Practicing safe driving can help you avoid accidents and stay safe on the road. Whether you’re just starting out behind the wheel or have years of experience, these habits can help you become a safer driver.
- Wear your seatbelt. Air bags are much more effective when you are wearing your seat belt. If you don’t wear one, your body will likely not remain in a position where the airbag can protect you. It can save your life.
- Avoid distractions. Use your cell phone for emergency situations only. Pull over on the side of the road before you make a call. Even hands-free devices can cause you to miss things on the road that cause accidents.
- Use your turn signals. Whether you are changing lanes or are turning, always use your signal. Not only does it make a difference in your safety but it also helps protect others on the road.
- Keep a safe distance. This is one of the easiest, yet most commonly broken rules of defensive driving. When you keep your distance, you will most likely always have an escape route or avoid collisions.
- Reduce your speed in bad weather. A slippery road will not give your tires the grip they need. Reduce your speed by 5-10 mph in wet conditions.
- Keep your car maintained. Regular maintenance and repair can help prevent the possibility of getting stuck or having something in your car break suddenly.
- Take a break. If you are driving over three hours, take regular 15 minute breaks. If you feel sleepy, stop at a rest station and take a nap. 20% of accidents on major roads can be attributed to tiredness.
- Be careful where you pull over. If an emergency arises, pull over in a well-lit area that is far enough away from the road to avoid other drivers.
- Don’t rely solely on a navigation system. Some areas may not have strong enough reception for your GPS to work. Bring an atlas as a back up, in case you get lost in an area with no reception.
- Don’t speed. Try using cruise control to maintain a safe speed. Don’t weave in and out through traffic, as this can cause an accident.