It Pays to be Careful on the Road – Be A Responsible Driver

It Pays to be Careful on the Road – Be A Responsible Driver

Of all the people who die each year, forty thousand are related to road and vehicular accidents.  This number does not include the injuries that resulted from vehicular accidents.  It does, however, include the number of innocent bystanders who were, without their permission, involved in the accident with fatal consequences.

Vehicle related injuries have always been a problem within the US.  It is a known fact that the government has done and is still doing what it can to reduce the numbers of road related deaths.  Information campaigns have been religiously broadcast to keep all drivers informed of road safety, rules beneficial for all drivers have been set so that they may be adhered to, even the basic license exam for drivers is there to make sure that all people on the road know how to drive.  These things are all focused at reducing the risk of being on the road.  And yet, as a response people: ignore these information campaigns but switching channels when these are aired, break the speed limit because they think its constricting and try to cheat the driver’s test to get a license.

Everyone knows that getting on the road is dangerous.  Everyone also knows that for each group of a million drivers, there’s a good percentage in that group who believe that they are supermen and that they can’t be hurt when they are driving in the car because they are extremely good drivers with extremely good reflexes.  Consider though: professional race car drivers are supposed to be the best in the world, with a lot of experience behind the wheel and with reflexes tested by time.  Notice though that every time they get into a car, they mutter a short prayer or something similar just to make sure that they finish the race alive.

One might say that race car drivers really do have a hazardous occupation, and that the example is not a valid comparison.  Then consider this: speeding is a race against time in order to get to a location faster.  Whenever you pump the gas pedal and try to go faster than all the rest on the road, you’re no longer using the vehicle as a means to get from point A to point B.  You’re now turning it into a race, endangering both you and those around you in the process.

And it doesn’t take much to get into an accident.  Of all the listed causes for vehicular accidents, the top reason is distracted driving.  And it doesn’t say that the person at the wheel was distracted for over a minute, hence the accident.  The distractions are really small things such as: a) talking over the phone while driving (even if the loudspeaker is on), b) responding to a text message, c) reaching for something that fell from the driver’s grasp, d) eating a sandwich, e) checking out the hot chick on the sidewalk… and the list goes on.  These things just distract the driver for a few moments, take their eyes off of the road for a few seconds, and the accident happens.

Some might say that this could not happen to them, and that they are extremely careful.  If that is the truth, well and good.  It is however no reason to get cocky because again, a good number of the people involved in accidents were not even part of the event.  They just happened to be at the wrong place when a thoughtless driver plowed through and caused an accident.

So what may be done to avoid road accidents?  The following are some ideas to consider in order to keep you and your loved ones safe when on the road.

1)      Keep to the speed limit – No matter what statistics say, speed is always part of the equation during an accident.  Speed limits are assigned to areas depending on how good the road is.  Keep to the limit, do not go over.

2)      Stay focused – Again, the top cause of road fatalities is distracted driving.  Keep your eyes on the road, and keep your conversation with the passengers to a minimum.  That concentration may give the you, the driver, the few seconds needed to identify a potential problem and take the necessary steps to avoid it.

3)      Use the Seatbelt – There are several laws that enforce this, and this must be one of the wisest laws on the road.  The seatbelt keeps the driver in the driver’s seat no matter what happens.  Should the car go into a skid, the driver would not be tossed around but be held in place.  With luck and experience, he or she could regain control of the car.

The seatbelt is also good for the passengers, especially if the passenger is a child.  It’s always good to strap your child in and know that he or she can’t go around the car, pick stuff up and ruin the upholstery. Frees your mind to pay attention to the road.

4)      Take care of your car – Keep the engine tuned, and make sure to check the tires.  The engine will make sure that your response time is good, while the tires will make sure that your commands will be followed. Worn tires tend to have a bad grip on the road, and this would result in your vehicle skidding to a stop when you hammer on the brakes.

5)      Be extra careful at intersections – This has to be done, especially when the green light just came on. There is always a driver trying to beat the yellow light, and even though he is wrong, should an accident occur then you both lose.

6)      Spread out – Good advice, especially on hi-ways.  Most accidents happen between two vehicles, not between a vehicle and an inanimate object.  Put a good ten meters between you and the next car on a clear day.  Add another ten if it’s raining.  This distance will provide you with precious seconds should anything happen to the car ahead of you.

Road safety is everyone’s concern, and if everyone were just conscious of the need to be cautious every second on the road, then the number of deaths due to road accidents would decrease dramatically.

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