Road Safety Tips Every Driver Should Know
Hitting the road for your next adventure? Want to make sure everything goes smoothly? If so, use common sense and obey traffic rules.
Over 40,200 Americans lost their lives in car accidents last year. 2016 was the deadliest year on the U.S. roadways in nearly a decade. The primary causes were speeding, alcohol consumption, and distracted driving.
Even if you’re an experienced driver, you still need to pay attention to the road. Common driving mistakes, such as not using turn signals and using your cell phone, can be fatal.
The risk is even higher among teenagers and new drivers. According to the DMV, teen drivers have more car accidents than any other age group.
Safety should come first on your list. You must keep the road safe for yourself as well as for pedestrians, passengers, and other drivers.
Here are some road safety tips every driver should know:
When you’re behind the wheel, it’s crucial to focus on driving. Refrain from using your tablet, phone, and other electronic devices.
Distracted driving is a leading cause of motor vehicle crashes. For this reason, novice drivers are not allowed to speak on the phone while on the road in 38 states and D.C. Text messaging is off limits for all drivers.
Pay attention to the road when traveling with friends. You might not be able to hold a conversation and drive safely.
According to a 2014 study, driving alone is safer than talking to a passenger in the car. If you have to take a friend with you, ask him to keep his eyes on the road. He can also give you directions and help you park the car properly.
Avoid Road Rage
When you’re upset or angry, you’re more likely to speed and cause an accident. Negative emotions can affect your ability to focus on the road.
If you’re in a bad mood, stop and take a break. Listen to your favorite music, go for a walk, or call a friend.
In case you’re dealing with angry drivers, avoid a fight. Move over and give them room to pass.
Not sure how to proceed? Look for road safety tips online. See what others do when facing an angry driver.
Never Follow a Friend in Your Car
Following another car to the same destination can distract your attention.
This practice promotes risky driving behaviors. You’re more likely to ignore the traffic signs, drive at high speeds, or change lanes too quickly.
The best thing you can do is to meet your friends at the destination. This way, you can drive at your own pace and avoid distractions.
Obey the Speed Limits
Racing down the road at high speed may result in accidents and injury. On top of that, it’s against the law.
If you’re driving too fast, you might not be able to stop the vehicle on time. It’s easy to lose control and crash.
Road speed limits vary from one state to another. Check these things before getting behind the wheel.
Stop on Red
Running red lights is a leading cause of intersection crashes. In 2004, a pedestrian was killed every 111 minutes because of it.
Each year, 165,000 people are injured by red-light running drivers. Some motorists break this because they’re in a hurry. Others are distracted and don’t see the light change.
The red light is there for a reason. No matter how rushed you are, stop on red. This simple precaution can save your life.
Use Turn Signals
Whether you’re turning the car or making a lane change, use turn signals.
Other drivers on the road have no idea what you’re going to do next. Turn the signals on to notify them of your intentions. If you’re lucky, they might even make room for your car.
Take Defensive Driving Courses
Sometimes, reading road safety tips isn’t enough, especially if you’re a new driver. Make safety a priority and take defensive driving courses!
These lessons cover the best strategies drivers can use in traffic to avoid crashes. Students learn how to anticipate dangerous situations, make quick decisions, and drive in bad weather.
If you’re short on time, take an online course. This way, you’ll learn the basics of defensive driving and find out how to handle road rage.
Turn on the Headlights
Use your headlights when driving in the rain or snow. This will increase your visibility on the road and keep you safe.
The headlights are particularly useful before sunset and after sunrise when the visibility is lower. Be aware that it’s not necessary to turn them on at night unless you’re driving in bad weather.
Plan Your Itinerary
Make sure you know exactly where you’re going and plan your itinerary accordingly. Search for road safety tips in the country of destination and know the laws along your route.
Use a map to determine where you’re going to stop on the road. Check out the weather and equip your car properly.
When you’re driving long distances, take a break every two hours or so. This habit prevents drowsy driving and helps clear your mind.
Road Safety Tips for Bad Weather Driving
Driving in good weather conditions is difficult enough. Taking your car out in the rain, snow, or fog can be a real challenge.
First of all, reduce your speed about five to 10 miles per hour. This will give you more time to react if something occurs.
Secondly, avoid sudden changes in direction or speed. Anticipate your next move and be cautious.
If it’s raining, use headlights and turn on the wipers. Beware of wet pavement.
When driving in foggy conditions, use the fog lights. Be cautious when driving over hills and uneven terrain.
Make sure your car equipped for bad weather. Take an emergency kit, food, water, and blankets. Keep a traction mat and tire chains at hand during the winter.
If you’re driving your own vehicle, complete a full inspection before going on trips. In case you rent a car, it’s no need to worry about this aspect.
As you see, safe driving isn’t rocket science. As long as you obey the law and take precautions, you have nothing to worry about.
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