Have you ever experienced anxiety over the safety of the road?
You may have read recent car accident statistics or heard a story from a friend of a friend that makes you feel uneasy every time you step into your vehicle. These feelings of apprehensiveness are more common that you think.
Are you a new driver with limited experience on the road looking to improve your driving skills and show responsibility? These five indispensable tips will not only make you a better drive but could one day save your life in the event of unforeseen circumstances.
Getting enough sleep
This may seem fairly obvious to some but it cannot be stressed enough: getting the right amount of sleep before a long trip is crucial to avoiding accidents while driving.
Whether you’re driving to work or delivering merchandise for a trucking company, sleeping well and getting proper rest periods in could save your life.
It is never wise to simply rely on coffee and Red Bull to keep you focused on the roadway. If you feel yourself overcome with tiredness when driving, be sure to pull over, stretch your legs and grab something to eat.
Keep the lights on
Studies have shown that keeping your headlights on at all times when driving can significantly reduce your chances of being involved in an accident. This is a good practice to keep in mind.
You may be thinking to yourself that it is painfully obvious that headlights should be turned on at night but have you considered turning them on during the daytime? This extra visibility can actually make other drivers’ more aware of your presence, even when the sun is shining!
Keep your distance
It is also important to be mindful of the distance between you and other vehicles. When coming up to a stop, be sure that you can still see the wheels of the car in front of you if there is one. This will ensure that if someone negligently bumps into you from behind, you won’t come crashing into the car ahead of you.
Another safety tip worth heeding is the two-second rule for following distance. The idea is that you should have 2 seconds of reaction time in any given situation when following another vehicle.
Make good use of your handbrake
You, like most people, probably already use your vehicle’s handbrake when you park on a steep incline. But did you know that it is a good practice to use the handbrake more consistently, even when not in danger of rolling down a hill into a shop’s front window?
The thing is, if you aren’t engaging your handbrake on a regular basis, rust and corrosion can lead to it failing in the future. This is something you certainly want to avoid if you don’t enjoy chasing your car down the street while yelling at bystanders to get out of the way.
Check your tires
This last tip is one that is easily neglected or forgotten but is necessary for the safety of you and your vehicle. Located inside your driver-side door should be the recommended numbers for your tire pressure. Be sure to check often that these numbers match up by using a pressure gauge. The last thing you want while driving down the highway is for your tire to suddenly blowout.
As an aside, if you should ever be unfortunate enough to experience a tire blowout, avoid the urge to push on the brakes as this will likely send you fishtailing or flipping off the road. Instead, hit the gas slightly and reposition yourself in a straight line.
When it comes to navigating the road, safety should always be your primary concern. While you may consider yourself a good driver, there are so many variables at play at any given moment that accidents are always prone to happen.
So get some sleep, maintain a safe distance, use those headlights and that parking brake, keep your tires in good shape and always be aware of your surroundings to avoid potentially deadly collisions and you will be well on your way to becoming the best driver you can be.