10 Driver Safety Tips
Cars are so common in our world today that it’s hard to imagine them being dangerous, but they can be. Here are 10 tips to help keep you and your passengers safe while driving:
- Use a DD. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), roughly a third of all auto accident fatalities are caused by drivers operating under the influence. If you’re planning on drinking, it’s never safe to drive home. Even with low blood alcohol levels, drinking can negatively impact reaction times and lead to disaster on the road. Use a designated driver, taxi or public transportation to get home.
- Don’t speed. It’s tempting to push down the pedal a bit further than normal to want to get to where you’re going quickly, but there is considerable risk that comes with traveling at high speeds. The NHTSA reports that traveling 10 mph over the speed limit only saves you a few minutes but increases your motor vehicle accident risk by 50 percent. Stay safe by keeping to the speed limits and leave a bit earlier if you’re worried about arriving somewhere late.
- Stay distraction free. With cell phones and more technically advanced vehicle displays, the number of ways a driver can be distracted is growing. Even activities that don’t involve electronics, like eating or applying makeup, can cause distractions and increase your accident risk. While the vehicle is in motion there’s only one thing the driver should be focused on: driving.
- Don’t drive while tired. According to a study at Virginia Tech, 20 percent of all accidents were at least partially the result of driver fatigue. Even if you don’t fall asleep at the wheel, tired drivers are prone to zoning out, which can be just as dangerous. Get a full night’s sleep before using a car.
- Seat belt. Simply put, a seat belt can save your life. The NHTSA reports that over 50 percent of accident fatalities occurred with people who weren’t wearing seat belts. Even if you don’t get into an accident, if you are caught without a seat belt on in Utah, you can be fined $45 with insurance premiums rising thereafter.
- Bad weather. Even experienced drivers need to be cautious in inclement weather. As road conditions worsen and visibility decreases, accidents are bound to happen. In these cases, only drive when you need to and, when you do, drive cautiously.
- Don’t follow. In cases of heavy traffic, being directly behind the person in front of you is hard to avoid, but generally, it is not safe to follow too closely. If that driver does something unexpected, you need to give yourself enough time to react without hitting that car or another on the road. A good rule of thumb is to keep one car-length in between for every 10 mph you’re going.
- Always be on the lookout. No matter how safely you drive, the one thing you can’t account for are the other people on the road. Always make sure you’re aware of your surroundings while driving to be on the look out for these situations.
- Drive defensively. In keeping with the previous point, it’s always better to drive defensively that offensively. Don’t do things like making sudden lane changes, tailgating or speeding up to avoid a red light. Drive safely and cautiously to remove as much risk as possible.
- Maintenance. This one is easy to miss because it doesn’t have anything to do with driving, but it is still incredibly important. Always adhere to proper maintenance schedules for your car. Not only will this increase the life of your vehicle, but it will ensure that nothing breaks down and causes an accident while you’re on the road.
No matter how safe you think you are, accidents do happen. In those cases, contacting a personal injury attorney can help you handle the situation.