First things first – no one wants to admit that they aren’t a good driver. But, that is not the point of this article. No matter how skilled a driver you are, it’s always a good idea to reflect on the basics of traffic safety from time to time. If nothing, just to make sure that you are being careful enough to keep yourself and others as safe as possible.
Here are some basic tips on how to drive safely and still enjoy the ride.
Avoid Distracted Driving
You would think that this one goes without saying – and yet, distracted driving is one of the leading causes of road collisions. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that delayed driver reaction causes 90 percent of rear-end collisions. That being said – stay alert and never forget to actively pay attention to your actions and those of the drivers around you when you are driving! No Instagram notification is worth it. And if you happen to be a passenger in a moving vehicle operated by a distracted driver, you need to intervene as they are putting the occupants of the vehicle at risk.
Wear Your Seat Belt
Also a pretty obvious one, but very important nonetheless! If you wear your seat belt properly, it can prevent you from being tossed around inside of a crashing vehicle or, at worst, flung out through the windshield. Statistics show that over half of all accident fatalities were passengers that were not using seatbelts. And also, if you are not wearing your seatbelt, you can be fined for failing to do so.
Understand Safe Braking Distance
The bigger the rig, the longer it will take you to stop. In comparison to an average-sized car, it takes an 18-wheeler 40 percent longer to stop completely. For example, a fully-loaded tractor-trailer that is going on 55 MPH on dry pavement will travel to approximately 390 more feet in 4.5 seconds before stopping. A road-facing dash cam can also be installed to ensure that drivers are keeping a safe braking distance from other vehicles.
Obey Speed Limits
When driving, you need to stick to the posted speed limit at all times. The restrictions placed on vehicle speed are not established arbitrarily. Rather, they are carefully selected to maximize safety for drivers and for individuals in the homes, businesses, and other organizations in the areas where roadways are located.
Entering And Exiting The Highway
When you join the highway from an entry ramp, make sure that your signal light is on before taking any gap you see. When you join the highway, increase your speed to match that of the highway traffic. If you want to exit the highway, use your signal light so other drivers understand your intention, and then slow down as you enter the exit ramp.
Be Aware Of Aggressive Or Reckless Drivers
If you happen to see a vehicle that is acting strangely, you should be aware that sometimes, the only way to avoid road accidents is to steer clear of other drivers who are either too aggressive or just outright reckless. It’s not rare that people that followed all the driving rules safely get caught in someone else’s mistakes in a car accident. If you are involved in a car accident and it wasn’t your fault, you can look into hiring an attorney and get compensated on the link in the highlighted text. For instance, some people drive too close to your vehicle, which is depriving themselves of the adequate amount of space needed to decelerate in case you, for whatever reason, need to make a sudden stop. The best approach in this situation is to switch to a different lane and thus let the tailgater overtake you. Be sure not to forget to use your turn signals and watch out for other vehicles and hazards on the road.
There are a lot of accidents that are caused by impatient drivers who are rushing to get to their destinations. While time is certainly a valid concern when traveling, and yes, we all are late sometimes, safety is a lot more important. And in the end, if you are involved in an accident you will certainly experience a bigger challenge arriving at your destination on time than if you simply exhibit patience while driving.
Pack an Emergency Kit
Be sure to have a first-aid kit handy in your vehicle, just in case, if you find yourself or someone else in an emergency. Also keep road flare, flashlight with a pair of fresh batteries, jumper cables, drinking water, and a phone charger in your vehicle in case you need to dial 911 or roadside assistance. You can never know if you are going to need an emergency kit, but it’s better to be on the safe side.
It truly is important to try and be as safe as you can while driving, and, as the saying goes – the best drivers are aware that they must be beware. Stay safe.