The introduction of the first automobile on January 29, 1889, was a significant turning point in transportation and the world, in general. With vehicles came safety and comfort. Travel time was reduced drastically from the days of horse-drawn buggies, and soon people could reach their destinations quickly. While the invention of cars remains one of man’s greatest achievements, one cannot overlook its use’s downsides.
According to Drivers Knowledge statistics, more than 90 people die in car accidents every day in the United States. Simultaneously, statistics from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System indicated that 33,654 fatal motor accidents in 2018 resulted in 36,560 deaths. These stats prove that car accidents are responsible for a huge percentage of deaths in the United States and many parts of the world.
While automobile accidents are quite rampant and life-threatening, we must play our part by ensuring that we drive safely at all times. Below are 10 safe driving tips that can keep you safe on the wheels.
- Don’t drive under the influence.
Drunk driving is one of the leading causes of car accidents. Based on statistics, it is responsible for an average of 29 deaths daily. You see, having too much alcohol or drug in your system can mess with your senses. It can make you feel dizzy and unsteady on the wheel. Remember, to drive; you need all your senses working at an optimal level. And excessive alcohol, as we know, has the potential to override our senses and make us look numb. How do you control a machine as huge as a car in such a state? If you attended a party or a gathering ( with your automobile) and had too much to drink, the best thing to do is leave your car and take a cab home or ask a sober companion to drive you home.
- Don’t go above the speed limit.
Sometimes when moving on a free highway, we often feel the urge to step on the gas and perform one of those stunts from the Fast And Furious Movie. Of course, the stunts look good and exciting but what you don’t know is that some of those stunts aren’t real, while expert racers perform the few that are real under keen supervision .Just like drunk driving, over speeding is one of the major causes of accidents, not only in the U.S but in the whole world. For instance, when you over speed, you’ll have little time to react to those semi-trucks that appeared from nowhere or that blockage stationed by the road. When over speeding, you are likely to lose control, and the outcome could be tragic for you and other passengers.
- Always use your seat belt.
According to statistics from Driver Knowledge, seatbelts reduce the risk of death by 45%. Driver Knowledge Statistics also indicate that people not wearing a seatbelt are 30 times more likely to be flung out from a vehicle during a car crash. While wearing a seatbelt might seem old-school or inconvenient to you, have it in mind that that little strap you pay less attention to have saved several lives. And who knows, it might end up saving yours. So, always remember to wear your seatbelt to stay safe.
- Be very careful when driving under bad weather.
During winter, fogs are often prevalent. They obscure your vision and make it very difficult for you to see. If you aren’t careful, you may end up running into a motorcycle or a car at high speed. Unlike rain, fogs tend to last longer. So, the best way to drive safely during this condition is by limiting your speed. Don’t drive too fast, and ensure you are always careful when navigating a curve. If the fog becomes too thick while still on the road, find a safe spot to stay until it vanishes.
- Be a defensive driver.
One who drives based on impulse is very likely to get involved in an accident than a defensive driver. A defensive diver is never in a rush to overtake. A defensive driver is extremely meticulous and calm even in dense traffic. A defensive driver doesn’t change lanes suddenly. If you want to prevent accidents, yield to other aggressive drivers even if you have the right of way. Patience is vital when driving.
- Maintain your vehicle.
Your vehicle needs to be in optimum shape before it hits the road. Several car accidents are attributed to faulty vehicle components like brakes, tires, seatbelts, ignition, etc. Ensure that all parts of your vehicle are in good condition. Check for wear and tear in your tires as damage to them while on top speed could be catastrophic. Also, make sure you take your vehicle to the garage for regular checkups and maintenance. If you own a motorcycle, check the tires and the brakes to ensure that they are working fine before you hit the road.
- Don’t be distracted.
According to statistics from Driver Knowledge, each day, over nine people are killed due to distracted driving, and more than 1060 individuals are injured in accidents that involved a distracted driver.
Many things could distract you when driving–a call from your wife, a text message, a friend waving at you, an eye-catching object beside the road, etc. All these distractions, including others I failed to mention, can make you lose concentration. And when you lose concentration on the wheel, you know what happens. So, when driving, focus only on the road and nothing else. If you want to answer an urgent call, park your car somewhere safe.
- Don’t drive when sleepy.
Sleep is good, depending on where you decide to sleep. If you chose to sleep on your bed, there is no problem; you’ll definitely have sweet dreams and wake up the next morning feeling good. If you sleep on your couch, you may feel a few pains here and there, depending on how you slept and the nature of your couch.
However, if you sleep when driving, you may never wake up. So, don’t ever drive when sleepy as you might end up closing those tired eyes and running your car off the bridge, into a ditch, or a huge tree.
- Keep a good distance between your car and the car ahead.
This has saved several people’s lives. When driving, don’t follow the vehicle ahead bumper to bumper. Imagine you mistakenly hit the gas, or the driver in front falls asleep and mistakenly hits the break. You don’t want to imagine what would happen in such scenarios. So, always give a little room for the car in front, as doing so can save your life.
- Don’t lose your guard.
One of the attributes of a good driver is being able to predict what will happen while driving. This is where your senses come into play. While you pay attention to the road, also pay attention to the cars around you. Most accidents occur when the driver is caught off guard.