As a motor vehicle driver, it is very important that you stay alert to the dangers that come with driving. And there are many dangers on the road that can lead to serious accidents, if you are not careful.
Millions of people are injured in car accidents each year and many die on the road. In the US, the Department of Transportation reported a total of 38,680 people died in motor vehicle crashes in 2020, proving driving is still one of the riskiest things you do every day.
Safe driving is not only important for your own safety, but also for the safety of others as well. As such, you must always go the extra mile to ensure you keep yourself and others safe while driving.
Fortunately, there are many things you can do to minimize risks while driving and stay safe on the road. Let’s discuss some of them below:
1. Minimize Risks on the Road
When it comes to minimizing risks on the road and safe driving, one of the most important things to remember is that you must always stay alert and aware of what is happening around you when driving.
By staying alert and aware of your surroundings, and anticipating the risks on the road, you can take the necessary precautions to avoid misfortunes that may happen, thus keeping yourself and others safe.
Some of the most common risks that drivers face on the road that you should lookout for include:
- Distracted Driving — This includes any activity that takes your attention away from the road, such as texting, talking on the phone, or eating.
- Drunk Driving — Driving under the influence of alcohol (or other drugs) can greatly reduce your ability to drive safely and lead to serious road accidents.
- Speeding — Driving too fast can make it difficult to stop in time if needed, and can also lead to dangerous situations.
- Driving while tired — Driving while tired also makes driving risky increases your chances of a crash
Avoid those common risks and you will be well on your way to driving safely. But that is not all. When it comes to safe driving, you also need to drive defensively to protect yourself and others on the road.
2. Drive defensively
Driving defensively means being aware of the other drivers around you and anticipating dangerous situations, adverse conditions, and the mistakes of others on the road. Awareness is key to defensive driving and being prepared for anything that might happen.
As part of defensive driving, always use your turn signal when changing lanes and also yield the right-of-way as necessary. Defensive driving will help you avoid accidents and keep you safe on the road.
3. Obey traffic laws
When driving, it is imperative that you obey all traffic laws. These laws are designed to keep everyone safe on the road and minimize the chances of an accident.
Some of the most important traffic laws you need to obey include:
- Stopping at stop signs and red lights
- Yielding the right-of-way when necessary
- Not driving while distracted
- Not drinking and driving
Following traffic laws will help you stay safe while driving and avoid accidents. Familiarize yourself with them and always obey them while on the road.
4. Avoid road rage
Always remain calm, patient, and alert when driving. Of course, this can be difficult, especially if other drivers are not following the rules or are driving aggressively. But, when you get angry or frustrated while driving, it can lead to road rage that puts everyone at risk.
Road rage is very dangerous and can lead to serious accidents. It can also cause drivers to make bad, rush decisions, such as speeding or making unsafe lane changes.
Just avoid rage on the road. If another driver is causing you to become angry or frustrated, do your best to ignore them. Remember that it is not worth getting into an accident over something minor. If the situation becomes too dangerous or you feel like you are in danger, do not hesitate to call the police.
5. Stop littering while driving
Do not throw trash out your window when driving or travelling in an automobile. Instead, keep a trash bag in your car where you can easily reach it so that you can put trash in for proper disposal later.
It is in everyone’s best interest that drivers and passengers stop littering. By not throwing garbage out onto the roadway or highways, you can help to reduce environmental pollution and help protect the natural environment, while also reducing the overall chances of accidents on roads.
Besides, deliberately throwing trash onto the roadway is a crime and violation of certain traffic codes, which can attract serious fines in most places around the world.
Just keep roads safe and clean for everyone, the benefits of which are many.
Benefits of Safe Driving
Besides saving lives and preventing injuries on the road, safe driving has many other benefits including:
I. Lower insurance costs
Most people know that safe driving can help to avoid accidents, but many may not know that it can also lead to lower insurance costs.
When you drive safely and obey traffic laws, you are less likely to get into an accident. This can lead to lower premiums, which can save you huge sums of money in the long run.
So, if you are looking for a way to save on your car insurance, be sure to practice safe driving habits. It may not seem like much, but it can make a big difference in the long run.
II. Avoiding property damage
Another benefit of safe driving is that it helps to protect property, including your vehicle and the other driver’s car. By practicing safe driving, you can prevent accidents and avoid property damages caused in the event of an accident, such as hitting objects like poles, street signs, or even nearby buildings.
III. Preventing missed work and appointments
Nobody wants to get into an accident, even if it's only a light accident. Injuries and property damage aren't the only issues here. Bad driving habits can also cause many lost hours, as people miss work or crucial appointments due to road accidents.
If you are injured in a road accident and are unable to work, this can lead to lost wages. It may even cause you to lose your job. Moreover, if you have an important appointment such as a doctor’s appointment, a meeting, or a flight, an accident can cause you to miss it, which can be very frustrating.
The importance of driving safely on the road cannot be overstated. By simply practicing safe driving every time you get behind the wheel, obeying traffic laws, and driving defensively, you can avoid loss of time, money, property, while also preventing injuries and helping to save lives on the road.