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Wednesday, September 27, 2023

13 Road Safety Tips Every Driver Should Know

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A Cook, Software analyst & Blogger.

If you have your license, then you need to know how to stay safe on the road. Check out these 13 must-know road safety tips.

In 2022, more than 45,000 people lost their lives to an auto accident, which could have been avoided.

Human error and distractions can turn a normal day into a nightmare, even if you’re practicing safe driving. Although you can’t predict when or where an accident will occur, there are a few strategies that will decrease your risks.

Read below to learn about the best road safety tips so you’re prepared for every scenario!

Connect Your Device #1

Most vehicles can connect your device to the speakers in the car through a cord or Bluetooth.

Connecting your phone to the car will still allow you to use it and skip songs but with the buttons on your steering wheel. Buttons are designed in cars to keep drivers safe, and their convenient locations make it so that you don’t have to look down at a device.

Aside from listening to music, there are other reasons you want to connect. Answering phone calls becomes much simpler and you won’t have to dig for your phone while you’re driving. Another reason to connect is to get clear directions that can be heard.

Follow the Two-Second Rule #2

When many people learn how to drive, they learn about the two-second rule.

The two-second rule means that you should leave two seconds between the front of your car and the back of the vehicle in front of you. You can measure this by looking for a landmark or sign on the road, letting the driver pass, and at least two seconds should pass before you reach it.

This rule might seem awkward at first, but the more you practice it, the easier it’ll be to notice when you’re getting too close. This extra cushion can protect you if an accident occurs or traffic comes to a stop.

If it’s raining or snowing outside, you should practice the four-second rule. Doubling your time for reaction can keep you and your passengers protected.

Get Comfortable #3

Whether you’re going on a long road trip or just down the street, you need to be comfortable in the driver’s seat.

Adjusting the chair, wheel height, and mirrors can help you reduce blind-zone areas and stay safe on the roads. If you can’t properly reach your floor peddles, your reaction times might increase and put you at risk for more accidents. Sitting too close to the wheel and peddles can also become a problem in accidents with heavy impact.

You must be comfortable while driving, but keep in mind that you need to maintain proper driving etiquette. Slouching might feel good on your back, but it can alter your view in the mirrors.

Avoid Multitasking #4

In 2021 alone, more than 3,500 people died in an accident that involved distracted drivers.

Multitasking might seem unavoidable at times when the kids are in a back seat, but you should pull off the road. It only takes a second for the conditions on the road to change, and you don’t want to be caught with your head down or turned away.

Connecting your phone to a vehicle is a great way to avoid multitasking. Whether you need to pull up directions or answer a call, you can do it safely through a Bluetooth connection.

If you have a habit of eating or finishing your makeup on the road, you should leave a few minutes early. You can start the day a little early and arrive at your destination and have enough time to finish what you need to.

Pulling off the road and into a parking lot will put you in a safer position to focus on other tasks.

Stay off the Road if You’re Sleepy #5

Driving while tired can be just as dangerous and bad as driving under the influence.

When people are tired, their reaction times are delayed. Blurred vision and fatigue can put you and other people on the road at risk. Instead of driving while tired, you should pull to a safe location and rest your eyes until you have enough energy.

Certain parking lots, police stations, and rest stops are ideal for taking a quick nap. Try to look for a spot that is protected, has cameras, and isn’t going to impact other people in the community.

In unavoidable cases, you can roll down the windows, listen to music, and have water to keep you awake.

Secure Baggage #6

Summer is here and many people are starting to take exciting vacations with their families.

One of the most overlooked things, while people prepare for vacation, is vehicle storage. When you attach items to the outside of your car, you need to ensure they won’t move or obstruct your view while driving. Straps and tarps are great for holding everything together, but even these items can get in the way if they aren’t properly secured.

Once the outside of the vehicle is safe, you may want to check the interior. Loose baggage and items can become a danger if you hit a bump or get into an accident. Make sure that all large and heavy bags inside the vehicle are also held down or separated from passengers.

As you pack, set aside certain items that you’ll need while traveling. Distractions for children, snacks, and beverages should be in a convenient location so no one has to shift the bags during the trip. If you’re hitting toll roads, make sure you have cash or a readily available card.

Ensure All Passengers Are Buckled #7

There’s only so much you can do to avoid accidents, which is why seatbelts are so important.

Before you drive anywhere, make sure everyone in the vehicle is secure and that their seatbelt is properly on. Misusing or neglecting to use seatbelts could result in serious injuries and in some cases, death.

