Most people do, and yet, accidents still happen. The reason most of us believe ourselves to be safe drivers is because, statistically, most of us don’t get into accidents every day. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean we’re any safer than the average driver, and it doesn’t mean we’re not going to get into a wreck someday. It’s far better to assume that no matter how competent a driver you are, you will eventually be involved in a collision. In order to minimize the negative effects of ending up in a vehicle crash, make a habit of practicing consciously safe driving methods. There are many things you can do to reduce your risk of getting into an accident, so review this list and make sure you’re following this common sense advice.
Follow all laws and posted signs, don’t drive above the speed limit. Never drive aggressively or recklessly. Show courtesy to other drivers, yield the right of way when you’re supposed to, and always keep your focus on the road and on the cars around you, trying to anticipate any problems before they might happen. Make sure your car is properly maintained, has good tire pressure, and has sufficient fuel.
- Avoid distractions
Don’t ever use your smartphone or any other electronic device while driving. Many lives have been lost to drivers who took their eyes away from the road for only a fleeting moment. Don’t fiddle excessively with the radio, or eat messy food, or become too involved in conversations with your passengers while you’re driving.
- Use safety belts at all times
The driver and all passengers must always wear their seat belts at all times while the car is in motion, no exceptions. If you’re transporting children, make sure they have car seats if they need them due to their age or size, and always make sure to properly install car seats in the correct manner.
- Adjust to the weather conditions
When it’s raining or snowing, or if the road is wet or icy for any reason, slow down and leave extra room in front of you for braking. If you go into a skid, you’re better off steering into it and then straightening your car out, rather than pulling the wheel in the opposite direction. Always use your headlights when it’s raining or foggy.
- Secure loose objects
Loose objects in the cabin can go flying and hurt you and your passengers when a vehicle collision or a sudden stop occurs. Make sure any hazardous or heavy objects are put away in the trunk or at least on the floor.
It can be overwhelming to think of all the many ways car accidents can happen, and that’s why many of us prefer not to think about it when we’re on the road. However, being mindful of the risks we’re taking when we drive is an important part of preventing them, so keep these pointers in mind the next time you get behind the wheel.