A 7 Step Guide on How To Drive Safely

According to the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) in 2010 some 30,196 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes. Combined US military death toll for Iraq and Afghanistan wars is 6596. While these may seem as comparing apples and oranges, it does serve to illustrate the point that driving a car on American roads is a very dangerous task.

While the total fatalities are on the decline, the statistic is still rather frightful. In order to help you avoid becoming a part of it, we have devised a simple 7 step guide. Obeying these rules won’t guarantee you that something bad won’t happen to you on the road, but it will significantly reduce any possibility of you causing a traffic accident.

Know your car

– Your Ford Focus and Colin McRae’s Ford Focus are two very different cars. Colin’s is a finely tuned machine with most of the parts manufactured by hand and maintained by some of the best mechanics in the world. Yours, on the other hand, is a mass produced product, made of the cheapest parts available on the market and assembled by a bunch of not so well paid guys. Think about this for a second next time when you want to impress someone with your Fast and Furious impersonation.

Know yourself

– Not all of us posses the abilities to be race car drivers. While this may be hard to admit to oneself, it is the truth. Don’t overestimate your self into a dangerous situation. Know your limits.

Don’t DUI

– This is a big no-no. Under any circumstances, don’t drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Even the slightest amount of these substances can severely reduce your judgment and your reflexes.

Avoid surprises

– Surprising somebody at the wheel of a 20 ton truck going at 50 mph rarely ends well. Surprised people tend to have a knee jerk reaction and on a busy highway that is a certain recipe for a disaster. Always make sure that other drivers know what you are doing before you are going to do it. And yes, that includes using your turn signals.

Obey the rules

– At all times obey the traffic signs, especially the speed limit. They are there for a reason. Sometimes getting a ticket is the best thing that can happen to you, because alternatives can be very ugly.

Be focused

– This can’t be overstated. When ever I see someone making a phone call while driving, I get the irresistible urge to do something nasty to them. If you really need to talk to someone, stop the car on the side of the road. Don’t kill someone because you had to tell your friend what Oprah was wearing in last night’s show.

Be aware

– Even if you do follow this advices, that doesn’t mean you will be safe on the road because there will always be someone who won’t follow them. You need to identify these people and put as much distance between you and them as possible. Observe the road conditions and other drivers. Pay attention to what are they doing and more importantly, how are they doing it. If a driver in front of you is behaving erratically, try to over take them safely. If that is not possible, leave plenty of space in between, so you’ll have time to react if something bad happens. If someone is trying to overtake you, let them. They might be in genuine emergency and need to get to the hospital fast or they might simply be some drunken teens. In either way, you don’t won’t to race them.