When driving, the only car you have control over is your own. Although you cannot control the other drivers on the road, you can be a responsible and safe driver and avoid dangerous situations to the best of your ability. You have to rely on your own driving skills and experience in order to stay safe on the road. Keeping the following safety tips in mind will help to keep yourself and the other drivers on the road safe.
Wear Your Seatbelt
Safety features and restraints are designed to keep us safe from serious injuries and even death. Every vehicle – other than buses- is equipped with seat belts for every passenger inside. Without the use of seat belts, passengers can become projectiles when faced with a crash. Bodies can fly through the front windshield and the back and side windows if they are not secured with a seatbelt.
Most car accidents are caused by distracted drivers. It only takes a couple seconds of distraction to cause a life threatening crash. The three most common distractions while driving are cell phone use, road rage, and eating/drinking. All three of these types of distractions can take your eyes off the road, making you vulnerable to an accident.
When you are behind the wheel, be sure to remove any type of distractions to avoid a crash.
Maintain Your Vehicle
It is recommended to service your car with an oil change every 3,000 to 7,000 miles. Take a look at your car’s user manual for the exact mileage specific to your vehicle. During these oil changes, be sure to have your mechanic do a thorough safety inspection of all engine, transmission, cooling, brakes and suspension components. This safety check will help to keep you safe while in your car.
Leaving enough room between the car in front of you and yourself is a great way to avoid collisions. It is recommended to use the 2 (or 3) second rule when driving behind another vehicle. To use the rule, find a fixed object such as a bridge, tree, or even a crack or shadow in the roadway. Once the vehicle in front of you has passed the object, begin counting “one thousand one, one thousand two, and so on”. The more seconds between the two cars, the better and safer. Leaving this distance will give you a better chance of diverting a crash if the car in front of you suddenly brakes.
Always Drive Sober
Alcohol and drugs both substances that impair vision and cognitive capabilities. While driving, vision and cognitive skills are extremely important to have to avoid any potential dangers. Driving with blurred or dizzy vision can put you in a very bad situation and cause a lot of harm to yourself and to others out on the road with you. Be sure to always be sober when driving. If you do plan on drinking, plan a designated driver or an alternative ride home to keep yourself safe.
No one wakes up in the morning expecting to be in a potentially fatal car accident. Accidents can happen to anyone but by practicing safe and responsible driving, we are more likely to prevent or survive an accident. Make safety a priority to keep yourself and others from any danger on the road!