5 Essential Driving Safety Tips That Everyone Should Know

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the number of Americans killed in motor vehicle accidents increased by 18.4 percent from 2020 to 2021. That was the highest year-over-year increase in 15 years.

Most people can’t avoid driving but a few simple things can help keep you safe. Let’s look at 5 essential driving safety tips.

1. Wear Your Seatbelt

The first thing you should do whenever you get into a car, whether you’re driving or not, is to buckle up. If you’re ever in a collision, the seatbelt can help stop you from impact with hard surfaces like the steering wheel and dash.

The slogan seat belts save lives exists for a reason.

2. Don’t Make Any Assumptions

Most people don’t set out expecting to get into an accident. They follow the rules of the road and drive as safely as possible.

The problem is, you don’t have control over what other drivers are doing. Never make assumptions about what you think someone else will do based on your own driving habits. Safe driving means staying aware of what’s happening around you and expecting the unexpected.

3. Avoid Driving When You’re Tired

When you’re tired, you won’t react as quickly when something unexpected happens. In many cases, it won’t make much of a difference. But if a car pulls out in front of you or a pedestrian steps out from behind a parked car, fractions of a second are important.

And if you’re really tired, you might find yourself nodding off behind the wheel. This endangers you and anyone on the road around you.

4. Don’t Text and Drive

Smartphones are ubiquitous in today’s world. Virtually everyone has a phone with them all the time that lets them stay in touch with friends and family.

Texting while driving is one of the worst habits you can get into. Trying to maintain a conversation on the phone is bad enough but if you need to take your eyes off the road to see what you’re typing, it’s a major blow to driver safety.

Texting and other distractions have become such a problem on the roads that law firms have started offering car accident attorney services for victims of distracted driving.

Most modern smartphones have do not disturb options that will turn off notifications while you’re driving. Use those features to reduce the temptation to fire off a quick reply when a text comes in.

5. Don’t Drink and Drive

There’s much more of a stigma around drinking and driving than there was 20 or 30 years ago but it’s still a big problem.

Having enough to drink that it puts you over the blood alcohol limit is illegal but even one or two drinks can impair your reaction time. If you’re going to drink, leave the car at home and take a cab or an Uber to your destination.

Always Keep These Driving Safety Tips in Mind

These driving safety tips are only helpful if you actually use them. Always keep them in mind when you get behind the wheel and you’ll be much better prepared if something unexpected happens.

Check out the rest of our website for more helpful articles about staying safe on the road and other lifestyle tips.