Most drivers associate accidents with long drives up the coast or after a truck driver spend hours driving across the country. In reality, accidents happen when you make a quick trip to the grocery store or run over to a neighbor’s house.

You do not have to drive dozens of miles to put yourself at risk on the road. Luckily, there are ways to protect yourself, even during short trips to daycare or to the local supermarket.

Drive defensively on every trip

It’s easy to lose attention or multi-task when you know your destination is a short drive away. However, you need to be defensive any time you hit the road. The best ways to be a defensive driver is:

  • Tuck away your mobile devices
  • Avoid multitasking on the road
  • Slow down to give yourself more time to react

Prep before hitting the road

Most drivers know to check the vehicles and prepare their driving plans when it’s a long trip ahead. But it’s also crucial to prepare for short runs to the grocery store as well.

Make sure to adjust your mirrors, seats and air conditioning beforehand. Then, make sure you have the right equipment in your car in case of an emergency, including a first aid kit, a spare tire and spark plugs.

Watch out for other drivers

While traveling short distances, you may notice fewer cars on the streets or highways. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t watch out for problematic drivers or pedestrians. Even in parking lots, there are risks for drivers to pull out or back into you.

It’s important to remind yourself that short trips are necessary, but a short trip shouldn’t end in a crash.