The risk of a car crash is constant. You can get hit pulling out of your driveway or while on your way to the hotel in another state on vacation. Crashes can happen first thing in the morning and just after midnight when the roads are perfectly dark.
While it is impossible to eliminate your risk of a motor vehicle collision, you can certainly take certain steps to minimize your chances of causing a crash or getting severely hurt in one. What are some of the most important safety tips for drivers?
Many people have a hard time going for more than a few minutes without responding to text messages or reading emails. Dependence on mobile devices doesn’t just affect your social skills. It also affects your safety and is a leading cause of preventable collisions.
Don’t drive with diminished skill
You know that you shouldn’t drink and drive and also that you shouldn’t drive while under the influence of prescription drugs or prohibited substances. Did you know that extreme fatigue affects the body much like alcohol does? You should avoid getting behind the wheel when you haven’t had enough sleep just like you avoid driving after several beers with your friends.
Give big trucks proper space
One of the quickest ways to increase your chance of getting hurt on the road is to drive too closely to large commercial trucks. Whether you merge directly in front of them, leading to a rear-end collision, or you driving their blind zones so they merge into you, you can cause a major wreck by getting too close. Failing to give big trucks enough space is one of the top ways that people in smaller vehicles contribute to commercial trucking crashes.
Respect the speed limit
Although it may seem like every single driver on the road breaks the speed limit, that doesn’t make it safe to do so. The faster you travel, the longer it takes to come to a complete stop in an emergency and the greater the risk of catastrophic injuries and fatalities in the collision that results. Not only should you try to stay close to the speed limit whenever possible, but you should also reduce your speed beyond that when road conditions are dangerous.
Assume the worst from other drivers
If there is one rule that a defensive driving teacher would want you to internalize, it is that other drivers are your biggest source of personal risk on the road. You never know when someone isn’t going to stop at an intersection or will completely fail to check for you before turning into your line of traffic. If you give vehicles extra space and operate under the assumption that they will make unsafe decisions, you will drastically reduce your chances of getting hurt on the road.
Taking steps to minimize your risk of a car crash will keep you and your passengers safer on the road.