Once you traverse out onto the road or the great highway, you can put yourself at risk for any of the inherent dangers that come alongside driving. Even the most cautious of drivers can still run the risk of meeting an accident, as not all drivers may be on the same page as you. Despite the presence of laws seeking to protect drivers on the road, there are still many who are negligent, willfully or not, as they’d rather not listen to what the law says.
So, it’s not for you to rely on other drivers for your safety while on the road. Rather, it’s for you to aim to keep yourself well-protected enough from any danger. Defensive driving is all about the preventive driving techniques you can do so you can get yourself from point A to B, and home, safely.
With that said, here are five ways you can protect yourself on the road:
1. Always Wear Your Seatbelt
One of the very first things you may have been taught by Florida PIP Statutes or any of your local laws where you’re from is to wear your seatbelt whenever you’re inside a car. This applies both as a driver and passenger. Kids aren’t exempt from this either, as even those sitting on car seats have to be restrained by the protection coming from the seatbelt.
If a crash does occur, your seatbelt can often be your first line of defense or protection, especially in high-impact accidents. You can prevent your body from flying or getting moved around so suddenly when you’re restrained by the protection coming from your seatbelt.
2. Stay Alert
When you’re sleepy, feeling sick, if you’ve had a rough night, or whatever it is you’re going through that’s affecting your ability to focus, you may want to avoid driving temporarily. Losing your focus while driving isn’t the best thing that can happen to you.
Remember there are so many things that come into play when you’re driving. Your mind has to train your eyes to focus, stay on the road, and be alert. Then, your mind is also controlling your hands to maneuver the steering wheel and gear controls, if any, even including the brakes and acceleration pads.
So, you have to calm yourself, focus, and stay alert. Keep an eye on the side and back mirror regularly. If you know you can’t focus when driving for the day, then might as well just opt to leave your vehicle, and go on public transportation instead.
3. Keep Your Vehicle In Good Condition
As a car owner, you have the responsibility to stay on top of your car maintenance. So, it’s therefore very important to keep your vehicle in good condition. Even if you think you don’t need to send your car to maintenance any time soon, it’s still best if you do so.
Some road accidents happen not just because of human error, but also because of a defective car. For instance, the brake pads may not be working well, or the steering wheel is problematic. You’ll want to avoid those situations at all costs.
4. Keep Your Phone Down
This fourth tip can’t be emphasized enough. While there are rules against using the phone when driving, unfortunately, there are still so many who do so, simply because they think they aren’t going to get caught. You may have heard of those horror stories of fatal accidents with drivers missing a dangerous curve all because they spent two seconds looking at a text message on their phone.
If it isn’t important, those messages can always wait until later. You won’t have to read them right now. If you have an important call, then pull aside, park your car and take your call.
5. Keep Distance
Keeping a safe distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you is very important. This is all the more necessary if you’re following a vehicle, much bigger than yours, like if you’re driving a sedan and there’s a big truck in front of you. You can’t see the traffic right ahead of you, and you never know when that vehicle is going to make a sudden stop.
If the stop was sudden and you were too close, then obviously, a crash happens. In cases when you have a truck in front of you, unfortunately, you may get caught under the truck, and these accidents are very dangerous and often fatal.
More so when you’re driving at night or in poor visibility conditions, be very particular about the distance you’re keeping.
Safe driving should be your topmost priority, once you set yourself out on the road. Whether you’re the driver or a passenger in the vehicle, there are many things you can do to ensure safety on the road. Whatever you do, never disregard the law, even if you don’t think you’ll be caught. Remember that laws are there for a reason, and it’s up to you to ensure top compliance with those laws. Most importantly, staying safe on the road isn’t just for you, but also for the other pedestrians, and your family who are waiting for you to come home safe.