Driving is such a critical element of life in the United States. Unless you live in large urban centers with plenty of public transportation available and nearby amenities, you probably have to drive around to get from place to place. Millions of Americans commute to work every day, others bring their kids to school, while others head to the store for groceries. There are hundreds of reasons to get in the car and hit the road, so it is safe to say that driving is important.

However, this practice also comes with significant risk. Even the smallest vehicles weigh thousands of pounds and often move at high speeds in close proximity to others. That doesn’t even include the human factor, which allows for people who are bad drivers to put you in danger. 

Every time you head out on the road, there are dangers you could face, from bad drivers to poor road conditions to unexpected obstacles. Being a safer driver is not only meant to keep you alive, but to make life easier. Here are a few tips to become a safer driver so that you can avoid costly mistakes and collisions.

Alert and Awake

Many accidents are caused by drivers being impaired in some way. Being too tired to drive can be a dangerous state to be in when you plan to operate a large machine in any circumstance, let alone driving on the road. If you have had some long days or a late night, then you might not have a quick response time when you need to rely on good reflexes. Your eyes could get droopy and make it difficult to be aware of your surroundings. Either choose not to drive or find a way to inject some energy into your body so that you are alert and awake, maybe with a cup of coffee or something else with caffeine. Driving to avoid accidents is an important practice that will keep you safe, first and foremost, but it can also grant you access to benefits through your automobile insurance. Many insurers offer incentives for safe driving, so make sure you never get behind the wheel when tired. 

Learn to Keep Your Eyes Moving

Seasoned drivers have spent years forming habits with their driving. Those habits can make the difference between seeing a danger before it becomes deadly and getting into an accident. One of the keys to assessing dangers around you is keeping your eyes moving. That means checking your mirrors, looking ahead to see what’s coming up, and looking to the sides to see what is around you on a consistent basis. The more you keep your eyes moving, the easier it is to spot risks before they manifest as potential accidents. Getting into a collision with another vehicle is scary and can be life-changing. If the worst does happen, you should get in touch with a car accident lawyer who can help you navigate the legal process. To have a better chance of avoiding accidents entirely, stay aware of your surroundings. 

Avoid Dangerous Drivers

Unfortunately, you could be the safest driver around, but that does not mean you are immune to the choices of others around you. You are at risk from bad drivers who may be behaving recklessly. When you notice a vehicle near you driving dangerously, your best course of action is to get away from them. If someone passes you and cuts you off in the process on a highway, do not escalate the situation by speeding up to pass them. This could cause road rage and an eventual accident. Similarly, if a car in front of you seems to be swerving in the lane frequently, give them more space. They might be distracted, impaired, or careless. If you notice poor driving behaviors from others, steer clear of them if possible.

Beware of Intersections

A huge percentage of accidents occur at intersections, especially when multiple lanes are involved. Yields, stop signs, traffic lights, and other signals are not always obeyed perfectly by everyone at the intersection. There are pedestrians, large vehicles that limit visibility, multiple traffic signals, and a number of other circumstances that can cause confusion. When approaching an intersection, always use even more caution to assess your surroundings. Don’t assume that everyone will follow the rules of the road or general courtesy. People might be making right turns at unexpected times, or someone turning left may not see oncoming traffic in the second lane. Be especially alert around intersections to stay safe.

Protect Yourself and Your Passengers

Your number one priority when on the road is being safe. Getting to your destination is secondary. Following these tips will keep you safer when on the road, which means your passengers will also be safer. Make sure you are fully awake and unimpaired when getting behind the wheel. Keep your eyes on the move and steer clear of dangerous drivers. Proceed with caution around all intersections. Being safe on the road means having a defensive driving mindset. 


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