Wondering How to Be a Safe Driver? Follow This Guide
Vehicle designs have changed enormously over the last decade, thanks to devices that encourage "connectivity" while on the road. Unfortunately, connectivity has sometimes come at the price of driver attention, creating an environment on the road where people are paying more attention to their devices than the road ahead of them. In order to increase driver focus and safety, these 7 crucial steps can sometimes spare you accidents or even save lives.
7 Big Rules for Safe Driving
- Keep a clean vehicle
- Avoid texting and driving
- Plan out longer trips
- Be aware of your speed
- Stay Focused
- Avoid emotional driving
- Ask a Passenger
Now let's dive into the list and see how each of these plays a part in keeping you and fellow drivers safe while you're behind the wheel.
Clutter in a vehicle can sometimes contribute to dangerous driving situations. Take for example a driver's floor area that's cluttered with paper and other debris. These harmless little objects, often viewed as just trash, can sometimes creep under a brake pedal or accelerator and even cause an accident in the most unfortunate of circumstances. Before heading out for a drive or to get your daily chores done, make sure that your driver's side floorboard is clean. Having an organized vehicle can really make things a little safer out there on the road.
Distracted driving has become a big problem in recent years, with people paying a lot of attention to their middle touchscreen dash and not as much attention on the road. And while the middle dash has reduced the need to text and drive, some folks still avoid their voice commands and hammer out a message by hand. Don't! There are literally drivers and passengers who have died because someone couldn't wait until they got home to send a text. There's never a good excuse to text and drive and in most places now it's illegal to do so.
If you're going to be driving more than a few miles at a time, planning out your trip is a good idea. Print out a map, look at your route, become familiar with it, and be ready to take those curves and turns you see on that route. While a GPS can help you get there more quickly, sometimes people forget how important visuals are in driving. Looking at your route directly can help you plan for the twists and turns ahead.
Excessive speed can sometimes contribute to accidents. To be a safer driver, make sure that you are frequently checking your speed. If you feel things get a little too fast, don't be afraid to slow down! Sometimes other drivers on the road can rush us. They want to go faster. Never go faster than you're comfortable, and don't let other drivers bully you into going speeds you're not comfortable with.
This step hearkens back to "don't text and drive," but there's plenty of other things to distract you on the road: Loud music in the car, conversations with passengers, and even losing your way on a trip can all contribute to poor focus out there on the road. Another big factor in focus-related accidents is lack of sleep. Don't drive drowsy either. If you feel unfocused on the road, it might be time to head home and reschedule a trip.
Some accidents are caused because people drive shortly after they've had a fight with someone or when something very emotional is happening to them (perhaps an illness in the family or the death of a family pet). If you feel very emotional - whether it's anger, sadness, or just plain boredom - it might be time to delay a trip. Delaying the trip and driving when you're more emotionally stable can help to stop accidents and keep more focused, level-headed drivers out there on the road.
If you're lucky enough to have a passenger or many passengers with you, it's often beneficial to make one of the passengers your helper out there on the road. They can keep an eye out for drivers who might be putting others in danger on the road, help you with directions when you lose your way, and keep you focused on the road when it looks like you might be drifting away from your focus. Passengers should never be a distraction but in some instances, they can be very helpful to you during a journey out on the road.
Driving Safe Is A Responsibility
All of these tips aren't just ways to make your life more convenient. A good many of these tips are legal guidelines for operating a motor vehicle on the road. You're never supposed to text and drive or drive while drowsy. Those two suggestions aren't suggestions: They're the law. There are some other tips, though, that people view as optional. In fact, each and every one of these tips are guidelines of your responsibilities to yourself, your passengers, and other drivers out there on the road to drive safely.