Tips for Sharing the Road in a Responsible Way

October 10th, 2019 by

Tips for Sharing the Road in a Responsible Way

Whether you’re just starting out as a new teen driver or have been behind the wheel for years, there is always room to improve your driving habits. It’s easy to get comfortable when you’ve been driving for a while, and it is even easier to forget that your vehicle is a deadly weapon. Even one of the lightest cars on the road can cause major damage or, worse, take a life during an accident. Here are a few ways you can improve your on-road skills so that you can be a safer driver for yourself, your passengers, and the others with whom you share the road. 

Know What You’re Working With

There is little question that not all vehicles are designed to do the same thing. You wouldn’t try to haul a load of wood in a Corvette — you’d need a truck for that. Similarly, different vehicles may be best suited for a specific type of driving. Think about a sedan and an SUV; both will get you from point A to point B, but the SUV might be best suited for driving around a family of four or more — though the sedan might get better gas mileage. Sure, you can get that many bodies into a sedan, but a smaller cabin and two-row seating mean that things can get cramped, and backseat passengers might be more of a distraction. Before you buy a new or used car, do your research so you know what it can and can’t do comfortably. 

Other things to consider include:

  • Fuel efficiency
  • Safety rating
  • Visibility
  • History of recalls

Upgrade Your Accessories

Your phone might come in handy when you’re away from home, but it has no place in your hands while you’re operating a vehicle — even when you’re at a red light. More to the point, many states have laws that prohibit even touching the phone when the vehicle isn’t parked. So, invest in a few accessories that will help you stay hands-free. Things like a GPS system can go a long way toward keeping you safe. Infotainment offers numerous options for navigation radios for GMC, Ford, and most other brands. If your vehicle is already equipped, you can use your Infotainment system to make calls and even request OnStar assistance (with subscription). 

Don’t Put Anything Into Your Body That Would Impair Your Mind

Drinking and driving are a combination that can get you killed, and that’s a fact that cannot be underscored enough. Even overzealous coffee drinking can have an adverse effect on your ability to stay steady behind the wheel, and too much coffee can cause a rapid heartbeat, irritability, and an urgent need to take a bathroom break, according to Franziska Spritzler, RD, writing for Healthline.  All of these issues can take your mind off the road.

More than anything, make sure that common sense stays front and center when you strap into your car, truck, or SUV. This includes following the speed limit and moving to the right when others aren’t. Watch where you park — there is a reason that parking isn’t allowed in certain places, like the entrance to a public building, where emergency services have the right of way. Always check your blind spot before merging, and don’t be in such a hurry that you feel the need to cut others off. Chances are, you won’t get to your destination any quicker, and you’ll increase everyone’s chances of having an accident. 

Understand the Risks of Reckless Driving

Driving well over the speed limit and disobeying traffic laws can put you at serious risk of an accident which can cause serious harm to both yourself and others. You also risk fines, having your license suspended, and even jail time. If you’re convicted of a reckless driving infraction, your insurance rates are likely to skyrocket—sometimes by more than 50 percent. Some insurers will even cancel your policy. 

Driving is a big responsibility, and it’s one you have to earn. By following the above advice – and using a little common sense – you’ll contribute to safer roadways and, perhaps, save a life.

Image via Pixabay

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