When we first learn to drive, we all learn this act is actually a privilege and not a right. Therefore, it is important to respect this privilege and, when behind the wheel of a car, driving safely must always be one’s top priority. Unfortunately, modern society is more distracted than it has ever been, especially when the ubiquitous presence of cell phones. To avoid being involved in a motor vehicle accident, risking your life and the lives of others, you should always stay sharp on safe driving, regardless if you are a seasoned driver or new to the road.
Here are some crucial driving tips that can help you stay safe:
- Always stay focused on driving: This seems like common sense, but distracted driving is quickly becoming a major cause of accidents on highways across the United States. While cell phones are certainly a major culprit, it is not the only one. Eating and drinking, talking to passengers, fiddling with the radio, reaching for something in the vehicle, or using a GPS navigation system are also considered distracted driving. If you really need to address something, pull over safely to the side of the road and resume driving when you can devote your full attention to it.
Additionally, you should drive at a speed that is safe for road conditions. Speeding will reduce your time to react, increasing your chances at an accident, especially if you are distracted.
- Be a defensive driver: Just because you are a good driver does not mean everyone else on the road is doing the same. A major part of driving safely is being aware of your surroundings and being able to anticipate what other drivers might do, or expect the unexpected. Assume that other drivers will behave erratically on the road and always identify an exit strategy to avoid it. To prevent yourself from rear-ending the vehicle in front of you, maintain a 2-second cushion, or 4 if the weather is bad.
- Make sure you plan ahead: A lot of accidents can be avoided by simply planning ahead. When we fail to plan, we are often in a rush, which means we are more inclined to speed, multitask, or drive recklessly. If you are going on a long distance trip, schedule stops for food, rest breaks, and phone calls or other business you might need to take care of. Before you hit the road, adjust your seat, mirrors, and climate controls. Doing any one of these things while driving can be incredibly distracting and cause an accident, so take a few minutes to make these adjustments before putting the car in gear.
- Practice safety: If you have cargo in your vehicle, make sure it is safely secured. Keep any necessary items within easy reach, such as toll fees or toll cards. You do not want to have to search for these items while you are driving.
No matter how long or short your trip is, be sure to always wear your seat belt. It is a life-saving device that no one should neglect.
Practicing safe driving also means never driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Everyone knows it is against the law, but it remains among the top causes of fatal accidents in the country. With all of the ridesharing services available to us today, it would be foolish to attempt to drive when your judgment is impaired.
- Additional tips: If you have children, never allow them to fight or climb around in the vehicle. Not only should they always be buckled in their seats for safety purposes, but too much noise and movement will distract you from the road.
Never drive while fatigued. Your reaction time will be much slower and your judgment will be impaired, increasing your chances at an accident. Find an appropriate and safe place to make a rest stop before you begin driving again.
Auto Accident Attorney in Alaska
If you have been injured in a car accident that was caused by the negligent and careless acts of another party, you have a right to pursue legal compensation to cover your medical expenses, lost wages, and other costs associated with your injuries. At The Law Offices of David Henderson, I am committed to providing sound legal advice and fierce legal representation for injury victims in Anchorage.
For skilled legal assistance, give me a call at (888) 295-6566 to schedule a free initial case evaluation.