Safe Driving is the first step in preventing accidents on the road. June is National Safety Month and to celebrate we will be advocating all month long for driving safety. This month focuses on reducing leading causes of injury and death at work, in our homes and communities, and on the road. Vehicle safety is more important than ever since statistics are showing that auto accidents are on the rise. We understand that there are more distractions than ever while driving these days; the map on your car’s dashboard won’t work, the kids are screaming in the backseat, and your cell phone is buzzing, but it is your responsibility when you get behind a wheel to ensure your and others safety.
Here are 20 Actions You Can Take to Become A Safer Driver:
1. Focus on driving. Keep your attention and eyes on the road at all times. No-multi-tasking while driving, put all the distractions away and focus on what is happening around you.
2. Plan Ahead. Everyone is always running late which can cause high speeds and distracted driving. Wake up a little bit earlier so you can leave for your commute a few minutes earlier. Doing so will help you slow down. Give yourself some extra time in case there are accidents on your route, or you need to stop for gas along the way.
3. In the case of an accident, focus your eyes on where to go. When spinning out of control, focus your eyes on where you want your car to be rather than the object that it might hit. Because of hand-eye coordination, if your eyes are looking right then, your vehicle will also go right.
4. Maintain control when tires blow out. Try your best to keep the car driving in a straight line and slow your speed. Have two hands on the wheel and pull over to a safe place when able. Don’t slam on the brakes or try to speed during this time, it can cause worse damage to your tire and can make maintaining control harder.
5. Go the speed limit. It seems pretty simple, but the speed limit signs are there for a reason; to protect you and others on the road. If you are speeding more damage can be caused when an accident does occur. Remember: it is okay to maintain the correct speed limit and let others pass by you.
6. Get your road rage under control. Road rage can cause unnecessary aggressive driving. Take a deep breath and cool down before taking out your anger on the road or other vehicles/drivers around you.
7. Watch the weather. During inclement weather, drive at slower speeds to avoid skidding on ice or hydroplaning. Turn your lights on day or night when it is raining or if there is fog. Remember: when the weather is terrible, go easy on the brakes to maintain better control over your vehicle.
8. Look both ways at an intersection. It only takes a few seconds to look both ways before going again after the light turns green. Before you cross, take a quick peak left and right to be sure that no other cars are coming through the intersection.
9. Keep your distance. No one likes a tailgater. The rule of thumb is to be three seconds apart from the car in front of you. Double that amount if there happens to be bad weather. Don’t underestimate the amount of stopping distance you need between yourself and the car in front of you.
10. Grip the steering wheel correctly. Keep your hands at 10 and 2. Keeping a good grip on the wheel is helpful when avoiding hazards on the road.
11. Stay alert and awake. If you do find yourself feeling sleepy, the best thing to do is pull over and take a short nap. If you recognize you are too tired before you drive then it is best to stay home and avoid being behind the wheel at all. If you can’t avoid driving, think about opening a window to feel the breeze or singing along to a song to help keep you alert.
12. Wear your seatbelt the right way. Make sure the lap and shoulder belt is snug and that you are wearing the lap part of the seatbelt on your hips. Seatbelts are there to protect you and others from being thrown from the car if an accident happens. Wearing it saves lives, so just do it.
13. Pay attention to the flow of traffic. Sometimes signs are helpful, but just because a light or a sign is saying you have the right away, doesn’t always mean that is what is actually happening. Focus on the traffic flow and what other drivers are doing too.
14. Pick the right music station. Calming music can help keep you calm on the road. But intense music can distract you and not keep you as focused as you should be. Fiddling with your radio station or music is extremely distracting while driving, so be sure to set your tunes before you start your trip.
15. Look as far ahead as you can. You should try and focus your eyes past the first few cars in front of you. Doing so will keep you prepared for what is ahead.
16. Keep your headlights on. Driving with your lights on during the day can help others be more aware of you on the road.
17. Use your parking brake more. If you don’t use it regularly, your parking brake can stop working correctly. Parking breaks prevent your call from rolling when parked on an incline. They can also act as an emergency brake if your regular brakes stop working.
18. Don’t break during a tire blow out. If you lay on the brakes when you have a tire blow out, it can potentially cause your car to flip into another vehicle or median. Do the opposite of what you think, hit the gas slightly and try to stay as straight as possible.
19. No Drinking and Driving. Although this seems like it should be common sense, there are many people out there that do decide to get behind the wheel after they have had one too many drinks. Do yourself and all of us a favor and call a rideshare or cab.
20. Put your phone away. Our phones are one of the biggest distractions when it comes to driving. Newer phones have the drive mode feature, where it will answer a text from a friend back saying that you are driving right now. The best way to avoid looking at your phone is putting it out of sight.
Follow the rules of the road and be courteous to other drivers. No distraction is worth a car crash or a life. June may be National Safety Month, but safety should be practiced 24/7 while driving. Here at Metromile, we want you to be safe on the road whenever possible. If you find that you don’t drive much or that you are spending less time on the road, then pay-per-mile auto insurance could be an excellent fit for you. Get a fast and free quote today!
Kelsey Glynn is a blogger and owner of Social Graces, a business to support others in their social media needs. She is a contributing blog writer for East Valley Moms Blog, a social media content creator, and an avid photo taker. She is Metromile’s Senior Social Media Advocate and helps to maintain our online communities. You can catch her adventuring around AZ and living the mom life on Instagram.