When it comes to operating a vehicle, even the most experienced driver in the world is not 100% safe from making severe mistakes. This is why safety should always come first each time you find yourself at the wheel of your car. In this day and age, it’s easier than ever to become distracted by other things, such as cell phones, media players, GPS units, etc. Outside variables will also never become any less unpredictable. It’s entirely up to you to exercise these four crucial driving safety tips at all times.
1. Remove As Many Distractions as Possible
Removing as many distractions as possible while driving is highly regarded as one of the most important and crucial driving safety tips. Even just a minor distraction at the wrong second can lead to devastating and fatal consequences.
This is why it’s imperative to avoid multi-tasking, using your cell phone in any way, using a GPS unit, or doing anything else that might compromise your attention – even for a second. If an emergency arises, pull your vehicle over in a safe location and tend to your cell phone, GPS unit, or other item that requires your attention at that moment.
2. Always Practice Defensive Driving
Another key to staying as safe as possible on the road is driving as defensively as possible. Essentially, you should always be ready for the “unexpected” at any moment. It’s impossible to know when something entirely out of your control is going to happen while on the road, so it’s a good idea to always assume things will take a turn for the worst at any given moment.
A great example of defensive driving is staying at least 4 car lengths back from the vehicle ahead of you. You should consider staying even further back than this if the weather is less than desirable. In the most basic sense, just keep in mind that you can never assume or know what other drivers will do. However, you can control how prepared you are while on the road.
3. Avoid Driving After Alcohol/Drug Consumption
This tip is rather common, but sadly, not many people know the sheer importance of it. Drinking alcohol or taking drugs in any amount before driving a vehicle is never, under any circumstances, a good idea. Even if you “feel fine,” your judgment and decision-making skills might be skewed to a point where you believe you can drive responsibly, but in reality, you’re in no shape to be behind the wheel. This is why driving after drinking or taking drugs is incredibly dangerous.
If you must go somewhere while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, consider asking a friend to help you or calling a cab service. Another great way to prevent driving under the influence is giving your car keys to someone you trust before consuming alcohol or drugs.
4. Opt for Breaks on Long Trips
If you plan to be on the road for at least a few hours, plan for rest stops. If you aren’t sleepy even by the time you pull over, it will still give you a chance to get out, move your legs around, and grab a bite to eat. Just doing these few things can ward off sleepiness and help you prepare for another few hours on the road. If you notice you’re feeling any sleepiness whatsoever during your trip, consider letting another person in the vehicle drive. If you’re alone, find a well-lit, populated area to pull over and take a quick nap.
In the event that you can’t take a quick break, be sure to crack the windows, turn the radio on, and avoid using your cruise control. Even just manually monitoring your vehicle’s speed without cruise control can be enough to prevent you from falling asleep.