The summer has a way of pulling people into their cars and leading them to an open body of water for a day of fun in the sun. Whether it’s kids or adults, get all your passengers to their vacations safely.
How to Employ Safe Driving
With everyone wanting to scratch their summer fever itch and head to the lake or the beach, there are several driving tips to keep in mind. Whether it’s a day trip to the lake or a weekend trip to the beach, these guidelines will help you and everyone in your vehicle enjoy their trip to the fullest extent.
Limit your distractions
Phones these days are being used for so much more than texting. When you’re driving in your car, chances are you’re also listening to music and searching through songs, as well as checking your GPS directions. To limit the distractions around you, choose a specific playlist on your phone to listen to before you start driving. As well, put your destination in your GPS before you leave the house. Not only will you not have to mess around on your phone while driving, but you can also look ahead of time to see the traffic and plan an alternate route! Fiddling with electronic devices diverts the driver’s attention away from the road.
Be an ‘Active’ Driver
How does one be an ‘active’ driver? Well for starters, be aware of your surroundings. If a car on the highway near your is swerving, switch lanes. Another method is finding a stationary object on the side of the road (a street sign) and using it to gauge how close you are to another car. To do this simply start counting seconds as soon as the car ahead of you passes your chosen object. It is advised to keep a 2-4 second cushion between you and the car in front of you in order to give them time to make decisions. Trailing directly behind a car
could lead to a fender bender. An ‘active’ driver is prepared for anyone to do anything, such as a pedestrian crossing the road without the right of way. Active drivers are more conscientious of their surroundings and able to get out of uncomfortable or unsafe driving situations (for example, distancing your car from another vehicle that is driving recklessly).
Do NOT be an ‘Aggressive’ Driver
Don’t mistake ‘active’ driving with ‘aggressive’ driving. An ‘Aggressive’ driver does more than just violate the tips and guidelines in this article – they intentionally aggravate other drivers. Characteristics of aggressive driving include initiating conflict with other drivers, using rude gestures or language, tailgating or impeding other cars, or flashing their headlights out of frustration. Many people find these habits annoying – and all of them could lead to a car accident. If you have difficulty keeping away from these habits, suggest that someone else drive your car for you.
If you get easily frustrated with traffic or are worried about being late we have a foolproof solution: leave earlier. Doing so will allow you to obey posted speed limits, lowering your chance of receiving a speeding ticket and you’ll get to your destination in time. Checking the news and traffic updates for alternate and safe routes will also allow you to get where you need to go in a timely fashion. If weather conditions are poor, leave even earlier, allowing time to clean off your car if there is snow or check your wipers if there’s rain. If you’re driving through weather conditions you don’t know well, consider delegating driving duties to someone who does for the time period. Another great tool to have when planning ahead is an emergency kit with jumper cables in case your car won’t start.
Know Your Limits
When driving, recognize your limits and take breaks. If you are an ‘active’ driver, then driving can be quite exhausting. If you’re on a long trip this vacation, make sure to take driving breaks every 2 hours and stretch your legs for 15 minutes in between breaks. Not only will everyone be able to take a bathroom break, but you’ll be able to stretch and get the blood flowing through your body again. Falling asleep while driving can lead to fatal accidents, so make sure you receive a solid night’s sleep not only before a long drive, but every night.
With these safety tips and guidelines, we hope you’ll get to start relaxing sooner with these driving worries out of the way. If you find yourself in a car accident this summer, please contact Thomas Bumgardner at (704) 870-4779 to better understand your rights.