Driving is one of those things that seems to come naturally to most people. After years on the road, we hardly have to think about what we’re doing while operating a vehicle. In fact, many drivers arrive at their destination, but can’t rememberer the drive.
While this is certainly an interesting aspect of human capabilities, if you lack too much focus, it can lead to disastrous consequences. Alternatively, some drivers overestimate their skills.
Every once in a while, it’s a good idea to remind yourself of essential driving safety guidelines. We want to help refresh your memory by providing some quick tips on how to stay safe on the road. Keep reading for everything you need to know.
- Stay Off Your Cell Phone
Thousands of deaths are caused each year by people driving while on their cell phones. This includes everything from texting, talking on the phone, changing the music, checking emails, and scrolling through social media.
If you need to talk on the phone while driving, invest in a hands-free device to help you do so safely. Additionally, if you use your phone for music, set your device on a playlist and leave it be while driving.
Finally, if you have a hard time resisting the urge to check and/or respond to text messages, put your phone in the back seat or somewhere else out of reach. Nothing is more important than keeping yourself, your passengers, and other people on the road safe.
- Pay Attention to Road Conditions
Another major cause of accidents is poor road conditions. Typically, this includes snow, ice, and black ice. Black ice can be especially dangerous, as drivers typically aren’t aware they’re driving on it.
Driving safety requires paying attention to the weather, particularly in the winter when freezing temperatures are common. If there is any precipitation, expect the roads to be slippery. Drive slower, follow cars at greater distances, and brake early for turns and stops.
- Don’t Drive While Distracted
One of the most important safe driving tips is to keep your attention on the road. Your cell phone isn’t the only thing that can distract you.
Don’t over-estimate your ability to multi-task by doing other things while operating a vehicle. Many people eat, apply makeup, read maps, change the music, and more while driving. This is incredibly dangerous, and quite frankly, selfish.
Other distractions that can compromise road safety include children, pets, and other passengers. If a child or pet is being distracting, pull over and remediate the situation. Don’t try to deal with it while driving.
- Don’t Follow Too Closely
Following the vehicle ahead of you too closely is a good way to get into an accident. Even if you’re in a rush and the car ahead is driving below the speed limit, there’s never a viable reason to put you and the other driver at risk.
Furthermore, some drivers slam on the brakes while being tailgated. If you weren’t paying attention or reacted too slowly, you would run right into the back of them. As the driver who rear-ended the other vehicle, you would be responsible for the wreck.
- Don’t Let Your Emotions Take the Wheel
One thing many of us are guilty of is driving based on our current emotional state. This is a driving safety no-no.
When people are already frustrated or frustrated by traffic, they tend to drive more aggressively. This leads to reckless decisions, like weaving in and out of lanes, speeding, and riding the tail of people in front of them.
Whether it’s other people on the road or something going on in your personal life, don’t hand the wheel over to your emotions. Rest assured, getting into an accident or getting pulled over will only make your day worse.
- Keep an Eye Out for Motorcyclists
One of the most important safe driving tips is to take extra precautions regarding motorcyclists. Motorcycles are much more difficult to see, particularly in our side mirrors. For this reason, you must always look twice and check your blind spots before turning, merging, or changing lanes.
Continue reading for more information about motorcycle accidents and what to do if you’re in one.
- Plan Ahead for Bad Weather
Applying driving safety measures means changing your habits based on the weather. We already mentioned some of the negative effects of driving in bad weather conditions. However, road conditions can be compromised by more than just snow and ice.
For example, fresh rainstorms can make roads incredibly slippery as they mix with mud, debris, and oil. Additionally, heavy rainfall and fog can reduce visibility, which can lead to collisions.
As drivers lose visibility, they slow down to avoid getting into an accident. On the interstate, this can lead to multiple rear-end collisions if the drivers behind them don’t follow suit.
- Never Drink While Intoxicated
Driving under the influence carries heavy fines and penalties. Though the laws vary from state to state, the legal penalities alone are never worth drinking and driving. These include jail time, community service, hundreds of dollars in fines, and forfeiture of your driver’s license.
However, you must also consider the other consequences of your actions. For example, if you were to cause an accident that proved to be fatal to the other driver or a passenger, you’d have to live with that for the rest of your life. You could also damage property, which you would be financially responsible for replacing or repairing.
- Always Wear Your Seatbelt
One of the easiest driving safety tips is to put your seatbelt on every time you’re in a vehicle.
Seatbelts aren’t always comfortable. However, they’re designed to save your life in the event of an accident. Thousands of deaths each year can be prevented by simple buckling up.
However, when people are in a rush, they forget or choose not to put on their seatbelt. Buckling up takes five seconds but can make all the difference in the world.
Want More Driving Saftey Tips and Other Valuable Advice?
We never think anything bad will happen to us until it does. Unfortunately, at that point, it’s too late. Take the extra car safety precautions to protect yourself and everyone else on the road.
Driving safety is essential for living a long, happy life. And if you’re looking for more health and safety tips, check out some of our other articles while you’re here. Our blog was created to provide readers like you with valuable life advice.