One of the most important aspects of driving is making sure that you are a good driver. While you can not account for the other people on the road, you can at least make sure that you are doing your part to keep the roads safe. Failure to do so could lead to more than a simple accident. To keep yourself and others out of harms way, it is essential that you know some basic safe driving habits. While some of these may seem overly simple to you, that does not make them any less important. Keep the following tips in mind any time you go onto the road.
1. Wear Your Seat Belt – You hear it all the time, but many people still do not wear their seat belts. It may be slightly uncomfortable, but that is not a good enough excuse to not wear it. Any time you are in a car – whether you are driving or the passenger – you should be properly buckled in. Make sure the seat belt is nice and snug against your body for maximum protection. You may not think so now, but that little piece of fabric could save your life.
2. Follow The Speed Limit – We’ve all been there: the speed limit sign says one thing, but our inner thoughts tell us we can go just a little bit faster. Before we know it we are well above the speed limit. Even if you don’t get pulled over for speeding, you are still causing a risk to yourself and the other people on the road. The faster you are traveling, the longer it takes for you to stop your car. It only takes a split second for something to run out in front of your car, or for the person in front of you to slam on their brakes. These speed limits are there for a reason, so make sure that you follow them.
3. Come To A Complete Stop – Whenever you hit a STOP sign or a traffic light, be sure to come to a complete stop. You may think you can roll right through it without stopping, but it only takes a moment for you to miss a car coming the other direction. Take the extra second to stop your car, your destination can wait that long.
4. Give Yourself Space – When driving behind someone, give them plenty of space. The rule of thumb is to give one car-lengths space for every 10 km/h you are going. So if you are going 30 km/h, you should have roughly the length of 3 cars between you and the car in front of you. This will give you enough time to react and stop your car if the car in front of you hits their brakes.
5. Wipers On, Lights On – The last tip is when to use your lights. As a rule, you should use your lights any time it is dark, the sun is going either down or up, or if it is raining. While you may be able to see just fine at the moment without your lights, turning them on makes you more visible to other cars and can reduce the chance of an accident. When it doubt, turn them on just to be safe.
There’s a lot to remember to keep yourself safe on the road, but it is very important to keep it all in mind. The most important thing is to take your time, and to not rush getting anywhere. In the end, getting to your location two minutes earlier is not worth the potential accident you could cause by rushing to get there.