Although getting behind the wheel of a vehicle is an everyday occurrence for millions of Americans, few people realize just how dangerous it can be until it’s too late. Even though you can’t control everything that happens on the road, there are steps you can take to be safer and avoid breaking the law. Here are the top 5 tips for defensive driving curated with the help of the car insurance professionals at moneyexpert.com.
Perhaps one of the most important things you can do while driving is to wear your seat belt. Not only do seat belts save tens of thousands of lives every year, but buckling up can actually reduce your risk of injury during a car accident by up to 50 percent. Wearing your seatbelt is safe, smart, and sensible, but it’s also the law. Never operate a moving vehicle without wearing your seat belt.
Focus on Driving
It should be a given that driving a vehicle down a road at 50 miles per hour should require your full attention, but all too often you probably find yourself doing something that will distract you from the task at hand. It only takes a split second for an accident to happen. So, wait until you’re stopped to send a text, make a phone call, or any other activity that may take your eyes off the road.
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Don’t Drive Drunk or Buzzed
You already know that driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol inhibits your reaction time, putting you and others in danger. Yet, the NHTSA reports that approximately 28 people die every day in the U.S. from drunk driving. In addition, even over the counter cold medications can change your reaction times. If you are under any type influence, put the keys down and call an Uber.
Adjust Your Driving for the Weather Conditions
Anytime you’re driving in rainy or snowy weather, slow down. Rain, snow, and ice decrease your car’s ability to brake properly. So, make sure you’re compensating for the conditions by leaving additional space between cars. Always make sure to have the proper tires for snowy weather, too.
If you can, avoid driving in icy or snowy conditions altogether. Since that isn’t always possible, make sure you practice extra caution on the road. Unfavorable conditions can quickly lead to a wrongful death in a fatal accident.
Maintain Your Vehicle
This is one of the best preventative measures you can take as a driver. Regular maintenance such as an oil change, fluid check, and tire inspection could save you from a costly accident. While many fear their car breaking down and themselves being stranded, it’s a collision that most people should worry about.
Ensuring your signal and brake lights are functioning properly will help you communicate properly with other drivers and avoid a crash, as well. While it isn’t easy to tell when your brake lights go out, regular maintenance ensures technicians and mechanics catch the problem before it becomes an issue.