Driving is a privilege, not a right. The responsibility of operating a motor vehicle weighs heavily on those who have been granted the ability to do so. It is important for everyone to know how to drive defensively and stay safe while doing it. In this post, we will talk about 11 tips that can help you be a responsible driver.
Be Physically Prepared To Drive
The first tip is to make sure you are physically able to drive. It’s important that your body is functioning correctly and not impaired in any way before getting behind the wheel of a vehicle. You should also maintain good mental health, as it can affect how well you’re able to operate heavy machinery like an automobile. If something has been bothering you or causing distress, it’s best to wait until you’re feeling more like yourself before driving.
Be Mentally Prepared To Drive
Another tip for defensive drivers and their passengers is making sure everyone is mentally prepared to operate a motor vehicle. If someone close to you has recently experienced a loss or something tragic, it’s essential to allow them the opportunity to recover before having them drive. Everyone should be in good spirits and open to driving safely when getting behind the wheel of an automobile.
Maintain Alertness And Vigilance Behind The Wheel
Drivers must remain mentally sharp at all times. This means not being distracted by anything, including the radio or other people in the car. Make sure you are alert and aware of your surroundings at all times while driving so that you can react adequately to any situation that might arise.
Applying Defensive Driver Principles Is Key
Another way to be a safe driver is to always be on the defense when driving. You should always expect another driver to do something that could potentially put you in harm’s way, so it is best to prepare for anything and everything while behind the wheel of a vehicle.
Maintain A Good Following Distance
It’s important for drivers to maintain a good distance between their vehicle and any other that might be in front or behind them. You should always have enough space between your car and the one ahead of you to stop safely if necessary. This will prevent unfortunate fender benders from happening, as well as allow you an opportunity to slow down before hitting something if they come to a sudden halt without notice.
Avoid Dangerous Situations
Be aware of your surroundings at all times. If you notice a potentially hazardous situation developing, it is best to try and maneuver yourself out of the way before anything occurs. For example, if someone appears as though they are about to run a red light or stop sign, swerve out of the way beforehand. This would prevent you from being caught in a compromising position if they were to do so without warning.
Don’t Drive When Intoxicated
It is never okay to drink and drive or get high on illegal substances before getting behind the wheel of an automobile. Being intoxicated or under the influence of any substance that could hinder your ability to drive safely is not an acceptable excuse for doing so.
Know What To Do When An Accident Happens
If you are involved in an accident, try to remain calm. If anyone becomes hostile or aggressive, walk away and get out of the situation quickly. Call 911 immediately if there is someone who needs assistance (not all accidents will result in injury). Don’t admit guilt right after the accident since it might interfere with what actually happened at that time. Take as many pictures of the situation and damage as possible, including those from the cars involved, the car interior (to check for airbag injuries), road conditions, etc. It is always advisable to call a good car accident lawyer and tell them everything exactly as it happened.
Signal Your Intentions On The Road
Be clear about your intentions when driving. If you are changing lanes, turn on the signal light if it’s not already turned on. The key is to signal your intention, not your action. So ensure to signal a lane change at least 5 – 10 seconds before executing the maneuver. If the lane is occupied, steer into the break between lanes and wait for an opening before making a move to change directions. It can be very dangerous or even deadly if you try to go around another car without looking, so avoid this at all costs.
Don’t drive when you are in a hurry or trying to beat a clock. Driving fast and cutting corners only causes accidents and fatalities because the driver is not paying attention to their surroundings while going too quickly for conditions on the road. Always leave yourself enough time for your trip and always plan ahead. If you know there is a possible traffic jam coming up, take an alternate route or use the “at least” formula: leaving 20 minutes earlier than necessary should make sure that even if something does happen en-route, it won’t affect timing too much.
Be Prepared For Bad Weather
When we talk about bad weather, it is important to understand that all kinds of precipitation and climatic conditions can be dangerous. So don’t forget windshield wipers, defroster/heater wiper blades in the wintertime, antifreeze for cooler climates, etc.
In conclusion, the key to safe travel is proactive, vigilant, and prepared. Always remember that prevention is better than cure.