Arriving Alive: 9 Driving Safety Tips That You Need to Know

driving safety tips how to drive safe

Driving safety certainly has its financial privileges as evidenced by some of our other Insurance posts. But the far more important advantage is that you stay out of the 3,287 vehicle fatalities per day that occur annually. 

In the following articles, we'll be sharing the nine most important driving safety tips to avoid disaster and death. Strap on your seatbelts. Let's get going! 


1. Put Down the Devices

Safe driving is much more attainable when the entirety of your focus is on the road. Chances are pretty high that there’s a major distraction within arm’s reach that’s attempting to break that focus every inch of your journey.

Of course, we’re talking about your smartphone. Every phone call, push notification, and text message is dinging you closer to an accident.

Putting your device on silent is a good idea, but it doesn’t go far enough. Curiosity can get the better of you, leading you to check it periodically.

Your best bet is to create at least one more layer of separation. Do this by putting the phone on silent and storing it in the glove box or inside the center console. The more obstacles you create between yourself and the device, the less likely you’ll be to use it while driving.



2. Assume All Other Drivers Are Terrible

Driving safely is as much about awareness of what other drivers are doing as it is self-awareness. Even if you’re mistaken, it’s best to assume the other drivers are going to break the rules of the road or not pay attention to what is going on around them.

Having that expectation will allow you to be alert and responsive when those assumptions are proven true. It also will help you keep an even keel rather than losing your temper and getting into a road rage situation. Lastly, if you do turn out to be wrong about your fellow drivers’ abilities, the only “backlash” will be a safer driving experience.



3. Plan Your Stops Before You Go Out

One of the overlooked safe driving tips we’d like to discuss is what you do before you ever get your keys off the hook and take to the road. We’re talking about destination planning.

Knowing where you’re going ahead of time will prevent so many of the factors that can lead to accidents. Factors like:


  • Missing turns
  • Making abrupt corrections
  • Getting lost
  • Going the wrong way down a one-way
  • Inadvertently striking another vehicle while trying to get your bearings

Mapping out your journey ahead of time also frees you up to focus on what the other drivers are doing. And it can help you more effectively improvise if there’s unexpected traffic or roadwork.


4. Eliminate Distractions While Driving

The term “distracted driving” is usually reserved for texting while driving. In reality, it’s so much more than that.

Distracted driving can be caused by a variety of factors. It can come in the form of your children pestering one another in the back seat. It can be caused by a loud noise from loose cargo, an unexpected development by the roadside, or reaching for a pack of gum from the change tray under the radio.

All it takes is a second or two, and one of these distractions will change your world forever. So keep your eyes on the road and a present mind whenever you’re behind the wheel.



5. Make Sure You Are Rested

Don’t sleep while driving seems a bit too obvious. Yet, every year, many lose their lives or cause other fatalities because they fell asleep at the wheel.

Don’t let it happen to you. Sleep well before long car trips. Avoid medications that cause drowsiness if you expect to be doing a lot of driving as well.

Also, remember that drowsy driving is just as dangerous as falling asleep at the wheel. Don’t skimp on sleep!



6. Do Not Drink and Drive

Perhaps the most obvious of our driving safety tips, not drinking and driving can annually prevent as many as XXX accidents that cause property damage and loss of life. Getting arrested for one can turn your life upside down even if you haven’t had an accident.

And while you’re at it, include any kind of mind-altering drug to the mix of substances to avoid before driving. Follow the link to find out more about DWIs.



7. Listen to Your Automobile

The health of your car is at least equally important to situational awareness and defensive driving. Here’s the thing: your car will generally tell you when something is wrong in plenty of time for you to fix it.

So pay attention to the signs it’s giving you. Note your dashboard warning lights.

Listen for unusual sounds (i.e., screeching brakes, weak engine turns, etc.). Keep a close eye on your fuel gauge to keep from running out of gas. And adhere to those routine maintenance schedules at every opportunity.



8. Pay Attention to Seasons

Certain seasons come with their own brand of safety hazards. During the winter, that could take the form of snow and ice. Springtime might mean flash flooding. 

Also, pay attention to hunting seasons in your area. From about September to January each year, deer populations are more prevalent around roadways. They have no concept of traffic or road rules and cause more than a million accidents each year.


9. Obey All Traffic Laws

Traffic laws were put there for a reason. They're not suggestions!

Pay attention to road signs. Follow the posted speed limit. Don't try to rush through yellow lights, and avoid being overly aggressive behind the wheel. 

These tactics may seem like they'll get you somewhere faster. In reality, the difference is negligible, and the downside is a traffic violation or accident. It's just not worth it to break the rules of the road.


Keep Your Focus to Achieve Driving Safety

You can't control what other people do on the road. But you can pay attention to what they're doing and commit to driving safety on your end. Make sure you check out our other blog posts for crucial information that can help your safety as well as your pocketbook! 

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