Drivers can reach a ripe old age and never encounter an automobile accident. Others spend more time picking up the car from the body shop than anywhere else. The difference between the driving habits of these two people reveals the difference in their safety records behind the wheel. Avoidance of certain circumstances and factors will keep you and your passengers safe.
- Never drink and drive – Physical impairment from the use of alcohol, or drugs, is the number one cause of auto accidents in the United States. No one has appropriate reaction times when driving under the influence.
- Eliminate distractions – Cell phones, food, drink and loud music cause the mind to ignore obstructions in the vehicle's path. Young drivers must eliminate all distractions to be safe on the road.
- Maintain the vehicle – Equipment failure, such as a tire blowout, can be prevented through proper maintenance of every automobile system. Adhering to the recommended maintenance schedule is cheaper than major repairs that are caused through system failures. Drivers must recognize the expenses associated with vehicle ownership. Taking care of the car is part of the responsibility of owning a car.
- Avoid treacherous roads – Unfamiliar roads can be the primary cause for off-road accidents where trees and other objects are struck. Drivers must develop skills for driving windy, mountainous terrain.
- Drive under the speed limit – Excessive speed causes accidents involving pedestrians, bicyclists and children. Driving too fast for the conditions prevents the driver from stopping the vehicle when something crosses his path.
- Observe all traffic laws – Running red lights and stop signs causes many deaths each year. Weaving between lanes increases the risk of collision for all drivers in close proximity. Automobiles are weapons when drivers ignore safe driving habits that include following the law. Everyone on the road must commit to observing all traffic rules as taught in driving courses.
- Avoid bad weather – Heavy rain, blinding snow and fog create conditions where drivers struggle to maintain control over the vehicle. Whenever possible, drivers should remain off the roads until conditions improve. Reaching the final destination later than scheduled is preferable to sitting in traffic or having an accident because of the weather.
Adopt safe driving habits and reduce the number of incidents involving your personal vehicle. Direct causes can be traced back to ignoring the recommendations given in training classes, by police offices, attorneys and traffic judges. Saving lives and making the roads safer is a responsibility that rests with everyone on the road.