Being a safe driver is all about consistency. If you follow recommended safety precautions on one trip but not on another, you’re still putting yourself, your passengers, and other drivers at serious risk. True safety doesn’t begin until you dedicate yourself to avoiding accidents every time you get behind the wheel.
Following these three steps can significantly reduce your risks:
- Buckle up—For all the advances in vehicle safety technology (including airbags), there’s nothing that saves lives as efficiently, effectively, and consistently as the humble seat belt. Taking the extra two seconds to pull your seat belt over your shoulders and lap and buckling it can be the difference between living and dying in a crash—it’s really that simple.
- Put your phone away—Distracted driving is one of the biggest threats that drivers face in America, and it’s a growing problem. More and more people use smartphones every year, and that means more text messages, more emails, and more phone calls. Even using your vehicle’s hands-free functionality isn’t 100% safe, as being preoccupied with your phone in any way can be dangerous.
- Check your vehicle’s “vitals”—When approaching your vehicle, give it a quick once-over. Do the tires appear fully inflated and free from damage? When you start your vehicle, do any notifications or warning lights come on? How much fuel do you have? Is your vehicle in danger of overheating? A malfunctioning vehicle isn’t just less reliable—it can also be dangerous.
Of course, these are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to being the safest driver you can be. But following these tips can go a long way towards making your trips safer, easier, and less stressful.