While it may be impossible to avoid a car accident at some point in your life, you can significantly reduce the chances by following some simple safety tips. The road can be a dangerous place, and you don’t know how trustworthy the other people on the road are. You need to be responsible for yourself and be sure that you are doing everything possible to be a safe driver. While you may not be able to stop the accident from happening, you can at least make it likely that it won’t be your fault. The following tips are simple to follow, but can ultimately save you from either damaging your car, someone else’s or even hurting someone.
- Put Your Phone Away – A lot of new cars these days are finding ways for you to interact with your phone without it having to be in your hand. While this is a good start, it would be even better if you didn’t use your phone at all. Driving requires all of your attention, so you shouldn’t split it by using your mobile device. Try to avoid using your phone at all, but if you have to use it, try and get a hands free device so that you can at least keep both hands on the wheel.
- No Texting – To go along with our first tip, texting is just as bad as talking on the phone. You need to keep both hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road. If you are sending a text message, it is impossible to do both of these things. Whatever you are texting can likely wait, and it isn’t worth the risk to your life and to the other people on the road.
- Reduce Distractions – Cell phones are certainly a large distraction for a lot of people in their cars, but it is not the only one. Some other things to avoid are eating, drinking, putting on makeup, playing with an MP3 player, punching in an address to a GPS, or trying to entertain a kid in the backseat. All of these things have the potential to distract you from what is going on in front of you. Even if you just take your eyes of the road for a second or two, it can have big consequences.
- Turn On Your Lights – Turning on your headlights, even if it is still light out, can be beneficial. While you probably don’t need them in the middle of the day, if the sun is starting to go down, if it’s especially cloudy or foggy, or if it is raining, then turning on your headlights is a good idea. Even if it doesn’t help you see the road any better, it will make it easier for other cars to see you.
- Obey The Speed Limit – The speed limit is in place for a reason. Beyond the benefit of avoiding a ticket for speeding, staying below the speed limit will allow you to be better prepared for things going on around you. If you are speeding through a residential area, you may not have time to hit the brakes if someone runs out in front of your car, or is backing out of their driveway. Speeding likely won’t get you to your destination all that much quicker, so you are better off following the law and getting their safely.
- Practice Defensive Driving – Defensive driving means being aware of what is going on around you and have backup plans in mind for each scenario that could arise. When you are driving, notice the traffic behind you, in front of you, and next to you. Have a possible escape route in mind should you need it. Maintain at least 1 car length between the car in front of you in slower areas, and a larger space in faster areas. This will make sure that you have time to hit the brakes should they slam on theirs.
- Get A Safe Car – Lastly, you want to make sure the car you are driving in is a safe one. Read the reviews on it and see what kind of safety rating it gets. Be sure you are driving something that has air bags in case you get into an accident. Also make sure you take your car in for regular maintenance to ensure that your car continues to run properly and doesn’t stop working at an inopportune time.