About 12 million vehicles were involved in crashes in the United States in 2018. Several factors cause vehicular accidents that are avoidable, but people choose to ignore them for selfish reasons. To exclude yourself from this statistic, do your part by obeying traffic rules. This includes obeying authorities and keeping a cool head while driving. Here are several reasons why you could be a potential victim on the road:
- Drunk Driving
Going out on Friday nights has become a ritual for many. Some go to clubs to drink, dance, and have fun with their equally tired friends. But when you’ve had too much to drink, you shouldn’t drive. Not only is this risky, but accidents and death are guaranteed not only to you but to other people. Assign a designated driver for your night outs, and that driver should not drink for the entire night for everyone’s safety.
Speeding is reserved for race tracks only. Do not go over the speed limit no matter how late you are or no matter how desperate you are to avoid traffic. It is always too late to hit the brakes when you speed because you have a slower reaction time. Be mindful of speed limits and do not go beyond them because you’ll get to your destination eventually. Think of all the lives that will be wasted if you are careless on the road.
- Night Driving
Night driving causes a lot of accidents because of the reduced visibility. What you can do is to reduce your distractions by keeping talking to a minimum, observe speed limits, wear anti-reflective glasses (if you wear one), dim your dashboard, and ensure that your headlights are cleaned and are aimed correctly. If you drive a truck, you can have truck LED light bars installed for increased visibility.
Your attention should be focused solely on the road. It’s hard enough to see with reduced visibility that you let yourself be distracted with things not related to driving. Always keep your eyes and mind on the road.
- Running Stop Signs and Red Lights
A lot of accidents happen when you run stop signs and red lights. When a light turns yellow, it means “slow down,” not “speed up.” It’s not an invitation to catch it just because you can. Don’t be in a hurry to get to your destination quickly because you’ll get there safely as long as you obey traffic rules. You only have to wait for less than three minutes before you can drive again.
According to a poll conducted by the National Sleep Foundation, 37% of adults have admitted to falling asleep while driving. The reason? Lack of sleep, fatigue, and sleep disorders. If you are driving the next day, see to it that you sleep 6–8 hours. Moreover, drive during times that you are normally awake and take a nap if you are sleepy. Prioritize your rest over getting to the destination at the earliest time possible.
- Distracted Driving
When driving, 100% of your attention should be focused on the road. It should not be divided between talking on the phone, eating, or grooming. Contrary to popular belief, we cannot multitask—we can only focus on a single task at hand. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2018, 2,800 people were killed, and 400,000 were injured in crashes in the United States involving a distracted driver. Such huge numbers for something that could be prevented.
Keep your eyes and mind on the road and your hands on the wheel when driving. If you need to take a call, pull over—don’t do it while you’re driving. For less urgent activities, wait until you have arrived at your destination to do it.
Driving is the most convenient form of transportation if you want privacy and peace. To be a driver means to be accountable for your actions on the road because it can cost many lives. Crashes happen almost every day, and the most common reason is irresponsible driving. You don’t want to be responsible for innocent lives, so you should always obey traffic rules and the authorities.
Of course, not all crashes are caused by irresponsible drivers. Some of them are caused by external factors. These external factors are road conditions, weather conditions, and faulty vehicles. The latter can also be avoided to some extent by performing regular maintenance on your vehicle. If defects are detected, have them fixed immediately. Do not wait until they get worse and inconvenience everyone.