The U.S. roadways average more than 5.9 million motor vehicle accidents a year.
No matter your experience level behind the wheel, you need to always focus on driving as safely as possible. It’s not just your life you’re putting at risk if you’re driving erratically on the roads, it’s your family and everyone else out on the roads — pedestrians included. Here are some essential tips for every vehicle owner to keep in mind in order to drive safely:
Never… NEVER get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol
Approximately 53% of adults in the U.S. have reported that one or more of their close relatives has a drinking problem. Sadly, drunk drivers aren’t always those who consistently abuse alcohol. Even people who rarely drink think they can have a few glasses of wine and safely operate a vehicle. That is far from the truth.
It’s not even a question of whether you are legally intoxicated or not. Every state has varying legislation pertaining to driving under the influence. It’s a question of whether or not it’s safe to actually drive. And if any amount of alcohol is in your bloodstream, make no mistake about it, it is not safe to drive.
Slow down… at all times
It sounds simple. But we’ve all seen it. We’ve all seen the guy speed up to try and get through a yellow light and ended up smashing into another vehicle. Or someone making an evasive maneuver on the highway and running another car off the road. In a split second, these erratic decisions could cost someone their life.
Wherever you’re going — for whatever reason — it’s never okay to speed or drive recklessly. Young drivers do so early on because they think they’re invincible. And some older drivers continue to drive erratically because they think they are above the law. Neither scenarios are true. It’s just not worth it. At all times, you need to drive the speed limit, keep both hands on the wheel, and pay attention to your surroundings.
Start taking better care of your vehicle
Sadly, far too many U.S. car owners don’t take their vehicle’s maintenance seriously. They might get their oil changed once every few months (which they absolutely should be doing), or will go through a carwash a few times a year. But there is so much more involved with owning a vehicle.
You need to do everything you can to ensure that your car is safe and ready for driving. Before every drive (even if it’s just a trip to the grocery store), you need to inspect every inch of your vehicle and make sure it’s 100% safe to drive. If not, don’t wait — take your vehicle to an auto body shop right away and get it repaired.
Even if you are involved in an auto accident, your main responsibility (after making sure everyone is safe) is to get your vehicle fixed as quickly as possible. Roughly 72% of car crashes result in property damage. These accidents happen. They are part of life. But it’s crucial to address them right away instead of neglecting the necessary repairs that will result in preparing your vehicle for more driving.
It’s going to take a lot more than a few simple suggestions to make the U.S. roadways a safer place for drivers and pedestrians, alike. But one driver can make a real difference. It starts with you.
If you take a concerted effort to drive as safe as possible at all times, you’ll avoid countless incidents out on the road and you’ll be able to pass these skills on to your kids in the future once they begin their driving career.
Be careful out there!