Opinion (Rogério COPETO / Official GNR): POWERS DRIVE.

The latest statistics on road accidents, They realize who died on Portuguese roads to 7 August, 270 people, less 15 than in the same period last year, but more accidents and serious injuries.

Rogério COPETO

Lieutenant Colonel of the GNR

Master in Law and Security and Homeland Security Auditor

Head of the Education Division / Command Doctrine and Training

It was hoped that the year 2019, was the turning point, with regard to road accidents after two consecutive years, in which exceeded 500 deaths as a result of road accident (no local), 510 in 2017 and 508 in 2018, checking up, however, the number of accidents, continues to rise reaching the value of 77.538 until the day 7 August, and of these, almost half result in victims (dead, serious injuries or slight).

For the aforementioned, easily can complete, that the Portuguese drivers continue to drive without the necessary skills to do, knowing that you also do with lack of courtesy, as I had occasion to mention in the article "Courtesy behind the wheel one needs", which states that the factors that most contribute to increasing the risk of accident, They are the behavior and the driver's performance.

Both behavior and performance, influence driving. The first is that the driver does and the second is what the driver can do, so the driver's performance is related to the skills to lead, and behavior is what the driver chooses to do with these skills.

Let's talk about skills to lead, which seems to missing drivers driving on Portuguese roads, because the probability and severity of an accident depends on the performance skills of drivers and these can be acquired through training.

Today the formation of any worker is sustained in the trilogy: Knowledge; Skills, and; Attitudes. Knowledge (know what), Skills (know how) and attitudes (know why).

So, road training should be provided for the purpose of future drivers know not only the rules of law estradal, but also the acquisition of skills and attitudes necessary, to perform safe driving and no errors or omissions, taking into account what is expected, which are the skills that a driver must have, on driving cars or trucks.

Knowledge is acquired theoretical information on any topic, while the skills refer to the practical application of this knowledge. Knowledge can be learned, while requiring skills practice, It may also be innate. Ultimately, both knowledge and skills are needed to master any field of study.

And attitudes are what tends to make, not meaning that even make, although you can do something, as, to know that one should avoid drinking and driving, but then have the attitude of driving while intoxicated.

Transposing these concepts for the training of drivers, it turns out that this should focus on the skills to lead, because it seems obvious that increasing the skills of drivers for driving will reduce accident rates, and one should therefore focus on training for skills of drivers, being accepted that drivers with more skills, are safer drivers.

So, whenever he gets behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, are an experienced or novice driver, there is always room to improve, by following that present some tips, to improve the skills to drive safely and intelligently.

Learn to drive some distance from the vehicle ahead, taking into account the speed and the road conditions, are skills that can prevent the occurrence of an accident. Driving speed is in excess leading to an incorrect distance from the front vehicle speed and without adjusting the condition of the road.

Learn how to park properly, and therefore to practice as many times as necessary, including parking between two vehicles, can use the following technique indicated that: Stop next to the first vehicle, mirrors aligned as; engage the march back and turn the steering wheel toward the curb, until you see the right headlight back vehicle for their rear-view mirror on the left side; turn the direction counterclockwise until the front of the free space and your vehicle is aligned between the two vehicles.

Drive keeping your hands on the steering wheel in the "nine one room" or the "eight twenty" and not the "ten ten", as for years it has been taught in driving schools. With a position of the lower hand, You have more control and stability to the lead, It is suitable also for long periods of time.

Adjust all mirrors to cover all the "blind spots".

Do not drive tired or after drinking alcohol.

Do not drive over the speed limit.

Use the direction indicators, whenever you want to change direction.

When overtaking first make sure you have space and time to run, then look at the mirror, to find out whether another vehicle has started or plans to start overtaking, then check the intention to overcome to indicate change of direction from left and finally make the move in the shortest time and safely.

Learn how to move in traffic. The changing lanes abruptly, cause disorder in traffic, motivates the fury of the other drivers and increases the possibility of accidents. In throttling locations, the correct way to be changing via alternating the vehicles on the right and left.

Learn how to adjust driving to adverse conditions, particularly on slippery and night conditions make proper use of lights, including road lights (highs) and crossing lights (average), and never drive with only the parking lights (minimum), especially fog, should use the fog lights or average.

Learn how to run the curves correctly, knowing that a rear-wheel drive vehicle, It has a different behavior of a front wheel drive. Cornering a rear-drive vehicle can go into oversteer (the vehicle seems to become more than you are asked) and front wheel drive vehicle could go into understeer (the vehicle seems to want to continue to go straight, even with the wheels turned).

Do not be distracted by anything and know your route before starting the march. If in the past the mobile phone was only used to communicate by voice with another person, Today the smartphones They are used for everything, from communicating, by voice or text, take pictures and how GPS, leading the driver to constantly divide your attention with smartphone, rather than focusing solely on the conduct of act, thereby increasing the risk of accident.

Convenient, because the more lead, best driver will be. A conscious driving, It is after all, a competence that should not take too much for granted.

We finished with a given set out on page six Report of 2009 da ANSR, where a graph is compared fuel consumption, with the remaining accident indicators (accidents, dead, serious injuries and light), concluding that there is a direct relationship between the number of accidents and victims, with fuel consumption, waiting is why during the strike of drivers of hazardous materials, if there is a reduction of accidents and consequently also the number of victims. At least with regard to road accidents, this strike may have something positive.

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