Local News


4 ways to be a safer driver

Posted at 7:50 AM, Feb 10, 2017

No one likes to admit to being a bad driver but, even if you're one of the best on the road, everybody makes mistakes.

Even if your last poor driving experience was someone else's fault, it's a good idea to brush up on your driving skills, so you can keep yourself and others safe.

Here are four tips on how to be a safer driver.

Focus on the task at hand

For most people, driving has become second nature. This means, it can sometimes (make that "often") get boring behind the wheel, especially on your commute.

You may have gotten used to multi-tasking, but try to get out of the mindset that you can do anything except drive when behind the wheel. Keep your attention on the task at hand by, for example, starting your playlist or podcast before you pull out of the driveway or parking lot. Also, keep your phone out of hand's reach and, when with a passenger, have that person check texts or take calls.

You can't control what other people on the road are doing so, if your attention is divided, your reaction time in an emergency will diminish.

Plan ahead

Regardless of where you're going, one of the worst ways to get there is by rushing. Weaving in and out of traffic to get ahead, speeding  and starting or stopping with jerky motions puts you and other motorists at risk.

To avoid being in a hurry, get in the habit of setting an alarm to leave the house 10 minutes earlier than you usually would, even for afternoon and evening appointments and events.

Build in time for food stops, rest breaks or refueling. When stopping for food, eat inside the restaurant, or pull over while you eat. Instead of looking at it as an inconvenience, treat it as time to relax before hitting the road, again.



Drive defensively

You may be a talented driver, but you're almost never the only one on the road. Assuming motorists around you may do something unexpected is one way to keep on your toes. Anticipate their actions by keeping space between you and the car in front of you — and double it if weather is bad.

Keep an eye out for people trying to merge into your lane. Sometimes you're in a blind spot, and sometimes they're just not paying attention.

Maintain your vehicle and space

If something breaks down while you're driving, you and those around you are at risk. Check your owner's manual to stay up to date on vehicle maintenance. Fill up necessary fluids, and pay attention to brakes and tires.

Additionally, keep your vehicle clean. This includes wiping down mirrors and windows, as bright sun reflecting off a dirty mirror or windshield makes it difficult to see. Inside the car, secure large and small items that may become a hazard in an accident.

Accidents happen, and victims need an attorney they can trust. The attorneys at Ed Bernstein & Associates have more than 40 years of experience in personal injury law and understand its nuances. Visit edbernstein.com or call (702) 240-0000 to find out how to get started on the road to recovery.