For lots of people, driving is a joy. We do a lot of driving for errands, but we also drive sometimes just to clear our heads or get out of the house. There’s no doubt that technology is always adding more safety features in cars, but that will not relieve you from taking safety precautions to be safe on the road.

So here are some basic safety precautions to take every time you enter your car to ensure your safety and the safety of others.

No drunk driving

No matter how many times you’ve heard this, you can’t hear it enough. Drunk driving is still the number one killer on the road, claiming 10,000 lives per year. Alcohol reduces your reflexes, blurs your vision, and reduces your brain’s alertness in general. Ask for someone else to give you a lift or call a cab. Besides drunk driving, don’t get behind the wheel if you are feeling drowsy or sleepy.

Car maintenance

Make sure your car is always functioning properly. Fix any broken headlights, side view mirrors, and tail lights right away if needed. Uneven tire pressure is often a cause of accidents also, and this is especially true in heavier vehicles such as SUVs. And don’t forget to adjust your seat and mirrors before you start driving.

Avoid distractions

Texting and driving has become a national issue since the dawn of texting, and it’s up there on the list with drunk driving. But there are several other distractions like eating and drinking while driving, too much interaction with passengers, or fiddling with something. Stop the car, and park in an authorized area if you have to text or do something that is otherwise distractive while driving.

Don’t overspeed

That seems obvious enough, but still people do it and a bulk of accidents are speed related. For every mile per hour you drive, the likelihood of your being in an accident increases by 4 – 5%, so the risk of being in an accident increases even more when you speed. Putting in mind that speeding will only get you to your destination a couple of minutes earlier should be enough reason not to speed. If, however, you are ever in an accident, stay in your car till police dispatch arrive. Don’t fight with the other driver, but exchange contact info because you might need a car wreck lawyer.

Expect the unexpected

Even if you’re a safe driver, you don’t know how other people drive and what they might do. Don’t assume everyone is a careful driver, so keep alert to what is happening around you, and keep enough distance, that you have time to react, between you and a car in front of you.

Keep it a joy

Don’t take the pleasure out of driving by taking risks and not following proper safety precautions. Any of these tips will take almost zero time to follow. Having a driving license doesn’t automatically make you a safe driver. So take a few seconds out to make each drive you take safer.

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Will Hopstetter

Will is an automotive market enthusiast living in the United Kingdom. He holds a diverse background in automotive and enjoys utilizing that to produce insights into the inner workings of the industry.

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