With more cars on the roads than ever before, a rise in heavy traffic conjunction, it’s more difficult than ever before to rive peacefully on the roads. Unless you are lucky enough to live next to the subway or have your own personal driver, then you are most likely one of the millions of people who have to drive to run errands, take the kids to school, and go to work.
Unless you’re lucky enough to live right on a subway stop in New York City or have your own personal car and driver, you are probably one of the millions of people who drive to work, school, or errands on a regular basis. In fact, the average American spends over 100 minutes per day driving! In fact, the American driver spends an average of 100 minutes on the road driving each day.
When you first learn to drive and pass your test, you get all sorts of instructions and tips for things like the safest position to hold the steerings or how you should adjust your speed to suit the weather, but once you’re a seasoned driver, you sort of forget about all of the useful advice. If you fail to stick to the basic driving methods, you could run into situations that you weren’t prepared for.
With, Car Accidents on the Rise, and being a major cause of injury, stress, and expense, it’s essential for you to make sure you are driving safely when on the roads. Driving may be second nature, but you need to make safety second nature too.
Have a look at some of the safety tips below, they should help you to stay safe on the roads:
Always Allow Enough Time
We’re very busy as people, and that means that we are often running late to pick up the kids from practice or running behind for work. Hurrying up your driving may seem like the answer and completely normal, however, it’s certainly more dangerous and miles more stressful than if you just allowed yourself enough time, to begin with.
In fact, you are much better off giving yourself some extra time to get from A to B. You ever know when you might run into traffic, or have to be diverted around roadworks. Shaving a few minutes off your commute because your late is hardly worth the ticket or possible accident.
Don’t Drive When You’re Distracted
Right from a young age, we all get taught never to drink and drive. Right from school assemblies through to TV adverts on prime time television, and it’s certainly an important rule that we should be following. However, there are fewer people who take it as seriously not to text and drive or change the music on their phone. In fact, it has been shown that this actually causes just as many accidents. It’s best just to keep your phone away when you are driving, it stops the temptation to look at it when it rings or buzzes, and keeps you safer.
Still, Use Your Head
These days with our phones and GPS, to navigate us around traffic jams, locate nearby hotspots, we don’t really have to plan our routes, just get in the car and go. Of course, this isn’t a bad thing. However, just because you have a GPS telling you where to go you still need to be aware of anything that it won’t be able to pick up. There may construction zones, or new roads that the satnav isn’t aware of yet, use your head as well as the guide.
Know The Weather
This is only a small step, but it can go a long way. It can help to predict delays such as those from snowfall, and it will help you get you and your car ready for your journey. Just like you may want to take an umbrella or sunglasses for driving in the sun, there are easy you can get your ready too. Your car will need snow tyres in heavy snow, a windshield protector in the hotter weather to stop it from turning into an over from sitting on the car park all day. If it’s stormy make sure you drive with extra care and attention.
Try Not To Stress
There is no escaping the fact that road rage affects just about anyone at some point in their driving life. It can happen to even the calmest of people, and usually for no good reason. If you find yourself getting more and more irritated as a driver cuts you off, or your join the end of a traffic jam, take a deep breath and put it into perspective. Is this really a life or death situation or just a little bit of an inconvenience?
Think about the person who may have cut you off too, perhaps they’re a driver who has just received a call that they need to get to the hospital, you never know. You can’t really do anything about the situation anyway. So just listen to some music and let it slide by.
Keep On Top Of Maintenance
If you’re a car owner, you need to make sure you keep it in good working order, or you are risking expensive and potentially dangerous problems. You should change your oil around every 3000 miles, and also have a yearly checkup in order to keep your car registered. You also need to make you are keeping an eye on the air in your tyres and bulbs in your lights. If your check engine light ever comes on, don’t just cross your fingers and hope it disappears, take it to be looked at. Often, its something small and turns into something bigger when left alone.
Don’t Hog The Road
This applies wherever or whenever you are driving. Are you preparing to enter or exit the highway? Be courteous to other drivers around you, signal to show your intentions, and make your move when it’s safe to do so, don’t push in or out. Signally is the right way to show your intention and share your plans with other drivers, it also enables them to plan around you. They can move if you are merging or slow down if they know you will be turning, etc.
Of course, you also need to be mindful of other road users like people riding bikes, or other slower or smaller dorms of transportation. In many destinations, cyclists don’t have a dedicated lane so they have to use roads alongside cars. Be courteous and allow them to have the space that they need in order to be safe. Give them time t make their moves, and always make sure you keep your eye out for them, especially in your mirrors. You may notice you have a bike behind you, but if they are going straight on, and you’re planning to turn right, you could potentially cut them off, this can cause a bad accident.
If you’re thinking about going on a road trip moving to a new location, etc. Be sure to make sure you read up on your destinations driving rules and regulations before you leave. In some places, it’s fine to talk on a handheld device when you are driving, in other places it may be illegal. There are also different laws surrounding speeding, signalling, passing, and maintenance. You don’t want to get yourself a ticket just because you didn’t read up on the rules. Do a quick search online before you go, it could save yourself a lot of time and trouble.
Never Drive When You’re Sleepy
If you drive long distances, on a road trip, or maybe moving, make sure you get plenty of sleep the night before. You should also plan and make sure you take breaks at least every four hours during your trip. Even if it’s just to get out of the car and stretch your legs and use the toilet. Make sure you eat healthy meals, in order to keep your energy levels steady.
If possible, try to travel with someone else on long journeys, especially if they are able to share the driving with you. If they don’t drive, though, at least you have someone there for company, to act as the navigator, and help keep you awake and alert.
Be Prepared For Emergencies
Although we all hope to avoid breakdowns or accidents, you still need to ensure you are always prepared for them. Keep your insurance information on you whenever you are driving, and make sure you have a list of emergency numbers such as for breakdown cover or tow trucks. Ideally, you need to ensure you have emergency supplies too, including a spare tyre or repair kit, jumper cables, and a breakdown safety triangle.
Don’t forget about the choices that you make when you are behind the wheel of your car. They can all have consequences. You need to always be prepared, and never let your emotions get the best of you. The best drivers are calm and focused.