Driving can seem like such a normal, everyday habit. What we fail to realize, however, is that driving an automobile can actually be a dangerous undertaking. In 2017 alone, over 40,000 people lost their lives to accidents on the road. So, how can you keep yourself from becoming a highway statistic? You can start by keeping these safe driving tips in mind.
A Clean Driving Record Can Keep Your Insurance Rates Low
You really should take every step possible to avoid an incident on the road. Not only can incidents negatively impact yourself and others on the road, but they can also affect your car insurance if you’re at fault. For instance, if you’ve been convicted of reckless driving, your insurance rates can increase, or you can lose your car insurance altogether. It’s always best to avoid driving recklessly in order to maintain your insurance and help to keep everyone on the road safe.
If you need new auto insurance or to update your current policy, connect with Alliance Insurance Services to find an affordable policy that protects you and your family.
Higher Speeds are Never Worth the Higher Risks
You may think that driving over the speed limit is a safe way to shorten your trip. In reality, though, driving at faster speeds really doesn’t save you much time, but it does put you more at risk for a deadly car accident. Speeding is one of the leading causes of fatal accidents, so you should weigh this risk against any reason you may have for ignoring speed limits. Instead of speeding, you can save time on your trip by using an app like Waze to track traffic conditions and potential delays. Give yourself extra time to pull up your route so you will always know how early you need to leave and look for alternate routes that will keep your arrival as punctual as possible. When all else fails, know that being late is always better than being in a high-speed accident.
Use of Alcohol and Drugs Can Make Driving Deadly
You likely already know that driving under the influence is extremely dangerous. What you may not know, however, is how much you can drink and still safely get behind the wheel. The legal limits vary by state, with some states pushing for laws that could make driving after a single drink a crime for some drivers. You have to take several factors into consideration to determine how many drinks are too many, such as height and weight. Impairment can be made worse by other, less obvious factors though, such as how much sleep you got the night before and how much food you had before drinking. To play it safe, consider using a rideshare service if you plan on drinking at all. Also, apply this strategy when any illegal or legal drugs are involved, since drugged driving kills more people than drinking and driving.
Distracted Driving Puts You and Other Drivers at Risk
Driving while distracted can be just as deadly as driving under the influence. What are the activities that distract drivers the most? According to the CDC, dangerous accidents can occur when drivers are paying attention to navigation systems, snacks, or even other passengers, rather than focusing on the road. Perhaps the most prevalent distraction causing accidents these days is the use of cell phones in cars. Texting and talking while driving is so dangerous that many states have enacted laws banning certain cell phone behaviors while behind the wheel. In some states, any use of your phone at all while driving can end up in fines. Laws or not, it’s always safer to save those texts and calls for times when you’re not behind the wheel.
Taking Precautions While Driving Abroad
If you’re driving in a foreign country, make sure you understand the traffic laws. This includes learning new road signs as these often differ from those in the U.S. To prevent vehicle theft or vandalism, try to park indoors or in a well-lit area if you must park outside. If you do have your valuables stolen, you’ll need to reach out to the embassy for a new passport. If you need family or friends to send you funds, they can use a secure transfer service. For example, when you’re traveling in Mexico, a service like Remitly offers low-fee fund transfers to thousands of pickup locations around the country.
Each trip you take in your car can be filled with the potential for danger and accidents. By their very nature, accidents are not 100 percent preventable, but each driver can play a role in reducing the risk of dangerous accidents. By practicing safe driving habits, you can do your part.
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