Staying Safe on Our Roads
Car accidents are dangerous and frightening, but they happen far too often. When you get behind the wheel of your car, you take on an immense responsibility to drive safely and to help keep the roads safe for everyone with whom you share them. There are, however, several safety strategies that can help safeguard you from dangerous accidents. As you traverse the beautiful roadways of Central Texas, always make driving safely your top priority.
Do Not Engage in Distracted Driving
When you are driving, your attention should be focused solely on driving safely, and if it is not, you are a distracted driver. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines distracted driving as “any activity that diverts attention from driving,” and reports that, in 2016 alone, there were nearly 3,500 traffic fatalities involving distracted drivers. Smartphones are one of the most dangerous distractions out there; when you are driving, put your phone away.
If You Will Be Having a Drink or Two, Do Not Get Behind the Wheel
You know that driving while intoxicated is a terrible idea, but it is also important to recognize that even a drink or two can negatively affect your driving. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that drivers in Texas self-report having driven after too many drinks at a higher rate than the national average. Further, the CDC shares that almost one in three traffic fatalities in the United States involves a drunk driver and that Texas has an even higher rate. If you plan to drink alcohol, make alternative travel arrangements.
Do Not Exceed the Speed Limit
Speed limits are calculated to help keep the roads safer for everyone. When you get behind the wheel, adhering to the posted speed limit is one of the safest choices you can make. With greater speed, you decrease your available reaction time and increase your stopping distance. The NHTSA reports that speed played a role in more than 10,100 traffic deaths in 2016. It is also important to remember that the speed limit only applies under favorable driving conditions. Adjust your speed accordingly.
Pay Attention When You Park
Once you have made it safely to your destination and are preparing to park, you may be tempted to let down your guard, but parking necessitates safe driving rules of its own. When it comes to parking, many drivers become goal-oriented, which can mean that other drivers are not paying the careful attention they should be to the cars around them, to pedestrians in their midst, and the traffic patterns in the parking structure or lot. Parking structures are busy hives of activity; always proceed with caution.