly and timely as you can. As you scan ahead, do you pay keen attention to road signs, signals, any warning markings? Are you scanning for potential hazards, which might involve pedestrians as well as other road users? One key to assessing this: how often do you have to brake sharply when you shouldn’t have needed to do so?

Do you brake early and smoothly?

Following-on from the previous point, there’s a saying that ‘braking early is really on-time braking’. This is particularly true when road or weather conditions are not ideal. People who constantly seem to brake late might sub-consciously be using the brake pedal almost like you would an on-off switch, rather than for delivering increasing control over a brief period of time.

Is your foot where it should be?

Another sign of problem braking is not having your foot poised over the brake when approaching a situation where it may need to be used. Covering the brake allows you to reduce your reaction time – and also means that your speed is already slowing. This then reduces the time you need to stop safely.

Others may not be as skilled at braking as you!

Appreciating that can help you avoid some potential accident situations where others would be at fault. However, even when this is true, it’s possible to be the innocent victim of an accident where you were not at fault.

If your vehicle is going to be in the repair shop for a while; there is at least one piece of better news. Under Australian Law, if you are not at fault then you are entitled to a replacement courtesy car to keep you on the road until your own is ready to return to duty.

Keep this number with you: 1800699034. If the above happens to you, call our experienced Not My Fault team and set us to work on your behalf. After all, we are Australia’s no.1 car accident replacement service!

How safely do you drive when around cyclists?

With the current lockdown situation easing, it may be that even more people than usual decide to get some exercise, perhaps by biking to work. This might mean that there are more inexperienced cyclists around – or at least ones not used to much in the way of traffic. Here are a few key questions to ask yourself, to help assess how well you cope with those on just two wheels (and no engine)…

# Do you indicate in good time when cyclists are around? For example, if you are turning left at traffic lights, failing to signal might mean a cyclist pulls in beside you on the inside – and then moves off when the lights change.

# Do you make an extra check for cyclists when pulling off from being parked or pull out of a side street? Often, particularly in poor weather conditions, cyclists can be virtually invisible unless special care is taken to look out for them.

# Do you provide extra space when passing people riding bikes? Cyclists, especially those who don’t use a bike regularly, can wobble for no apparent reason. Equally, if a rider suddenly spots a pothole or debris on the road in front of them, they can swerve slightly before even having had time to think about it. One cycling expert suggested being passed by a car at speed is like standing close to the edge of a railway platform when a non-stop express train passes through.

# Do you give cyclists a head start when traffic lights change? It can be easy to be a bit unsteady when restarting – and the problem can be increased if two cyclists are sitting together waiting to move off.

# Do you suddenly sound your horn? This can be an attempt to be helpful, perhaps to let a cyclist know it’s okay to proceed. But it can also be instantly-alarming and lead to unnecessary, and often dangerous, panic setting in.

If you are the victim of a not-my-fault accident

Whether involving a cyclist or not, even careful drivers can be innocent parties in a motor accident. If this happens to you, and your vehicle is headed for a repair shop for a while, then call us on 1800699034. Under Australian Law, you are entitled to a replacement courtesy car after not-your-fault accidents. One call to our team and we can quickly set to work on your behalf to make sure you can stay on the road even if your own vehicle can’t!