For many people, driving is an essential part of modern life. Whether it comes to getting you to work on time, going out for important events, or taking your kids to school, cars are very often the transportation mode of choice. As commonplace as driving is, it still carries great risks. Even if you’re a very safe and competent driver, you can’t predict how other drivers around you might act. It’s best to assume that you will, at some point, get involved in an accident. If you prepare for the possibility that the worst could happen, you can take steps to mitigate it. If you’re just starting out driving, if you have a long trip coming up, or if you just need a refresher, tips on car safety can always be helpful.
- Keep it clean
Not only is a clean car more pleasant to ride in for you and your passengers, it’s a lot safer as well. Any items you store in your front or back seat can become a dangerous projectile during a crash. Books, thermoses, trash, and anything else that’s lying around can break windshields and strike you or your passengers at high velocity. If you don’t need it in your car, keep it at home, and if you have to transport heavy items, consider placing them in the trunk.
- Think of the children
If you’ve got young children along for a car ride, they may need car seats if they’re under a certain age or height. Make sure their seats are comfortable, but don’t leave the straps too loose. Infants need to be in rear-facing seats. Remember to always make sure car seats are installed correctly before taking kids for a ride.
- Consider the weather
There are going to be times when you’ll be driving in inclement weather. It is recommended in any serious weather condition that you drive a little slower than you usually would. In snowy or rainy weather your car may start to slip on icy or wet roads and go into a skid. In this situation, it’s best not to slam on the brakes, but to instead turn your wheel in the direction that your car is veering. This should help you straighten out. When your vision is obscured by weather like fog or rain, you should keep your headlights on, and be extra careful when driving down hills, as you may not be immediately able to see what’s in front of you.
- Keep focused
Don’t multitask while driving. Keeping your hands and eyes off of distracting devices like your smartphone is one of the most obvious things to avoid, but you also should be careful of adjusting the radio, eating, and paying too much attention to what your passengers are doing or saying. One hundred percent of your attention should be on the road when you’re driving.
Driving can be dangerous, but you should be fine in most situations as long as you take proper precautions and follow the basic rules of the road.