Avoid Road Rage By Following These 10 Golden Rules

August 29, 2021

Whether you are on a summer road trip or hit the road for the daily commute, there are safety considerations every driver should be aware of. A study by Liberty Mutual Insurance reported fifty per cent of Americans have vehicles that are are poorly equipped in the event of an emergency. The roads will be even more congested once the back-to-school rush hits soon, so next time you jump in the driver’s seat, keep these ten tips in mind.

Leave Early

Give yourself time. How often do you hit the road only to held up in traffic or behind halted traffic due to an accident. There are things you cannot control but one thing is your own schedule. By leaving a little earlier, you can reduce stress by not worrying about arriving at your destination late. You will reduce your risk of causing an accident or receiving a speeding ticket. If your morning is typically rushed, set your alarm half an hour earlier.

Do Not Be A Distracted Driver

In the U.S. in 2014, 3,179 people were killed from collisions involving distracted drivers and 431,000 people were injured. While using cell phones is on the rise and is currently one of the most common distractions among drivers, other types include eating and drinking, talking to passengers, putting on make-up, reading and writing, adjusting temperature controls or the radio, watching a video or using a navigation system. The only way to ensure your focus is on the road is to concentrate on nothing but driving.

Have an Emergency Kit

One of the most important things you can have in your car is an emergency kit. It can be purchased pre-made but is an easy do-it-yourself project. Using a bag or plastic crate, store items including water bottles and packaged food, a blanket, towel, first aid kit, flashlight, jumper cables, flares, a multi-tool, rope, spare change and cell phone charger. Your kit should be examined regularly to make sure batteries are charged and food is not past expiration dates.

Be Prepared

A good way to avoid unforeseen events is to be prepared. Whether you are on a long trip or taking the kids to school, make sure you have everything you need for the commute. Have the radio tuned to your chosen station, the DVD turned on for backseat passengers and the navigation system loaded with directions. Plug in your cell phone and other devices so they are charged in case of emergency or for when you arrive at your destination.

Learn Some Tune-Up Skills

Do you know how to change a flat tire or jump start a dead battery? What if you are caught on a dusty road and are out of windshield wiper fluid. Do you know where to refill it? One of the most important things is knowing how to check air pressure using an air pressure gauge, which can be purchased inexpensively. The second most important thing to know is how to fill up those low tires. Learning how to change and top up the oil is also recommended, as well as installing new wiper blades.

Use The Two-Second Rule

One of the first things drivers learn is the two-second rule. This ensures drivers keep a safe distance between other vehicles. The general rule is to maintain two seconds behind the driver in front of you. This can be determined by counting two seconds from when the back of the car passes a stationary object to when the front of your car reaches it. The two-second rule applies to good driving conditions and more distance should be left between vehicles in rain, snow and inclement weather.

Be Alert

Fatigue is a common hazard on the road and a cause of accidents. Fatigue happens easily on long trips but is also easily preventable. If you know you have a long trip ahead, do not plan on doing the whole route in one sitting. Extended periods of driving cause tired eyes and lack of concentration. If you are driving for a long period, stop often to take breaks to rest, stretch and drink water. Walking around will wake up the senses and increase blood flow, making you more alert.

Wear Seat Belts

Make sure not just the driver, but all passengers are buckled up. Even though it is the law, many people choose not to wear seat belts even though they are the number one way of preventing injury and death in car accidents. In the U.S., eighteen to thirty-four year olds are less likely to wear seat belts than adults thirty-five and older and in 2011, of all the teen drivers killed in vehicle crashes, fifty-eight per cent were not wearing seat belts.

Know Your Route

If you are driving somewhere new, get familiar with the area, including the neighborhoods and key landmarks. Map it out or use your vehicle’s GPS navigation system. It is recommended to keep to the lane closest to the center line and stick to routes that have a lot of traffic and well-lit streets if it is dark. On regular routes, know the locations of businesses and gas stations, as well as easy exits, in case of emergency.

Know Your Stranger Danger

Keep your vehicle door and windows locked. Criminals looking to hijack a car or rob a driver know how to approach stopped cars. If you suspect someone’s approach to be dangerous, honk your horn and drive away, but try to get a description of the culprit, if possible. Do not pick up hitchhikers or someone who asks for a ride and do not unroll your window if someone approaches your car. When entering your parked vehicle, survey the area and keep your keys handy.

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