Driving in and of itself is unsafe in its nature. The only thing keeping you connected to the ground is just four small patches of rubber. That is exactly why we should not take more risks while driving. Sure it may seem like you have layer of steel protecting you, but when you look at it, there is really not a lot between you and the ground when your going 50 miles an hour. The hazards of not following the rules of the road can be devastating. Not only can unsafe driving cause you to get a ticket and points against your license but it can also cause serious injury and sadly death in some cases. Must accidents are preventable by doing a few small things to insure your safety? I believe I read somewhere that some 95% of all accidents are driver error, which means nearly every single accident that occurs can be prevented by driving safely.
One of the must common hazards of the roads is letting you get distracted by small things that you probably do nearly every time you sit behind the wheel of a car. In some cases, even more so with teenagers than any other group of people, other passengers in the car can distract you, you can get in a heated debate and begin to stop paying attention to the road and only to a passenger, fiddling with the radio is also another big one, I remember reading a story of a guy who reached in his backseat to change his tape and got in an accident and got killed because of it. Another big one is people see an accident and watch it instead of the road, sometimes almost causing them to become another accident. My mom once got in an accident by turning around for only just a second or so to see what my brother complaining about, the light was green when she looked back but quickly turned yellow, the car in front of her stopped and boomed, she hit it. It can only take a second or two of looking away to cause a dangerous situation that can be easily avoided. It can wait until the next red light or better yet when your off the road.
Driving while tired is an enormous risk, I remember a few years back when a truck driver fell asleep at the wheel and caused an enormous crash on a freeway killing a few people, why you ask? Because he failed to take the required 15 minute rest break that he was required by law to. Now you do not even have to worry about taking back movies late anymore, they have it to where you can just bring it in the next morning! There is really no reason to drive while tired, just have someone else drive, or if you are on a long road trip with no hotel in sight for a long time, just pull over to the road and take a little nap for 15-30 minutes to help you make it the rest of the way. Must people think turning up the music or opening a window helps them stay awake, but the fact is studies show that it does not matter a bit if you blast the music as loud as it will go or open a window on a freezing night. The best thing to do is to just not drive or have someone else drive for you who awake enough to be able to drive responsible.
A even bigger and probably the easiest risk to avoid while driving is wearing your seatbelt. Thousands of people die each year because they break the law and don’t do one of the easiest things possible, buckling up. Some people say they believe seatbelts can kill people. That is true seatbelts have killed and injured people. But they help way more than they hurt. Without them many people would be dead or seriously injured, they allow people who should have died in an accident to come out of it without a scratch. My grandfather died before I was even born, he died in a car accident and was thrown through his windshield, they say if he wore his seatbelt he would have lived.
He died before I ever got to meet him. Why some people take that risk every day, I will never know, even my dad (on his side was the side of my family on which my grandfather died) hardly if ever buckles up, you would think of all people he would always buckle up because that’s how he lost his father. Some people think the air bag will save them but it’s simply not true if you want to make sure that you minimize your risks as much as possible you’ll buckle up.
Road rage, is another very important unsafe driving hazard. Road rage has seemed too spurred to new levels in recent years as before it was very uncommon to hear of someone beating up another person for cutting them off. It is a fact of life when you drive you will be cut off, tailgated and whatnot. You just have to learn how to make sure that you can handle the situations to where you do not allow yourself to get angry enough to where
you do something violent like that to harm another person or the property. Also a simple way to help make sure you’re not the victim of someone else road rage, if you know you did something wrong and cut someone off sometimes a simple wave of the hand in showing an apology is enough to cool someone off.
Speeding, it seems like everyone does it right? Well the majority of people do, from what I can tell from people I’ve asked, driving with other people, and just looking out at the roads, it seems like everyone is in a hurry to get there, and get there now. Some people are not even in a hurry they just speed because there use to it, sure its normally only five over, but that still speeding, some people do it because they get a rush from going fast, others because they are in a hurry to get where they want to go, or there late. Some people do it just out of habit their use to going 30 in 25’s or 50 in 45’s because they normally won’t get pulled over for only going five over so they decide they’ll do it. While others do it but don’t mean to, sometimes when you drive for a long time you don’t release that your going 5-10 miles over. Speeding is probably the biggest hazard of driving that must people do, and it’s also one of the must dangerous people can do. Speeding can cause deadly accidents and can turn cars into something for the junkyard.
Avoiding traffic signs or signals is another big one. My mom has been hit twice, one by someone who ran a red light and another by someone who ran a stop sign. In small neighborhoods where not too many cars come by, or late at night when it seems like you’re the only one on the road some people think there can’t possible be any other cars coming and decide to run it. Or they’ll see the yellow light from a distance and say to themself’s ‘I can make it’ when in fact they’ll actually be going through it because the time they get there it will be red. Must of the accidents I have seen in my life are at intersections where I can only assume it was because someone has run a red light. Many people don’t even slow down for yellows they speed up when they shouldn’t. Normally there’s that few seconds where the lights are changing and they can make it, but every now and than someone misjudges their timing and gets hit.
Drinking and driving, easily avoidable by everyone, people like to drink, sometimes they don’t know when they should stop and become impaired. Some of them even try to get behind the wheel of a car. Sometimes a friend will take them home or let them stay at their house until they sober up but other times there not so luckily in keeping them off the road and the driver can’t even tell which side of the road there supposes to be on. I saw an accident on T.V. a few years back where a guy had been drinking during his entire day of fishing out at the lake and decided to go home. He swerved over into another guy’s lane at 70 miles an hour the other guy was forced off the road where he’s jeep flipped over. Luckily because the man was wearing a seatbelt he lived with no serious injury’s but his car was totaled. Sadly some people can’t even tell they’re drunk and think they’re fine. Sadly many people die a year because of this, I read somewhere that in one summer more people die from drinking and driving accidents than the amount of people who died during the entire Vietnam war. Now that is a lot of death’s the can be prevented if people just don’t drive impaired.
