Summer practically requires travel. Everyone’s out and about being active, travelling to the beach, visiting friends, going to music festivals, or simply staying out late to enjoy the longer, warm-weathered days. Unfortunately, with so many people enjoying the dog days of a careless and free summer consequently means more car accidents, resulting in the “100 Deadliest Days of Summer” between Memorial and Labor Day. In spirit of upcoming Independence Day, we thought it would be best to offer ten defensive driving tips to keep you, your family, and friends safe this holiday weekend and all summer long.
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Defensive Driving Tips:
The key to driving safe is your level of focus. Be aware of your surroundings, watch other drivers, and think about what you are doing as you operate a vehicle. Everything else can wait.
2. Stay Within the Speed Limit
I know it’s tempting to bump the gauge just 5-10mph over the speed limit, but honestly, a speeding ticket, or an accident, sure can ruin a nice summer day. Resist the temptation, roll down your windows, and relax because staying within the speed limit will also keep your car insurance premium low.
3. Don’t Trust Other Drivers
No, I don’t want you to have trust issues but when it comes to other drivers, it helps to be cautious. Don’t make assumptions about whether they can see you or whether they’re correctly using their signals. Distrust, be cautious, and end up safe.
4. Always Wear Your Seatbelt
It’s easy and it’s well proven. Seatbelts save lives. Make sure everyone in your car is buckled in.
5. Never Drive Impaired
Driving impaired doesn’t just mean driving intoxicated or driving as you text. Impaired also constitutes anything that might prevent you from driving focused (Tip #1). If you just got into a fight with a friend, are stressed out, or your mind is clearly elsewhere, give yourself a break and pull over.
6. Yield Away
Sometimes we drivers forget what we learned so long ago in driver’s education. If you’re unsure about who has the right of way, yield away. Letting people go, or simply waiting, can help prevent those avoidable collisions of indecision.
7. Stop Pressured Driving
Rushing will do absolutely no good. I wish it got us where we were going faster just as much as you do, but it doesn’t. In fact, rushing as we drive prevents us from focusing, makes us riskier driver, and increases the amount of time it will take us to get somewhere. Stop, breathe, focus, and promise to leave earlier next time.
8. Make Space
Know what’s cool? Personal space. If you’re driving and feel crowded, you can always control the space around your car by creating space in front of you. This will give you more reaction time and help you in that bumper-to-bumper summer traffic.
9. Know Your Blind Spots
If your driving your own car, you’re probably used to your blind spots. If you’re in a rental or driving someone else’s vehicle, take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with that car’s blind spots. Then remember to check them. Collision avoided.
10. Communicate With Other Drivers
Be kind to other drivers on the road. Let them know what you’re up to. Communicate with them and they’ll communicate with you, except still don’t trust them (Tip #3). Use your signals, stay out of other cars’ blind spots, turn those headlights on, slow down and brake with warning – all of these make driving together so much easier.
Use these defensive driving tips on a daily basis to form habits. Once they become second nature, you’ll be a safer driver. Not to mention how driving defensively can help you save money. You’ve probably heard these tips before, but having a refresher during the nationally ranked most dangerous days on the road can only help.