(ModernSurvival.org) – For most people, going to work or the store requires getting behind the steering wheel of an automobile. This time in the car is often filled with music, podcasts, or even talking on the phone as they cruise to their destinations. Unfortunately, as statistics show, too many drivers don’t take their time on the road seriously enough.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly 39,000 people died in automotive accidents in 2020. This is 7.2 percent higher than the number of deaths reported in 2019. Now, consider the fact that this increase occurred while the country was on lockdown, with fewer drivers on the roads.
If that wasn’t bad enough, an automotive accident happens once every 60 seconds. That is roughly 5.2 million accidents each year. So what can a person do to reduce their chances of ending up as one of these sobering statistics? Here are some tips.
One of the greatest contributors to car crashes is distracted driving. This can be anything from answering the phone to taking a bite of a hamburger. Texting is a particularly serious distraction, as it requires taking one’s eyes off the road for extended periods of time. Remember, accidents occur in a matter of seconds.
Know Your Blind Spots
Some vehicles are worse than others, but nearly all of them have blind spots where another car can hide. By becoming familiar with the blind spots of a vehicle, one can watch traffic in their mirrors to tell when a vehicle is approaching (or has entered into) the blind spot.
Safe Braking Distance
Knowing how much distance it takes for a particular vehicle to stop when braking is key. One should always maintain that much distance between their vehicle and the next car. Always leave enough room to come to a complete stop so as to avoid a rear-end collision.
Beware of Aggressive Drivers
Not everyone who gets behind the wheel is going to be thinking about their own safety, much less that of those around them. Road rage is a real thing and can lead to tailgating, horn honking, being cut off, verbal attacks, and more. When encountering another driver who is displaying road rage, let them pass without incident and ignore their behavior if possible.
If the situation becomes ongoing or hostile, call the police and report the driver. Avoid a direct confrontation with the individual and allow law enforcement to handle the situation.
Pay Attention to Road Signs
Paying attention to all posted road signs is important. They’re put in place for a reason, after all. Ignoring a sharp curve or road obstruction sign is another way to end up in an accident.
By practicing situational awareness and driving responsibly, not only does one ensure their own safety, but also the safety of the others on the road. As always, safety is the number one priority when operating a vehicle.
When the winter months roll around, driving involves a few additional challenges. To see how to safely tackle these cold-weather issues, take a peek at our article here.
~Here’s to Your Survival!
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