As a driver of many years experience, there are a few simple things, yet important ones, that a driver can do to prevent accidents.

And today, I will write upon it. Hopefully it would contribute towards helping you to avoid some mishaps. What am I referring to? It is none other than the usage of side mirrors.

Considering the number of vehicles on the road today and also the manner in which drivers today do seem not to follow rules and regulations, accidents can easily happen.

Today’s drivers are easily, on the whole an impatient lot. It is this impatience, which goes on to cause most accidents nowadays.

One important thing that was taught to me when I first took up driving under my tutor in 1970 was being made to always stop at a junction or a “stop, look, go”. I still remember, my instructor then, a Mr. Tiew Hock Lai, insisting that I stop at all “stop, look, go” junctions.

Irregardless of whether there were cars or vehicle approaching from either the right or the left. Looking back or pondering at what my driving instructor advised, as an instructor today, I now realize how wise and good this advice was!

Stopping at a junction takes but a second or two only. But, if you should think carefully about it, the benefits which a driver gets from this simple practice are indeed many. Amongst them obviously is, well you land up avoiding accidents eventually.

This then leads me to think of the advice, my own grandfather, Mr. Ong Hock Chuan, gave to me once. My granddad said to me, I remember very vividly before he died, “Count to ten before you move off at a junction. You’ll not regret it!”.

And how wise my grandfather’s words were. If you have patience as a driver, you’ll be the winner eventually. But ask yourself this, “Are you able to follow what my grandfather requested me?” If you can, then it would definitely do you a world of good.

Well, if you don’t have the patience to count to ten, then make do by all means, count to 5 instead before you move off a junction. Believe me, it would do you a lot of good. Try it once in a while and see the difference.

Anyway, the way you drive, believe me, will be surely much safer. And I also believe it will avoid a lot of near misses or accidents, eventually.

By the way, there is an English idiom which says. “Patience is a virtue”. And in Bahasa Malaysia, there is a peribahasa which claims, “Kesabaran adalah separa iman”.

The second item which I would like to talk about today is that you pay more attention to the use of rear view mirror and side view mirrors, both right and left. It looks as if, most drivers, including myself, fail to make use of our rear view mirror and side mirrors well enough.

Coming out from the shoulder of a road, ask yourself, how many near misses have you had in nearly hitting a car approaching from behind you.

Why do this happen? This, time and time again nearly happens because as a driver, you have failed to observe your rear view mirror and your right hand side mirror long enough before moving off.

Beginning from now onwards, can you make it a point to look at both the rear view mirror and right hand side mirror carefully. Ensure that there are no vehicles that are approaching from behind you before you take off. The time spent to do this will save you a lot of miseries, believe me.

The third item which I would like to mention about is looking at our rear view, our right and left hand side mirror prior to our negotiating a corner, either to the left or right. After giving our signals, make it a point to take a look at our rear, left and right view mirrors. It takes but one or two seconds only. But believe me, the benefits you gain are many.

By looking at the various mirrors before you corner, not only will make you be more confident when you’re negotiating a corner, because you know what’s coming behind you. You’ll then feel more secure.

The last item I would like to talk about is the question of using our mirrors more, especially when we’re doing our reversing. As you reverse, there will be cars and vehicles that will be coming towards our direction, especially from the left.

Most drivers, I believe will not give consideration to the fact that you are reversing. And if you should inevidentally crash into someone while reversing, the law stipulates that you are in fact in the wrong.

Therefore, to prevent such unwarranted accidents from happening, my advice to you would ideally be, reverse carefully. Take a better look at your rear view mirror, you right and left side mirror.

Stop, once in a while if you have to, to avoid knocking or crashing into the vehicles that may be approaching behind you.

Today’s topics have touched upon the need to stop at junctions or “stop, look, go” areas, the necessity to pay more attention to the use of our rear view and side mirrors and finally the use of the above mirrors especially in times of reversing.

Hopefully, advices given will go a long way in preventing you getting into a few unwanted accidents.

And finally, before I end this article, allow me to remind you, car mirrors aren’t intended for a driver to veer into it to see whether his hair is in place. It in fact, has a greater role to perform. Use it correctly.

Have you ever envisaged how it would be like to drive a vehicle without rear view, left and right hand side mirrors? I for one will find it extremely difficult, it not impossible.