12 Ways To Be A Safer, Better Driver

Safe driving is the first step in preventing accidents on the road. Road safety is even more important than ever, as more cars are on the road than ever, driving up the number of accidents. 

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There are more distractions than ever while driving, whether the map on your car’s dashboard isn’t working properly, the kids are yelling in the backseat, or your phone is buzzing at you, but it is your responsibility to keep yourself and others safe when you’re behind the wheel. Nobody wants to have to hire a car accident attorney after all. 

  1. Focus on driving. Keep your attention and your eyes on the road at all times. Never try to multitask when you drive. Put all distractions to one side and focus on what is happening around you. 
  2. Plan ahead. It can be tempting to speed if you’re running late, but driving too fast is dangerous. Give yourself extra time so you aren’t caught out by traffic, accidents, or needing to stop for gas on the way. 
  3. In the case of an accident, focus your eyes on where to go. If you find that your car is spinning out of control, focus your eyes on where you want your car to be, rather than on what you might hit. Thanks to hand-eye coordination, you will find it easier to right the car. 
  4. Maintain control when tires blow out. Keep the car driving in as straight a line as you can and slow your speed. Keep two hands on the wheel and pull over to a safe place when you can. Don’t slam on the brakes or try to speed, as it can cause more damage to the tires and can make it harder to maintain control. 
  5. Go at the speed limit. The speed limit is there for a reason. If you’re speeding, you’ll cause more damage in an accident. It’s okay to maintain the speed limit and let others pass you. 
  6. Keep your cool on the road. Driving can be stressful, so keep you cool so you can think clearly. Take a deep breath and cool down if something frustrating happens while you’re driving. Don’t take out your emotions on the road, or other cars and drivers around you. 
  7. Watch the weather. During bad weather, drive at a slower speed to avoid skidding on ice or wet roads. Turn your lights on when it is raining or if there is fog, regardless of whether it’s day or night. Remember, when the weather is really bad, you need to go easy on the brakes to maintain better control over your car. 
  8. Look both ways at an intersection. It will only take a few seconds to look both ways before you drive after the lights turn green. Before you cross the street, make sure you check left and right to be certain that there are no other cars coming through the intersection. 
  9. Keep your distance. Nobody likes someone driving practically in their trunk. The rule of thumb is that you should be about three seconds apart from the car in front of you. Double that distance if the weather is bad. Don’t underestimate the amount of stopping distance that you need between yourself and the car in front of you. 
  10. Hold the steering wheel correctly. Keep your hands in a parallel position on the steering wheel at all times. This is also known as ‘9 and 3’, referring to the position of the hands of a clock. This driving position will help you to keep a good grip on the wheel and stay in control of your car. Keeping a good grip on the wheel will also help you to respond to any hazards on the road. 
  11. Stay alert and awake. If you do get tired, pull over and take a nap if it is safe to do so. If you know you’re tired before you drive, it’s better to stay home and not get behind the wheel at all. If you have to drive, see if you could get a lift from someone else or drive a short distance before a rest, and continue later on. 
  12. Wear your seatbelt correctly. Make sure your lap and shoulder belt is snug and that you wear the lap part of the belt on your hips. Seatbelts are meant to protect you and others from being thrown from the car in an accident. Wearing your seatbelt could save your life, so never forget to put it on when you drive.

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