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4 Ways to Be a Safer Driver

safe-driving-300x158What does driver safety mean to you? Safety starts before you get behind the wheel. Planning, concentration, and experience are just a few of the critical elements that go into being a safe driver. It is every driver’s responsibility to practice safety behind the wheel. Here are a few tips to help you be a safer driver.

Tip #1 – Know the Law

Driver’s education courses are beneficial for new and experienced drivers. New drivers should take a driving course to get a better understanding of traffic laws. There is more to it than studying the answers for a test. Being a safe driver take practice and consistency. Always signal before changing lanes or turning. Do not switch lanes while in an intersection; this includes when you are executing a turn. Know which vehicle has the right of way at an intersection. Be aware of intersections with merge and yield signs. Know the laws wherever you drive; there are subtle differences between states and countries.

Tip #2 – Be Aware of Your Surroundings

Do not assume other drivers know or obey traffic laws. Keep a safe distance from vehicles all around you; give yourself a way out in an emergency. Keep an eye out for animals and pedestrians; both can seem to come out of nowhere quickly. Watch for obstacles that may make other drivers change their course as well. Distracted driving encompasses many things: eating, talking on the phone, texting, adjusting the radio, and anything else that takes your eyes off the road. Speeding is more dangerous than ever. Research shows that the risk of an accident occurring increases by at least four percent for each mile per hour you drive.

Tip #3 – Car Maintenance

This is a bit more of a passive way to increase road safety, but keeping your car maintained is important. Breaking down in traffic or having a blowout can put you in immediate danger. Getting fluids checked, hoses replaced, and other general maintenance can only add to your overall road safety. Check for burned out light bulbs, tire pressure, and brake pads regularly. Keep your windows clean and make sure your windshield wipers are in working order.

Tip #4 – Practical Experience Is Essential

With driving, like so many other things in life, there is no substitute for experience. Keep your skills sharp by practicing safe driving techniques consistently and often. Be open to learning new safe driving methods from experienced drivers. If driving is not part of your everyday routine, use caution when you get behind the wheel. Take the time to familiarize yourself with new vehicles before you get on the road.

Remember, driving is a privilege, not a right. Safe driving is everyone’s responsibility. Practice basic safety skills and they will become second nature to you. Travel at a safe distance and do not make sudden changes in speed so other drivers are not taken off guard by your actions. Always think a few steps ahead and prepare exit strategies for potential emergency situations.


Image via Flickr by free pictures of money



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