Driving is a necessary part of most people’s lives, yet it is one of the most dangerous activities humans can do. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), a motor vehicle crash occurs every five seconds and every 12 minutes, a death occurs as a result of a motor vehicle crash. Unfortunately, since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, it only appears to be getting worse. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2020, accidents increased by 7.2% while vehicle miles traveled decreased by 13.2%. Preventing accidents by driving safely is crucial so here are 5 ways you can increase your driver safety awareness.
1. Remain Aware of The Conditions Around You
When driving, check your mirrors frequently and scan your surroundings. Be aware of hazardous driving conditions that require extra attention, like work zones. Reduce your speed in these areas and watch for hazards that should be protected by safety barriers that could allow the redirection of traffic.
2. Stay Level Headed
Road rage is a common problem that can prove deadly. Aggression is one of the leading causes of car accidents as it impairs drivers’ abilities to think clearly and make rational, sound decisions about their driving habits. Letting your anger get the best of you in an altercation with another driver is not worth it, as you could potentially risk your life.
3. Avoid Distractions
Distracted driving is the cause of a large majority of car accidents that occur each year. Texting, talking on the phone, changing music or talking to passengers are just a few of the most common distractions that drivers face every day. Keep distractions to a minimum by placing your phone out of reach while you drive, selecting music before you drive, and asking passengers to keep conversations to a minimum so that you can keep your eyes on the road.
4. Wear Your Seat Belt
Seat belts save lives. Although this may be common sense to some, studies show that a large percentage of adult drivers (and their passengers) do not regularly buckle their seatbelts while on the road. Seatbelts prevent you from becoming seriously injured or ejected from the vehicle in the event of a crash.
5. Watch Your Speed
Speeding is another leading cause of car accidents, with statistics showing that for every mile per hour faster than the speed limit you drive, your chances of being in an accident increase by 4-5%. Driving at high speeds puts you at high risk of getting into a potentially fatal crash and is less likely to get you to your destination any faster.
It is also important to adjust your speed based not only on the posted speed limit but on the conditions in which you are driving. For example, if you are driving in bad weather such as rain, driving slower is necessary as there is an increased risk for weather-related accidents. The same goes for driving through a work zone or on a road that is actively under construction; follow the path outlined by safety barriers and reduce your speed to avoid hitting other cars that are navigating the area.
Trying to Create a Safe Driving Environment?
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