In recent years, the number of auto accidents and fatalities caused by distracted drivers has increased significantly, from 15,000 crashes in 2009 to over 20,000 in 2013 alone (according to the National Safety Council). Fortunately, there are many ways you can reduce the risk that you’ll become part of this statistic.
By following these seven tips for drivers to drive smart, you can take steps toward keeping yourself, your family members, and others safe on the road.
Don’t drive while sleepy
Don’t get behind the wheel if you are feeling sleepy. No matter how many hours you have slept, if your eyes feel heavy or your head nods, it is time to take a break.
Never drink and drive. Even one drink can impair your judgment, reflexes, and coordination. If you must drink, designate a sober driver ahead of time or call a taxi or bus service. Beware of using over-the-counter medications: Many over-the-counter drugs contain caffeine that can cause drowsiness and irritability. If you are taking prescription medications, check with your doctor about potential side effects before driving. Slow down on freeways: Driving at high speeds on freeways creates more opportunities for an accident because there is less room for error in tight turns or when entering traffic from off ramps.
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It may be tempting to speed when you’re trying to get somewhere on time, but it’s not worth the risk. When you drive over the speed limit, your chance of getting into an accident goes up significantly. In fact, someone who drives 20 miles per hour over the posted speed limit will have a four times greater chance of being in an accident and will go through their gas twice as fast as if they were driving at or below the posted speed limit.
Protect your vehicle against theft
The best way to protect your vehicle against theft is by following these tips: park in well-lit areas, avoid high-crime neighborhoods, park near other cars, and lock the doors.
Always use your seatbelt
Reasons for Taking Driving Lessons safely is a priority in your life and it should be in your car as well. One of the most important things you can do to help you stay safe on the road is always wearing your seat belt. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that seat belts saved more than 220,000 lives since 1975. The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) also recommends putting on a seatbelt any time you get into a vehicle, not just when driving.
Don’t drink and drive
Don’t drink and drive. That’s it. Don’t do it. If you’re going out, have a plan in place with friends who will be your designated driver. And know that the law is on your side, too. The law says that any blood alcohol content (BAC) over .08% makes you legally drunk and subject to fines and other penalties if you are found driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Avoid distracted driving
Distracted driving is not only dangerous but also illegal in many states. It is important that drivers avoid distracted driving and instead focus on the task at hand: driving.
Drivers should avoid using their cell phones while driving, both hands-free and hand-held, as well as texting while behind the wheel.
Drivers should also avoid eating or drinking while they are behind the wheel, even if it’s just a quick sip of coffee or water.
Keep your car maintained
It’s important that drivers keep their cars maintained so they can avoid expensive repairs, but it’s also important to tips for Drivers to Drive Smart. Here are some tips
Avoid drowsy driving
Drowsy driving is the leading cause of car crashes in the U.S., and it can be avoided. Here are some tips on how to drive smart:
– If you feel sleepy, take a break from driving.
– Don’t drink alcohol before or during your trip.
– Get plenty of sleep the night before and after your drive.
– Schedule a nap as soon as you can if you’re feeling tired during your trip.