Driving Safety Tips
If you have been a driver for many years, then you probably rarely think about the possibility of you having an accident. You are probably a skilled driver who is always careful, so why should you need any driving safety tips? The truth is, though, if you do have many years of driving experience under your belt, you have probably developed a few bad habits. And your assumption that “it won’t happen to you” is likely to be making you a bit complacent.
Before we get into our refresher driving safety tips for experienced road users, here are a few facts that you should consider. Did you know, for example, that there are 6 million car accidents in the U.S. every year? Were you aware that there are more than 37,000 fatalities on American roads every year?
While it is true that teen drivers cause a disproportionately high number of accidents, it is not only reckless and inexperienced kids that cause car wrecks. Only 12% of accidents on the road are caused by teenage drivers. The remaining 88% of car accidents are caused by experienced drivers who probably believed that it would never happen to them.
So, with those sobering statistics in mind, let us take you on a quick driving safety refresher course. Here are fifteen driving safety tips that may have forgotten.
1. Abide by Speed Limits
Speed limits are not there to catch you out. Speed limits are imposed for your safety and the safety of other road users and pedestrians. So, stick to the speed limits on all roads, even if you think that it would be safe to drive a little bit faster.
2. Use Turn Signals
Always use your turn signals to indicate your intentions. Signaling warns other drivers about what you are about to do, and they also give pedestrians advance warning of which way you are headed. You should signal every time you are about to make a turn or a lane change, even if you believe that there are no other vehicles around.
3. Do Not Make Assumptions
You cannot ever assume that you know what another driver will do. The driver up ahead could be inexperienced, not paying attention or just a lousy driver. It would be best if you attempted to anticipate what might happen ahead, but you cannot assume that drivers will always do what you expect them to do.
4. Avoid Distractions
As an experienced driver, one of the driving safety tips that you might often forget is the one about avoiding distractions. You might think that you talk on your phone or text, and still drive safely, but you cannot. You might believe that you can unwrap a burger with hand and steer the car with the other, but it would not be a great idea. When you are driving, you are responsible for 2 tons of metal moving at speed. The only way that you can control a vehicle is to concentrate solely on driving.
5. Wear Your Seatbelt
If your vehicle comes to a sudden halt, you can be flung into the dash or through the windshield if you are not wearing a seat belt. You will be thrown forward in a car even if you are traveling at a relatively slow speed. So, always buckle up, even on short journeys. Some people do not wear a seatbelt if they are only driving a short distance near to home. However, it is worth remembering that most car accidents happen within five minutes of the driver’s home.
6. Do Not Tailgate
Always leave at least a 4-second gap between you and the vehicle in front. It takes time for even an experienced driver to react, so you need to have enough time for you to respond and stop if the vehicle in front of you brakes hard. Driving too close to a new or a nervous driver may also cause that driver to make a mistake.
7. Be Vigilant
You need to be aware of what is happening all around your car when you are driving. Check your rear-view mirror regularly. Look at what is happening in the distance upfront as well as in your immediate vicinity. Be aware of the vehicles in the lanes next to you and what pedestrians are doing on the pavements. If you see a child playing with a ball on the sidewalk, for example, be conscious that the child may run out onto the road to get the ball if it gets away from them.
8. Never Drive Under the Influence
Never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and never drive if you are taking medication that will affect your ability to control a vehicle. Just because you are an experienced driver does not mean that you will be Ok to drive after one too many drinks. Drinking only two beers will reduce your ability to track a moving object, impair your judgment, and increase your reaction time.
9. Do Not be Unpredictable
Other drivers will be trying to predict what you are going to do, so do not make any sudden changes in course or slam on the brakes unless you must. If you are about to miss a turn, for example, do not suddenly swerve off towards the exit, go to the next intersection and come back again.
10. Keep Calm
Yes, there are some idiots on the roads, but getting angry will not make them better drivers, and it will not get you to your destination any faster. If you get mad, it could cause you to make a dangerous mistake. If you make gestures out of the window and act aggressively towards other drivers, you could also get yourself in a fight.
11. Yield to Other Drivers
Always yield to other drivers if they have the right of way, but do not assume that other drivers will do the same for you. If another driver looks like they might not yield when they should, let them go anyway. If you both decide to go at the same time, you are going to end up with a dent in your fender at best.
12. Be Patient
Patience is a virtue, and it is also the safest way to be when you are driving. Avoid doing things like switching lanes frequently in heavy traffic because it will not save you much time, and it could cause an accident. If the vehicle ahead does not pull away when the light goes green, give them a few seconds. If they still do not pull away, one short honk should be all that it takes to get their attention. Let other cars filter onto your lane in a traffic line as well. If everyone is courteous and patient on the roads, we will all get to where we are going faster.
13. Use Headlights in Bad Weather
Headlights are not only for use at night; they should also be used when it is foggy, raining, or snowing. The lights on your car make your vehicle visible to other drivers. So, check that your lights are working, and switch on your headlights whenever visibility is poor.
14. Obey Traffic Signals
Traffic lights and stop signs are there for your safety as well as other people’s safety, so do the right thing and follow the rules. Avoid the temptation to try to beat the regulations as well, like racing to get through the lights, or not coming to a complete stop at stop signs. All it takes is for one other driver to attempt to beat the traffic lights, and you could be involved in a collision.
15. Keep Your Vehicle Well-Maintained
The last of the driving safety tips that you may have let slide is keeping your vehicle well-maintained. Things like checking for wear on your tires, and checking your fluid levels regularly, for example. Yes, we have all driven down a road trying to scrape the bugs from the windshield with the wipers but no water. But if you had checked your fluid levels before you set out, you would not need to do that, so you would be able to concentrate better on the road.
So, you have got to the end of our list of driving safety tips that you may have forgotten. How did you get on? We know that you will probably be saying to yourself right now, yeah – I knew all that. The crucial thing to ask yourself, though, is, do you always follow these tips?
Many thanks for reading our driving safety tips. We hope that you found them useful. If you know a driver who could do with re-learning some of these tips, why not give them a hint by sharing this page on your social media accounts!
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Thanks again for taking the time to visit Best Panic Alarm. Have a great day, and stay safe on the roads!