While improvements in car technology have made the driving experience much safer for people, there is still no way to eliminate human error. Here are six tips for driving more safely so that you can get home to your loved ones safe and sound:
1.) Drive Sober
This is one of the easiest ways to prevent causing a car accident, and it is also one of the main reasons that people are killed in driving accidents. Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a selfish act that rarely ends well. If you are under the influence of any substance, just call a friend, family member, a cab, or walk home. It is not worth the consequences.
2.) Stop Speeding
For every mile per hour that you go over the speed limit, you significantly increase your odds of finding yourself in a car accident. Speeding is one of the primary causes of car accidents, and it is easily preventable. When you find yourself speeding, you need to ask yourself how much time you are actually saving by putting yourself and others at risk. At best, you arrive at your destination five minutes earlier than you would have if you were driving the speed limit. Is that really worth risking lives?
3.) Stay Off the Phone
Distractions when driving can be dangerous to everyone on the road. Talking on the cell phone and texting are two ways to cause an accident without even seeing it coming. Talking on the phone and texting decrease your reaction time, and it is not worth risking your life to answer your mom’s question about whether you will be home for dinner 15 minutes before you would if you just waited.
In addition to the phones, it is also smart to avoid eating, putting on make-up and playing with the radio or other devices.
4.) Staying Awake
While driving tired may seem like second nature to some, it will eventually catch up to you if you are doing it on a regular basis. Nodding off behind the wheel for even a few seconds can put you at risk of finding yourself in an accident. Fix this by getting a solid eight hours of sleep at night. If you are driving with a friend, let them take over at the wheel for a little bit while you rest. Driving tired can be just as dangerous as driving drunk.
5.) Be Careful in Bad Weather
Driving while the weather conditions are bad can be a recipe for disaster. If you find yourself in a situation where the rain is coming down hard or snow is falling faster than you have ever seen, do yourself a favor and pull over to the side of the road until the situation clears up. If you determine that it is ok to drive in the elements, make sure to slow down a little bit to allow yourself a bit more time to react to any situation.
6. Have Your Car Serviced
This easy to forget step can be the difference between you stopping safely and running into the back of someone’s car. Make sure to take your car to an experienced car mechanic. Keep track of how many miles you have put on your tires, and make sure that your breaks are good to go. You will thank yourself when you hit the breaks, and they actually do what they are supposed to do.