Being a safer driver probably isn’t at the top of your list of resolutions for the new year. It’s likely somewhere below going more often to the gym and less often to Starbucks. However, committing to being a safer driver could be the most important thing you do this year. It can even help to protect you from all the unsafe drivers on the roads.
What aspects of safe driving are most important for you to keep in mind as the New Year unfolds?
If you focus your complete attention on driving when you’re behind the wheel, you’ll be well ahead of most people when it comes to safety. Of course, that’s easier said than done, particularly on a long trip or a drive you make every day. That means not using any hand-held devices, of course. However, it also means not making or answering phone calls, texts or emails on your on-board system. You should be able to turn off notifications. That means turning off your phone or putting it in “Do Not Disturb” mode also.
While you can’t put your kids in “Do Not Disturb” mode, you can do your best to teach them that when you’re behind the wheel, you can’t engage in their battles or reach down to get dropped toys.
Watch your speed
Speed is one of the leading reasons for fatal crashes. In fact, in the state of New York alone, it contributes to almost one-third of them. One way to better ensure that you’re driving at a safe speed is to follow the “three-second rule” you likely learned in driver’s education: Pick a fixed point on the road, and when the car in front of you passes it, count to three. That’s the distance you should stay back from that car. In bad weather, which is all too common in this area of Long Island, that should be increased to at least four seconds.
Take a refresher course
If it’s been a number of years (or decades) since you learned to drive, you’ve likely fallen into some bad habits. Organizations like AARP offer online driver safety courses that provide a good refresher on things most people forget. You may even qualify for a discount on your insurance if you complete one.
No matter how safely you drive, you may not be able to avoid a reckless or negligent driver. If you’ve suffered injuries in a crash caused by another driver, remember that you have the right to seek justice and compensation. Seeking prompt legal guidance is very important. This can help to ensure that you are awarded the maximum amount of compensation you are rightfully owed.