Cars have gotten a lot safer over the years, with many new safety features and technologies designed to protect drivers and passengers alike, and the prospect of self-driving vehicles becoming more readily available in the coming years provides hope that the number of road accidents may decrease substantially over the next few decades.
However, for the time being, the roads are still a dangerous place to be. Millions of accidents happen every single year, leaving countless people injured and, in the worst cases, causing fatalities too, which is why it’s so important for drivers to be alert, aware, and focused on keeping themselves and those around them safe. Here are some tips to help you become a better driver.
Cover the Basics
Before we look at some of the more advanced tips for safer driving, it’s important to reinforce the importance of the basics. For example, wearing seatbelts. Even though this isn’t always a legal obligation, many new laws are being introduced to encourage seatbelt usage throughout the vehicle, and studies show that buckling up can massively reduce one’s risk of serious injury.
Make sure you and your passengers are always wearing your seatbelts for any journey, no matter how short or long it happens to be, and ensure you follow all the other basic safety rules too, such as checking your mirrors before making turns, using your signals when changing lanes, and always driving within the speed limit.
Enjoy the Benefits of Modern Technology
We’ve already spoken about how technology is helping to make roads and automobiles safer, and perhaps someday soon everyone will be transported around in safe, self-driving cars. Until then, we can still make use of modern technology in some interesting ways to keep ourselves safe while driving.
Make sure you’re fully aware of the various safety sensors and features of your car, like lane change alerts and other sensors, and use them to their full capacity. You may also want to consider installing a safe driving app onto your phone. Various apps of this kind exist and are designed to reduce the risks of distracted driving while also encouraging people to drive more safely each day.
Keep Your Distance
One of the most common forms of auto accidents is rear-end collision. This is when one car drives into the back of another, and it’s common to see these kinds of accidents occurring at areas like intersections and stop signs, but they can also occur on high-speed roads and highways too. They almost always involve one vehicle being too close to another.
If you get too close to the car in front, you won’t necessarily have enough time to slow down and stop if that vehicle comes to an unexpected halt. This is why tailgating is such a dangerous activity and why it is so widely discouraged by traffic experts. Try to always keep your distance from the car in front, as this will drastically reduce your risk of a rear-end collision.
There are many possible causes of auto accidents. Some of them are caused by reckless drivers or drunk drivers; others are caused by poor road conditions like slippery surfaces or low visibility. There are also many accidents that are caused by a simple lack of focus, and many drivers allow themselves to get distracted while sitting behind the wheel, taking their attention away from the road ahead and the vehicles around them.
There are a lot of possible distractions in your car, from your radio and GPS devices to your smartphone. Indeed, many Americans have admitted to using their smartphones while driving, and this is a very dangerous choice, as every second you spend looking at your phone is just one more second your eyes aren’t on the road, watching out for unexpected hazards or threats. Try to keep distractions to an absolute minimum while you drive and always pull over to use your phone.
There are so many ways in which auto accidents can happen, and you can’t predict every possible eventuality or eliminate every single risk that may present itself on the road, but you can at least give yourself a better chance of staying safe by following these simple tips. Using safe driving apps, following the rules, and reducing the risk of distractions in your vehicle could all help you avoid an accident, so make sure to keep these concepts in mind the next time you take a seat at the wheel.