Cars these days are designed safer; even the roads are safer than they used to be. It is not since yesterday, or day before yesterday, but for decades that public information campaigns are being organized. And these have encouraged people to drive safe. These campaigns have proved to be a real success and even helped the US record the lowest rate of accident fatality in the year 2008.
To your surprise, the rate of accidents and deaths from automobiles is still dramatic across the nation. The number of car accidents was still reported at 6 million in 2008 in the US. Over 37,000 of these accidents resulted in deaths, thus becoming the most prevalent cause of deaths among US people of age three to 34 years.
Of course, the rapid advancement in technology can be one of the solutions to reduce the reported number of accidents, but these are basically an outcome of human error. Therefore, it becomes vital for you to follow certain tips and ensure safe driving at all times, no matter which vehicle you are driving.
- Keep your speed safe
As stated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or NHTSA, speed is one major reason why so many crashes and accidents are witnessed from time to time. The group estimates that around $40.4 billion every year is incurred to the society by rash driving that causes accidents. Almost 31% of all lethal crashes were an outcome of speeding in 2008 (not much has changed since them or it would have been widely reported). Of these, some 11,674 people died.
You might be flabbergasted to know that driving even 10 mph above the average speed may augment your accident risk by almost 50%. And it would otherwise also not do you any good except saving a few minutes of yours. Consider a long journey, and again, your risk of getting into an accident is far higher compared to the time you save by speeding up and roaring that engine. The simplest solution to avoid this risk is to leave earlier for your destination.
- Don’t drink and drive
Maybe you are not afraid to drink and drive. But, let’s pay attention to the fact that alcohol adds significantly to your peril of accident. Intoxication can cause a reduction in your reaction time even if your blood-alcohol levels are low. You tend to make foolish decisions as a result. You can imagine how increased levels of alcohol may cause more harm to you, especially while driving. Higher consumption of alcohol may lead to double or blurred vision.
Sometimes, you may lose your conscious which can be fatal. Drinking and driving is, in fact, considered an offense. Don’t be staggered by the fact that the law may send you behind bars if you are caught driving with 0.08 or more blood-alcohol content.
You must also keep in mind that driving when tired is also dangerous. It is better to sleep well during the night to avoid any risk.
- Maintain a healthy distance
Safe driving does not only mean following the traffic rules, but you should also maintain a decent distance with the vehicle in front. The vehicle ahead may take a sudden turn or may apply breaks due to some reason, and you may fail to take your time to think and react accordingly. This again raises your accident risk. This is why a three-second rule is recommended by experts, which says you must let the car in front pass a particular object on the roadside and wait for 3 seconds at least before you move ahead of that object.
- Fasten your seat belt
As per NHTSA statistics, more than 50% of all road accidents and deaths are seen as an adverse outcome of not wearing seat. Seat belts are inevitable when it comes to driving in a safe manner. We have all heard a lot of stories that say that a particular person passed away in a road accident who might have saved his life, had he been wearing his seat belt. This is enough to uphold the fact that many fatalities can be avoided just by fastening your seat belt.
- Steer clear of any distractions
A number of US states have simply put a ban on cell phone use when driving. And a fool-proof reason behind the same is the huge count of fatalities that occur due to use of phones during driving. Analysts say that around 2,600 deaths each year are seen due to it. Texting while driving is a BIG deal, if in any case you think it’s not. Researchers are of the view that cell phone use behind the wheel holds the potential to diminish your reaction time almost by 20%.
Not only cell phones, but any eatables or applying makeup or chit-chatting while driving diverts your attention and puts you at risk of having some misfortune.
James Dean says, “Take it easy driving – the life you save may be mine.”