Driving safely affects not only your life and property, but also that of your passengers and other drivers on the road. Your ability to drive safely also directly correlates to your insurance rates and the continued validity of your driver’s license. In order to avoid license suspension, practice the following 10 safe driving tips:
- Drive within the speed limit: For every mile per hour you drive, your risk of getting into an accident increases by five percent. Following speed limits not only keeps you legal, but it also keeps you safer.
- Buckle your seatbelt: About half all fatal accidents involve individuals who are not wearing seatbelts. Buckling up can be the difference between life and death in the event of a collision.
- Don’t drink and drive: Alcohol causes reduced reaction time, blurred vision and poor coordination, all of which impair your ability to drive safely. Always appoint a designated driver or call a cab.
- Put the phone down: Recent studies have shown that texting, surfing the web and other smart phone activities performed while driving can slow your reaction time more than alcohol can. Keep your eyes on the road. Your phone will still be waiting when you’re safely parked.
- Leave enough space: To compensate for sudden actions of the car in front of you, leave about a car length of space between you two. This gives you extra time to suddenly stop without rear-ending the driver.
- Rest well: It’s recommended that you get eight hours of sleep per night, but this isn’t always feasible. To prevent nodding off behind the wheel after a night of restless sleep, drink a caffeinated beverage and do a few minutes of calisthenics—jumping jacks, running in place, big arm circles, etc.—to wake your body up before starting your commute.
- Maintain your car: Staying on top of routine car maintenance and repairs keeps your car in a road-safe condition for the best driving performance.
- Stay aware: Being alert to your environment at all times is the best way to avoid an accident. Look far up the road, beyond the few feet in front of you, and use your mirrors to stay aware of any nearby potential hazards.
- Drive defensively: A defensive driver is a non-aggressive driver. Avoid letting road rage get the best of you, don’t suddenly change lanes and use your turn signals. If more people drove defensively, many accidents could be prevented.
- Avoid driving in bad weather: Driving in heavy rain, snow or ice can be challenging. If the weather is particularly bad, avoid going out as much as possible to reduce your chance of accident and/or injury.
If you need a little assistance getting through a rough patch, call Mitchell Insurance Services at 559-713-1315 for more information on auto insurance.