The ability to drive is a uniquely modern convenience that gives us the power to be more productive and gives us more freedom. Getting behind the wheel of a car and knowing you can go anywhere the road and your gas tank will take you is an unmatched feeling. Driving, in itself is a complicated process, when once mastered, becomes second nature. While we all may consider ourselves good drivers, over time many of us become complacent and pick up bad and even dangerous driving habits. The following driving safety tips are for new and seasoned drivers to stay safe behind the wheel:
- Pay attention! That’s right, advice that is so easy to follow often gets ignored. While driving, things can change in an instant and you’ll need your full attention to meet and handle dangerous situations. Driving is not the time to multi-task so put down that phone and other electronic devices, stop playing with the radio, mind your speed and keep your eyes on the road.
- Be prepared and safe when you drive. Whether a road trip or trip to the store, keep your car prepared for travel. Keep items you might need within grabbing distance but out of your way (think toll fees, garage door opener, etc.) to avoid reaching and taking your eyes off the road. If carrying any bulky items like luggage or boxes, make sure they are securely stowed. Always wear your seatbelt and require that your passengers wear them as well.
- Don’t be too aggressive. While we all need to practice defensive driving to keep ourselves safe, too many times we become offensive drivers. Give your car and others on the road space to change lanes, avoid following too closely to give yourself enough time to safely stop. Not every driver is in a great mood on the road. If you find that other drivers are being aggressive and dangerous (like cutting you off), as hard as it may be, just let it go. Road rage is foolish and dangerous with nothing to be gained.
Whether heading out for the first time or driving for years, we can all use reminders to help us be safe drivers.