Even though the laws are very clear, every year the number of deaths and injuries from car accidents is still very high. One of the main reasons for this is because people are failing to buckle up when they hit the road. While the legal system is still working on getting people to put that safety belt on, why don’t we look as some practical ways to avoid accidents altogether.
1. Take Your Time
It can be very exciting to get out on that open highway this summer season, but it is best to take your time. Rather than hurrying to take to the road, take a breather and ease your way into the highway traffic. When starting from a full stop, always take the time to look both directions to make sure the way is clear before merging into traffic.
2. Focus On Your Driving
It is easy to get distracted while driving, especially if you have a car full of people. However, remember that the car is not the place to try to take care of other things. Whether it’s fixing your make-up, fussing at the kids, or adjusting the radio, it takes only a second with your eyes off the road for something to happen.
3. Get In The Right Position
When driving, don’t get in the habit of slouching behind the wheel. When your body is in the right position, you will be alert and attentive to everything that’s going on around you. The right position means you are ready to react should something happen suddenly. Your hands can control the steering wheel better, you can reach the brakes faster, and you’ll be ready to take evasive maneuvers if needed.
4. Be Prepared For Surprises
Even if you have the right-of-way, always proceed with caution. Look both ways before entering into an intersection to make sure that someone is not rushing through a yellow light. When passing semis on the high-way, always keep an eye on the big rig and position your vehicle so that the driver can see you. Never linger in their blind spot.
5. Set Your Music Before You Start Your Engine
Changing your music selection can cause you to take your mind off of what’s important causing an accident. If you find you want to change your music while driving, it is best to pull off the road and make the change than to take your eyes off of your task.
6. Make Sure All Your Mirrors Are In Good Position
Both your side mirrors and your rear-view mirror should be position so that you can see as much of the road behind you as possible. This will ensure that you are fully aware of your surroundings so you can change lanes or merge into traffic safely.
7. Keep An Eye Out For Children
Small children are not always aware of the dangers of an oncoming car. They can easily dart out in front of your car from between parked cars or down driveways. If you’re driving in a residential neighborhood, watch for stray balls, toys, and other signs that children might be playing in the area. Slow down so that you can scan the area completely as you drive.
8. Never Drink and Drive
Even if you’ve only had a small amount to drink, never get behind the wheel after drinking. If you plan to drink at a party, restaurant, or club, always bring another person along to get you back home. If you don’t have someone, take a number of someone or a service you can call. Not only can you prevent an accident that can cause a significant amount of auto body damage, you can save yourself a lot of embarrassment or worse yet, jail time.
9. Keep Vehicle Maintenance Up To Date
Many accidents are caused simply because the vehicle breaks down in a dangerous place. Worn out brakes, bald tires, or even something as simple as a tattered windshield wiper can create hazards on the road in an instant. Always make sure that your vehicle is maintained so it stays in optimum condition.
10. Respect Other Drivers
We all have to share the road so regardless of your mental or emotional state at the time, drive with respect and be courteous to other drivers. This will avoid situations of road rage or offending someone else. If you see anyone who is driving recklessly, report it to the proper authorities and let them handle it. Confronting irate drives can create much more hazards that could jeopardize the lives of other drivers as well.
When you drive safely, your eyes are constantly on the look-out for potential hazards. This will allow you to not only keep yourself safe, but it will also contribute to safe road conditions for everyone.