When you are driving on the freeways and open roads with the music up and the windows up, it is often easy to forget that you are travelling in quite the speed in a chunk of steel and metal. Although cars come equipped with plenty of advanced safety technologies, amenities, and features, nothing can make the difference between life and death – then to be extra alert and watchful while driving.
A simple distraction can result in you losing control of the vehicle and resulting in a crash. All around the world people die because of crashes and auto accidents. Therefore, it is only wise to practice safe driving and follow your state’s guidelines. Look below at these basic rules for safe driving:
Never Drive When Drunk
According to a study conducted by NHTSA, it was revealed that almost 30% of major automotive accidents in the US are caused by drivers being drunk on alcohol. Most of these deaths could easily have been prevented, if drivers more wary about their actions and simply hadn’t sit in the driver seat while drunk. Alcohol is linked to several impairments that can lead to serious car accidents.
It lowers inhibitions and reduces coordination and reaction time. It also blurs your vision and results in confusion. To avoid driving drunk and saving your own life, consider asking a sober friend for a ride or consider calling a cab. If you are planning to drink at a party or get-together, always make sure you have a designated driver who can get you home safely.
Avoid Speeding at All Costs
The old adage “Speed Kills” still goes true in today’s time, yet majority of people hardly pay any attention to the speed they are travelling at. Yes, it is easy to give into road rage and drive like a maniac. However, if you do not want to end up in a car crash, it is imperative that you be more responsible. Drive safely and at a stable speed.
According to NHTSA, 31% of all fatal crashes were caused by over-speeding in 2008. Almost 11,674 lives were lost because of this very factor. Over-speeding can increase the chances of a crash by almost 50%. Therefore, it is only wise that you take your time and obey posted speed limits. Even on long journeys, try your best to maintain a stable and reasonable speed.
Avoid All Types of Distractions
One of the main causes of accidents in the US resulting in more than 2,600 nationwide deaths per year is using cell phones while driving. In fact, these numbers may still be low, as the usage of cell phones behind the wheel has only increases. People get involved in texting and talking while driving, which most think not a big deal, until they end up in an accident.
However, it isn’t just cell phones, which are responsible for creating distractions. Interacting with passengers, fiddling with electronic devices, applying makeup, and eating while driving are all linked to diverting a drivers’ attention. All of these can result in potentially deadly accidents. The only tip to avoid distractions is to keep your hands on the wheel and eyes on the road!
Don’t Drive Drowsy
According to a study conducted by Virginia Tech, it was revealed that almost 20% of all accidents are caused by drowsiness, which is caused by sleepiness. The results are rather predictable, if a driver is too tired to fall asleep while driving. Even on a straight road, a sleeping driver will eventually bang into another car, roadside, ravines, utility poles, and trees, which can turn this simple mistake into a deadly scenario.
The solution is to get better and more sleep at night. Avoid driving when you feel drowsy because of sleepiness, as it will only make you lazy, distort your vision, or cause confusion. If you feel extremely sleepy, pull up to the side of the road and take some time out to get back to normal.
Always Wear Your Seat Belt
This may sound a bit cliché, but nevertheless SEAT BELTS SAVE LIVES! When worn properly, you can prevent yourself from being injured, regardless of the intensity of the accident. The seat beat keeps your body intact in the event of a collision, preventing you and passengers from being thrown out the windshield. NHTSA revealed that majority of accident fatalities and deaths are a result of passengers and drivers not wearing seat belts. Bear in mind that you always have a chance of surviving, if you are wearing a seat belt at all times when driving.
Be Extremely Careful in Bad Weather
When it comes to driving on icy roads, heavy rain, in a snowstorm, or through fog, it is imperative that you be extra cautious and careful. In extreme weather conditions, it is advised that you always wear your seat belt, maintain extra space between cars ahead, be careful around curves, and drive below the speed limit, if necessary. Consider delegating some duties to other passengers. However, if the weather continues to worsen, do not take the risk of continuing to drive. Instead, find a safe place until the weather clears out.
Don’t Follow Other Cars Too Closely
Whenever driving on the freeway or on open roads, make sure that you are maintaining a safe distance from other vehicles on the road. Don’t drive bumper-to-bumper, as if the driver in front of you makes a sudden stop or turn, it can be extremely difficult for you to slow down or break in time. According to a research conducted by automotive experts, it was revealed that is best to follow the “three-second rule” of driving behind another car.
Keep Your Vehicle Safe
This goes without saying in order to keep you and your family safe while driving, always make sure that your vehicle is maintained properly. Even the simplest of problems like underinflated tires can result in a serious crash. Therefore, make it a habit to inspect your vehicle for any problems before driving. Additionally, try your best to get your car analyzed by a professional mechanic every month. This way, you can get any issue repaired before they lead to an accident.
Therefore, now that you are familiar with the tips mentioned above, driving safe