When you’ve had a driver’s license for a decade or more, it can be easy to pick up some poor driving habits that aren’t very safe. Even the best drivers need a refresher every once and awhile. While there are some things that make the car itself unsafe to drive, there are habits that drivers pick up that can cause problems on the road.
Swerving because you lean to pick something up, stopping suddenly because you didn’t have your eyes on the road, and even driving when you are very tired are all problematic when you get to the wheel to drive. Here are some simple safety tips to remind every car driver how to stay safe on the road.
Check Your Tire Pressure Regularly
Your tires are the only thing holding your car to the ground. And on those tires, it’s a very small spot that actually touches the road surface. This makes it even more important to keep tabs on your tire health. Watch for things like cracks, worn down tread, and use a tire pressure gauge to ensure your tire pressure is within the best range for driving. While your vehicle may come equipped with sensors to track these kinds of things, if your tires seem a little low, there is no reason not to check the tire pressure yourself.
Avoid Driving Distractions
Distracted driving makes up a lot more crashes each year than people realize. Driving while talking on the phone, checking your emails, or even putting on makeup can lead to dangerous wrecks. When you’re driving, put away all the things that could distract you from the task at hand, which is driving safely. Avoid turning around while you’re driving, as well as looking in other directions. Your eyes should stay mostly focused ahead and on the surrounding environment.
Pay Attention to Warning Lights
You might think that a warning light is no big deal, but when your engine suddenly seizes while you’re going 75MPH on the highway or one of your belts suddenly snaps, you’ll wish you had paid more attention to the warning lights on your dash that something was going wrong. While sometimes sensors in newer cars don’t read everything correctly, you can’t be sure unless you get your car checked. Some auto parts stores will check the codes for you so you can decide if the problem is important enough to warrant a trip to the mechanic.
Adjust Your Mirrors For the Best Visibility
How often do you get into your car and check your mirrors? Even if you’re the only one who typically drives your car, they could get moved by others. You could accidentally bump into one when you’re getting into or out of the car. Someone in a parking lot could’ve moved one of your exterior mirrors, or your kids could play around with the rearview mirror when you weren’t looking. Keeping your mirrors in the right spot ensures you get the best visibility while you are driving.
Don’t Make Assumptions About Other Drivers
Pay close attention to the drivers around you. Don’t assume what a driver will or will not do. You need to be aware of the drivers all around your vehicle. When you’re changing lanes, make sure you have enough room to do it. Don’t assume that the other driver will slow down to accommodate you. It’s vital that you do your best to drive with other drivers in mind as you move from place to place. Additionally, refresh your memory on what it looks like to be a defensive driver. Be prepared to react to situations, stay alert, and drive at a speed you can easily control your vehicle.
Stop Driving When You Feel Sleepy Sleepy driving is a bad idea. In fact, it’s so bad that some experts say that it’s as bad as driving drunk. While there may be times when you can’t avoid it, if you find yourself dozing at the wheel, it’s time to take a break. Stop to sleep, go for a quick walk, and move around to get the blood moving through your body. When you feel more energized, get back in the car and drive. Alternatively, if you’re carpooling, ask someone else to drive if you feel too drowsy to get in front of the wheel. All of these driving tips can help you stay safe on the road.
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