October 23, 2016

Safe driving habits

Many drivers tend to take the responsibility of driving far too lightly. When operating a giant piece of metal weighing thousands of pounds at high speeds surrounded by other humans doing the same, it’s not hard to imagine things going wrong. And this is without the presence of alcohol, cell phones, small children, and other distractions! Therefore, it’s important to utilize safe driving habits in order to ensure the safety of everyone on the road.

Focused Driving

Distracted driving is one of the most well-known, and yet still a very common mistake that people make when driving. There are many forms of distracted driving, some of them legal and some illegal. Distracted driving is anything that takes your attention away from your most important task – operating your vehicle safely and responsibly. This can include seemingly benign activities like eating a sandwich, changing the radio station, chatting with a passenger, or looking for something in your car. It also includes well-documented dangers such as talking on the phone, texting, or checking social media.

Complete stops

Many people do not realize the dangers of failing to come to a complete stop. When they reach a stop sign, they slow down, pause, and continue. You should be completely stopped and have time to assess the full situation to your left and right before recommencing driving. You never know if another driver will fail to follow the rules of the stop sign, if they can’t see you, you can’t see them, or if there’s someone’s dog crossing the intersection. Always double-check.


This is most common when switching lanes. Many believe that it is unnecessary as long as they have enough space. Not allowing other vehicles to know where you are headed takes away their control and could cause you both to make uninformed and dangerous driving decisions.  You should signal in anticipation of your next desired move, not during the action.  

Make sure other drivers are aware of your intended destination when switching lanes. You and another driver may want to switch into the same lane, or maybe another driver in that lane is going to change their speed. If you don’t communicate your motive to switch lanes, there is no way for other drivers to account for your actions, and avoid a possible collision.

Having an escape plan

Many people just don’t know what to do when things don’t go right. For example, if someone cuts you off or driving conditions are less than optimal, you’ll need to know how to get yourself out of a sticky situation. It takes experience or training to know how to properly handle these situations, and it’s not something you go into depth about before you get your license. People can go years without knowing the proper way to handle a car if it’s hydroplaning. Continuing your driver’s education is imperative to responsible driving, but most people fail to do so.  

Being wary of your blind spots

Our blind spots are very easy to ignore, and can also get us into a lot of trouble. Even if you’re sure you’d see a car in your blind spot, keep in mind that other cars are not the only things you need to be aware of when on the road. A driver with safe driving habits is also on the lookout for motorcycles, bicycles, pedestrians, animals, or anything else that could impede one’s path.

Wearing a seat belt

This is an easy, obvious safe driving habit that unfortunately tends to go ignored a lot of the time. Seat belts are free, and could easily prevent serious injury or even death. Without a seat belt, a driver involved in a collision could be ejected through their windshield and killed instantly; with one, they may suffer some bruising.

You may also be interested in:

Pedestrian Hit by a Car – Which Insurance Do You Claim?
Diagnosing Neck Pain After a Car Accident – Is it Whiplash?
I Rear-Ended Someone – Is it My Fault?
Can You Rent a Car Without Insurance?
Conquering the Fear of Driving After an Accident
Florida’s Distracted Driving Law
Hit By a Drunk Driver – What Now?