5 Ways Drivers Can Practice Safer, Smarter Behaviors on the Road
By Mark Connor of Drive Safely
We tend to view driving as a routine part of everyday life. But driving is also a risky part of our everyday life, especially when we are unaware of the behaviors that increase that risk. So, in order to prevent an accident from ruining your road trip—and especially your life—you should keep these important safe driving tips in mind every time you get behind the wheel.
Know What to Do If You’re Involved in an Accident
Even with the best efforts, accidents can happen. That’s why you need to know how to react if one happens to you. Having proof of insurance is crucial, so make sure your policy is updated and coverage is sufficient before you start driving. If it’s time to renew your plan, don’t wait until auto-renew kicks in. If you want the best deal on car insurance, you need to comparison shop. Different insurers charge very different prices for basically the same product. The only way to make sure you have the best price is to get quotes from multiple companies. You also want to keep some roadside safety tips in mind, like pulling over after an accident while staying visible to other drivers.
Send Those Texts Before You Get Behind The Wheel
Do you know what the number one risky driving behavior is? If you guessed drinking and driving, you’d be close, but you would also be wrong. The top cause of accidents is actually distracted driving. This can include more obvious actions, like texting while driving, but you can also become distracted by having an involved conversation with other people in the car. To keep yourself from being tempted to multitask behind the wheel, try to remember that by driving a car, you are in fact operating heavy machinery. That’s why driving is risky by nature, but staying focused on the road can reduce some of that risk.
Think Twice Before Having a Beer or Two Before Driving
Some people may be able to drink a few beers and still be under the legal limit for DUI in most states, but alcohol impairment actually begins to start with that very first drink. You may not even feel buzzed, but your ability to focus has already lowered. The legalization of medical and recreational marijuana may leave some drivers wondering if it’s okay to smoke and drive. Early studies (and common sense) demonstrate that using any amount of marijuana impairs drivers. Bottom line: Don’t combine driving with drinking, smoking, or any kind of drugs, if you want to avoid accidents.
Maintain a Consistent Speed That’s Not Above or Below Limits
This one may surprise some folks, because the usual advice is that “speed kills” on the highway. It can certainly be true that driving over speed limits can be just as risky as driving under the influence. Not only is speeding risky for you, your passengers, and other drivers, but it can also increase the chances of you striking a pedestrian, cyclist, or motorcyclist. So, you may think that driving under the speed limit is the best remedy to this risk. That’s where you would be wrong; driving too slowly can result in fatal accidents on the road, as well, so your best bet is actually to maintain a consistent speed at the posted limit.
Be Familiar with Your Vehicle Before You Begin Driving It
Driving a dramatically different vehicle, like a camper, can be risky if you’ve never done so before. This is especially true if you are driving a manual for the first time, since stalling out a vehicle can cause accidents as well. Larger vehicles can also be more impacted by winds and elevation, so try to practice some basics before you hit the open road. You should also get familiar with maintenance tasks that are essential for reducing accident risks.
Cars can provide convenience, but they can provide additional risks as well. Being a better driver can decrease your chances of getting in an accident. Always remember to buckle up, stay aware, and be safe while you’re on the road.