Fall is right around the corner, and the cooler weather often prompts people to hop in their cars for a road trip.
Unfortunately, too many of those trips will end up being memorable for the wrong reasons due to crashes and other risks that drivers face anytime they hit the road.
You can take control of your next trip, whether it’s across town or to another state, by following these simple rules:
- Pay attention. Do you know how many drivers around the country are using cell phones or other electronic devices right now? If it’s daytime, the answer is approximately 660,000! Anything that takes your eyes off the road or distracts you will increase your risk of a crash. Here’s another reason to avoid distractions: If you’re completely alert, you have a better chance of steering clear of that guy who is shaving on his way to work.
- Stay sober. One wrong decision can change lives forever, and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a horrible decision. More than 10,000 die each year in crashes involving impaired drivers, according to the National Safety Council (NSC). So get a designated driver — or better yet, be a designated driver. Best of all, have the party at your house and let everyone sleepover.
- Slow down. They say “speed kills,” and, as depressing as it sounds, it’s true. Crashes caused by excessive speed cause more than 10,000 deaths a year on average, the NSC says. Surprisingly, you are most at risk on roads where the speed limit is 55 mph or below. Remember, the posted speed limit isn’t always the best speed to travel. Depending on conditions, going slower might be the safest option.
Improving safety on the roads isn’t rocket science. Just a little common sense can make a big difference for you, your passengers, and your fellow drivers. So be alert and be safe out there on the roads!