Staying Safe on the Road

By Sponsored Media

I recently got my driver’s license. I know, I know, it’s about time! I had older siblings and a lot of friends who drove and, I don’t know, I guess I just never felt much urgency about it. But I’ve finally done it, and I’m ready to hit the road!


My question for the experts is this: do you have any specific tips about staying safe on the road? I know the basics, of course, but I was hoping to get some more surprising or specific insight into how to avoid accidents.


Congratulations on earning your license! Your question is an excellent one for both first-time drivers and long-time ones. It’s never a bad idea to brush up on ways to stay safe on the road. Let’s examine some of the things you can do.


Perhaps the most obvious place to start is with what not to do, and a good source for that is a list of the most common causes of accidents. Topping that list is distracted driving, so there you have it: one of the best things you can do to avoid an accident is to pay attention to the road. That’s easier said than done, of course! You probably know that you shouldn’t text and drive, but did you know that eating fast food while driving can be similarly dangerous? Some studies have shown that munching on fast food is the most common path to a car accident! Little distractions like fiddling with the radio or hunting for that last french fry can be just as dangerous as sending or reading a text message. Just because there are not specific laws against these activities doesn’t mean that you should do them while driving. Wait until you’re stopped–in a parking lot, ideally–to do things like look down at your radio tuner or take a bite of your burger.


Another major cause of accidents is drunk driving. Hopefully we don’t have to tell you that this is a terrible idea: drunk driving kills more than 10,000 Americans each year, and we don’t want you (or an innocent person you hit) to be one of them. Speeding is another poor decision that frequently results in accidents.


Avoid these mistakes, and you’ll be a much safer driver. But, of course, you can’t count on everyone else avoiding these mistakes. Accidents in which one driver is not at fault at all are tragically common, say car accident lawyers. And while a good attorney can help you be compensated for such an accident, it’s better to not be in one in the first place. You can’t control what others do, but you can be prepared for it by engaging in defensive driving.


What is defensive driving? It’s a wide range of techniques that are designed to anticipate and prepare for potential mistakes and recklessness on the part of other drivers. Defensive drivers maintain a following distance of 4 seconds behind the car in front of them, for instance.


You can learn about defensive driving on your own, but it’s best to take a course. Online and in-person defensive driving courses are a great investment. They’ll make you safer on the road and, in many cases, will also lower your car insurance premiums! You should consider taking one in order to further your education and ease your concerns about getting in an accident.


“The one thing that unites all human beings, regardless of age, gender, religion, economic status, or ethnic background, is that, deep down inside, we all believe that we are above-average drivers.” — Dave Barry