In the US, Americans average 11 billion miles of driving distance every single day. Unfortunately, sometimes on the way to work, school, home, or vacation, people end up getting into vehicle accidents on the road.
In fact, every year, about three million people are injured in car accidents, and more than 38,000 people lose their lives in accidents on the roadways.
While you can’t control how other people drive, you can practice safe driving yourself.
What can you do to practice safer driving? Let’s take a look at eight driving habits you’ll want to adopt right away if you haven’t already.
Probably the most important rule on our list of safe driving habits is that you should pay attention at all times.
It is important to always be respectful of the fact that when you are driving, you are operating heavy machinery. Staying alert is your best defense against accidents when you are on the road.
Obey All Speed Limits
The most common cause of traffic deaths in the US is speeding. When you drive at higher speeds, your stopping distance is greatly reduced, and it is much harder to steer your car.
Speeding also isn’t worth it because of the likelihood that you will get pulled over for speeding. Not only can this result in a costly ticket, but the stop will likely take long enough that you will be even later than you would have if you had just followed the speed limit in the first place.
Never Drive When You’re Tired, Drunk, or on Drugs
There are so many reasons why you should not drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol that it would be hard to listen on here. Namely, however, you are putting yourself and everyone else on the road at risk when you drive while intoxicated.
On top of that, it is a felony to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Being arrested for driving while intoxicated can seriously impact your life in countless negative ways.
You can also avoid accidents by not driving when you are tired. Some studies have found that you are equally impaired by being awake for a full 24 hours than you would be with a BAC past the legal limit.
When you are on the road, you can’t control what other drivers do. You can only be responsible for your own actions while driving. Therefore, you should always make sure that you are doing everything you can to keep yourself safe and keep others safe as well.
The way you can do that is to behave predictably. When you drive, it is important that you maintain a steady speed. You also always want to use your signal when you’re making a lane change.
Your best defense against other drivers is to act in a way that is predictable to them. If you don’t, then you might be putting them in the position of having to make quick decisions. These snap judgments could end up causing an accident, even if you weren’t technically doing anything wrong.
Wear Your Seatbelt
It has been estimated that about 15,000 lives are saved every year due to seatbelts. In 2017, nearly half of the people who died in fatal vehicle accidents wore a seatbelt, even though only 10% of the population typically drives without wearing one.
Wearing your seatbelt is an incredibly easy safety measure to take. Hardly inconvenient and known to help prevent serious injury in the case of an accident, it is worth becoming habituated to putting your seatbelt on no matter how short your drive.
Avoid Driving in Inclement Weather
When you check the weather report, you should always be wondering whether or not it is safe to drive. If there is going to be ice, snow, or heavy rain, you should probably delay your trip if that is possible.
Some cars are more equipped to deal with inclement weather than others. However, turning around or waiting until another day is always the safest option.
Follow this link to learn more about avoiding accidents in the rain.
Probably the most common cause of speeding is that people did not leave themselves enough time to get where they’re going. No one likes to be late for appointments. You might find yourself in the position of driving faster than the speed limit so that you can show up on time.
When you do this, you put yourself and everyone else in danger. Leaving early leaves room for unexpected traffic or parking issues. It also makes driving much more enjoyable because you aren’t nearly as stressed.
Leave Two Car Lengths Between Yourself and the Next Vehicle
Whether you are driving or stopped at a stoplight, you should always leave roughly 2 car lengths between your car and the car in front of you. This way, if they do something unpredictable like slamming on their brakes, you have enough space and time to react.
Safe Driving: It’s Worth It
Car accidents can range from frustrating and inconvenient fender benders to devastating and life-altering accidents. Cars are massive pieces of machinery that can do serious and even fatal damage when something goes awry.
Practicing safe driving habits can help protect you and everyone else on the road. When you drive safely, you are helping to ensure that you and all your fellow drivers will make it to their destination safely and without incident.
Did you find this article on safe driving interesting? If so, be sure to check out the rest of our blog for the more fascinating and informative content!