If you consider yourself a safe and experienced driver, you probably are. But sometimes, even the most experienced drivers can be less focused and alert than they should be. This is especially true when driving the familiar routes to work, school, or home. Accidents, unfortunately, can happen in the blink of an eye.
To keep yourself and others safe at all times while driving, The Law Offices of Hilda Sibrian offers the following five safety tips for experienced drivers.
Make a Real Effort to Eliminate Distractions
Driving requires your full attention. Your risk of being involved in an accident increases any time you take your eyes off the road and your attention away from the safe handling of your vehicle.
Examples of distracted driving include using your hands to talk, sending or reading texts on your phone, eating and drinking, adjusting your mirrors, using your navigation system, and even talking with passengers, especially children.
A driver’s physical state and emotional state are also factors that can lead to distracted driving.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that distracted driving is a factor in approximately 3,000 deaths per year. In one recent year, approximately 400,000 people were injured in crashes involving a distracted driver.
Before you get on the road, consider what distractions you are up against in your car and make a plan to avoid them.
Always Wear Your Seatbelt
Seatbelts save lives. Seatbelt laws in Texas have been in place since 1985, and the Texas Department of Transportation estimates 91% of Texans do buckle up. However, it’s tempting to skip this routine when traveling short distances or making a quick run down the block.
It only takes three seconds to fasten your seatbelt. And that’s true for backseat passengers, too. In Texas, adult backseat passengers and children at least 8 years old must wear a seatbelt. Child safety or booster seats must be used for children younger than 8 (unless they’re taller than 4 feet 9 inches).
It’s also important to remember seat belts help prevent injuries from the “explosion” resulting from an airbag opening.
Avoid Any Substances That Could Slow Your Response Time
Prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, illegal drugs, and of course, combinations of these substances with or without alcohol will severely impact response time while driving. A driver’s ability to see and hear, make judgments, react, and think clearly are impaired while under the influence of various substances.
Experienced drivers are keenly aware of the dangers of driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. But an experienced driver may also be tempted to rely on that same experience as an excuse to drive even when they know they should not get behind the wheel. Always resist that temptation.
Slow Down for Your Own Sake
Speed kills. The faster the speed, the greater the risk of an accident occurring, and the greater the severity of the resulting injuries. Even if you’re driving the speed limit, you can be going too fast for road conditions, such as when roads are being repaired or are not well lit at night. Inclement weather conditions can also make it necessary to drive slower than a posted speed limit.
If You Are Tired, Wait to Drive
You need to be completely alert and prepared to react when driving. Whenever possible, make sure you are well-rested, wide awake, and ready to recognize and respond to potentially dangerous driving situations and conditions.
Contact The Law Offices of Hilda Sibrian
The Law Offices of Hilda Sibrian has been serving the Houston community since 2004. During this time, we have earned a reputation for obtaining real results for thousands of accident victims.
To us, you are not just a legal case. You’re family. Our skilled attorneys are dedicated to providing quality care and personal attention. We will put ourselves in your shoes, and we will fight for your rights and help you and your family heal.
If you have been hurt in an accident, contact us now for a free consultation.