If you own a vehicle, you need to make sure that you’re driving safely. After all, vehicles can be dangerous. A single mistake could lead to a major accident. That accident may result in the loss of life. At the very least, there is a risk that you’re going to get a hefty ticket. Both are problems that you want to avoid.
Despite all the things that can go wrong, you don't have to be a nervous driver. Being a safe driver is key, regardless of what vehicle you're driving. Make sure you have insurance, and if you own a motorcycle you should hire a motorcycle accident attorney to deal with unexpected events. Learning the rules of the road and being prepared will also help. Below, you’ll find many ways to drive safely so you can feel comfortable and confident on the road.
1. Slow Down
This is one of the easiest ways to drive safely. Driving too fast is problematic for many reasons. When you’re driving faster, your reaction time is going to be decreased. You’ll have less time to react to problems in front of you. After all, you’re traveling at a much faster speed. This is why you need to slow down and follow the speed limit. It is there for a reason. Obeying it will limit your risk of getting a ticket and being involved in an accident.
2. Follow The Rules
Besides the speed limit, you should know that there are many other rules of the road. It is incredibly important to follow all of them. For instance, you cannot run stop signs or red lights. You also need to obey the right of way laws and know how to merge. If you follow the rules, you’re going to be much safer.
While you work to follow the rules, it is also important to be aware of the fact that not everyone else on the road will be doing the same. You are much less likely to get into an accident, and you won’t get tickets.
3. Use The Seat Belt
This is Car Safety 101. You never know what is going to happen out there. Even if you drive safely, there is a risk that you’re going to find someone who doesn’t. They might cause an accident and there is nothing you can do about it. This is why you need to wear your seat belt. It’ll provide you with additional protection and it could potentially save your life in the event of an accident. You should never drive a vehicle or ride as a passenger without using your seat belt.
4. Use The Headlights
You need to make sure that others can see your vehicle. This is why you should always turn on the headlights when it's dark, raining, or foggy. However, you may want to leave them on throughout the day too, in certain cases. This will increase the likelihood that people can see your vehicle. Some automobiles have headlights that remain on all the time.
Luckily, nowadays most cars have a setting that turns your headlights on automatically when you need them most. Always take note of when your headlights turn on automatically. And remember, you're the boss! If you feel you need your headlights on in a particular moment but your car hasn't turned them on, do so yourself.
5. Drive Sober
While you’re at it, you need to make sure that you are sober when driving. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is getting behind the wheel when you’re drunk or high. This is going to result in major problems. If you’re pulled over, you’re going to go to jail. If you hit and kill someone, you’re going to be a prison, and you might remain there for the rest of your life. Suffice to say, you should never get behind the wheel after a few drinks. It isn’t worth it. Call a friend and let them drive you or take a Lyft.
6. Take A Class
If you’re serious about being a safer driver, you’ll want to enroll in a driving class. This is a great way to learn the rules of the road. You’ll also learn how to avoid accidents. No, you won't have to sit in a room with a bunch of teenagers taking driver's ed for the first time. There are plenty of opportunities for adults, too!
You can use defensive driving courses to negate the repercussions of speeding tickets. If you want to truly invest in ways to drive safely, you should get involved in one of these classes.
Finally, you need to make sure that you avoid distractions. When you’re in your vehicle, there is a good chance that you’re going to be tinkering around with your radio or smartphone. This is a big mistake. You need to focus on the road at all times. Otherwise, you’re going to miss something, and that could result in a crash. Remove distractions before getting behind the wheel and hitting the road.
8. Sleep More
When it comes down to it, driving tired can be nearly as dangerous as driving drunk. If you haven’t slept enough, there is a chance that you’re going to be drowsy. At best, your reactions will be slower and you'll be easily distracted. At worst, you might find yourself nodding off at the wheel, and that can be a big problem.
With this in mind, you’ll want to make sure that you get more sleep at night. This can make a big difference. When you’re full of energy, you’ll be able to focus on the road and this will increase the likelihood that you make it to your destination without any hiccups.
9. Take Breaks
Who doesn't love a good road trip? If you are driving a long distance, schedule stops so you can take breaks from time to time. After all, you’re going to get tired on the road and this is going to cause problems. Stop at the rest area and take a nap. Then, you can hit the road feeling refreshed and ready to go.
Why does this matter?
The Association for Safe International Road Travel reports that 1.25 million people die every year from road crashes. Safe driving is incredibly important, and following these tips could actually save your life or someone else's.