Getting into a collision while driving can be incredibly dangerous and could even cost you your life. Sometimes they’re unavoidable, like driving on black ice that you couldn’t see. But in most cases, you can drastically avoid your chances of getting into a collision. Responsible driving must be taken seriously, and there are several things you can do to keep yourself safe on the road.
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Now, let’s talk about some of the most common causes of collisions and what you can do to avoid them.
One of the most common causes of collision is distracted driving. We all know this; using your phone while driving, looking away from the road, or even closing your eyes while singing in the car! Doing anything that diverts your attention from looking straight ahead of you is a dangerous hazard that could lead to a collision. It’s very easy to get distracted while driving for several reasons:
- You get bored after driving for a while and want to do something else.
- Something interesting catches your eye.
- Our minds tend to wander off.
- You have distractions in your car such as food, drinks, music, and other passengers.
If you ever feel distracted while driving, you need to get your focus back on the road immediately. Collisions can happen out of nowhere, so you don’t want to get distracted even for a second. So what can you do to not get distracted while driving?
Firstly, you should always be extra mindful when there are passengers in the car. You may get into an interesting conversation that gets you distracted, but you mustn’t let it. If you’re not a great multi-tasker, don’t try to engage in a conversation that makes your mind wander off. Let your passengers know that you need to focus on driving and will pick up the conversation later. The same applies to using your phone. If you’re having a conversation with someone, whether it’s through text messaging or a phone call, let that person know you’ll call them back later.
Next, never do anything not driving-related that requires you to look away from the road. It doesn’t matter whether you have fussy children or pets in the car or if something dropped. Focus on driving until you can safely park your car to deal with whatever situation you’re facing.
Driving Under the Influence
You’ve seen it on television and on ads hundreds of times. Driving under the influence of things like drugs or alcohol is by far one of the most dangerous decisions you could ever make. We say it’s a decision because you are, in fact, choosing to drive a vehicle when you know you shouldn’t. This is why driving under the influence is considered a criminal offense.
There’s nothing to think about here. If you’re driving while intoxicated:
- Your reaction time is slower, which makes it difficult to respond to other vehicles and pedestrians.
- Your coordination and vision are impaired, which makes it hard to drive safely.
- You’ll lack concentration, which quickly turns you into a distracted driver and makes it hard for you to navigate on the road.
All of these and more are reasons why you should never drive under the influence. Even as an experienced driver, you’ll find that driving safely can be nearly impossible. You’ll have to really keep yourself in check to be able to drive anywhere safely, but that’s not a gamble you should take.
The solution’s simple: do not under any circumstance drive if you’re not completely sober. You must find another way home or have someone else drive your car. If no one can drive your vehicle home for you, leave it where it is and pick it up tomorrow. We understand this can be a hassle for many people, but it’s the smart and correct choice to make.
Reckless and Aggressive Driving
Reckless driving, otherwise known as careless driving, can be a criminal offense depending on the driver’s intention. In almost all cases, reckless driving is entirely unnecessary and can be avoided easily. What are some common activities of reckless driving?
- Speeding: driving a lot faster than the road limit.
- Tailgating: driving too close to the car in front of you.
- Racing: competing with another car to see who can drive faster.
Any action you take while driving that is obviously dangerous can be considered reckless driving. You should also avoid being an aggressive driver. An aggressive driver is exactly what you think. It’s someone who also tailgates other cars, quickly changes lanes without using their turn signal, yells at other drivers, and passes other cars when they shouldn’t.
All of these can lead to collisions that could have easily been avoided. What’s the solution? Drive normally and abide by the law. Don’t drive faster than the speed limit, don’t race other cars, keep a safe distance from other cars, and respect others on the road.
Driving While Tired or Drowsy
We’ve all experienced this before and know how bad it can get. Driving while you’re tired or drowsy can lead to yourself falling asleep behind the wheel. Even if you don’t fall asleep, you won’t be completely focused on the road. This is almost the same as driving under the influence. Your vision and coordination may be impaired, your reaction time is slower, and you lack concentration.
How can you avoid driving while tired or drowsy? Well, if you take medication that causes drowsiness or tiredness, avoid driving until you feel normal again. If you start to get tired while driving and find it challenging to drive, pull over somewhere safe and take a quick nap. Regardless if you have somewhere to be, you shouldn’t drive if you’re not completely focused. Call whoever you need to let them know that you’ll be a little late, and be honest when you explain why. Let them know you’re having a hard time driving and need to take a little nap before you continue.