Written by Jeff Larson
- At least 77% of traffic accidents are the result of driver error.
- Motor vehicle crashes are the #1 cause of death for 16-24 year olds at 48.5%.
- Nationwide, 43% of first-year drivers and 37% of second-year drivers are involved in car crashes.
- Advanced driver training has reduced that rate to 4.6% of first-year drivers, as determined in a four-year study.
- Get Advanced Driver Training for all ages
- Smart driving position: hands at 9 and 3 o’clock
- Speed appropriate to laws and conditions
- Follow the 3-second rule (Watch Video)
- Look as far ahead as possible
- Know ABS (anti-lock braking system) operation
- Drive a safe, well maintained car
- Drive a vehicle with a low center of gravity
- If you are using your wipers, your headlights should be on as well
Be a Healthy Driver
- No impairment from alcohol, drugs, or sleep deprivation
Drowsy Driving: www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/prof/sleep/drsy_drv.pdf
- Don’t tailgate
- Keep calm
- Back off from road rage: Learn to let go of anger and move on.
How do you deal with road rage? It is essential to keep calm while driving, and dealing with road rage is no exception. There are two main components when road rage is in-volved: you and the other driver. By maintaining a courteous mindset, we can make our roads safer by remaining confident and controlled and ultimately, safe on the road. Losing control of your emotions behind the wheel can mean losing control of your vehicle. It is important to learn to ‘let go’ when another driver becomes angry or angers us. Avoiding eye contact is a good start.
Studies on aggressive driving: AAA’s Foundation for Traffic Safety website
What to do when confronted with road rage: www.drivers.com and Prevent Road Rage
- Do not use cell phones while driving; pull over, if necessary
Driving distractions are serious and have become an increasingly problematic issue, par-ticularly with the ongoing use of cell phones and blackberries. At the least, a cell phone conversation while driving takes away much of your attention. More serious, and recently with fatal consequences, is text messaging while driving. Texting not only distracts drivers from the mental processes required for driving, but it forces drivers to look away from the road, often for extended periods.
- Music can be helpful to a driver, particularly on long journeys, however, it should be kept in mind that your focus is to be on the road at all times
- Do not allow extraneous distractions such as eating, reading, applying makeup, or using a PDA or game console
- Do not allow disruptive passengers to ride with you
In addition, the combination of loud music and chattering passengers can take our focus off the road. Things happen fast while we’re driving, and keeping this in mind can reduce acci-dents and prevent the potential for tragic events that all too often occur due to driving dis-tractions.
- Ensure that all seatbelts are fastened
- Wear your seatbelt:
It is safer. Seat belts save lives. You are less likely to be injured in an accident and will be better prepared to deal with an emergency situation if you are wearing your seat belt. If you need to take emergency action while driving, a seat belt can help to keep you better posi-tioned behind the wheel so that you can more effectively maintain control of your vehicle. More information: buckleupamerica.org