As we continue to return to daily routines like work and school, there are an increased number of drivers are on the road. Now, more than ever, it’s important to drive responsibly.
Safe driving practice, like these tips to avoid collisions, can help you stay aware, alert, and more likely to prevent accidents.
Don’t Drive Distracted
On average, distracted driving kills 9 people and injures over 1,0001 every day in the United States. Though many drivers report that they are against driving with distractions many still engage in risky behaviors like eating or texting while driving.
Put down your phone, designate a passenger to take any incoming calls or texts, focus on the road, and remember you can always safely pull off if you need to make a call or anything else that distracts from the road.
Practice Defensive Driving
You should always be aware of what’s happening on the road ahead of you, don’t depend on other drivers to know what’s going on. Expect other drivers to make mistakes, practice safe following distances, and have an escape route in place in case of a collision.
- Actively scan the road for hazards, use your mirrors and watch out for pedestrians and cyclists.
- Practice the 3 second rule and think of distance in terms of time and not space. If the driver ahead of you has just passed a road sign, it should take you at least 3 seconds before you reach that sign yourself. The more distance, the easier it’ll be to stop suddenly when needed.
- Increase your following distance in inclement weather, such as rain, sleet, or ice. These conditions can make the roads dangerous and increase the chances of slipping, sliding, and unexpected stops.
Prepare & Plan in Advance
If you’re taking a long road trip, make sure you have your routine mapped out (and entered into your GPS) before you start. Work in breaks so that you can be sure you’re always alert and well rested when on the road.
If it’s just a short drive to and from somewhere, it’s still important to be prepared. Don’t eat or drink while driving, wait until you reach your destination.
Protect Yourself & Passengers
Always make sure your passengers, especially children and pets, are settled before you hit the road. Everyone should be wearing a seatbelt and/or in the proper car seat.
If a passenger needs your attention, pull off the road safely to care for them. Reaching into the backseat can cause you to lose control of the vehicle and what’s happening in front of you.
If you have someone in the passenger seat who is responsible, designate them as in charge of phones, GPS, childcare, and other distractions that may occur.
Keep your auto emergency kit up-to-date in the event that you breakdown or need assistance.
Choose Safety over Speed
It’s more important to reach your destination safely rather than quickly. Observe and maintain posted speed limits.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, for over two decades speeding has been culprit in one-third of all motor vehicle fatalities.
Maintaining safe speeding limits and being aware of the speed of other drivers around you can help prevent collisions. If a speeding driver is behind you, trying to engage you in risky behavior, or is tailgating use your judgment to safely steer your vehicle out of the way.
Make Sure You’re Covered
Having coverage you can count on is important. AAA Insurance is here to help. Our friendly & knowledgeable insurance professionals are on hand to answer your questions, help you review your policy, shop quotes from multiple carriers, and more.
1Daily claims are based on annual accidents involving distracted drivers from 2019 data collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Distracted driving is any activity (including texting) that diverts attention from the task of safe driving.