It’s not beyond reason to say that most people today spend a great deal of time in their vehicles. Whether commuting on a daily basis to work or school or having to drive to buy groceries to fill the cupboards, people spend more time in the cars today than at any other time in history. Unfortunately, many of those drivers do not operate their vehicles with the safety of others in mind. Resolving to drive more safely this year will help to keep you and those you share the road with safe.
Now is the time for New Year’s resolutions, and what better time of year to make some changes to the way you drive? Below are just a few resolutions you can make before you get behind the wheel.
You may be able to have a single drink, get in your car and drive home safely. Then again, you may not. Even a single alcoholic beverage can reduce reaction times and impair our ability to drive safely. Make it a resolution this year to avoid drinking and driving altogether. One adult beverage means that you find an alternate way home. If you have no choice but to drive after a night out, stick to soft drinks.
Cell phones are a habit. When our batteries start dipping below 50 percent or die out completely, we panic. It’s simply the way of today’s society. The next time you get in your car, put your cell phone in the backseat. Even better, put it in the trunk. You may feel as though a limb has been removed from your body at first, but after a few days, you will begin to break the habit of checking your phone while you are driving.
Posted speed limits are in place for everyone’s safety. Many like to joke and call these limits “suggestions.” They are anything but. There is a difference between traveling 5 mph over the limit and 20 mph over it, certainly, but if you speed regularly, you need to start leaving your house earlier. If you have what friends and family refer to as a lead foot, it’s time to ease off the accelerator. Stick to the posted speed limit. If it helps, set your cruise control.
You may not be in the habit of securing your seat belt each time you get in the car, but it is a very easy one to get into. Most people are killed in car crashes only miles from their own homes. This is due to two reasons: Many people don’t travel that far from home, and this is when people are more likely to drive without their seat belts because they are “only going down the road.” Buckle your seat belt each and every time you get in the car, no matter how short a distance you will be traveling.
Pedestrians and bicyclists are all around us, but you would be surprised at how few you really notice. When it comes to motor-vehicle related deaths, pedestrians make up about 13 percent of all fatalities. Keep an eye open when you come upon a crosswalk or intersection. Stay aware of your surroundings when you are in an urban area. Pedestrians, especially small children, can dart into the road with little warning.
It’s easy to hand your keys over to your teen driver, tell them to be careful and not give it another thought. Do take a moment to think about it. Your teenager should have very clear rules when it comes to taking the family vehicle. These rules include no more than one passenger, no cell phones and no late-night driving. Make sure your teen understands the consequences of violating these rules.
You may be surprised at how many accidents are caused because people fail to follow through with routine maintenance on their vehicles. Make this the year that you remember to check your tire pressure and keep up with oil changes. Simple maintenance can help you to avoid accidents. The service garage is not only for emergency repairs.
Deciding to be a better, safer driver this year will help to ensure that you get where you’re going in the same state you were in when you left home. If you make no other resolution this year, make one to become a better driver. Not only will you be the safer for it, but so will everyone you share the road with.
If you are involved in a car accident in West Palm Beach, reach out to our team of car accident attorneys. We will provide you with a free initial consultation and review the details of your accident. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, property damage and more. Call today to schedule your appointment.