Five Steps You Can Take to Stay Safe When Driving
When we drive safely, everyone on the road wins. Not only do we protect ourselves and our passengers, but we also help others at the same time. If you don’t want to be labeled a high-risk driver, then you should do all you can to avoid dangerous driving habits.
Many of us have been tempted to do it, but speeding will not save you much time. In fact, numerous cities now have coordinated smart lights, which means going the speed limit allows you to hit green more often. Even if you live in an area without timed lights, speeding is also dangerous. Not only are you more likely to get into an accident, but your car is also less likely to effectively deploy safety measures, such as airbags and seatbelts, and anyone in the vehicle has a higher chance of getting hurt. There are no advantages to speeding, and it’s best to reject this behavior to make the roads a little safer.
We may want to check our phones, drink our coffees, or switch through radio channels for something better. However, when we’re behind the wheel of a car, we must remain focused on what we should be doing: driving. So, while a text to your boss might seem important at the moment, it ultimately has to wait. Similarly, we all enjoy having a good time, but it’s easier than ever to avoid driving under the influence by using ride-sharing services or traditional taxis. Otherwise, alternate with your friends to take turns being the designated driver. By having everyone take responsibility, it ensures no one has to always miss out on the fun.
Believe it or not, driving while sleepy is a major cause of roadway accidents. Unfortunately, 60 percent of Americans admit to driving when exhausted, and a worrying 37 percent have fallen asleep behind the wheel. Specifically, the danger lies in how exhaustion impacts our focus, slows reaction times, and worst of all, impairs decision-making skills. These symptoms of sleep deprivation are not unlike alcohol intoxication, and that becomes a threat to our safety, as well as the safety of others. However, if you find yourself stuck driving when you need sleep, don’t grab another cup of coffee; instead, pull over where you can and take a nap. Even 30 minutes could be enough to recharge your batteries to stay focused and safe while driving.
Avoid Bad Conditions
Depending on where we live, we may experience different kinds of weather that make driving a dangerous activity. Whether it’s high winds, torrential rain, snow, or other extreme conditions, you need to be careful and take precautions when behind the wheel. While it’s best to avoid driving altogether, if you must get somewhere, go slowly, and use your low- or high-beam lights, depending on the hazards. When you brake, do so with caution. All in all, stay extra focused on what’s around you to help prevent accidents from happening.
One thing we may not associate with safe driving is properly maintaining our vehicles. Yet, an unmaintained car is more likely to have an accident, and a bad one at that. This doesn’t just mean regular service checkups with your mechanic, but things like fluid levels, windshield clarity, tire wear, oil changes, and your brakes. In fact, as Motor Day notes, our brakes are especially important since they allow us to safely stop our cars. Surprisingly, we can replace them ourselves, but it’s important to do research online beforehand. After all, you want only top quality brake pads for your car to have absolute safety when driving.
Take care of yourself, your vehicle, and other people when you’re on the road. When you drive conscientiously, you ensure everyone’s safety. Don’t let distractions or anything else get in your way when it comes to driving safely.
Guest post by Mark Conner
Mark is the father of a teen driver and wants to raise awareness about important driving habits that can save lives.
Image courtesy of Pixabay