Whether you’re male or female, a teen or a senior, there are some driving practices that are just unsafe for everyone. Being a good driver depends on recognizing dangerous driving habits and avoiding them. Here are six strategies to help make the roads safer for everyone.
Perform Routine Safety Checks
Regular oil changes and tire rotations aren’t enough to ensure your car is road-ready. Every so often, it’s vital that you perform basic safety checks before heading out on the highway. Check your brake lights, turn signals, and headlights. Keep a tire pressure gauge handy, and check to be sure your tires are properly inflated every few weeks. You might think tire pressure isn’t a big deal, but some studies indicate that improperly inflated tires are a leading cause of wrecks.
Steer Clear of Aggressive Driving
You don’t have to be weaving in and out of traffic, driving 100 mph, and screaming out your window to be driving aggressively. Aggressive driving practices also include tailgating, rolling through stop signs, making risky lane changes, and speeding up to beat yellow lights. In fact, speeding is considered aggressive driving, and according to Drivers Ed, more than half of all drivers consider speeding to be normal. Instead, allow yourself sufficient time to reach your destination, and stay calm during your commute.
Be Aware of Tech Limitations
You may drive a newer car that’s equipped with really cool technology like backup cameras and lane shift sensors that tell you if anything is in your way. One mistake people make is relying on these technologies more than they rely on their own sight. In fact, some statistics indicate that 80 percent of drivers are unaware that their blind-spot monitoring systems have limitations, and can miss pedestrians and bicycles.
These technologies are only meant to assist you, not take the place of turning and looking for yourself. Your eyes are the best backup camera and lane sensor you have, so be sure to use them first.
There’s only one task that you should perform in a car, and that’s driving. It’s a myth that some people are “better at multitasking” than others. If you’re texting, changing the song on the radio, putting on makeup, swatting at kids in the backseat, eating a cheeseburger, or even fiddling with your GPS, you are distracted. As the CDC explains, you are distracted if you take your eyes off the road, take your hand off the wheel, or take your mind off driving.
As far as smartphones go, we’re all familiar with the temptation to text while driving (even though we know it’s a bad idea). To help you use your phone for directions while avoiding the impulse to text, try using a phone stand to keep your phone secure.
Consider Your Coverage
Insurance is meant to be financial protection for repairing or replacing your car, and on top of that, it can cover you for liabilities in the event you damage other people’s property or injure another person. However, not only can reckless driving put you, your loved ones, and other people in harm’s way, but it can also affect how much you pay in monthly premiums. In fact, besides charging you more for car insurance, your insurance company could cancel your coverage if they feel you’re too much of a risk.
Auto accidents remain one of the leading causes of death, despite numerous safety improvements over the years. This underscores why road safety is up to each individual driver to do all they can to practice proper driving safety. Remember to do your part to stay safe on the road and behind the wheel.
If you’re driving stressed, you’re putting yourself and others on the road at risk. You can limit stress by recognizing stress triggers, starting a fitness routine, and eating healthy. Another way to reduce anxiety is to create a healthier home. Decluttering, organizing, and introducing some indoor plants to boost your mood.