18 Nov 5 Tips For Staying Safe on the Highway
Driving is one of the most dangerous things we do. While this everyday task feels safe enough from within our temperature-controlled cars, playing our favorite tunes and eating snacks, it is exceptionally dangerous. You probably know this. You’ve taken driver’s ed, seen the smashed up vehicles involved in drunk driving accidents, watched the news for five minutes, etc. But, understanding the inherent dangers of driving should be taken into account every time you get behind the wheel. And as a Californian, you may more frequently use highways and endure long treks to work. So, in this article, we will discuss a few safe driving tips for the next time you drive down the 101 (or any other highway for that matter).
Five safe highway driving tips:
- Focus on your driving. Avoid any kind of multitasking, especially when you hit the highway. This may involve a bit of planning. Delegate a passenger to navigate, feed you snacks, give you water, and help with whatever it takes for you to stay ultra-focused! Keeping your focus also requires that you not use your phone. No matter the reason, you should not call, text, snap pics, or anything in between while you drive. It only takes a few seconds for everything to go wrong.
- Drive defensively. You’re not going to teach anyone a lesson while you drive. So drive defensively rather than aggressively. Be aware of everyone around you, what they’re doing, and be ready for whatever might unexpectedly come your way. Drivers can sometimes act erratically and unpredictably. So, be prepared to respond safely in case someone cuts you off, merges into your lane, stops suddenly, and any other possibility. One of the best ways to do this is by not tailgating. Keep a two-second buffer between you and the car in front of you– four seconds when the weather is bad.
- Create a safe-driving plan. If you have a long trip ahead, make a plan for rest, food, breaks, phone calls, etc. Make sure not to become overly tired and to break for when you need to use your phone. This may take some calculating before the start of your journey. If you pass through less-populated towns where amenities are sparse, plan when and where you’ll get a chance to stop. You can also prep the details of your comfortability. Adjust your seat, the mirrors, temperature, and navigation.
- Drive smart and safe. Don’t get ahead of yourself when you drive, and remember this is a dangerous task. Don’t attempt to reach for anything that fell to the floor or that is too far out of reach, like in the back seat. Make sure to keep all necessities within your safe reach. And finally, always wear your seatbelt and never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Disobeying these rules is not only illegal but exceptionally dangerous as well. Alcohol accounts for about 28 percent of all traffic accidents, and drugs are responsible for 16 percent. And nearly half of those killed in car accidents in recent years were not wearing a seat belt.
- Finally, slow down. Even when you’re in a rush, this is not the place to speed. Speeding reduces your reaction time and can increase the severity of an accident. Recent statistics show that in 2017, speeding was responsible for about half of the fatal car accidents that occurred that year. Simply easing up on a lead foot can potentially save the lives of you, your passengers, and those around you.
Staying safe on the road begins with you and smart driving habits. Be sure that each time you get behind the wheel, to drive undistracted, unimpaired, and ready for the unexpected — however, some things you cannot control, especially while driving. If you or a loved one is involved in a car accident, do not hesitate to reach out for legal help. We at the Law Offices of William D. Shapiro are experienced, compassionate, and expert legal professionals, ready to assist you. Reach out for the legal advocacy you deserve today!