Driving can feel liberating, but it’s not without its risks. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, there were 20,175 fatalities due to motor vehicle accidents in the first half of 2022– a tragic reminder of how important it is to keep yourself safe on the roads.
From using defensive driving techniques and avoiding DUI arrests to prepping for long drives and outsmarting thieves, here are 10 best practices that all drivers should follow in order to stay protected behind the wheel!
Investing in good car insurance is one of the smartest decisions a driver can make to protect themselves and their vehicle on the road. Not only does it lend a sense of security that you would not have had otherwise, but with the right coverage, you could save yourself from thousands in medical expenses and car repairs if you ever find yourself in an unlucky accident.
If you’re on a budget and wondering how to buy new car insurance, there are plenty of plans available that let you pay a reasonable rate while still getting great coverage—it’s all up to you to find what works best for your individual situation.
Investing in good car insurance can be the difference between successfully navigating an unfortunate situation and struggling without much help.
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is incredibly dangerous and illegal in all states. If you plan to drink, designate a sober driver before leaving home, call a ride-sharing service, or take public transportation instead.
On trips longer than an hour or two, make sure to pack snacks and water so that you don’t get hungry or thirsty (which can be distracting!). Also, stay informed about the route you plan to take, so that you don’t risk getting lost.
4. Outsmart car thieves
To stay safe on the road, it is essential to outsmart car thieves. One of the simplest yet most effective protection measures is to secure your vehicle with an anti-theft device. This security system alerts law enforcement if anyone tries to access the car without authorization.
Automobiles equipped with tracking devices can also help to identify and recover a stolen car. Knowing the latest tricks of car thieves and staying aware of high-theft areas are more ways that drivers can protect their vehicles from theft.
It is better to park in a busy, well-lit area instead of isolated roads at night and avoid leaving any valuables in visibility inside the car as these are often seen as an invitation by criminals.
Distracted driving is becoming an increasingly dangerous habit on the roads, leading to many accidents and fatalities each year. To stay safe while you’re driving, it’s essential that you remain alert and focused on the task at hand.
This means avoiding any activity that could distract you from operating your vehicle safely; this includes texting or taking phone calls, eating while you drive, checking your navigation system excessively, or selecting music too frequently.
Actively avoiding distractions can help ensure that other vehicles, passengers, pedestrians, and yourself remain safe on the road. If possible, preparing ahead of time for things like music or directions can save a lot of time in the long run and prevent distractions from occurring during the journey. Stay safe by staying alert and focused behind the wheel!
Poor visibility caused by snow, fog, rain, wind, dust storms and more can be hazardous for drivers. Check the forecast before leaving home to make sure you’re prepared for whatever Mother Nature throws your way.
Tire maintenance isn’t always top of mind, but it should be: correctly inflated and aligned tires ensure better handling and braking, as well as fuel efficiency. Inspect your tires regularly and replace them when needed.
Bicyclists have the same rights as drivers, so make sure to give them plenty of room on the road and double-check blind spots before changing lanes.
Car recalls can be dangerous and should be taken seriously. Check your vehicle’s recall status regularly through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website or call the auto manufacturer.
Defensive driving is a set of techniques that involve predicting and avoiding hazardous situations while behind the wheel. This includes things like leaving enough braking distance between you and the car in front of you, scanning your surroundings regularly, signaling before changing lanes, and being aware of blind spots.
Following these 10 simple practices can help keep you safe as a driver – so be sure to make them part of your regular routine on the roads!