Accidents are unpredictable, they happen on all types of roads and even in parking lots and neighborhoods. Even if you aren’t going fast, the momentum of the car, when hit, could impact passengers. Wearing a seatbelt will keep them protected, and prevent them from flying out the windshield.

Most cars have safety features that notify the driver when a seatbelt isn’t locked. Although this is a helpful tool, you should also check the belts, especially with children. Wearing the seatbelt wrong could result in injury and make them less effective.

Keep Your Emotions in Check #8

A 2019 survey showed more than 75% of drivers admitted to expressing anger and signs of road rage.

When anger, anxiety, or sadness become overwhelming, it’s time to pull over. Unhinged emotions can put your life in danger, along with everyone else on the road. Road rage incidents can quickly accelerate and turn into life-threatening situations.

If you notice aggressive drivers on the road, let them pass. Engaging with these drivers will only add fuel to the fire, and you’ll find yourself in the same mood.

When your emotions are regulated, it’s easier to pay attention to your surroundings and not react too abruptly. Tailgating a person after they cut you off might seem like a good idea, but if another driver feels threatened, they may become unpredictable.

Drive Carefully at Dusk & Dawn #9

There are many tips for being a defensive driver in the city, but what happens when you head out to see the country?

During the early and final hours of the day, certain animals are more likely to be seen around the roads. Deer, coyotes, and smaller animals tend to move around during these times to eat and stay warm. Since you can’t predict when you’ll encounter them, drive carefully during these periods.

Dusk and dawn are the most common times for people to hit a deer or skunk. With the summer heat shining down all day, these animals try to take advantage of the cooler air. Watch the sides of the roads while driving and pay attention to things moving in your peripherals.

Pull off the Road #10

You must always do your best to stay off the roads when you are getting out of your vehicle.

If you need to pull over for the cops or to update your navigation, get off the road. Sitting on the shoulders of the road can put everyone at risk. Many accidents on the freeway occur because someone is pulled to the side, but not far enough away from moving traffic.

If you have the option, safely pull into the next parking lot or street. You can also merge off the highway if you feel uncomfortable. Never show signs of evasion, use your turning signals, or turn your hazard lights on.

If you have nowhere to pull over to or your vehicle can’t move, stay in the car. In serious situations, when you need to flee the vehicle, look for a hill or somewhere safe you can run to.

Pay Attention to Your Surroundings #11

No matter how many times you take the same route to home or work, you need to pay attention.

Many people go into autopilot mode where they go through the motions of driving but aren’t fully paying attention. Assuming you’ll see the same things you always do could result in autopilot or make you unprepared.

Construction, accidents, and damaged roads can appear at any time and the signs will help. Most states use electronic boards on major roads to notify drivers of any delays or obstacles.

You also need to follow the speed limit signs, which can change throughout the same area. Although it’s summer, you need to watch for school buses and stop when they have their sign-out.

Check the Traffic #12

Many people don’t watch the local news, but you still want to check the traffic as a driver.

Road closures, accidents, and construction could cause delays and accidents if drivers aren’t aware of them. Knowing which spots have these obstacles can help you prepare yourself on the road so you aren’t surprised by a sudden halt.

If you’re in the Glendale area of Arizona, you can learn more about common traffic. Pay attention to the traffic trends and you’ll find yourself slowing down instead of slamming on the breaks.

There are plenty of mobile traffic apps that can alert you when accidents and construction appear. Make sure you check these before putting your car in drive. If you missed your chance, you can also turn on the local radio stations for an update.

Look for Motorcycles #13

One of the best accident prevention tips is to be aware of surrounding motorcycles.

People on bikes don’t want to get caught up in traffic, so if you can, let them pass. You should never get too close to a bike, leaving plenty of room to stop since they are vulnerable.

It isn’t your responsibility to keep motorists safe, but you need to know how to react around them. Always be respectful of the people driving near your vehicle, no matter what they are in.

Spring and summer are the most popular times for people to go for a ride. Be aware that more are on the roads.

Encourage & Practice Road Safety

When it comes to road safety, you can never be too prepared.

Understanding why accidents occur and what could result in them will protect you and your family. With secure belongings and passengers, there should be minimal obstruction of view. Make sure you limit distractions and connect to your vehicle when you need to control your phone.

If you ever feel tired or can’t handle your emotions, pull off the road and find a safe place. Be sure to check out our blog for more content about being a safe driver and safely exploring!

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