No one is immune to the dangers of the road. Despite our best efforts to drive safely, accidents can and do still occur. More than five million car accidents happen in the United States annually, which averages out to over 14,000 crashes per day. That’s a lot of wrecks. Unfortunately, many are serious: Over 46,000 people diem in car accidents yearly.
With so many car accidents happening every day, it’s important to be as safe as possible when driving. And, while we can’t always control what other drivers do, there are things we can do to stay safe on the road. So, in the interest of refreshing your memory, here are some safe car driving tips to keep in mind the next time you’re behind the wheel:
1. Buckle Up!
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), seat belts are the most effective way to prevent serious injuries and death in crashes. In fact, wearing a seat belt reduces the risk of serious injuries and death by 50%.
So, what does that mean for you? It means that buckling up should be at the top of your list when it comes to safe driving practices. Here are a few safe car driving tips to help you ensure that you and your passengers are always buckled up:
- – Make it a habit: Get in the habit of buckling up the moment you get in the car before you even start the engine.
- – Be a good role model: If you want your passengers to buckle up, set the right example by always putting your seat belt on.
- – Set the tone: When you’re driving, set the tone for the ride by keeping your seat belt on and never driving without one.
- – Speak up: If passengers refuse to buckle up, don’t be afraid to speak up and remind them of the importance of seat belts.
Following these simple safe car driving tips can help you make sure everyone in your car is always buckled up, and that’s one small step you can take to help make the roads a little bit safer for everyone.
2. Don’t Text and Drive
It’s no secret that distracted driving is dangerous. It’s been estimated that texting while driving increases your risk of an accident by 23 times! And yet, despite this knowledge, far too many people continue to text while behind the wheel.
If you’re one of those people who can’t seem to put down your phone while driving, here are a few safe car driving tips to remember that may help you break the habit:
- 1. Keep your phone out of reach.
- 2. Pull over to a safe area first if you must use your phone.
- 3. If you’re traveling with passengers, put them in charge of your phone.
- 4. Ultimately, you should remember that whatever you’re texting or emailing can wait.
If you keep these safe car driving tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to avoiding distracted driving. And that’s something everyone can appreciate!
3. Obey the Speed Limit
We all know that speeding is dangerous. But, let’s face it, sometimes we all do it. Whether we’re late for an appointment or just trying to get to our destination a little faster, speeding is a temptation that’s hard to resist. However, even if we only go a few miles over the speed limit, we’re still putting ourselves and others at risk.
The national speed limit is 55 mph, but this limit may be lower in some areas.
Speeding is one of the main factors contributing to fatal accidents and can easily result in your car being part of the thousands of junk cars in scrapyards. Fortunately, obeying the speed limit is one of the easiest and most effective ways to stay safe on the road.
4. Watch for Pedestrians
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a pedestrian is injured every eight minutes and killed every two hours in the United States by a vehicle. These statistics are alarming, and they show just how crucial it is to be careful when driving. Whether in a city or on a rural road, you need to be aware of pedestrians. Here are some safe car driving tips to keep in mind:
- Be extra cautious at night and during bad weather. Pedestrians are harder to see in these conditions.
- Slow down and be prepared to brake when you see pedestrians crossing the street, even if there’s no crosswalk.
- Give way to pedestrians who are already crossing the street.
- Be patient. Don’t honk or try to hurry a pedestrian along.
- Watch for pedestrians when backing up, especially small children.
By following these tips, we can all do our part in keeping pedestrians safe on the road!
5. Be Cautious in Bad Weather
Bad weather can make even the best drivers tense up. But there’s no need to be scared of a little rain or snow. Follow these simple safe car driving tips, and you’ll be fine.
- Slow down: It might seem common sense, but when the roads are slick, you need to give yourself more time to stop.
- Turn on your lights: This will help you see better and let other drivers know you’re on the road.
- Be extra careful when changing lanes or passing: Take it slow and give yourself plenty of space.
- Be aware of black ice: This invisible ice can form on bridges and overpasses, so be especially careful when driving on these structures.
- Lastly, don’t drive if you don’t have to. If the weather is really bad, staying off the roads is always better.
So there you have it! Just follow these simple safe car driving tips, and you’ll be able to navigate the roads safely, even in bad weather.
6. Stay Alert and Rested
One of the most important safe car driving tips is staying alert and relaxed while behind the wheel. Getting complacent during a long drive can be easy, but staying focused on the road is crucial. A driver who falls asleep for just four seconds at highway speeds travels the length of a football field!
