Most of us probably think that we are competent drivers but statistics show that over 90% of crashes are caused by driver errors. If you’re keen to steer clear of trouble, here are some simple steps you can take to become a safer driver.
Pay attention to speed restrictions
Driving too fast is one of the most common causes of road accidents. If you drive at high speeds, the risk of losing control is higher, and your injuries are likely to be more severe. Always pay attention to restrictions and signs, and adjust your speed if conditions are dangerous, for example, if it’s raining heavily and the surface is slippery. Be mindful of other drivers and road users. It’s crucial to understand the impact and potential implications of driving too fast. If you get pulled over or cause an accident as a result of exceeding the speed limit, you could face legal charges.
Never drink and drive
Statistics from the CDC suggest that in the US, 29 lives are lost every day as a direct result of drink driving. When you drink alcohol, it affects your reaction times, your coordination and your judgement. You might take risks that you would never even consider if you were sober, and you may not be able to hit the brakes or steer out of trouble if a hazard appears unexpectedly. Drinking and driving can increase your risk of serious injuries and death but it can also put others at risk. If you crash your car and hit another driver or a pedestrian while under the influence, you will need to hire a DUI attorney. If you are going out, or you’re visiting friends and you fancy a beer or a few glasses of wine, stay over, arrange a lift home, book a cab or use public transport. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. You might feel fine but the effects of alcohol can make driving extremely dangerous.
Take a break if you feel tired
Many of us experience tiredness. We struggle to get enough sleep and we have hectic schedules that make us feel like we’re swimming against the tide. If you feel tired before you set off on a long journey, or you start to feel drowsy behind the wheel, take a break. Postpone your trip or pull over in a safe place to get some air, stretch your legs and have a coffee. Driving tired can impair your reactions and you could even fall asleep at the wheel putting yourself and other people around you in danger.
Focus on the road
Most of us are used to multi-tasking but when you’re driving, it’s critical to focus solely on the road ahead and the vehicles around you. Resist the temptation to send text messages or read emails. If you need to make a call or send a message, use voice controls or find a safe spot to pull up. The landscape can change in an instant when you’re driving. If you’re looking at your phone, you might not be able to react fast enough if a dog runs into the road, a child tries to cross on their bike or the car in front slams the brakes on.
Every driver has a responsibility to look after themselves and other road users. Next time you get behind the wheel, make sure you follow these steps to steer clear of danger.