Safer driving can net you lower insurance premiums, offering a tantalizing reason to learn how to drive defensively. It keeps you safer on the road, too. Protect yourself and others on the road by implementing these tips.
Turn Off Cell Phones
When driving a motorized vehicle, you should focus and concentrate on the road and your surroundings. Remain mindful of other vehicles, motorcycles, pedestrians and bicyclists. Using your phone takes your mind off of the road, so shut it off or disable all notifications. This stops it from ringing and ensures you won’t get notified of texts or emails. Cell phones top the list of culprits that contribute to distracted driving.
Avoid Driving While Intoxicated or Under a Drug’s Influence
Every driver needs their full faculties when operating a motor vehicle. Consuming even one alcoholic drink erodes that; so does smoking weed or eating an edible. Driving after consuming drugs or alcohol carries huge penalties. For instance, prosecutors can charge an individual with a DUI or drug offense as a misdemeanor or felony, the latter of which carries much stronger punishments.
Improve Your Seldom-Used Driving Skills
Long after you’ve passed your driving exam, practice parallel parking, navigating a roundabout, and backing long distances. Roundabouts are required to practice with them, but the rest of the skills you can practice in your own driveway. Spiff up your driveway by resurfacing it in asphalt, something that according to The Spruce, costs just $5 to $7 per square foot.
Bone Up on Little Know Driving Facts
Although every U.S. state uses the same line styles on roadways, did you know that different locations use different colors for their asphalt stripes? According to Asphalt Kingdom, white, blue, and yellow stripes are used across the country, in Canada and Mexico. Review what the lines and colors mean before driving in a state or foreign country.
Adjust Your Vehicle’s Mirrors
Don’t become over-reliant on driving assistance features. It would help if you still used your mirrors when you drive. Adjust your mirrors each time you get in your car to drive, especially after someone else drove it. This adjustment ensures that you can see everything around you, and you won’t need to worry if your mechanical system fails to load the assistant feature.
Use the Vehicle’s Indicator Lights
When you slow down or stop, brake lights notify the driver behind you. When you turn left or right, you must signal your intention in advance to inform the surrounding drivers. This signal light allows them to prepare for your move into the next lane or your intent to pass them. Signaling turn and lane change intent helps avoid accidents.
Wear Your Seatbelt
Accident research proves that wearing seatbelts saves lives, so click yours shut over your lap or shoulder. Modern vehicles use shoulder harness designs, but classic cars feature only a lap belt. Also, have your mechanic check your airbags when you take the vehicle in for its manufacturer-recommended maintenance.
Don’t Skip Your Vehicle Maintenance
Most manufacturers offer at least the first year of the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance of their new vehicles. Some offer up to three years. This warranty service improves vehicle safety if the owner uses the provided services. Avoid delaying these service visits to keep your vehicle in the best condition. These maintenance plans include many necessary services, including oil changes, tire rotation, brake fluid, and other fluid changes. Some manufacturers include re-optimization of the vehicle’s camera and driving assistance systems.
Improving your driving takes time and effort. Start by picking one thing from this list to improve, then stick with it for at least two weeks. Developing new habits becomes easier when you put in the work every day. Once you master one change to your driving habits, choose another to tackle.