Every year, thousands of people are killed in car accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates revealed that motor vehicle accidents claimed the lives of 42,915 people in 2021. The figure is over 10 percent higher than the previous year, which was 38,824.
But there are things you can do to stay safe while on the road. This article will give you some tips for staying safe while driving.
Keep your car in good condition.
One of the most important things you can do to stay safe while driving is to keep your car in good condition. This means ensuring the tires are correctly inflated, and the engine runs smoothly. If your vehicle isn’t in good condition, it may not handle well in a crash or emergency.
You should pay close attention to the brakes since they are critical to a car’s safety. If the brakes aren’t working properly, you could get into an accident. In this situation, you should have the brakes repaired as soon as possible. You should also consider going to a licensed mechanic for your car brand. For instance, you should look for a certified Subaru brake repair shop if you have a Subaru Impreza or Outback.
Maintaining the car also helps you save on gas. Tune-ups can help a car run more efficiently, leading to better fuel economy.
Driving defensively allows you to anticipate potential hazards on the road and react accordingly. It’s important to be aware of your surroundings at all times. This means keeping an eye on the cars around you and being aware of what they’re doing. It’s essential to always be on the lookout for potential hazards.
Defensive driving also requires you to consciously reduce the driving risks. This can be done by driving smoothly and steadily. You should avoid sudden braking or acceleration, as this can lead to an accident.
Aside from keeping you safe, defensive driving also allows you to save on vehicle maintenance costs. When you drive steadily and smoothly, you also save on fuel.
Wear your seatbelt at all times.
The seatbelt is among the most effective injury-prevention device in a vehicle. The airbags in a vehicle are designed to work with seatbelts, not replace them. You should always wear your seatbelt, even if driving a short distance.
Seat belts came before the development of modern cars. Horse-drawn carriages were the first to use them. In 1958, seat belts became standard in American cars. Nowadays, nearly every state has a law that requires drivers and passengers to wear seat belts.
Seatbelts can reduce the risk of serious injury or death in a crash by about half. The NHTSA revealed that seatbelts saved around 15,000 lives in 2017.
You should make it a habit to put on your seatbelt as soon as you get in the car. This will help ensure you don’t forget to buckle up in an emergency. Wearing a seatbelt doesn’t just keep you safe; it also keeps your passengers safe. If you’re involved in an accident, wearing a seatbelt can prevent you from being ejected from the vehicle. This increases your chances of surviving an accident.
Never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is one of the most dangerous things you can do on the road. It increases your risk of being involved in a crash by about four times.
You should never get behind the wheel if you’ve been drinking alcohol or taking drugs. If you’re going to be drinking, have a designated driver. This is someone who will stay sober and drive you home safely.
If you’re on medication, check with your doctor to see if it’s safe for you to drive. Some medications can cause drowsiness or impair your ability to focus. If you can’t avoid driving while taking these medications, take breaks and rest frequently.
Avoid distractions while driving.
In 2020, 3,142 people were killed in car accidents that involved distracted driving. Distracted driving is any activity that takes your focus away from the road. This includes using your phone, eating, and talking to passengers.
You should never use your phone while driving, even if you just send a quick text. Sending a message takes around five seconds. If you’re traveling at 55 mph, you’ve traveled the length of a football field without looking at the road. Pull over to a safe location first if you need to use your phone.
Eating and drinking are also common distractions while driving. If you’re hungry, stop at a restaurant or drive-thru instead of eating while driving.
If you’re traveling with passengers, avoid having long conversations. If you need to talk, keep the conversation short and focused.
You should not drive when engaging in non-driving activities since these are the most common causes of distracted driving accidents. If you can’t avoid being distracted, take breaks and rest frequently.
These are some tips for staying safe while driving. Following these tips can reduce your chances of getting into an accident.