Driving a car or motorcycle can be a thrill with the right precautions and attitude. There is a freedom in getting on the road, exploring new places, and doing new things. Whether you’re just heading out for the morning commute, or planning for an adventure on two wheels, safety should always come first. Here’s how to stay safe no matter what you’re driving, and still savor the open road.
Practice defensive driving
When is the last time you gave yourself a refresher on general driving safety tips? It’s easy to become slack about something you do all the time, so a quick review can help keep safe driving principles at the forefront of your mind. For instance, making a habit of using turn signals, obeying speed limits, and being respectful of caution lights are habits that help ensure road safety for everyone.
Cover your wheels
Insurance is a must-have for road safety. Not only do most states require insurance, but in the event you are in an accident insurance helps you pay for repairs. Avoid letting your policy lapse, and review your coverage regularly. It’s important to research what’s available and determine what coverages best suit your needs. If you are unsure of what coverages would work best for your particular situation, Ag Workers’ friendly and knowledgeable staff can help you make an educated decision.
Aim for road-worthiness
It’s not enough to have insurance coverage for your vehicle, as it also needs to be properly maintained. For instance, if your tires are balding, it can lead to hydroplaning, and you’re more likely to encounter a blow out. Properly functioning lights can also greatly impact your safety. Not only do headlights help you see, but all the lights on your vehicle help you to be seen by other drivers, and communicate your intentions. With that in mind, make sure yours are all functioning properly and you use them appropriately. Stay alert to brake problems as well, and get your brakes checked if you hear squeaking or grinding, or if you notice things like pulling to the side when you apply the brakes.
Inclement weather warrants caution
In some parts of the country, winter can be as harsh as it is beautiful. Cold weather means cold tires, and cold tires lose traction, so give yourself extra stopping time, especially on ice or snow. Cruise control can also change how your vehicle responds when pavement is wet or icy, reducing your control over the vehicle, so be wary of relying on it too much. This can be especially important if you take a wintry motorcycle adventure. If you’re a rider and decide on a cold weather trip, check out these winter motorcycle tips to help ensure your safety.
Beware of distracted driving
Distracted driving is anything that takes your eyes, hands, or mind off the main task at hand – safely controlling your vehicle. Trying to use a phone, attempting to adjust mirrors or controls, and even daydreaming are things that can distract you while on the road and can endanger your life and the lives of others. In fact, some statistics indicate more than a quarter of the accidents in the U.S. stem from cell phone use. If anything requires your full attention, just pull over or wait until you reach your destination rather than putting yourself and others at risk.
Some basic strategies can make a world of difference when it comes to road safety. Practice defensive driving, maintain your vehicle’s condition, and keep your insurance up to date. Also take appropriate precautions in inclement weather, and avoid distractions when you’re behind the wheel. An accident could change everything in the blink of an eye, so set yourself up for safe travels.
By Mark Connor
Mark Connor created Drivesafely.info after his son, who has ADHD, started driving. He hopes to raise awareness about important driving habits that can save lives by encouraging teens and adults alike to make good decisions behind the wheel.