Self Drive Safari? 8 Tips For Defensive Driving in Uganda
Important Tips For Defensive Driving During Self Drive Safaris
Self Drive safaris are very popular today as one of the adventurous ways of exploring the magnificent attractions including the spectacular landscapes, wildlife, birds and cultures within the country and beyond and have become most tourists’ choice when undertaking safaris in Uganda. The challenge however comes with driving through a foreign country where most roads or routes are not known and its worse with destinations like Uganda where roads are not marked and worse still very bumpy. Not only that, it is also difficult to hire cars in most developing countries such as Uganda. You will therefore need some tips of defensive driving that include;
Get enough sleep before undertaking a long drive
Much as most drivers prefer taking caffeinated drinks to stay awake while driving, you would rather get enough rest/sleep as an important way of defensive driving. Enough sleep is good for long distances but you can always have coffee breaks or stretch breaks during the journey but it shouldn’t be a replacement for having enough sleep.
Observe the road traffic signs at all times
Observing traffic signs is important for defensive driving but also pay keen attention to road signs especially if driving on the poor upcountry roads thus you will be able to go by the required speed limit. Not only that, don’t take the wrong turn because most first self drivers have the habit of blindly following the cars in front of them. Just follow the rules and everything will be fine and you will be safe.
Learn to drive or familiarize yourself with all the weather Conditions
Always take note of the prevailing weather conditions of the area and always avoid very difficult conditions such as driving in the rain or at night if you are just learning to drive. Remember that it takes a certain level of skill and experience to drive in rain, the wet/slippery roads and at night thus you would rather hire a car with a driver for the forst 2-3 days or for the whole trip if you are not confident enough.
Look Far ahead
The mistake most drivers do is looking directly in front of their vehicle but it would be better to look farther. The fact is that many road accidents would be avoided if drivers were good at situational awareness and plan ahead by looking as far down the road as possible.
Avoid all distractions on your self drive safari such as using a Cell phone while driving
Most tourists are distracted when using their cell phones as well as other strange and unacceptable bad habits of eating and listening to loud music or with Headphones while driving and yet these things sometimes require you to take your eyes off the road or shut off from the outside World. For instance, if you are driving at 50-60 kilometers per hour and just look at the phone screen for only 10 seconds, you might pass the normal distance. Not only that, you never know what can happen within the few seconds you take your eyes off the road or steering wheel.
Always observe and keep reasonable distance from other Vehicles that are ahead of you
Self drive safaris in Uganda require tourists to observe a reasonable distance between cars on the road. Therefore, you are advised to avoid driving too closely behind the other car because if it is to stop suddenly, you might bump into each other. This gap should even be wider if you are driving on a slippery or icy road because the car may end up sliding some distance when you attempt breaking it.
Always have an escape Plan
One of the most important tips for defensive driving while on your self drive safari in Uganda is by having an escape plan. Much as you may be a good and experienced driver, not every driver is the same as you thus you should always have emergency escape plans in case the unexpected incidences happen. Not only that, in case an animal runs into the road, drivers slam their brakes thus you may need an escape plan for such situations.
Give others the right of way
Don’t always be selfish when using the road because there are times when you will encounter four-way stops or other conditions where it will be difficult to figure out who has the right of way but when you are faced with such a challenge, just sacrifice and give other road users the right of way. If you use force and other person too, you might end up crushing and colliding into each other. The few seconds you will wait are worthwhile because in the end you will arrive your destination safely even if you are late by just few minutes.