With six million auto accidents occurring annually in the United States and 100 deaths a day related to these incidents, it's clear to see that safe driving should be of the utmost importance to every single person who gets behind the wheel.
The risks are simply too great to ignore; a single lapse of concentration or the slightest issue with your vehicle could lead to a major rise in your own risk of being in an accident, and car accident injuries can often be very serious, including the likes of broken bones and traumatic brain damage.
Statistics from the National Safety Council show that between 4 and 5 million people have to go to the hospital each year with car accident injuries, and so many accidents could be avoided quite easily if drivers followed the rules, drove more sensibly, and kept their cars in better condition.
With this in mind, let's look at some useful safe driving tips you can keep in mind to stay safe and reduce your own risks of ending up in an accident the next time you take to the roads.
Keep Your Car Tidy
One of the simplest ways you can improve your levels of on-road safety and reduce the risk of ending up in any accidents or legal trouble is by making sure your car is clean and tidy before setting off for any journeys, long or short. You might be surprised to learn how an untidy car can be a genuine threat to your safety and the safety of those around you.
Loose items like change and trash could become dangerous projectiles if an accident occurs. Not only that, but they could roll around by the pedals and interfere with your control of the vehicle, or they could rattle around and cause noisy, irritating distractions that might make you less focused on the road.
Keep Distractions to a Minimum
Following on from the previous point, it's vital to keep distractions to an absolute minimum when you're driving. Statistics show that thousands of unnecessary deaths and injuries are caused by distracted driving each and every year, and in the modern world, there are more potential distractions in cars than ever before.
Millions of US drivers admit to checking their phones, sending messages, or taking calls while behind the wheel. All of these activities can be massively dangerous, and it's also risky to play around in-car entertainment systems, GPS devices, and other electronics while trying to operate a vehicle at the same time. If you need to make a call, adjust the GPS, or eat a snack, be sure to pull over safely beforehand, rather than trying to multi-task while driving.
Defensive driving can make a real difference to your road safety, but what exactly is it? Well, the term 'defensive driving' applies to various techniques and practices that can be used by drivers to stay safe and minimize their chances of having an accident or collision of any kind.
A few examples of defensive driving would be never overtaking on the right, making sure to avoid truck blind spots, and always keeping some distance between your vehicle and the vehicle ahead. These simple techniques can go a long way towards keeping you and your passengers safe, and you can take defensive driving classes or learn new tricks online.
Reports show that road rage also accounts for a lot of auto accidents each year. When drivers get frustrated, they start to lose control of their vehicles; their reactions can become impaired and their decision making abilities start to suffer too, making them more likely to break the rules of the road and endanger themselves and others.
It's easy to get annoyed if someone fails to signal or behaves badly on the road around you, but always remember that two wrongs don't make a right. Try to keep yourself cool, calm, and collected, rather than exacerbating the situation by letting your anger get the best of you. Giving in to road rage can be a real recipe for disaster.
There are a lot of risks on the roads, and the slightest little issue can rapidly devolve into something much more serious. It's vital, therefore, for drivers to do what they can to keep themselves and others safe. There will always be dangerous and reckless drivers on the roads, but by doing your part, you'll be setting a great example for others while also protecting yourself and your passengers.