Driving is almost a necessity these days, especially in more metropolitan areas, or in states where needed services are far from residential areas. If you feel you have become slack in knowing the regulations or maybe you recently relocated and need a refresher course in driving safety, find the office of motor vehicles, take note of when the next class is, and sign up. As you peruse the following tips, please be aware that they may not appear in the order of greatest importance, but it is safe to say, the top two should come first in anyone’s book.
Always stay alert! Which means, among other things, don’t drive one more mile; you will be taking your life and the lives of others. This would be an avoidable accident. In addition, when you are mentally distracted for any reason, you tend to assume other drivers will do what you think they will do. If you even assume the driver in the silver car will be passing you, and you pull out of the intersection too soon, you are a target.
Along with keeping alert, there is absolutely no way to be aware of everything going on if you are on the phone, whether talking or texting. Technology is amazing and helpful when used the right way at the right time; while driving it is unsafe. It can be the direct cause of horribly serious accidents. As an example, an SUV was coming through a residential intersection at the posted rate of speed, but as reported, the driver glanced down at the phone “just for a quick look” and within seconds her passenger died when the vehicle struck a signal light pole. That side of the car and the pole collided in such a way as to even cause a fire at the scene. This was an avoidable accident.
Rules of the Road
Know the rules of the road in your area. Usually they are the same all over the country, but occasionally a few will be a bit different. However, posted signs notify drivers of speed limits, parking regulations, when it is permissible to turn on a red light, and more.
Yes Chemicals = No driving
Another sure bet, is avoid ingesting chemicals and then driving. It’s certainly no imposition for you to stay at someone’s home overnight while sobering up. Of course you could always stay at a police station. In fact this author is even against designated drivers; you are in no condition to know if that person is actually sober enough to drive either. It’s much better to stay put and avoid an accident.
Keep your car in good working condition. Know as close as possible, that your tires are safe, the battery has enough charge, the lights and wipers are operational, the brakes respond quickly to your tap, there is adequate fuel, and all seatbelts work correctly. These are the things that come to mind, but others may be of equal importance.
No matter what, maintain a good attitude. Allow time for “Murphy’s Law” to occur; where if anything can go wrong, it will…and it will happen to you while you are on the road. If you have an appointment, leave in plenty of time. Do not leave at the time of your appointment and expect all to go well en route. If you have budgeted your time well, you will easily arrive still having a good attitude.
A Safe Driver?
These are but a few suggestions for safe driving. In my quest for the top five or six, another tip came to light. Libraries often have videos on safe driving habits; they would be free, and you could even make a “movie party” out of it, that way others would also benefit. On the subject of driving, my grandmother used to say, “If it ain’t horses, it ain’t safe.” But sometimes even horses refused to obey, especially when the driver wasn’t being safe!
Kyle Roark is a car expert and freelance writer who works in Nissan sales for a living. He enjoys giving out safety tips to ensure people are avoiding hazards while driving.
Photo Credit: It’s just Jack