Whether it's a cross-country road trip or a drive to the store, it's important that you have safety in mind if you're behind the wheel. To help you practice safe driving during National Safety Month, here are eight tips for each time you get in the car.
- Make sure everyone's wearing a seatbelt
For people 1-54 in the United States, car crashes are the leading cause of death (CDC). One of the best things you and your passengers can do to prevent serious injury and death is wear your seatbelts, which "reduce serious crash-related injuries and deaths by about half" (CDC).
- Don't drive after drinking
An intoxicated driver or pedestrian is involved in almost a third of fatal car crashes (NCADD). Learn about how a blood alcohol content of just 0.02 can affect your ability to drive safely. Play it safe and have a designated driver if you need transportation while drinking.
- If there's a little one in the car, find a safe carseat
Find out how your carseat meats the NHTSA standards.
- Don't look at your phone or other electronics while driving
You might feel like it's not a big deal to glance at your phone while driving, or even shoot a text while waiting at a stoplight. But the truth is that these behaviors are a big deal. Texting and driving cause one out of every four car accidents in the U.S., leading to the death of 11 teens daily (Edgar, Snyder & Associates®).
- Carry an emergency car kit
Such as the one Jennifer Cassetta describes in the video below! Make sure it includes a SABRE pepper spray in case your car breaks down and you need peace of mind.
- Obey the speed limit
It's there for a reason! Speeding is involved in one third of fatal crashes, and "is the third-leading contributing factor in traffic crashes" (Caddell Weiland).
- Don't retaliate to angry drivers
Responding will only excalate the conflict. Instead, slow down and create a safe distance between you and the aggressive driver. Take a detour if possible.
- Watch out for pedestrians
In 2011, there were 4,432 pedestrian deaths on the road (NHTSA). See Everyone Is a Pedestrian.