Let’s face it: road accidents are unavoidable. However, preventing these crashes is possible when you know how to safely drive and what to do. You must take care of yourself and others on the road by following some necessary precautions.
Here are eight driving safety tips that will help you be safer on the road and avoid collisions.
1. Don’t Drive Drunk
It’s no surprise that alcohol in your bloodstream impacts your focus and slows your response time. Drunk driving means you’re compromising on your concentration and vision while driving, thus putting you at the risk of accidents and injuries.
Drunk driving can also lead you to a driving under the influence (DUI) arrest. According to Aaron Black Law, a Scottsdale DUI lawyer, a DUI offense is a frightening event that can lead to many penalties such as jail, driver’s license suspension, heavy fines, and more.
So make sure to avoid driving while you’re drunk, no matter how small the amount of alcohol you’ve consumed.
2. Avoid Speeding
Speed kills, and it actually does. According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), speeding killed 11, 258 people in 2020, accounting for 29% of all traffic fatalities.
A higher speed or driving too fast is directly proportional to the higher risk of accidents and crashes. It can potentially cause loss of vehicle control and increased severity of crashes, leading to severe injuries. A higher speed will also slow your reaction time, making it hard for you to stop your car and prevent an auto accident.
Make sure to abide by posted speed limits for the road and your vehicle. If you have to get there fast, then leave earlier instead of risking your life.
3. Limit Distractions
Distracted driving is one of the most common reasons for road accidents that killed 3,142 people in 2020. Make sure to avoid using the mobile phone, making calls, or texting when driving. You should also avoid other distractions like eating, applying makeup, interacting with passengers, fiddling with the GPS, or anything that takes your attention away from the road.
Your attention should be focused on the road and your hands on wheels. Keep checking rearview mirrors to stay aware of traffic scenes.
4. Be More Cautious When Driving in Bad Weather
Bad weather conditions can lead to severe car accidents, so you should be extra careful when driving in such situations. Rain, snow storms, and hailing make the road slippery and dangerous for cars, motorcycles, and trucks – especially for highway drivers. Such surfaces often cause vehicles to slip out of control or skid when braking. You should also be more cautious when driving through fog.
Practice all the road tips – such as limiting speed, maintaining a safe distance from other vehicles, and driving carefully around curves – if you’re driving through bad weather conditions.
5. Beware of Blind Spots
According to NHTSA, blind spots lead to around 840,000 road accidents and 300 deaths each year in the United States. Blind spots are areas around the vehicle that you can’t see immediately – your side mirrors or rearview mirrors don’t give a view of these areas. This specifically risks the life of motorcyclists as big cars and trucks often fail to see riders in their blind zones.
To avoid blind spot accidents, make sure to identify your blind zones before commuting or speeding off your vehicle. Check behind you when switching lanes. Double check your mirrors at green signals to ensure you can see your surroundings.
6. Don’t Drive Drowsy
Drowsy driving is as dangerous as driving under the influence, contributing to around 100,000 crashes and 71,000 injuries, according to the National Safety Council (NSC). Sleepiness makes you less alert and affects your reaction time when driving, thus increasing the chances of severe collisions.
If you’re tired enough and feel like falling asleep when driving, then it’s better to pull over and take a power nap than risk your life. Beware of tricks like air conditioning or fiddling with windows to stay awake. This will only lead to distractions and draw your attention away from the road. Instead, let your mind and body rest for a while.
7. Limit Your Night Driving
According to NHTSA, the danger of fatal accidents is three times more likely at night than during the day. Your vision is not as sharp during the night as in the daytime and glare from bright lights may double the risk of accidents.
It’s recommended to limit your night driving and if you have to drive, then be extra defensive. Make sure that your windshields and headlights are clean so you can clearly see what’s ahead. Avoid two-lane highways as oncoming car’s headlights, lower light, and sharp curves may increase the risk of crashes.
8. Practice Defensive Driving
Though people love aggressive driving, it also increases the danger of accidents and injuries. Make sure to practice defensive driving, such as limiting speed, using your signals, maintaining a safe distance, and obeying traffic signs.
Always Be Prepared
No matter what you do, there’s always a chance you’ll be in an accident, so you should be as prepared as possible for it to happen. Knowing the steps you need to take immediately following an accident is recommended, such as checking for injuries and getting the necessary documentation.
It could also be worth having a car accident lawyer on hand, in case there’s any legal trouble because of the crash. It’ll also help with your insurance claims, making everything much easier.
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