be a better driver 2019

If you are in search of a great goal for the New Year, why not resolve to be a better driver? New Year’s resolutions for safer driving can help to reduce your risk of being involved in a car accident, and may even save a life. If you want to commit to being safer on the road in 2019, do not overlook these important components of safe driving.

Top Habits of Safe Drivers

Most good drivers have developed safe habits over the years that become second nature. These habits include the following.

Driving defensively.Driving defensively.

Defensive driving does not just mean driving slowly. Rather, it means paying attention to your surroundings and assuming that other drivers around you will not do their absolute best to prevent an accident. While this may include driving at a safe speed, it also includes taking turns cautiously, yielding when appropriate, remaining on the lookout for drivers who may be driving irresponsibly, and otherwise avoiding bad drivers to the best of your abilities. You can take a defensive driving course online through the National Safety Council.

Driving while sober, awake, and focused.Driving while sober, awake, and focused.

Three of the top killers on the road are driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs, driving while drowsy, and driving while distracted. In fact, the last killed more than 3,000 people in a single recent year, according to gov, and the first – driving while intoxicated by alcohol – killed more than 10,000 people the same year, as reported by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Smart and safe drivers are committed to driving when they are in their best form, meaning that they are clear-headed, not distracted, and have gotten plenty of sleep.

Keeping a safe distance while driving.

Keeping a safe distance while driving.

Safe drivers also understand the importance of maintaining a safe following distance. While a safe following distance does not make avoiding all accident types possible, it does reduce the risk of being in a rear-end collision. When you give yourself plenty of room behind the driver in front of you, you have plenty of time to change lanes, brake, or slow down in the event that the driver in front of you stops suddenly or encounters a problem.

Driving safely around large trucks.

Driving safely around large trucks.

Large truck accidents can be one of the most devastating accidents types. And, too often, accidents with large trucks are caused because the drivers of passenger cars drive in blind spots, drive aggressively, change lanes dangerously, or perform another risky maneuver. Knowing how to drive around large trucks is a very important part of preventing an accident. This includes staying out of truck drivers’ blind spots, never driving at an unsafe distance in front or of behind a large truck, and giving a large truck plenty of room behind you when traveling into a large truck’s lane.

Maintaining a vehicle.Maintaining a vehicle.

One thing that many drivers overlook is the importance of maintaining their vehicles. Maintaining a vehicle means more than just making sure the gas tank is full. It means checking tire pressure and tread depth; checking brakes; changing oil on a regular basis, making sure headlights and brake lights are working properly; and performing other basic vehicle maintenance. If you are not an auto mechanic yourself, make sure to seek professional assistance. During the wintertime, vehicle maintenance can be especially important. If bad weather is expected, make sure your tires can handle the job, fill your tank, make sure you have an emergency kit on hand, and do not forget the ice scraper!

Tips for Young Drivers: Develop Good Habits Early On

Young drivers are the most at risk of being involved in a car accident. According to the CDC, there were 2,163 teens killed in car accidents in the U.S. in 2013, and another 243,243 were treated in emergency rooms for injuries suffered in car crashes. The CDC further reports that, while young people account for only 14 percent of the U.S. population, they are responsible for 30 percent of the total costs of car accident injuries among males. For this reason, among others, developing good habits as a driver early on is very important for young drivers.

If you are a parent of a young driver, keep in mind that your teens have been watching you drive for years. The safer you drive, the better example you will set for your kids.

Other tips for teen drivers include only driving with an adult in the car (friends can be very distracting), keeping the radio turned off during the early learning phases, always driving while sober, never driving while fatigued, and following traffic laws, such as speed limits, stop signs, yield requirements, etc. And, one of the most important things that you can get in the habit of doing right now is to always buckle up.

Your New Year’s Resolution for Safer Driving

You know what safe driving looks like, and you know the benefits that it brings. To improve your safe driving habits, and to resolve to be a better driver, suggests that you always enforce a seatbelt rule, focus on driving, and do your part for sober driving. These tips, combined with the ones above, can help you to meet your New Year’s resolution for safer driving in 2019.

When Another Driver Does Not Drive Safely

If another driver neglects his or her duty to operate a vehicle safely, and you are involved in an accident and suffer injuries as a result, the car accident attorneys at Joye Law Firm can help. We encourage you to request a free consultation using our online form today, or contact us by phone for answers now.

About the Author

Mark Joye is the Head of the Litigation Department at the Joye Law Firm. A Board-Certified Trial Advocate with nearly 30 years of litigation experience, he currently serves on the Board of Governors for the American Association for Justice and is a past president of the South Carolina Association for Justice. In a recent trial, Joye headed a trial team that secured $17 million for a family killed in a tractor-trailer accident.

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