Tips To Help You Drive Safely

Written by on December 6, 2012 in Family - No comments | Print this page


Any time you are driving on the road, it is important to be aware not only of your own driving, but also the driving of those around you.  Defensive driving is a necessary part of avoiding an accident.

Motor vehicles have greatly simplified the process of getting from one place to another, but not without their disadvantages.  If every driver drove carefully and was aware of those around them, the amount of motor vehicle accidents would greatly decrease every year.  The best you can do is to be aware of all conditions on the road and follow these tips to help you drive safely.

First, Always Use Correct Safety Restraints

The first thing you should do when you enter a car, whether you are a passenger or a driver, is to buckle your seatbelt correctly.  It is a proven fact that wearing your seatbelt can save your life in the event of an accident.  Never share seatbelts between passengers; if you don’t have enough seatbelts for the amount of passengers you have, leave someone behind.  Wearing your seatbelt can prevent you from being ejected from the car or slamming your head into a hard surface that can permanently disable you.  The first rule of the road is to always wear your seatbelt when you are riding in or driving a car.

Along with this, it is important that children are always correctly buckled in car seats or booster seats.  Strict age and weight requirements have been set to determine when children can move from car seat to booster to regular seat.  If you don’t know where to find these requirements, consult your pediatrician.  Children should always be protected by the correct safety restraint.

Second, Always Lock Your Vehicle

Any time you are not occupying your vehicle, make sure to keep it locked.  This will prevent your belongings from being stolen and will also stop anyone who tries to climb into your car when you are not watching.  If you are on a long trip and stop to take a restroom break, make sure the doors are locked before leaving the car.  It is also recommended to keep the doors locked while you are driving.  Any time you stop your car you are at risk for someone jumping in your car and taking control.  It is good practice to constantly keep your doors locked in order to protect yourself and your belongings.

Third, Carry Emergency Supplies

It is always a good idea to have a mobile phone with you in case of emergencies.  If your car becomes disabled or breaks down, you may need to call for help quickly.  If you are on a long trip, you should also carry a first aid kit, a blanket and a flashlight.  If you are traveling in cold weather, you may also want to pack warm clothes.  In the event of an emergency where you are stranded, you may need to rely on these things to keep warm.  A first aid kit can be used to treat emergency injuries before emergency personnel can arrive in the event of an accident.  Being prepared when you are driving can save lives.

Fourth, Be Smart If Your Vehicle Breaks Down

If you are driving and have problems with your vehicle, make sure to pull immediately to the side of the road in order to avoid causing accidents on a busy roadway.  Be sure to stay inside your vehicle and keep all passengers inside also.  Keep your doors locked, and roll your windows down just enough to ask witnesses to call the police or emergency services.  If you must leave your vehicle, be sure to stay in a group and stay out of the way of traffic.  Move far off the road in order to avoid being hit by a car.  And finally, make sure to warn other vehicles of the potential hazard by turning on your hazard lights or placing warning devices within a good distance of your car.  Use reflective triangles or flares to warn other drivers of the disabled car ahead.

A big part of staying safe on the road is simply being aware of the rules of the road and the best way to handle particular situations.  You may save your own life or the lives of others when you drive defensively and are aware of how to handle emergency situations.  Before you set off on the road, particularly for a long trip, go through a checklist to make sure you are prepared and aware of the best way to handle every situation.

This is a guest post.  Lawrence Reaves writes for Chucker & Reibach, a Virginia traffic law firm offering legal help with speeding, reckless driving and DUI citations.  Go here and see how they can help you.

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