20 Road Safety Tips Every Person Needs to Know and Follow

by Staff

A recent survey found there were 290.8 million cars in the US. With so many vehicles on the road, it’s unsurprising there are an enormous number of road accidents each day.

Sadly, these collisions can lead to serious injury and death. But there are ways you can protect yourself and others each time you get behind the wheel. By following these road safety tips, you can raise your driving standards and become a better motorist.

Keep reading to find out how to stay safe when driving.

1. Keep Your Vehicle in Roadworthy Condition

Safe driving begins before you even turn on the ignition. You should regularly inspect your vehicle to ensure that it’s safe to be on the road. This can include confirming that your tires have enough tread, your seatbelts are in working order, and that your windscreen doesn’t have any cracks or chips.

If you notice any worrying signs of wear and tear, it’s best to get these repaired by a qualified mechanic as soon as possible.

2. Check Your Mirrors and Seat Position

You may not be the only person that drives your vehicle. This can mean you get into your car to find that someone else has adjusted the mirrors and moved your seat. Even if the changes are minor, this can affect your driving ability.

For example, a slight mirror adjustment could mean that you can’t see cars coming up beside you. Or, if your seat is too far forward, you might press the accelerator too hard and drive into the vehicle ahead.

Taking a moment to get comfortable before you set off can make a significant difference.

3. Turn Off Your Mobile Phone

Your mobile phone can be a source of many distractions. While driving, you may be receiving text messages, phone calls, and email or social media alerts. Even taking your eyes off the road for a second to check these messages can have catastrophic consequences.

The best solution is to turn your phone off, but few people are willing to take this step. If you need to have your phone on and want to receive calls, you can connect it to your vehicle via Bluetooth. This will allow you to keep in contact with others without putting other road users at unnecessary risk.

4. Obey Speed Limits

It can be tempting to speed when you’re running late or if you think the road is clear and there is no reason to slow down. However, speed limits are there for a good reason, and exceeding them can lead to you putting others at risk.

For example, if you are going too fast, you might not have time to react if a pedestrian steps out onto the road. Or, another car could pull out from a side road into your path if they weren’t expecting you to approach so quickly.

5. Drive According to the Weather Conditions

Most drivers will be more cautious when it’s wet or icy outside. However, the roads can also be dangerous when the weather conditions are fine and bright. This is because you could get blinded by the sun’s glare.

Always take the weather into account and slow down if necessary.

6. Look Out for Traffic Signals

Checking for traffic signals should be a main part of your roadway safety habits. Failing to adhere to road signs or traffic signals could lead to you causing a collision with another driver or a pedestrian.

Paying attention can save lives and prevent damage to property.

7. Keep a Safe Distance

It’s common to see drivers traveling too closely behind the vehicle in front, but this is a dangerous driving habit. Should a driver brake quickly, this could lead to you hitting the back of their vehicle.

To help maintain a safe distance, follow the 3-second rule. This means that when you see the car in front pass a certain point, it should take you 3 seconds to reach the same position.

If you find yourself getting too close, you can use this rule to help you ease off the accelerator and give other drivers more space.

8. Anticipate Hazards

The best way to avoid hazards is to anticipate them in advance. For example, if you look ahead when driving you might see there is a sharp bend in the road. You could also notice there is surface water on the road that could affect your steering and drag your car off course.

If you can go adapt to these issues early, you can sidestep any situation that could be perilous. Of course, it’s not always easy to spot hazards, so it’s a good idea to stay alert and to expect the unexpected.

9. Don’t Drive When Tired

There may be occasions when you’re exhausted and driving would be risky and irresponsible. If you notice signs that you are overly tired and suspect that you shouldn’t be driving, it’s always best to err on the side of caution.

Take time to rest up and recover before you consider starting your journey. If you’ve already set off, find a safe place to pull over and relax for as long as it takes.

It may be the case that you need to take a nap, or phone a friend or family member and ask them to pick you up. You can then collect your car later on when you feel more alert.

10. Ask Passengers Not to Distract You

It can be a fun social experience when you have passengers in the car. You may be having interesting conversations, or you might be choosing songs from a Spotify playlist that a passenger can play through your car stereo from their phone.

However, if you are becoming distracted and not focusing on the road, this can put everyone in the car and other road users in danger. While you won’t want to spoil the mood, don’t be afraid to ask passengers to keep the noise down while you’re driving.

