By Madeline Klein
We want to be your safe driving sidekick. In Illinois alone, there are nearly 800 car accidents a day, and each year millions of people are injured or disabled from car accidents in the United States. We’re making it our mission to get those numbers down. Here are 10 safe habits every driver should follow!
1. Defensive driving
This kind of driving goes beyond just following the rules of the road; it’s defined as driving to save lives, time and money. We recommend taking a course to master these skills. You’ll learn how to anticipate dangerous situations, reduce your risk of collision, and a variety of other safety techniques.
2. Never drive tired
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 100,000 police-reported crashes are due to driver fatigue each year. This is 100 percent preventable. Take it from us – get some shut-eye and then hit the road.
3. Avoid car distractions
From texting and driving to applying lipstick in the mirror, distracted driving is a recipe for disaster. Finish your text conversation, end your phone call, plug in your GPS and set your playlist all BEFORE shifting your car out of park.
4. Use your turn signals
This may seem like common sense, but you’d be surprised how many people fail to use their blinker. Turn signal neglect in the United States causes about 2 million crashes per year. That means it’s not just frustrating for other drivers, it’s also dangerous.
5. Drive slower
The faster you drive, the more severe your crash is likely to be. Keep within the speed limits and enjoy the ride. It’ll keep you and other drivers safer.
6. Driving in bad weather
The best strategy for driving in bad weather is to avoid it. However, if you’re already driving when a storm strikes, slow down, be cautious, look out for barricades, and leave extra space between your car and the one in front.
7. Avoid driving too close to tractor-trailers
Truck drivers can’t see what’s directly behind them, so keep two-car distance between you and them. This gives you enough time to react, if needed.
8. Wear your seat belt
It isn’t just a law, it’s a lifesaver. Not only does the seat belt prevent you from being thrown from the vehicle, it also makes the air bag more effective.
9. Always yield
It’s critical to yield the right-of-way. Predictability is important in driving. Yielding and following the right-of-way keeps things moving smoothly. Plus, you’ll avoid the not-so-friendly finger from other drivers.
10. Never drive under the influence
Call a friend, grab an Uber, or walk with a buddy. With all the transportation options available, there is no reason to ever drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Eliminating impaired driving means saving thousands of lives.
Posted October 5, 2016 in Street Smarts.