Driving is not without its risks as any driver is well aware. However, these risks can be minimized with attention to safety. Whenever and wherever you drive, it’s important to keep these top safety tips in mind so you can contribute to safer roadways for you and other drivers. By practicing defensive driving and following these tips at all times, you can reduce the risk of collision and enhance your safety as well as the safety of your car’s occupants.
#1: Don’t Drink & Drive
While many countries have stringent laws regarding drunk driving, people still routinely drink and drive. Not only does this practice compromise their own safety, it drastically compromises the safety of other drivers or pedestrians on the road. Moreover, drunk drivers have been known to run off the roads where they have struck homes and other buildings. As most people know, many innocent victims have lost their lives to drunk drivers. Drinking substantially impairs a driver’s ability to operate a vehicle. Therefore, it’s vital that drivers refrain from drinking if they plan to drive.
#2: Don’t Drive If You Are Sleepy
Experts have asserted that driving while sleep deprived can be just as dangerous as driving drunk. According to statistics, roughly twenty percent of accidents list sleep deprivation as a factor. In fact, driving just a bit drowsy can increase your risk for an accident. Driving tired means you are less likely to respond optimally while on the road. Any delay in response while driving can lead to a serious driving consequence. Be sure to avoid driving drowsy and don’t drive if you are taking medications that list drowsiness as a side effect.
#3: Don’t Talk on Cell Phones or Text
Cell phone use is an increasing factor in traffic collisions and related fatalities. In fact, the increase is leading many states to adopt new legislation regarding cell phone use. In many cities and states, driving and holding a cell phone to talk are prohibited. Hands-free cell phones use may be legal, but drivers should remember that any distraction that takes their mind from the road and the operation of their vehicle is unsafe. Therefore, it’s essential to minimize all distractions while driving. Texting, of course, is incredibly dangerous as it requires drivers to remove their eyes from the road.
#4: Don’t Speed
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, speeding is a major contributor to roadway collisions. Moreover, each subsequent increase in mileage per hour increases the risk for collision. Driving experts have also counseled that raising your speed is only likely to reduce your drive time by mere minutes; however, it can increase the risk of crashing by more than fifty percent. Therefore, whether you are driving near or far, it makes safety sense to keep to the speed limit.
#5: Don’t Forget to Wear Your Seat Belt
When drivers and occupants wear seat belts, they substantially increase the likelihood of surviving a car accident. Since no one ever sets out expecting to be in a car accident, it’s all the more important to wear a seat belt every time you ride in a car. Seat belts do save lives. In fact, more than half of the people who died in a car crash were not wearing their seat belt. Even if you are only driving a block or two away, wear your seat belt and make sure that everyone else in the vehicle buckles up before you pull away. Even driving at a slow rate is dangerous if an accident should occur. Hitting the windshield or steering wheel, for instance, can still result in a perilous injury if you are driving slowly when you collide. A seat belt increases the likelihood that you will survive.
#6: Drive Carefully in Inclement Weather
We’ve all seen drivers plow through snow and rain as if it’s a sunny day in May. Don’t be this type of driver. No matter what type of vehicle you own, you need to slow down and be extra careful when driving in inclement weather. Even if you feel that your four-wheel drive, for instance, is perfectly reliable in snow, other people can still slip and slide. If you are driving slowly and carefully, you will be more apt to react optimally if another driver loses control of their vehicle. Fog, rain, snow, and even wind require drivers to be extra mindful. If possible, it’s often ideal to forgo driving in bad weather.
#7: Maintain Your Vehicle
Part of driving safely means driving a safe vehicle. Be sure that your brakes and tires, for instance, are in prime condition. Neglecting these important car features can compromise the safety of your vehicle substantially. Have your vehicle serviced as soon as problems arise to ensure your safety.
Follow these important tips in order to decrease the likelihood of experiencing a car accident. You’ll enhance your safety and the safety of others.