Even with the number of traffic rules put in place, road accidents continue to plague the world. In the US alone, last year approximately 4.4 million people were injured in car crashes, severe enough to need medical attention and over 38,000 lives were claimed.
There are plenty of reasons or a combination of reasons why road accidents happen. Tough traffic rules are meant to protect all of us while on the road, it’s all too common to find people breaking rules. The very first rule of driving is to follow these rules. They are in place for valid reasons and breaking them could result in severe injuries, permanent injuries, or fatalities.
To lessen your odds of getting into an accident, which is already pretty high, here are 5 rules that you absolutely must follow.
1. Driving with a License
You can be charged for different things when you’re caught driving unlicensed. It depends on certain factors. For instance, the person who forgot to renew their license doesn’t have the same circumstances as a person who might have had theirs suspended but insists on driving without it.
Laws may differ from one place to another. For instance, in Texas, a licensed person may be the one at fault when in an accident with an unlicensed driver. But that doesn’t mean the unlicensed driver is completely off the hook. If you visit this site it will give you more detailed information on what the legal ramifications are for driving unlicensed in Texas. Offenders of this law can be fined up to $5000 and face jail time. If you’re driving without a license and proven to be the cause of the accident as well, you can face very serious charges. It’s important that you become familiar with the laws put in place when it comes to traffic law, regardless of where you are in the world.
2. Texting and Driving
Distraction is the top reason why accidents occur. There are several things that could cause distraction. There are 4 kinds of categorized distractions:
- Visual: Looking around and not focusing on the road.
- Manual: Using multiple things with your hands, not just the steering wheel.
- Cognitive: Preoccupied thoughts or daydreaming.
- Auditory: Listening to something that isn’t related to driving.
Since there is no way to measure what a person might be looking at, hearing, or thinking while driving, the one thing that reduces your concentration on all these counts is texting on your phone or talking on your phone without an earphone. Nearly all 50 states, with the exceptions of Arizona and Montana, have enforced some form of law against texting and driving. This has expanded to clarify the rule that bans even holding a mobile while driving. That means not using your GPS or taking a picture while driving.
3. Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
DUI rules were enforced long before texting rules. Every driver knows that this law is strictly enforced. What every driver doesn’t know is just how intoxicated they might be before they get behind the wheel. It is difficult for an intoxicated person to be able to assume whether they are capable of handling a vehicle or not. That’s why it is always better to have a friend call you a cab even if you’ve had just a few drinks. The effect of alcohol drastically reduces your reflexes. You will not be able to brake in time or drive in a safe manner, putting your life and the life of others in danger.
This is the second biggest reason why accidents happen. Speeding is a common, dangerous habit for some drivers. Any car can go out of control when it’s speeding. You should also consider the force of the impact of a speeding car crash. One test showed that having an accident at 65mph has the same impact as a car falling off a twelve-story building. Another study showed that for every 1% increase in your speed, it increases your odds of being in an accident by 2%, the odds of suffering a severe injury by 3%, and increases the chances of a fatality by 4%.
5. Running Lights
Running red lights won’t benefit you in any way and may just only cause fatalities. It’s another bad habit of driving that needs to be broken. Running a red light to save a few minutes can often result in miscalculating the time it takes for an opposing light to go green. No one should be driving keeping their fingers crossed that there is no cross-traffic coming their way.
Driving is a responsibility and a serious one. This is because you are taking hold of not only your safety and life, but of anyone else on the road with you. At best, you can pay a heavy fine not to mention the costs of fixing a totaled car. At worst, you can endanger your life and others. Stick to the rules and stay safe.