Driving safely is the most important thing you can do on the road, but unfortunately, not everyone knows how to practice safe driving so we have offered these 5 tips to safer driving skills.
Every time you get behind the wheel of your car there is going to be a risk involved. It's always something; the lady next to you is putting on her lipstick and swerving all over the road, your favorite song comes on the radio and as your singing and dancing along you forget you're also in control of a 3,000lb object traveling 50 mph, or a deer runs right in front of you causing you to slam on your brakes and swerve; it's always something. You will never be able to avoid all of the things that could pop up while you're on the road, but learning these five safe driving tips will certainly lower the risk.
Developing safe driving habits now could help save your life or the life of someone else. You could be doing yourself a huge favor and prevent major accidents which will eliminate:
- Large repair costs or insurance deductibles
- Having to depend on someone else to get you to and from work or school if your car is wrecked and in the shop
- Large auto insurance premiums
One: Learn Defensive Driving
If you didn't learn defensive driving while you were in driving school, it's a good idea to take a course on it. These are typically offered throughout your communities and you can usually find out where they are located by contacting your local DMV. These courses benefit drivers whether you're young or old, male or female. Generally, a class will cover:
- Traffic crash statics - Approximate times of the day when most accidents occur, which age group is involved in the most crashes, and whether they are on long commutes or short distance driving.
- Drunk Driving - It's not rocket science that is the number one no-no on most people's list, and should never be done, yet there are thousands of people arrested for either a DUI (Driving under the Influence) or DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) every year. In this class you will learn about all the dangers associated with driving under the influence, and just how much it can cost you.
- All the components of a car accident - During this lesson you will learn how speed, place of impact, and size of the vehicle affects the outcome and severity of any crash.
- Crash Prevention Techniques - While some American drivers know the laws of driving, not all of them abide by them. These techniques include proper following distances, sharing the road with other vehicles and pedestrians, who has the right of way when driving, scanning roadways, proper passing, adjusting your driving to different weather conditions, and braking distance.
- The dangers of driving when you tired, angry, or stressed.
These are all things you probably have learned at some point in time but may have forgotten. If you'd like to brush up on your skills enroll in a traffic safety class today.
Two: Avoid Other Drivers
Even if you do everything right and you're the safest driver on the road, you still need to worry about the other drivers. You can avoid other driver's bad habits by staying alert and paying attention to their driving habits. If you're being tailgated get over and let them pass you when it is safe, if they are swerving all over the road then get some extra distance from them and call the authorities.
If you're going to change lanes be sure to check your blind spots. Many drivers will hang out at one speed and not realize that the person next to them can't see they are there because they are in the blind spot. Before making any lane changes or turns, be sure to check this to avoid any collision.
Three: Avoid In-Car Distractions
It's been said that in-car distractions such as texting, talking on the phone, eating, and listening to loud music are the leading causes in vehicle crashes in the past few years. All of these things require you to take your eyes off the road and/or your hands off the steering wheel. While you may only do this for a split second, that is all it takes to swerve off the road, or hit a nearby car.
When you're in the vehicle avoid using your cell phone at all costs. If you must make a phone call have your passengers do so for you. If you're headed somewhere you've never been before and you need directions, plug the address into your GPS before you take off. Whatever you do, you should have your eyes on the road and your hands on your steering wheel at all times.
Four: Don't Drive When You're Not Alert
Too often we hear of drivers falling asleep at the wheel and running off the road, crashing into a ditch, tree or another car. Many times these result in serious injury or death, and it can be avoided. If you're feeling like you're tired and you can't keep your eyes open any longer pull off to a hotel or rest area. It's much better to add extra time to your drive than to be in a car accident.
We can't stress enough how dangerous it is to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Not only is it against the law, but it is something that could ruin the lives of so many people. Even if you have only had a drink or two, take the safe way out and call a cab or designate a driver. No matter what you may think, your reaction time is slower than it is when your system is clean, which means you are not alert. Avoid drinking and driving at all costs.
Five: Keeping Your Car Up-to-Date on Maintenance Checks
One big thing that is often overlooked is keeping your car up-to-date on all necessary and routine maintenance. This includes:
- Getting regular oil changes
- Making sure your tires are rotated and have plenty of air
- Checking all fluid levels
- Regularly checking brake pads and rotors
- Making sure there is no engine problems
These things can not only make for safer driving conditions, but they also help cut down on cost repairs. If you're vehicle blows a tire on the highway, you may lose control and crash into the wall, or cause other drivers to get distracted and collide with each other.
There are also the safety features of your car that you need to maintain. Check to make sure the following are working properly:
- Turn signals
- Head and taillights
- Seat belts
- Air bags
If any other these things happen to break or stop working you need to get them fixed immediately. They can not only cause a major car accident, but you could also be seriously injured during that accident.
As We See It
At Auto Credit Express we understand that everyone has busy lives, and no one is perfect. There may be a time where you need to make an emergency phone call, and that is okay. When this does happen, pull off to the shoulder and turn your flashers on. This will allow you to focus solely on your phone call, and not half focused on the road and half on your conversation. Keeping these tips in mind when you are behind the wheel of your automobile will help you become a better and safer driver.
If you feel that your current vehicle is not up-to-par on the safety features and that it could be a hazard to you and other drivers, maybe it's time to think about getting a new one. Even if you have $500 down and a 500 credit score, we can put you into a new vehicle that will keep you and your family safe on the road. Get started today by filling out our online car loan application, and find out in minutes how much you can be approved for.