Commit to Being a Safer Driver
April 10, 2012
Many people will make a commitment to losing weight, to do better in school, get out of debt, or join a fitness club. The sad part of making these resolutions is they are often very hard to keep and people often fail within the first few weeks or months of trying. One resolution that is easy to keep is to become a safer driver. It’s easy to achieve because licensed teenage drivers are in their vehicles every day giving them the opportunity to practice safe driving habits.
In today’s world of driving, drivers are trying to multitask behind the wheel with negative results. According to the Boston Focus Group Study of Bad Drivers:
- 77% of drivers admit to talking or texting while driving
- 60% admit to eating while driving
- 50% admit to making obscene or rude gestures or comments to other drivers, particularly those who cut in front of them
- 50% admit to almost falling asleep while behind the wheel
- Countless teens are getting behind the wheel of their vehicle drunk, high or buzzed.
Making a commitment to eliminate those types of activities from your daily driving habits isn’t hard to do. Let’s look at a few more:
- Ditch the cell phone because using a cell phone or texting while driving can be as dangerous or deadly as drunk driving. One way of doing this is to keep your cell phone far enough away that you will not be tempted to use it. Keep it turned off and let all messages go to voicemail. You can also purchase a cell phone blocker to block calls and/or texts while the vehicle is in motion. Only use a cell phone when driving for emergencies.
- Drive within the posted speed limit. When you speed you are increasing your chances of getting into a crash, injuring or killing yourself or others. Don’t be a follower and speed just because you think everyone else does. Be a leader and show others you obey the law.
- Fast food is often a teens lifeline but not while you are driving. If you need a snack, go into the restaurant or park and eat and then continue your journey.
- Always look when entering a lane of traffic or passing another car. Get into the habit of using your turn signals and side-view mirrors and don’t forget those inexpensive “blind-spot mirrors” can make the difference of getting into a crash or not.
- When someone cuts you off, take a deep breath, count to ten and let it go. Road rage accomplishes nothing except putting you in danger of a crash while you try to catch up to the other driver.
- Wear your seatbelt. Not because it’s the law, but because it will save your life.
- Study for your school tests at home, not while driving to school. Reading while driving is the second most common distraction while driving after the cell phone.
- Always remember drinking and drugged driving don’t mix. One beer even some over-the-counter medications can negatively impact your driving skills.
- If you plan on partying with alcohol, make sure you use a designated driver. Also remember that the drinking age is 21 in all 50 states.
- Finally, take a defensive driving course every couple of years. It’s always good to have a little refresher course and find out what changes have been made in the traffic laws and road conditions.
Make a commitment to become a smarter and safer driver. It is easy to incorporate into your daily living and will help you survive on the road. DRIVE SAFE!