These past few months, people have been stressed and nervous due to self-quarantine and social distancing caused by the coronavirus. Many people are forced to stay at home and not to go outside unless they have to do something important, such as buying groceries or walking their pets. Although quarantine is needed to stay safe and healthy, it also causes additional stress and impacts the mental health of citizens.
Did you know that you’re more likely to get in a car accident if you’re stressed? Whether you’re behind the wheel alone or with passengers, driving safely should be your top priority. As cars become more essential than ever these days, safe driving tips are something most welcome and appreciate. All drivers are exposed to stressful situations and bad days from time to time, but if you check the following 10 tips and include them in your driving routine, you will become more aware and much safer!
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1. Never drive under the influence
The first, and the most important tip (though pretty much obvious), is to NEVER drive under the influence. It’s simple: don’t drink and drive. Drinking may be one of the biggest risk factors when it comes to traffic accidents. If a driver is under the influence, he is not only endangering himself but also the people in the vehicle with him/her. But that is not the only concern, a driver also puts everyone on the road in danger.
According to researches, an average drinker can only metabolize one drink per hour. One drink equates to 12 ounces of beer, or 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits. Besides, NHTSA estimates 28 people die daily in the U.S. from drunk driving accidents. You can die, get injured, go to jail, kill someone, or destroy your car if you drive under the influence of alcohol. Next time you go out for a drink, call a taxi or an Uber.
2. Keep it within the speed limit
One of the two most common reasons for traffic accidents is speeding. Don't try to become a rally driver or play the bad driver from movies. We understand that it’s fun to go fast if you own a powerful vehicle, but there is no fun in harming yourself and others. Public streets and highways are not meant for racing.
Make sure to always keep it within the speed limit, even if you have an open road in front of you. According to the 2009 U.S. Census, excessive speed was the cause of 33,808 traffic accidents. Respecting your, and someone else’s life is cooler than being fast and furious.
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3. Always buckle up
This should be the number one rule when you sit in a car, but still many people do not respect it. The moment you sit in your car, the first thing you should do is fasten your seat belt. Always buckle up! That is supposed to keep you safe and less injured in case a crash were to happen. If you’re not wearing your seat belt, you could slam into the windshield or worse, sail straight through it during an accident.
A seat belt can save your life. According to The National Safety Council, seat belts reduce your risk of injury in a crash by 50 percent. Also, according to the Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety in Queensland, you’re 10 times more likely to be killed in a car crash if you’re not wearing a seat belt. There is no reason not to fasten the seat belt.
4. Do not use the phone while driving
It is known that the phone distracts drivers while driving, but most drivers still use the phone while driving. Although it seems harmless when you drive slowly or are alone on the road, we will give you some interesting examples of how dangerous it can be. According to some surveys, each time a driver uses their phone to send texts, his or her eyes are off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, enough time to drive the length of a rugby pitch!
According to the FCC, almost 40% of American teenagers say that they have been in a moving vehicle while the driver used their smartphone. Another research by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute has shown that your chance of getting in a car crash is increased by 23 times while texting and driving. Also, 11% of drivers between the ages of 18 and 20 years old who were involved in a car crash, admit that they were sending text messages when they crashed. Next time you sit in your car, put your phone away.
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5. Slow down when you see the yellow light
Many drivers are tempted to rush through the yellow light. Although this will get you somewhere 5 minutes faster, you never know what could happen. But running the yellow or red light is sometimes a lack of attention to the road, or glare from the setting sun. Whatever the case, it is important to evaluate the situation and slow down when you see the yellow light, if possible. If you’re interested in cool gadgets for your car, check BREO BOX summer subscription box!
6. Adjust for the weather
Just like you adjust your clothes to the weather outside, try to adjust your car for it too. When the roads are wet, especially in heavy rain, your braking times increase. To stay safe, add extra space between your vehicle and other vehicles and slow down as much as possible. If you’re driving through fog or rain, be extra careful around curves. Also, use summer or winter tires depending on the season. You can also use snow chains if you see snow accumulating on the highway, but do not use chains on ice. Finally, always turn off your cruise control if you suspect ice may be present.
7. Don’t risk driving around the NO-Zone
This one is simple, but people still find reasons to drive around the NO-Zone. The NO-Zone includes only larger vehicles, such as trucks and buses. Because of their raised position, bus or truck drivers are unable to see small vehicles around them. Remember to stay out of such an area because drivers cannot see you, and that may cause an accident.
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8. Avoid driving when you are tired, sleepy, or very sick
One of the most common reasons for a car crash is fatigue. About 15% of car crashes are caused by fatigued driving, according to road safety research. Fatigued driving includes daydreaming, difficulty focusing, heavy eyelids, and others.
If you’re going on a road trip, avoid driving when you feel tired, sleepy, or very sick. Such conditions can lead to falling asleep behind the wheel and car crashes. No matter how far you are going, be sure to make a pit stop for coffee and take a rest. If you feel really sleepy, pull over into a safe parking space and take a nap.
9. Nothing is worth driving in a rush
Of course, we’re all sometimes late for work so we hop in the car and drive as fast as we can. Although it doesn't happen often, just one fast ride is enough to change your life completely. Every time you get into your car remember that nothing is worth driving in a rush. Being late is not a good thing, but speeding is much worse than that. If you’re able to, leave about 10 minutes earlier instead of risking your life.
10. Make sure you always carry an emergency kit
Accidents and stressful driving situations can happen anytime, even to the most experienced drivers. If you find yourself in such situations, you'd better be ready. Make sure to always carry a first-aid kit handy, but also you should include road flares, jumper cables, a flashlight, a blanket, and drinking water.
For extra safety, keep a phone charger in your car in case you need to call 911 or roadside assistance. To keep your car safe for the road, explore the best gadgets and unique products for drivers.