Safe driving should be the first priority of all drivers. Common sense and remembering the basics helps prevent collisions, injuries, and save time and money.
Safe driving habits directly affect your insurance costs. As a non emergency medical transportation / paratransit business, that goes double. Even more, it’s simply the right thing to do.
- Wear your safety belt, and ask passengers to buckle up
- Focus on the road – avoid distractions
- Drive defensively – safety first
Safe Driving Tips:
Buckle Up! Seat belts save lives. In fact, they are the single most effective traffic safety device for preventing death and injury, and can reduce the risk of a crash injury by 50% ( opens in a new windowNational Highway Traffic Safety Administration).
Cell Phones and Driving – The Great Multitasking Lie: Numerous studies have demonstrated how the use of cell phones and other wireless devices while driving poses a significant safety risk to motorists, their passengers, and others on the road. Scientific studies have shown that cell phone use while driving increases the risk of being in a crash 4 times ( opens in a new windowNational Safety Council). Read more in opens in a new windowThe Great Multitasking Lie.
Defensive Driving as defined by the National Safety Council is “Driving to save lives, time, and money, in spite of the conditions around you and the actions of others.” The goal is to reduce the risk of collision by anticipating dangerous situations, regardless of adverse conditions or the mistakes of others. This is achieved by continuously practicing a variety of general rules of the road, as well as specific safe driving techniques. Below is a partial list of safe driving techniques to follow:
- Following at a Safe Distance: The National Safety Council suggests that a three-second rule, with increases of one second per factor of driving difficulty, should be practiced for a safe following distance. Factors that make driving more difficult include poor lighting conditions, inclement weather, unfavorable traffic mix, and the driver’s personal condition (fatigue, sleepiness, distractions etc.).
- Avoiding a Rear-End Collision: Follow the practice above, and pay attention to the traffic ahead of the vehicle in front of you. Watch for brake lights and be prepared to stop if necessary.
- Know Your Stopping Distance: Stopping distance refers to the distance required for a driver to realize a braking maneuver is necessary and to complete the braking maneuver and bring the vehicle to a complete stop. It is important to remember that this will vary depending on vehicle size and weight, speed, and weather and road conditions. Review the opens in a new windowstopping distance chart.
- Avoiding a Blind Spot: Know the blind spots of your vehicle. A blind spot is caused by certain parts of a vehicle that can obstruct the driver’s view. There are 8 blind spots – 2 in the front, 2 on each side, and 2 in the rear. Do not rely on mirrors only. By familiarizing yourself, you can also avoid riding in someone else’s blind spot.
- Proper Lane Changing: Use turn indicators, and look before changing lanes to be sure there is room; don’t trust mirrors only – check blind spots. Adjust driving speed to the lane you want to move into and proceed carefully.
- Backing: Beware of smaller objects that may not be visible behind or near your vehicle. Before accelerating, check all mirrors to make sure that nothing is behind you, then turn and look over each shoulder. When you are certain your path is clear, slowly accelerate.
- Turning: Before making any turn, use the proper turn indicator. This is the only means of communication to let other drivers and pedestrians know your intentions. If your signals don’t work, use hand signals.
- Intersections: Come to a complete stop if the intersection has stop signs or the signal is yellow or red. Do not let your vehicle roll forward or backward. When the signal turns green or when traffic conditions allow, check that the way is clear before moving forward. Abide by local laws regarding “right turn on red.”
- Avoid Road Rage: Being on the road frequently, you will experience many situations, including Road Rage. It’s a good practice to maintain a positive driving environment within your vehicle. When things get frustrating, stay calm, be considerate, and avoid confrontation with other drivers.
- Perform Routine Vehicle Maintenance: Routine vehicle maintenance – oil changes, checking the air in your tires, tire rotation, etc., can all prevent potential unexpected accidents from happening.
In summary, following safe driving practices will prevent injuries, save time, money, and is the socially responsible thing to do.