If you always start the new year fresh by making resolutions, consider focusing on your driving, which can improve your safety while on the road.
Abolishing bad habits is never easy, especially when you need to replace old habits with new ones that require some degree of effort and adaptation.
The National Safety Council (NSC) reported that over 40,000 Americans die in motor vehicle crashes in 2017, which brings the attention of local authorities and safety campaigners.
In addition, 4.6 million Americans who were injured in road accidents required medical assistance, whereas societal losses from reports in 2017 exceeded $413 billion.
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Having said that, you are strongly advised to include safety driving in your New Year’s Resolution checklist for your own protection.
Here are 5 New Year’s resolutions ideas that could definitely help you stay safe while on the road.
Avoid distracted driving
In principle, distracted driving refers to the habit in which a driver stops focusing on their primary task of driving to carry out activities that could result in crashes, injuries, and fatalities.
These distracting activities include texting/calling while driving, eating/drinking while driving, using the stereo or navigation system while driving, and any other thing that diverts your attention from driving.
Below we group some ways that can help you stay focused:
- Have a meal and/or a drink before hitting the roads or after reaching your destination.
- Put your phone down at all times.
- Turn down the radio, especially if you enjoy playing loud music.
- Never reach for items that way too far from your seat as it can affect your focus.
- Keep your pets in the back seat and never on your lap.
Avoid impaired driving
We all know someone who had a bad experience with an impaired driver, at least once, which usually involves drivers who were driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
While there’s always a risk of getting involved in an accident with an impaired driver, you could always choose to pick a designated driver or pick a ride-sharing service prior to taking any substances.
You are also reminded that drowsy driving is another form of impaired driving, which in many cases could jeopardize our safety by making ill-informed decisions while driving.
If you are too tired to carry on driving, get off the road safely, find a hotel/motel nearby, and take a nap until you feel ready to resume your drive.
Defensive driving means a lot today
As distracted driving and drunk driving are becoming an issue in our roads, switching to defensive driving appears to be the norm.
Here are some basic tips for every driver who rather drives defensively:
- Slow down for road conditions, especially adverse weather conditions, that could affect your driving. Keep a 2-second cushion between you and the driver in front of you to avoid an unexpected crash.
- Be prepared to anticipate hazards from other drivers who may not be as attentive as you are when operating a vehicle.
- Use your car safety features including: backup cameras and sensors which can enhance your safety.
Be alert of weather conditions
The first step to drive along roads during adverse weather conditions is to slow down.
To keep you and your passengers safe, here are some tips you could put in practice in the new year:
- Clean your windows in every season: Some drivers underestimate the impact that certain weather conditions have on our car windows. For that reason, clean your windows properly regardless of the season to ensure you can spot things while driving.
- Your headlights exist for a reason: Your headlights were created to help you see when it’s too dark outside and let others see you when getting closer.
- Equip your car with reliable tires: Experts always recommend drivers to check their tires prior to hitting the road as they are features that are crucial for a safe drive. Additionally, car owners need to check the pressure periodically.
Keep your car in great condition
As a car owner, you are responsible for ensuring your car is in optimal condition, which usually involves periodic inspections and maintenance at your trusted auto repair shop.
Create a checklist that covers key aspects of your vehicle that are fundamental for superior performance including:
- Brakes and brake lights
- Oil filter
- Suspension, steering, and alignment
- Wiper blades
- Vehicle fluid levels
- Transmission and fluids
- Car’s cooling system and so on.
Never wait for an accident to happen to start considering safety practices. You could start the year by carrying out habits that could enhance your safety while on the road.