Little Johnny just pass his permit test? When our young ones get on the road, there are important things to teach them to keep them and those around them safe. In this case, learning from someone else is better than learning it the hard way yourself.
Have a few accidents in the last couple of years? Whether you were at-fault, or you were in the wrong place at the wrong time, we all could use some tips to keep us safer on the road.
Don’t drive distracted
Distracted driving can be considered many things: talking on the phone, texting/checking your phone, eating, drinking, or even changing the radio stations or volume. You may think that you can manage to multitask, but in reality, doing anything while driving takes your attention AWAY from driving. Every second your eyes are off the road is a second of reaction time taken away.
Avoid driving with a car full of friends
This is especially important for young drivers, and can be just as bad as any other type of distracted driving. Loud music and rambunctious teens can create a very dangerous environment for the driver.
Be aware of pedestrians and school zones
PA law requires that you yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, so if you’re driving through an area with multiple crosswalks, slow your speed to be sure you have enough time to stop if someone steps out onto the street. Be extra careful in school zones during drop off and pick up; fines are usually multiplied in these areas during these times.
Limit night-time driving
Roads and places are less familiar at night, making it harder to get to your destination. Also, some animals are more likely to be out at night, and even harder to see with the darkness. Be extra careful if you are driving late at night; there is a higher chance of drunk drivers out as well.
Be courteous to law enforcement, service, and emergency vehicles
Whenever there is law enforcement or service vehicle on the side of the road, take care to slow down and give them enough space to keep them safe. Whenever an emergency vehicle has its sirens on, be sure to pull over and let them pass. If you hear sirens, turn down your music to be able to determine where it is coming from, so you can be aware if you need to pull over.
Limit driving in bad weather
Rainstorms, snowstorms, freezing rain, fog, or even extreme wind can be challenging to drive in. If you don’t have to go out, stay home and wait until it is a better time to drive. If you must go out, drive slower than usual to avoid slipping and try to take major roads that may have better conditions than back roads not driven much.
Keep enough distance between you and the car ahead of you
Also known as “tailgating,” following too close to the car in front of you dramatically increases your risk of an accident. Being close lessens your time to react and brake if the car in front of you suddenly stops. In bad weather conditions it may take longer for your car to stop, so give even more space when driving in less-than-ideal conditions.
Give yourself plenty of time to arrive
When leaving for your destination, give yourself more time that you need to get there on time. Being in a hurry can make you go above the speed limit, go through red lights, roll through stop signs, pull out in front of traffic dangerously, tailgate the car in front of you; things you could get a ticket for or create an accident doing.
Do not allow others to use your car (without parents’ permission)
Auto insurance follows the CAR, not the DRIVER. Only allow those you trust to use your car. For teens or college students with a car, it is good practice to not let anyone else use the car especially without your parents’ consent. The less other people who drive your car, the less liability you have to worry about.