With the streets and highways of our great nation being so busy, there is never a bad time to refresh your driving safety! Being an attentive, safe driver is important for yourself, your loved ones and everyone on the road. Here are 11 safe driving tips from Stromsoe Insurance Agency to help you get home safely.
Tip #1: Don’t Drive Under the Influence
It is not a smart idea to drink and drive. When you drive while inebriated, you not only endanger yourself and everyone else in the car with you, but you also endanger anyone else on the road. Driving under the influence puts not just your life and the lives of those around you in danger, but it also puts you at risk of severe penalties for first-time offenders.
- You could go to jail.
- You car can be impounded.
- Your driver’s license can be revoked.
- You may have to do community service.
- A judge could make you attend substance abuse classes at your own expense.
- The monetary cost of a DUI conviction can cost thousands of dollars in fines and legal expenses.
Tip #2: Obey the Speed Limit
Public streets and highways are not the safest places to put your racing skills to the test. If you have a straight path ahead of you, stick to the speed limit. Excessive speeding is one of the leading causes of road accidents today.
Tip #3: Don’t Text While Driving
In the long list of things that can distract you when driving, texting is at the top. The FCC has some astounding figures on the dangers of texting while driving. An amazing 40% of American teenagers say that they have been in a moving vehicle while the driver used a cell phone. According to the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, your chance of getting in a crash is increased by 23 times while texting and driving. In addition, 11% of drivers from the ages of 18 to 20 years old whom were involved in an traffic accident admit that they were sending or receiving text messages when they crashed.
As of December 2015, text messaging while driving is banned in 46 states as well as the District of Columbia. Distracted driving is one of the top contributors to vehicle-related fatalities. According to the the National Safety Council and their annual report on unintentional injuries, the three biggest contributors to fatalities on the road are alcohol(30.8%), speeding (30%), and distracted driving (26%).
Tip #4: Wear Your Seatbelt
The first thing you can do to stay safe when you get into your car is fasten your seat belt. Okay, this one should go without saying, but we all still see a lot of people who don’t do it. Wearing a seat belt when driving an automobile is now mandated by law in most states. The purpose of your seat belt is to keep you from receiving a traumatic head injury. By not wearing your seat belt, you are leaving yourself open to the possibility of slamming into your windshield or sailing straight through the windshield altogether in the event of a crash.
Tip #5: Clean Your Windshield
You ever see those cars going down the road on a cold morning with just a little circle about the size of your fist cleared off for them to see through? Allow your vehicle to warm up and defrost your windows during the colder months. It should go without saying that if you can’t see, you can’t drive, so take a few extra minutes to clean your windshield. If your windshield is dirty, the sun’s glare would be magnified, potentially blinding you. This is particularly true at dawn and dusk.
Tip #6: Be Sure Your Mirrors are Adjusted Properly
Many drivers fail to use their vehicle’s mirrors correctly because they are not properly positioned, making this an important step in following safe driving tips. There is a precise location in which the interior and exterior rear-view mirrors should be aligned to either eliminate or minimize blind spots. The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) states that your outside mirrors should be adjusted outward far enough that they will slightly overlap the viewing area of your interior rear-view mirror.
Tip #7: Look Far Ahead When Driving
Don’t gaze directly ahead of you. If you don’t see a danger in the road ahead of you, you can not have enough time to respond if you don’t see it first. Keep a half-mile to a mile ahead of you in mind when scanning the lane. Since your peripheral vision works best at close ranges, keep your eyes going and searching the whole field in front of you at all times.
Tip #8: Position Your Headrest Correctly
Although you may no longer hold gloves in your glove box, your headrest was still built with a particular function in mind. A correctly positioned headrest can reduce painful whiplash in the event of a rear-end collision. Furthermore, you should never remove the headrests from your car to boost your visibility.
Tip #9: Avoid the NO-Zone
Safe driving tips wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the largest vehicles on the road. The NO-Zone applies to larger vehicles such as trucks and buses. Some drivers are unable to see certain areas close to them due to their elevated location. If you’re driving behind one of these and can’t see the truck driver’s mirrors, you can bet they can’t see you either. You should also be mindful of a large blind spot in front of large trucks and buses. If you’re passing them or traveling in front of them, stay out of this area, be sure that you can see the entire front of the vehicle in your review mirror.
Tip #10: Avoid Driving When You Are Tired
When you are driving fatigue can sneak up on you easily. If you find that you are falling asleep behind the wheel, there are a number of things you can do to stay safe.
- Make a pit stop for coffee
- Pull over into a safe parking space and take a 20 to 45-minute nap
- Roll down your windows all the way
- Play loud music
- Talk to your passenger (If you don’t have one, talk to yourself, no one will know)
Tip #11: Always Drive With Your Headlights On
“I didn’t even see them.” This is what many motorists will say when recalling an accident they were part of. Motorcycles are required by law to always have their headlight on while in operation for exactly this reason. Vehicles with their headlights turned on are visible at nearly four times the distance of those with them off.
Other Safe Driving Habits
Beyond safe driving tips, you should still be prepared in the event something happens while on the road. The risks of life are around all of us every day. Constant diligence to make sure you have the right insurance protection in place is a must. Please make sure to keep in touch with your local independent insurance agent often to make sure you and your loved ones are always properly protected.
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PS Here’s a few words from one client that trusts Stromsoe Insurance Agency:
“Arranging for new car insurance was easy as faxing the sales receipt directly from the dealership to the office. Thanks for the personal service and prompt attention.”
Bob and Sarah Sandor – Fallbrook, CA – Client Since 2000
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