Did you know over 3,000 fatal accidents happen every day? I love driving as much as anyone, but I don’t know if they have Mustang California Specials in heaven, and I’m trying to drive mine until I’m old and grey. It’s so important to protect yourself when you’re behind the wheel.
What if I told you there were just a couple safe driving habits that you could add to your driving style that could end up saving your life, and help protect everyone else on the road? In this article, I’m going to take you through 8 super helpful driving tips that will save your life!
Yield at Intersections
Sometimes, even when you’re following the rules of the road, you could be at serious risk of an accident. Scary, right? So, imagine that you’re stopped at an intersection, waiting for the light to change. Then finally it goes green, and you decide to gun it, and boom!
That’s right, someone just ran the light and clobbered you from the side. That T-bone could leave you in the hospital or worse, and it wasn’t even your fault!
So, trust me on this one, yield at those intersections, even if you have the right of way. Just give a quick look right, then left, then right again. The last thing you want to do is get hit because someone else ran a red light. That would ruin my day, or probably my whole year.
Watch for Pedestrians at Crosswalks
Another thing you’ve got to look out for at a light is pedestrians at crosswalks. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten a green light and seen drivers make a turn without looking for people crossing the road. Pedestrians do have lights that tell them when to walk, but they also have the right of way even when cars get the green light!
So, just do what your mama told you and look both ways, even if you’re driving. This isn’t GTA 5 or Simpson’s Hit-and-Run on the PS2, there are real lives at stake! Just because you have a green light doesn’t mean that you’re in the clear just yet.
Don’t Drive in Blindspots
Another thing that isn’t illegal but could get you in a wreck is when you drive in other car’s blindspots. Just don’t do it. This is mostly for highways or long roads with multiple lanes in each direction. If other drivers can’t see you, they could easily assume you’re not there and change lanes into you. And before you even know what hit you, you’re in an accident.
It’s called a blindspot for a reason! Sometimes when you drive in peoples blindspots, they do see you. Yes, you are supposed to check your blindspot before switching lanes. But when you sit off to the side of another car and do their same speed, you might get into a sticky situation, where the only option is to turn into one another!
So be courteous and respect people’s blindspots. Otherwise you might end up needing some body work on your car, or on yourself.
Wear a Seatbelt
If you’re not wearing your seatbelt, you could be on a fast track on a stairway to heaven. Click it or ticket! Or better yet click it or kick it… kick the bucket, that is. Wearing a seatbelt reduces the chances of death by 45% and 50% for seriously injuring yourself.
So, if there’s any tip to truly save your life, it’s to wear your seatbelt. Sure, it might make your neck a little itchy, and high school douchebags might say it’s not cool, but it’ll save you from becoming a gravestone.
Plus, it’ll save your piggy bank too. There’s a fatfine for not wearing a seatbelt in every state in the USA, and it’s particularly obese in Texas, California, Oregon, and Washington, where it’s over $100 for your first seatbelt ticket. And it skyrockets for any subsequent offenses.
So, you think seatbelts are uncomfortable? What about a stretcher? Buckle up, bro! Just do it!
Use Your Headlights
Another simple thing that could save your life is using your headlights. Now, I know this might seem fairly straight forward, but we’ve all been in that situation where you don’t notice another car until it’s right next to you, because that bum behind the wheel didn’t turn his lights on.
Whether it’s after sundown or starting to rain, get those lights shining! Leaving your lights off in hard-to-see situations can make you pretty much invisible to other drivers, and while invisibility is undoubtedly a cool superpower, on the road, it makes you an accident waiting to happen.
I know most new cars have automatic headlights, so you don’t have to even think about it. But what if you travel and rent a car? Do you just assume it has automatic headlights? Or do you check it? Do the smart thing, otherwise you’re dancing with the devil.
You want another great tip that even some expert drivers don’t do? Depending on where you live, you may find yourself swallowed up by fog! Your visibility dwindles to just a few feet in front of your hood, so you turn on your lights and blind yourself from the reflection. All you can do is scan what’s in front of your car 5 feet at a time.
But what if I told you that there’s a secret hack? Well, it’s not really a secret. Fog lights! Of course, you’ve heard of fog lights, but have you ever used them? If not, give them a try and find out just how big of a difference they make.
It grinds my gears when I see someone driving through a foggy swamp and not using their fog lights! No, I’m not flipping anyone the bird, but it’s so easy! Generally, it’s a button or a switch around your headlight controls. Turn those bad boys on and you can enjoy actually being able to see.
Don’t Drive Impaired
But what if the problem isn’t your car’s eyes, but your own? Get off the road, bro! Don’t drive impaired! Whether you’re just tired or need to make a phone call, pull over, deal with it, and drive later.
And I shouldn’t even need to say this, but don’t drive under the influence! You’re putting yourself and everyone else on the road at risk!
We all know driving impaired is unsafe, yet it happens way too often and it leads to way too many crashes, sometimes killing innocent people.
If you’re tired, pull off. Get some shut eye and finish your drive well-rested. If you need to call or text someone or you just have to comment on how stupid your friend looks in their latest Tik Tok dance routine, pull off. If you’re drinking or on drugs, don’t drive! Uber, Lyft, call your mom, call your ex-girlfriend who still loves you, crash at a friend’s house for the night. There’s always a better option than driving under the influence.
Dealing With a Blowout
Let’s say you’re doing everything right, your seatbelt is on, you’re not driving impaired, and then boom! Your tire blows out! What do you do?
First of all, never brake during a blowout or even if you just get a flat. Why? If you brake, you might make the problem worse and end up in a fishtail or even flip the car! So, what do you do?
Coast your car and let it stop for you, pull off to the side of the road and then you can assess the damage. Keep your foot off that brake pedal, put your hazard lights on if you can, and ease off to the side of the road. That way you don’t cause any more harm to yourself, your car, or other people.
Don’t Stare Into Oncoming Headlights
But even if your tires are perfectly intact, never stare into oncoming lights. I know I’m guilty of this. If you’re driving on the highway at night, it’s honestly hard not to. Your eyes get used to the dim glow of your dashboard lights and the streetlights overhead, so when a car comes at you from the opposite direction, it’s tough not to look.
So, keep your eyes off those oncoming lights and focus on the road ahead of you. It just might save your life.