The Essentials That No Driver Can Ignore

This graphic from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows an airbag expanding, shooting shrapnel toward the driver.

When we think about driving, most drivers want to consider the enjoyment and excitement it brings. However, all road users have a huge responsibility to drive safely too. Quite frankly, if safety isn’t the top item on your checklist, there is something seriously wrong.

The sobering statistics show that millions of motorists are involved in road accidents every single year. Whether you’re an experienced or inexperienced driver doesn’t matter. You must be fully committed to being a safer driver. After all, just one lapse could potentially cost lives.

Unfortunately, nothing can be done to guarantee 100% safety behind the wheel. Ultimately, you are still reliant on other drivers using their vehicles in a suitable manner too. Nevertheless, taking the right precautions will put you in a far better position.

Perhaps the most obvious starting point is the car. As well as choosing a model that receives a good safety rating at official testing, you need to ensure your individual vehicle is safe. This post on airbag safety will make for very useful reading. Let’s face it; prevention is the best form of protection. However, in case of an accident, you need to know that you have the best chance of escaping unscathed.

Regular maintenance of the car is advised, especially when it comes to the tire and the brakes. If left untreated, minor issues with these items can snowball into something far more serious. Even if it doesn’t result in an accident, it will almost certainly increase the cost of repair. That’s something that no driver wants to hear.

Ultimately, it’s down to you to be a responsible driver. As well as keeping the car in great condition, you must know how to use it in a suitable manner. Driving to avoid collisions and damage will inevitably increase your chances of staying safe. Moreover, after a few weeks of conscious effort, those improvements will become second nature.

It shouldn’t need to be said, but avoiding drink and drugs is one of the biggest responsibilities. Driving under the influence isn’t only illegal. But it causes negative impacts on your bodily functions and reactions. For a whole host of reasons, the decision to do this when driving is nothing short of ridiculous.

However, this isn’t your only danger. Tiredness can be equally damaging to your driving habits. Investing in an anti-sleep device could potentially save your life. If that doesn’t encourage you to add the small item to your car, I don’t know what will. This can be especially useful if you drive long distances or at night. Meanwhile, Sat Navs and Bluetooth devices can avoid other distractions. Staying focused on the road is a must.

You can take additional driving courses, and buy other devices for the car too. While it might all sound a little boring, you really cannot put a price on your safety. You don’t just owe it to yourself; you owe it to other road users too. If you aren’t going to take these elements seriously, you don’t deserve to drive in the first place.

Harsh? Possibly. True? Most definitely. Drive safely or not at all.

Emily Muelford
Emily is a British writer whose love of car culture is augmented by a fascination with both the European and American automotive markets. Her perspective is uniquely fish and chips.