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As the New Year begins many people make resolutions to improve their health, finances and well-being. Something that can negatively impact each of these is your driving habits. If you are inclined to drive recklessly or do not employ defensive driving, it can negatively impact the resolutions you make.

The managing director of MasterDrive, Eugene Herbert, suggests making ‘driving resolutions’ that can help you achieve your ultimate health, financial strength and well-being.   

  • Health

Protecting your health on the roads includes both driving safely to avoid injuries from crashes and driving with the right mindset. “South Africa is a nation that is vulnerable to road rage. Protect yourself from falling victim, or from becoming a perpetrator, by accepting that other drivers will make mistakes and break the law.

“While you cannot stop this, you can, however, control how you respond. Ask yourself whether refusing to let a taxi in is worth the spike in your blood pressure or the stress of blocking them off while not damaging your car. Rather accept that it is inevitable and resolve to respond in a way that is best for your health and safety.”

  • Finances

While writing off your vehicle is the ultimate financial loss as a result of bad driving habits, do not underestimate the financial impact of minor collisions either. “Bumper bashings, tussles with potholes or parking lot collisions are far more common than one might expect.

“Luckily, by employing defensive driving, you can significantly reduce the chances of being involved in one of these. Always be aware of your surroundings and drive with forward vision of 12 to 15 seconds. Always leave an adequate following distance, accounting for the driving conditions. Additionally, have an escape plan. Whether stationary at a traffic light or on the highway, never box yourself in. If the unexpected happens, you will have room to escape.”

  • Well-being

Another common resolution involves improving one’s general well-being whether by stopping a bad habit or by learning a new skill. “Committing to learning how to drive defensively, or putting more effort into implementing defensive driving, will help improve your well-being as well.

“Identify bad habits that you’re guilty of while behind the wheel, whether this is using your phone while driving, disobeying road rules or even drinking and driving. Pledge to stop these dangerous behaviours. Share these with the people around you and encourage them to do the same. Gradually, we will see the difference we so desperately need on our roads.”

Resolve to be a defensive driver on the roads in 2020. “Defensive driving teaches you to be prepared to immediately ‘defend’ yourself and other road users from threats on the road and consequently helps you lead healthy, financially sound and successful lives,” says Herbert.