A lot of people drive the exact same when its raining or snowing. When in fact they should be giving themself’s a extra few seconds of room between them and the car in front of them and break sooner. When its raining and there’s even a little water on the ground when you go fast enough the car no longer even has contact with the ground but only the water, now that’s unsafe! A lot of people loose control of there cars and crash when there is icy or wet roads out. Its also very easily avoidable, giving yourself a few extra seconds going maybe 5-10 miles slower than one would normally go would almost eliminate any risk of driving in bad weather. Also if its raining to hard to where its making it nearly impossible to see through the windshield, pull over! Normally when it rains that hard it will only last for a few minutes or so. Pulling over for that time helps make sure that you don’t ram a person in front of you because you can’t see them.
Driving to close behind someone, it takes you longer than you think to release something is wrong and than to move your foot to the break, in that crucial amount of time it could be to late, giving yourself distance from the car in front of you is the easiest thing to do, just let off the gas and be at least 3 seconds in normal weather and a little longer in bad weather behind someone and you’ll be a lot safer. Not only is driving at a distance safer the driver in front will appreciate it greatly. We all know there’s nothing worse than thinking the guy behind us is about to ram the back of our car.
Driving with faulty equipment, sometimes not the easiest thing to recognize but certainly a easy one to fix. You may not notice your light is burnt out or your single is not working right away as soon as it happens, but when you do you should have it repaired as soon as possible. Having your lights not working makes you incredibly less visible at night, nearly impossible to see at times depending on how dark outside it is. It helps a bunch to be able to tell where your going to other cars, not being able to single correctly with a turn single can make it really hard and frustrating the driver who didn’t know you were going to be moving into his or her lane. There’s really no reason to let a flat be a flat, now you can buy a can to fix small leaks and pay a quarter to have it filled up again. Maybe not the must dangerous hazard out there but certainly one to keep a eye on.
Being prepared for situations is also a great idea to help minimize the risks of you getting into trouble out on the road, knowing where your hazard lights are in a panic can be invaluable. My mom in one of her accidents in a panic forgot where her hazard lights were, in the evening other cars could not tell she was stopped and not only was she hit once she was also hit again from behind because a car could not see her stopped in the middle of the road. Knowing not to panic in accidents insures your safety while driving and makes your odds for survival greater when in accidents. A large majority of people panic when involved in accidents and only cause greater damage to themself’s or others because they do not know how to properly respond to a situation.
Knowing the driving laws where you live or are going! Its probably one of the must easiest things to miss, when I went to Arizona for the summer the speed limits in the city I was in was normally 35, I was not used to it, because around here the speed limits on must main roads are 45! Watching for the signs can help you not become a hazard. Also when my dad came up here a few months ago for my sisters graduation he was unfamiliar with the ‘Michigan right’ as we like to call it, and had no idea he had to go right to go left. Sometimes it can be hard just to know the speed limits and other odds and ends in driving in your own area, becoming familiar with your own area is a good example to, must people miss the fact that Middlebelt is 40 and normally go much faster! Knowing your roads, the speed limits, and any other posted sign can be an enormous help in driving safely.
Knowing where the cars around you are can also be a big help to, knowing where that motorcycle is so you don’t cut him off is invaluable, motorcyclists have virtually no protection from cars and if one gets hit that’s pretty much it for him or her that’s on it. Checking your blind spots, probably the #1 thing must people forgot to do is a huge thing, we all know there’s spaces you can not see if you just look straight ahead and only at your mirror . You do not want to just check your mirror and than smack right into someone because you were to lazy to glance in the direction you were going in. Its also a safe idea to not be right next to a car, they say if the car see’s a immediate danger to going to swerve into the closest lane, which normally in a two lane road would be where you are, they say to try and space yourself to where your not next to a car beside you, because if you don’t, and they see a danger odds are there coming for you and the only other option you have is to go right into oncoming traffic.
Not knowing what to do in certain situations is another huge one, a few months back when we had the power outage that took out many stop lights, must people did not know that a down traffic light is suppose to be treated as a four way stop unless a officer is there controlling the situation. Some people do not follow the directions of officers to go other directions and become a hazard to other responsible people who are following the directions giving to them by the officer. Others can get in the way of a fire truck or ambulance as there passing because they do not release there suppose to get over and out of the way so that they can pass quickly and not have to work there way through traffic.
With every single example above there is several things in common, they can all be incredibly dangerous, sometimes even deadly, and they are all incredibly easy to avoid doing for the must part. Driving in and of itself is a very dangerous thing to do, Doing the things above only makes something that’s dangerous even more dangerous. Taking dangerous risks like those above can cost you more than just a few bucks from your wallet, a point or two against your drivers license, or a small insurance increase, it can cost you your life. Not only that but now a days its more important than ever to have a clean driving record. It helps show your responsible to employers and that you follow rules accordingly. If a job requires driving and you have a clean record compared to someone who has a few tickets, odds are there going to choose you instead.
Health insurance, life insurance, some of there premiums are based off your driving record believe it or not! Driving safely won’t cost you anything but it can save you a ton of money. Not only that but the time you have to take off work to go to court, the fines you’ll pay, the insurance increase, its all just not worth it. Not only will you save your wallet, you might just save your life or someone with you, you do not want to be held responsible for the death of a friend who is in the car with you because you did not prevent it from happening when you could have, it would truly be a horrible thing to live with for the rest of someone’s life, knowing there responsible for the death of the friend or a family member. Driving safely is probably the easiest thing a person can do and driving safely far outweighs the benefits of driving carelessly.