A big portion of the population owns a car – statistics show that most families own at least one vehicle per household and this is one of the main means of transportation used by people. There are many benefits to having your own car, and although many people make great efforts to obtain their driving license and learn traffic laws in order to pass their tests, with experience, many people forget the need to be a responsible driver.
Driver’s negligence is one of the main factors contributing to road accidents, which can have serious impacts on victims, including potential death. For this reason, being mindful and responsible should when on the road, should be every driver’s main priority. In this article, we will discuss how to be a responsible driver, in order to ensure you and all other road users are safe.
Maintain Your Vehicle
The number one step towards making sure you are a good driver is to ensure your vehicle is safe to drive. Evidently, you can be as careful as possible whilst driving, but if your car has issues that you are not aware of or that you are neglecting, this will significantly increase the likelihood of you being involved in an accident. You should not wait to notice that your car is not driving effectively. There are some daily checks you should make on a daily basis prior to using your vehicle. These could be as simple and checking your oil and tire pressure levels. You should also have your car checked by a professional mechanic for a full revision as they will be able to best discover any underlying issues with it that may not be visible to you.
Plan Your Route
No matter how experienced you are as a driver, if you want to ensure you are a responsible one you must always take the time to plan your route before going on the road. Many people fail to do this, particularly when they use the same route often. It is common, however, for unexpected circumstances to arise that may have an impact on your journey and how you drive. A good example is road closures due to roadworks or car crashes, that require you to follow a different journey. This often causes stress to the unprepared driver who did not consider these potential changes to their route. This can be avoided by simply planning your route, checking traffic before you leave and considering alternatives in case you cannot use your usual path.
Adjust Your Mirrors
It should be evident that your mirrors are crucial in safe driving as they provide you with required visibility. When you first learn how to drive, driving instructors often emphasise the importance of properly adjusting your mirrors and constantly checking these whilst driving. There can be many blind spots around a vehicle, and this can generate potential hazards, such as a cyclist that is within a short distance of your car, or another vehicle that is overtaking and you are not aware of. If you want to be a responsible driver, take two extra minutes to check your mirrors and adjust them as necessary before beginning your journey.
Wear Your Seatbelt
Not wearing a seatbelt is one of the main reasons people are stopped by authorities on a daily basis, and this is a good example of what a responsible driver should not do. Wearing a seatbelt is a priority to ensure your safety in the case of an accident. It does not take much time to put your seatbelt on, and ensure that every passenger in your car is also wearing one. In the case of an accident, the impacts of a crash can blow out of proportion and cause you severe injury because you failed to wear a seatbelt.
When driving, there can be many distractions around you, even if you do not realise it. Having your full focus on the road is essential, even if you are an experienced driver, as even though you may think you have things under control, you may not see something else outside of your control happen, that could cause an accident, and could also be avoided if you were paying full attention. Some of these distractions include people in your car with you, loud music or looking at a Satnav. If you are driving with passengers, politely remind them that you must stay focused and ask them not to distract you unless absolutely necessary. Do not listen to loud, as listening to your surroundings is just as important as full visibility and if you require a Sat Nav, make sure that it is not muted so that you listen to instructions, rather than taking your eyes off the road to look at the map.
Comply with Traffic Laws and Regulations
In every locality, there are many traffic laws and regulations that you must be aware of in order to be a responsible driver. Be mindful that although these are essentially the same everywhere, some laws may differ from area to area. For example, some there are laws in place that require you to maintain your vehicle and in some areas, lack of doing so could result in you paying a fine and having a stain on your driving record. If you have genuine concerns, there are services that Dmvrecords.us.org has to offer, and they allow you to check your driving record or someone else’s. These records show things such as hit and runs, DUIs and other driving related felonies.
Do Not Drink and Drive
Driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol is a major contributing variable to road accidents, and an issue that unfortunately remains very much problematic. Drugs and alcohol highly impact people’s awareness and decreases reaction time, whilst making you feel like a very confident driver. If you drink alcohol or consume any drugs, avoid driving, even if you feel capable of doing so. This includes driving when you are taking certain medications, which could also have adverse effects on your driving ability.
Being on the road can present many risks to you as a driver as well as any other road users. It is imperative that you remain a responsible driver, no matter how much driving experience you have or how comfortable you feel as a driver. Follow the tips above to guarantee that you and others can safely use the roads.