11. Use Headlights in Low-Light Conditions

It’s common sense to put your car headlights on when driving at nighttime. But you should also put your lights on when daylight begins to fade. Otherwise, it can be difficult for other drivers to spot your vehicle.

If you notice there is less natural light, you can put your headlights on as a precaution. This can be especially helpful if you are driving a dark-colored car which will be harder to notice.

Even if other drivers don’t have their headlights on, they will be able to see your vehicle more clearly.

12. Always Signal on Time

You could be getting ready to make a turn and slowing down as you approach, but you need to let other drivers know where you are going. Otherwise, they could try to second-guess what you are doing and crash into your vehicle.

This can also be the case when changing lanes. If people don’t know your intentions, they could drive into your path. By signaling early, you’ll be giving other road users the chance to make sure you have plenty of space.

13. Look Out for Others Using Poor Driving Practices

You may be an excellent driver, but other road users could put you at risk by driving negligently. They may be inattentive and drift towards your vehicle, or they could engage in dangerous driving practices such as speeding through junctions.

If you’re in a car, this type of driving can be frightening, but it can be even more terrifying if you’re a cyclist. You are exposed when you’re on a bike, and being the victim of a collision can have severe consequences.

If you’ve been involved in an accident as a cyclist, visit alphaaccidentlawyers.com.

14. Don’t Trust Your Car Too Much

A relatively new issue when it comes to transportation safety is that drivers can trust their cars too much. While this is an obvious concern when it comes to driverless vehicles, many cars now come with other automated technology that can lead to drivers becoming overly casual.

For example, certain vehicles can now park themselves. But you should still check your blind spots and make sure your car isn’t reversing toward another person or object.

Even older technology such as cruise control can lull drivers into a false sense of security. Should you program your vehicle to continue at a set speed, you still need to be alert in case you need to brake or take evasive action.

No matter what the capabilities of your car are, you should always pay full attention to the road.

15. Stay Hydrated

Dehydration can cause you to lose concentration and become tired. Therefore, you should keep a bottle of water in the car to keep you alert. While a drink such as coffee can give you a quick caffeine boost, it’s a diuretic and could result in you losing fluids over time.

16. Plan Long Journeys in Advance

One of the best driving safety tips and tricks is to plan your journey ahead of time, particularly if you are going on a long trip. You can consider factors such as when you will take breaks, where you will eat, and if you will share the driving responsibilities with someone else.

This forward planning can also make it easier to spot any issues that could occur during your journey. This could include if there are roadworks that could cause delays, or if there are stretches of road where it will not be safe to stop for an extended period.

17. Never Drive Under the Influence

It should go without saying, but you should never drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. These substances can seriously impair your judgment, increasing your chances of having an accident.

Take a taxi, use public transport, or get a lift with a friend rather than breaking the law and putting yourself and others at risk.

18. Be Wary of Accident Black Spots

There may be well-known accident black spots on your journey, and you can stay safe on the road by being cautious as you approach these areas. Slowing down and looking out for pedestrians and other road users can help you avoid a collision.

If possible, you could also plan an alternative route and bypass a black spot altogether.

19. Pull Over When Necessary

There are times when it’s sensible to pull over and get off the road. Even if you use defensive driving practices other drivers can still put you at risk. This could be because they are tailgating your vehicle, or they are braking sharply for no apparent reason.

It’s also possible you could feel unwell or become sleepy. In these situations, it’s better to stop and wait until you are ready to resume your journey.

20. Keep a First Aid Kit in Your Vehicle

If you’re involved in an accident, you may require first aid while you wait for paramedics to arrive. If you have plasters, bandages, and antiseptic in your car, you can treat yourself and other road users until you can get professional medical care.

Use These Road Safety Tips When You’re Behind the Wheel

It’s important to learn these road safety tips and to use them each time you drive a vehicle. Being vigilant, only driving when you’re alert, and avoiding distractions can all contribute to keeping other road users safe. Watching out for unexpected hazards and sticking to speed limits are also good practices whenever you’re on the road.

These tips can help you reach your destination without incident.

If you’ve enjoyed reading this road safety article, be sure to read more of our terrific articles before you go.

About the Author/s

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The New Jersey Digest is a new jersey magazine that has chronicled daily life in the Garden State for over 10 years.

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