When you get behind the wheel of your car, you are taking on a big responsibility. It may seem like a casual act to drive around every day, but it is important to develop good habits to become a safe driver. Let’s review some of the important habits you should develop immediately.
Why These Habits are Important
According to Driver Knowledge, there are an average of 6 million car accidents a year in the U.S., with more than 90 people dying every day from those accidents. This information alone should be enough motivation to adjust your driving habits. In addition to preventing accidents and saving lives, you want to keep your driving record in good standing and have proper auto insurance to protect yourself and others on the road.
Auto insurance can be a conundrum for many people, and in some instances, people opt to only pay for the minimum amount of coverage. But if you have a family, multiple cars, or have a commute, it’s important to consider more coverage in the event of an accident. Remember, liability only covers damage and injury for others, not you. Comprehensive coverage or full coverage might be a better option. Your best bet is to shop around to find a policy that works for you. Note that the average monthly premium in Maryland is around $78.75, so keep this in mind as you compare rates.
Obey the Posted Speed Limit
One of the most common traffic citations issued by police officers, and one of the easiest to avoid, is a speeding ticket. Every road you will ever drive on has a posted speed limit. Simply observe it and obey it. It may be tempting to go a little faster to make up time if you are running late, but the risk is not worth the reward. According to I Drive Safely, every time you increase your speed by 3 miles per hour, you double the risk of hurting someone in a crash. You have less time to react, your car becomes less maneuverable, and the braking distance is increased. Get in the habit of slowing down on the road and obeying the posted speed limit.
Put Down Your Cell Phone
Your cell phone is no longer just the vessel to make phone calls to friends and family. Your phone is now a source of text messaging, your GPS navigator, your radio, your emailing device, along with many other apps for social media and gaming. As a society, we are glued to our phones now more than ever. This habit has carried over into our vehicles, as well, which presents a dangerous distraction. While this problem is especially rampant in teenage drivers, it affects adults as well. Put your phone down and utilize hands-free operations. Many vehicles now connect directly to your phone, allowing you to make calls, get directions, and change the music using voice commands. There are even apps you can download that offer incentives and rewards for taking advantage of hands-free operations while driving. Remove distractions, put down your phone, and pay attention to the road.
Never Drive Under the Influence
One of the most dangerous things you can do as a driver is to consume alcohol and then get behind the wheel. In addition to the danger of hurting yourself and others in an accident, it is an actual criminal offense to drink and drive. According to Money Crashers, the consequences range from paying steep fines and losing your driver’s license to conviction and jail time. You can be dropped from your insurance company and even lose your job. Driving under the influence is no light matter.
Developing good habits while driving is crucial for your safety, as well as others on the road. Never drive under the influence, put down your cell phone while driving, and obey the posted speed limits. You will pay less on car and insurance expenses, as well as prevent harm and injury to others.
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