Practice Safe Driving Tips To Improve Driving
When you’re driving it is important to keep your safety as well as the safety of others in mind. An accident can cause temporary loss of a drivable vehicle from damages, increased insurance rates, injury or even death. Many of these accidents can be avoided if more drivers would practice safe and defensive driving while on the road.
While we can’t control other drivers around us, there are ways we can contribute to safety on the roadways.
What to Do To Prevent an Accident
Sometimes an accident with our vehicle is unavoidable when another driver fails to follow safe driving practices. You can prevent yourself from being the cause of an accident by following these safety tips for getting behind the wheel:
Before deciding to get behind the wheel of a vehicle, be sure that you are in the right mental and physical condition to drive safely. Sleep driving is one of the leading causes of accidents on the road today and can easily be avoided if drivers are mindful of their physical conditions. Make sure you get a good night sleep and eat healthy meals to give you energy through out your day. If you feel sleepy, pull over to the nearest rest stop, gas station or parking lot and give yourself a few moments of rest before continuing your journey.
There are many distractions that can keep our minds off the road. These can include:
- Cell phones
- Children or passengers
- Places on the road
Be wary of a wandering mind while driving. Do not try to plan out your day or go over to-do lists in your head while you should be paying attention to the road around you. Never answer your cell phone while moving and do not text. Wait until you are stopped at your destination to reply. If the call or text is an emergency, pull over to respond.
Use safe road practices
Be sure to obey traffic laws through out your drive, which are in place for your safety and the safety of the other drivers around you. The traffic laws in place that can help avoid an accident are:
- Come to a complete stop at stop signs.
- Slow down and be prepared to stop at a yellow traffic signal.
- Do not stop completely at a yield unless there is oncoming traffic.
- If you are in a round-a-bout remember to yield to traffic coming from your left.
- Obey all speed limits.
- Use your turn signals whenever you are planning to change lanes or turn a corner.
- Check your mirrors for drivers and be aware of your blind spots.
How can I be a Defensive Driver?
The definition of a defensive driver is someone who is aware of their vehicle and others on the road and does whatever they can within reason to avoid an accident. Learn to follow these rules of defensive driving and practice them each day you are on the road:
- Anticipate the other driver’s actions. Watch for signs a vehicle may be about to turn into your lane without a signal, or run a stop sign. Never assume that the other drivers will obey all traffic laws. Be sure you are completely clear before proceeding through stop signs, yields or making a turn.
- Keep in mind your blind spots at all times. Other drivers on the road may not pay attention to another vehicles blind spot so double check before changing lanes. Also make sure that you do not drive in another vehicles blind spot, especially large commercial trucks.
- Allow a safe distance between you and the car in front of you. Use the 3 second rule in any case when deciding how far back you should remain. The 3 second rule simply states that you will need 3 seconds per car length to stop in a sudden braking, depending on your speed.
- Remain calm. Road rage can be dangerous and in some cases is considered reckless driving. Do not try to “get back” at another driver for cutting you off and pulling ahead of you. Simply take a breath and remain focused on your driving, not others on the road. If you are a victim of another drivers road rage, simply move over and let them pass. Retailing can lead to serious injuries or death.
- Do not become inpatient. We all have places to be and a schedule to keep, but becoming agitated while traffic or slow drivers will not solve the issue. When we become angry, we make bad decisions, like jumping into traffic before we are clear. It is better to arrive late for an appointment than not at all.
Being a Safe Driver in Bad Weather
In every state there is bad weather to contend with. Rain, snow, and sever weather adds extra dangers to the roads and requires additional precautions. The best advice for dealing with bad weather is to not drive at all, but if it is unavoidable, keep these rules in mind when driving in bad weather:
- Give yourself plenty of extra drive time. Plan ahead and leave early for work, school or where you must go. Most people will understand if you are late when bad weather strikes.
- Take it slow. Driving under the speed limit is not only acceptable during bad weather, it is the law. Go the speed that you feel comfortable and that you can maintain control of your vehicle at.
- Keep your car in good shape. Make sure your tires are filled with air to the proper level and have tread. Properly working windshield wipers will help assure you can see where you are going.
In following the rules of the road, driving defensively is essential for safe driving. If you follow these and other safety tips you can avoid many accidents that could lead to injury, property damage or even death in the future. Follow the proper driving rules to arrive at your destination safely.