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The automobile has become an integral part of our lives as we travel from home to work, school, or recreation. Our time on the roads has increased dramatically over the last few years, making road safety so very important. Being careful and mindful of a few simple rules will help us arrive at our destination unharmed and intact, and makes the trip more enjoyable for everyone. Here are seven tips you can use towards better road safety.

1.) Do not talk on the phone or send a text while you are behind the wheel of a moving car!
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It has been reported and admonished against in almost every newspaper, magazine, and from radio and television programs but we still do it. Not only are you putting yourself and your passengers as risk of an accident when you text or talk while driving, you are putting other drivers around you at risk, also. No text message or phone call is as important as your life, the life of your passengers, or that of others on the road. Pull over to to a safe place if the message just can’t wait. Only text or talk when you have parked the car safely.

2.) Keep your eyes on the road and try not to be distracted by happenings along the way.

Scenic views, “people watching”, seeing a great car on the road, these are some of the joys of a road trip. But don’t let these distractions consume so much of your interest that they take your attention away from driving safely. Stay aware of what is ahead of and around you on the road and try to anticipate danger. A child throwing a ball, a dog near the road, or a pedestrian crossing the street are all situations where danger could occur. Enjoy your ride but stay aware.

3.) Give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination.

Our days can be unpredictable and things happen that make us late for our appointments. Those days can make us want to press harder on the gas pedal to hurry our vehicle along but try to resist the urge. Being in a hurry while you drive can lead to reckless actions that may cause accidents. No matter how hard it may be to do, slow down. Keep driving the speed limit that is posted on your road. Don’t roll through stop signs or do any jack rabbit starts to get there faster. Getting there alive and safe is more important.

4.) Always maintain your car’s proper tire pressure, proper fluid levels in the windshield washers, power steering and transmission.

Simple maintenance in the areas of tire air pressure, power steering fluid and transmission fluid will help to prevent accidents. Soft tires can explode suddenly as you round a bend, and a dirty windshield that can’t be washed because you are out of windshield fluid can make it so you can’t see the road. If your transmission is low on fluid, your car may not be able to pick up speed properly as needed.

5.) Maintain a safe distance from the car ahead of you.

We have all been tailgated by a driver behind us and we know how uncomfortable it can be. Don’t be that tailgater, make sure there is plenty of time for stopping if the next vehicle has to slam on his brakes unexpectedly. Animals or children could run into the road, a car ahead could make an unannounced turn or bicyclist could veer out into the road. Be prepared for the unexpected by staying a safe distance back.

6.) Driving while you are angry may result in reckless actions.

Try to calm down before you get behind the wheel if the day is not going your way. When we are angry we tend to not think as clearly about safety, and an accident can make your day so much worse. Don’t let you frustrations cloud your reasoning to operate your car safely. Yeah, it feels great to stomp down on that gas pedal but actions like that could lead to collisions. And a collision can really ruin your day. Stay calm and level headed as you drive.

7.) Keep the radio volume down.

It’s great to drive along on a beautiful day with the songs coming over the radio. Maybe you enjoy singing along! Oldies? Rock and roll? No matter what kind of sounds you like as you are operating your car, remember that there are other sounds that you should be aware of and listening for. Don’t let your music drown them out. Ambulance sirens, fire trucks and police vehicles may come up behind you and if you can’t hear them you may not get out of their way in time. Enjoy your stereo but make sure you can also hear what is going on outside of the car.

Arriving safely is every driver’s goal, and every driver should observe road safety. Our journey will be more enjoyable for everyone if we heed these ten tips on how to get to our destinations without harm.

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