Every year, there are thousands of preventable accidents. Here are 12 safe driving tips that will help you avoid accidents and keep you and your family safe.
Do you know the safe driving tips that will prevent accidents?
Your driver’s ed classes might have been a long time ago, and it’s easy to fall into unsafe driving habits without even realizing it. However, driving safely can help prevent accidents, which means preventing injury to you and damages to your car.
Many accidents are easily preventable if you’re a safe driver. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to the top car safety tips that will keep you and everyone else on the road from harm.
Keep reading to learn what you need to know for safe driving!
1. Don’t Speed
Speeding is a top cause of accidents on the road. The faster you go, the more likely it is that you’ll get in an accident.
You won’t get to your destination that much faster if you speed, but your risk of being in an accident will go up immensely. Follow the speed limits, or go a bit slower if conditions are bad.
If you’re in an auto accident, you or the other party might end up calling car accident attorneys like Jacoby & Meyers. Save yourself from this expensive situation by just leaving a little bit earlier so you don’t have to speed.
2. Prepare Well
If you have a long drive coming up, make sure you get plenty of sleep the night before you leave. Prepare your mind and body to stay focused by eating a meal or at least a snack before you go.
Lots of caffeine isn’t really the best way to stay awake on a long trip. Although you’ll feel more awake at first, caffeine becomes less effective as your tolerance goes up, and never lasts all that long to begin with. Even if it keeps you awake, it may not be keeping you fully alert.
3. Take a Break When You Need To
Safe driving is all about staying alert. If you start to feel sleepy during a late-night trip or a long drive, pull over and take a break.
Even if you don’t feel tired, it’s best to pull over every few hours on a longer trip. You can at least get something to eat, walk around a bit, and even take a short nap if you need to.
4. Share Driving Responsibilities
Long trips are best when you don’t take them alone. If you have someone else with you, you can keep an eye on each other’s driving, and help keep each other accountable. Also, one person can nap while the other person drives.
If you have to make a long or challenging drive alone, turn the radio on to help you stay alert, and crack the window so you’re getting fresh air. It’s also a good idea not to use cruise control if you’re alone and it’s late – the focus you need to maintain your speed can help you stay awake.
5. Don’t Park on the Shoulder
It’s good to stop your car anytime you need a break. However, you should never stop on the shoulder or the side of the road, where other drivers can accidentally hit you. The only reason to park on the shoulder is in case of an emergency.
6. Learn Cell Phone Laws
Different states and countries have different laws about what you can and can’t do with your cell phone while you drive. Handheld phone use while driving is illegal in many states. Even if you don’t know the laws, you can still get a traffic violation.
Keep in mind that the laws change, too, and that they are in place for a good reason. Even in places where using a handheld phone is legal, a hands-free device is safer.
7. Avoid All Alcohol
If you just have one drink, you may not be over the legal limit. However, a single drink can still make you tired and decrease your reaction time. It’s always best not to drink at all before you have to drive somewhere.
The same goes for other legal recreational drugs, such as cannabis. Even if you only consume a small amount before you drive, you’re putting yourself and other people on the road at a higher risk.
8. Check the Weather
Check the weather reports, or at least be aware of the kinds of conditions you can expect for your drive. Sometimes, making a small detour to a long trip to avoid nasty weather can save you a lot of time – and help keep you driving safely.
9. Use an App
Smartphone apps like Waze can give you real-time updates, so you’ll know the best and safest ways to navigate around accidents and more. This helps you make the right safe driving choices without all the guesswork.
10. Bring a Map
That said, if you’re traveling through a remote area you might lose signal and not be able to use your GPS anymore. It’s always a good idea to bring a physical map for a long trip. Otherwise, getting lost can put you in a potentially unsafe driving situation.
11. Know Your Vehicle
If you’re borrowing a car or driving a rental, make sure to get to know the vehicle before hitting the road. Find out how to turn on the turn signals, windshield wipers, hazard lights, and anything else you might need. Know where the horn is and how to set the emergency brake.
Once you’re on the road and have to access these things quickly, it’s too late to learn. Figuring everything out before you leave the driveway or parking lot and you’ll be driving safely from the start.
12. Prep Your Car
It’s important to have a well-maintained car at all times. Breaking down or running out of gas can quickly lead to an accident.
Keep your car’s tires correctly inflated, the tank full of gas (especially for a long trip) and the fluids at the proper levels. If you’re taking a really long trip, get a mechanic to check out the vehicle before you go.
Practice Safe Driving Today
Even the best drivers need to brush up on their safe driving tips sometimes.
Follow these driver safety tips, and you’ll help prevent damage to your vehicle and injuries to yourself and others. Safe driving is always worth it!
Looking for more driving tips? Check out our guide to making the most out of your car here.