The importance of safe driving can never be stressed often enough, but with the U.S. seeing an uptick in deadly traffic accidents, now is a very good time to talk about it.

United States on Pace for Deadliest Driving Year Since 2007

Safe driver

According to the National Safety Council, through the first six months of 2015, the United States is on pace for the deadliest driving year since 2007. Between January and June of 2015, there were 19,000 traffic deaths across the U.S., which is a 14% increase over the same time period in 2014. Another 2.2 million motorists have suffered a serious injury -- which the National Safety Council classifies as those that require medical consultation -- from traffic accidents in that same time period, which is a 30% increase from 2014.

When the economy improves and unemployment declines, the traffic crash numbers increase as a result. The only thing you can do is take responsibility for your driving habits and pledge to be as safe as possible.

Tips for Being a Safe Driver

Cars have more safety features than ever, but it's unwise to rely solely on technology to keep you and your passengers safe. The only way to truly make your travels safe is to adopt a safety-first driving mentality.

  • Buckle Up
    This is as basic as it gets, but it bears repeating: Seat belts save lives. Make buckling up the first thing you do after getting in the car, and make sure your passengers do too!
  • Get Off Your Phone
    How many smartphone-induced crashes do we need to see before we as a society wise up? There will be plenty of time for your text messages and apps when you get to your destination. And if you think talking on your phone is safe just because it's not against the law in your state, think again. Studies have shown that phone conversations use up a large chunk of a driver's concentration, which takes away from their focus on the road. Put away your phone the ENTIRE time you are driving.
  • Speeding Doesn't Get You There Faster
    Speeding has become an all too common occurrence because you generally don't get pulled over for slightly exceeding the speed limit. That's just led to the more dangerous motorists pushing the limit. Ironically, the higher the speed limit is, the less time you save by exceeding it. Throw in traffic, the behavior of fellow drivers, and other delays, and almost all the time motorists think they are saving by speeding is theoretically thrown out the window. Let somebody else save their precious 2-3 minutes and risk all those traffic fines.
  • Drive Defensively
    It's funny to me that this is even a term in the American vernacular. In reality, it is the same as saying: "Drive correctly." The underlying principles of defensive driving are simply applying common sense to the most-taught road practices. Maintain a safe following distance, stay vigilant of your surroundings, keep your eyes active and alert, make sure you are seen and never assume anything.

Is it Time for an Upgrade?

If your vehicle no longer feels safe to drive, it might be time for an upgrade. At Auto Credit Express, we specialize in helping motorists with damaged credit find affordable auto financing. Get started on the path to safer driving today by filling out secure and obligation-free online application.