Tips for Safe Driving
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), on average 6 million car crashes occur every year in the United States, with about 50% of those crashes resulting in injuries, and about 67% of those injuries being permanent. When faced with this statistic, it becomes clear how necessary it is to be aware of safe driving practices and to implement them whenever possible. While most drivers consider themselves safe, they might be unaware of several habits which actually increase the risk of an accident and injuries for both themselves and their passengers.
Tips for safe driving include but are not limited to the following:
- Never drive while under the influence. Whether this be drugs, alcohol, or another intoxicant, driving while under the influence is never safe. Some people assume there is a safe level of intoxication at which driving is still permissible, but this is not the case. If you plan to engage with any substance which might impair your ability to drive, even slightly, make sure you have a trustworthy designated driver or another ride available.
- Don’t speed. This is one of the most basic and yet most violated rules of driving. It’s easy to justify driving over the speed limit, but the consequences can be disastrous. Pressure to arrive at a destination on time, to beat traffic, or to get home are just a few reasons why drivers speed, but keep in mind that it’s better to arrive anywhere a few minutes late than to not arrive at all.
- Don’t text and drive. Texting while driving is considered one of the most dangerous distractions a driver can engage in. Texting while driving engages the hands, the eyes, and the mind, leaving no attention available to the road ahead. A car can travel great distances at great speeds in the two seconds it takes to send or reply to a text, and anything could happen in those two seconds.
- Wear a seatbelt. This should go without saying, but it’s easy to rationalize not wearing a seatbelt if you are only driving a short distance. However, many accidents occur within a few miles of home, so whether you are driving through a parking lot or to the gas station down the street, always wear a seatbelt.
- Adjust your mirrors. It’s easy to sit down, buckle-up, and forget to check your mirrors for proper adjustment. If a mirror is knocked slightly askew or someone else has driven the vehicle recently, the mirrors might be in a position that hurts your visibility. Don’t forget to check and adjust your mirrors as necessary.
- Stay out of blind spots. This is an important part of defensive driving and involves estimating where the blind spots are for other vehicles, especially large vehicles, trucks, and tractor-trailers. It’s important to add or reduce speed as necessary to stay out of other vehicles’ blind spots.
- Check your blind spots. Similar to the above advice, make sure to check your blind spots. A blind spot is any area around your vehicle where you cannot clearly and fully see using the mirrors. This may require physically turning in your seat or looking over your shoulder. Failing to check blind spots is a common cause of accidents and is easily avoidable.
- Don’t drive fatigued. It’s especially easy to drive fatigued when on long roadtrips or working odd hours. However, it’s always a better idea to pull off somewhere safe and take a short nap then to try and continue driving while exhausted. This is another common cause of car accidents that can be avoided with proper rest breaks between driving.
- Don’t tailgate. Although it may be tempting to drive closer than is recommended to the car in front of you, especially if they are going excessively slow or you are stuck in traffic, this reduces reaction time and can cause you to crash into the car in front of you if they suddenly slam on their brakes.
- Don’t slow down in front of tailgaters. Similar to the above advice, if you are being tailgated, don’t slow down in an attempt to punish the driver behind you. It’s also important to not let yourself be convinced to drive over the speed limit in an attempt to get them off your tail. If you are being tailgated, simply move out of the way of the tailgating vehicle and allow them to pass you without conflict. The more space you can put between yourself and an unsafe driver the better.
To learn more about safe driving or if you were injured in an accident with a negligent driver, reach out to a car accident attorney to discuss your options for physical and financial recovery.