3 Steps to Becoming a Safer Driver

As reported by the World Health Organization, approximately 1.35 million people die yearly due to road traffic crashes. You might think that disease is the leading cause of death for children and young adults aged 5 to 29, but no. For this age group, it is road traffic injuries. You can’t control the behaviors and actions of other drivers, but updating your driving skills can help you avoid dangers caused by dangerous drivers.

1. Focus on driving

A study conducted by The National Centre for Transportation Systems Productivity and Management concludes that 80% of crashes were caused by a distracted driver. Distracted driving can lead to impaired driving. Mobile phones are the major culprit and are a growing concern for road safety. A driver using a mobile phone is four times more likely to be involved in a crash than drivers not using one. Using phones while driving slows reaction time on braking and traffic signals. Texting considerably increases the risk of a car crash.

Drivers can also be distracted with big billboards. This bright, glossy, and eye-catching advertisement strategy is a great marketing tool to promote a business but can be hazardous for some drivers. As multi-faceted as they are, a billboard has one goal overall – grab your attention. Billboards along the highways and main roads can capture the attention of the driver. Taking their eyes off the road for more than three seconds can be the difference between life and death for the driver, the passengers and other road users.

By focusing on driving, keeping your eyes on the road at all times, and putting all your distractions away, you can be spared from being a statistic.

2. No drinking and driving

This might be a common-sense but you will be surprised how many drivers will still go behind the steering wheel under the influence of alcohol. Driving when drunk or under any psychoactive substance or drug increases the risk of a crash that results in serious injuries or death. You are already considered legally impaired if you’re blood alcohol content level is at 0.08 percent. However, even with just one drink, alcohol can already affect your senses therefore it’s not worth the risk.

With more than half of all road traffic deaths are pedestrians, motorcyclists, and cyclists, do yourself and all of us a favor and call a rideshare or cab.

3. Get your road rage under control

Aggressive driving – honking, road gestures, tailgating, cutting lanes are behaviors identified with road rage. Either you are guilty of road rage behaviors or you are the one causing others to lash out with road rage, note that 66% of all traffic fatalities are caused by aggressive drivers.

If you find that you have agitated another driver, whether it is your fault or not, do not engage with the other driver. Remind yourself that getting home safely is more important than proving your point. It might be dangerous to teach someone a lesson.

Final thoughts

Safe drivers understand that we – drivers, pedestrians, motorcyclists, bikers – all share the road. Obeying traffic rules, watching the speed, maintaining your vehicle’s road worthiness, and being aware of the surroundings ensure that everyone gets to go home safely.