If you start to feel sleepy, pull over at a safe location and take a nap. It’s better to arrive a little later than to risk falling asleep at the wheel. And if you’re driving in extreme heat, make sure your AC is in good working condition to make sure it’s blowing cold air – (fatigue can set in more quickly when you’re overheated). If it’s not, schedule air conditioner services for AC repair before you hit the road.
In addition to staying alert, it’s important to be well-rested before getting behind the wheel. If you’re tired, your reaction time will be slow, and you’re more likely to make mistakes.
7. Drive Sober
It’s obvious, but don’t drink and drive! That means no alcohol, drugs, or over-the-counter medications that can make you drowsy. No matter how skilled of a driver you are, driving under the influence is never a good idea. Not only is it illegal, but it’s also incredibly dangerous.
According to the NHTSA, more than 10,000 people are killed in drunk driving crashes every year in the United States. If you’re going to be drinking, have a designated driver. If you’re taking prescription drugs, ensure you know how they affect your driving ability. Some can make you drowsy or dizzy.
8. Be a Defensive Driver
While most car accidents are due to speeding or distracted driving, a significant number are also due to aggressive driving. So what is aggressive driving?
The definition of aggressive driving is fairly simple: it’s when a driver willfully disregards the basic rules of the road and endangers other people. This can manifest in several different ways, but some of the most common include the following:
- Weaving in and out of traffic
- Running red lights or stop signs
- Making unsafe lane changes
- Making rude gestures at other drivers
- Cutting off other drivers
If you’ve been on the receiving end of an aggressive driver, you know how dangerous and frightening it can be. The best way to stay safe from aggressive drivers is to avoid them altogether. If you see someone driving erratically, don’t engage them. Instead, please give them a wide berth and let them pass.
9. Keep Your Vehicle in Good Working Condition
A fundamental rule of safe driving is to keep your vehicle in good working condition. This rule is especially important if you want to avoid accidents and breakdowns. Keeping your vehicle in good condition requires regular maintenance and care.
Regularly check your brakes, lights, and tires to ensure everything is in working order. If you’re in doubt about how to do this, take your car to a mechanic you trust or an auto repair shop. Additionally, it is important to keep your car clean, both inside and out. A dirty car can be a distraction while driving and can also lead to mechanical problems.
One way to keep your car clean and in good condition is to invest in a quality vehicle wrap. A vinyl wrap will help to protect your car’s paint job from nicks and scratches and keep it looking new. Another way to keep your car in good condition is to invest in a quality vehicle ceramic coating. A ceramic coating will protect your car’s paint job by providing an extra layer of protection against scratches from scratches and other damage.
If you have a garage, make sure to use it to store your car, and always remember to close the garage door. This will help to protect your car from the elements and potential damage that can occur while it’s parked on the street.
10. Be Aware of Your Surroundings
As a driver, it’s always important to be aware of your surroundings. This means being on the lookout for other vehicles, cyclists, pedestrians, animals, and potential hazards. It also means being aware of your vehicle and knowing its blind spots.
Here are some tips to help you stay aware of your surroundings while driving:
- 1. Pay attention to the road. Keep your eyes up and scan the road ahead. If you’re constantly looking at your phone, fiddling with the radio, or daydreaming, you won’t be as aware of what’s happening around you.
- 2. Use your mirrors. Mirrors are your friends when it comes to driving. Use them to constantly check your blind spots and to see what’s going on behind you.
- 3. Keep your head up. It’s important to sit up straight and keep your head up while you’re driving. This gives you a better view of the road and allows you to see potential hazards sooner.
Following these simple safe car driving tips will help you stay aware of your surroundings and make better driving decisions.
What to Do in the Event of an Accident
No one likes to think about being involved in an accident, but it’s always better to be prepared. If you get into a car accident, there are some important steps you should take:
First and foremost, assess the situation and ensure that everyone is safe and out of harm’s way. Then, you should contact the police and file a report. It’s also important to get the other driver’s insurance information.
After the initial shock of the accident, it is important to seek professional help. A car wreck attorney familiar with motor vehicle accident law can help you navigate the legal process and ensure you are fairly compensated. Insurance companies can also be tricky to deal with, so having an experienced insurance enrollment specialist on your side is important.
The roads are full of dangers, and it’s important to be as safe as possible when driving. Remembering these safe car driving tips can help you avoid accidents and keep yourself and your passengers safe.
However, accidents can still happen even when you’re following the rules of the road. That’s why it’s important to be prepared for anything. Make sure you’re fully covered in case of an accident by having a good insurance policy. And, of course, drive safely