With the fall and winter holiday’s fast approaching, many car drivers will soon be taking to our roadways, highways and interstates whether it is for seasonal shopping or a long road trip to visit family and friends. When you’re on the road this holiday season (or anytime) keep these safety tips for car drivers in mind as recommended by the US Department of Transportation.
Buckle up: The most important and easiest safety rule/precaution for all of us to follow is to buckle up. Wearing your seat belt is the best protection you have if involved in a car crash. It will keep you from hitting your head or windshield or dashboard and it will prevent you from being thrown around in the car or even ejected from the vehicle. Likewise, those traveling with small children should follow all car seat laws for young passengers.
Appoint a designated driver: We’ve all heard it a million times, drinking and driving can be a lethal combination. Consumption of alcohol negatively affects a driver’s ability to make coherent and responsible decisions when driving from changing lanes to stopping at a stoplight. When you chose to drink and drive not only are you putting your own life at risk, but you are endangering the lives of others on the road. Be responsible and appoint a designated driver before you head holiday party or family gathering if you plan to drink alcohol.
Avoiding cutting other drivers off: Cutting other drivers off on the road can create an emergency breaking situation for other cars around you which can sometimes result in a serious or even fatal accident for you or another driver. Before you changes lanes, but sure there is plenty of room between and the vehicle behind you by checking your mirrors first.
Be aware of aggressive drivers: When you are on the road, keep an eye out for aggressive drivers. Speeding, cutting other drivers off, changing lanes erratically, and running stop signs and stoplights are just a few of the signs of an aggressive driver. These kinds of behavior can lead to dangerous situations for the aggressive driver and others on the road. Keeping a safe distance away from this drivers will lesson your risk of danger and in extreme circumstances, you could prevent a potential accident by reporting the driver to local law enforcement or the highway patrol.
Be an attentive driver: When you are diving, the safest policy is to focus on the road only. If you need to handle another situation, pull off the road at a rest stop, parking lot, etc., where you can safely handle the situation at hand without putting yourself, your passengers or other drivers in harm’s way. Inattentive drivers can be just as dangerous as aggressive drivers because they are not paying attention to what is happening around them. Driving too slowly, ignoring brake lights and turn signals, texting while driving and talking on a cell phone while on the road are all things that can that inattentive drivers do that often result in emergency braking situations and even accidents for the inattentive driver or others around them on the road. When you’re behind the wheel, it is your duty to know what is going on around you and concentrate on getting to your destination safely.
For more information about these tips and others, please visit the US Department of Transportation and learn about how you can share the road safely.