How to Protect Yourself on the Road by Putting an End to Negative Habits

Ferguson & Ferguson

Attorneys at Law

September 12th, 2019

How to Protect Yourself on the Road by Putting an End to Negative Habits

Driver

Everyone has a habit or two that they aren’t proud of. Unfortunately, for some of us, those habits coincide with driving. To be a better and safer driver, you need to challenge these habits. Below are some things to keep in mind when you’re behind the wheel.

How to Know if You’re High Risk

One of the biggest issues a driver can face is being classified as high risk. Drivers are given this label when they have too many accidents, violations, or even DUI convictions. Those negative items turn into points, and having six or more points puts you in the “high risk” category. Every state has a different points system, and this information is often listed on their local DMV website. Given that a poor record can impact how you’re insured, you may be forced to get high-risk auto insurance to protect you and others on the road. Thankfully, there are also steps you can take to improve your coverage and reduce your deductible. And some states will agree to remove points off your license if you take certain defensive driving classes.

Put an End to Phone Dependency

Many of us know how hard it can be to put down our phones. Yet, when we drive, we need to stay focused and alert. That means avoiding tech — and yes, that applies even to hands-free devices , as we are still five times more likely to get into a crash when using one. To become better drivers, we must develop techniques to cut phone addiction. For instance, if you have an app that you use constantly, delete it before you get in your car. You could also put your phone on flight or do-not-disturb mode before driving, but these are only temporary measures. It’s best to limit using your phone overall and get comfortable without it being in your hand.

Drinking Less

Every year, about 10,000 people are killed in alcohol-related motor accidents, meaning one out of every three car accidents are related to drunk driving. No one thinks that it will happen to them, but it can. Worst of all, those fatalities are often others who were hit by or in the vehicle of a drunk driver. It can often seem difficult to cut back on drinking, but there is no better reason to quit than to protect ourselves and those we love. If you need support but can’t afford a treatment program, think about downloading an app to aid you on your journey. These can connect you with others so that you can build a network that works for you.

Slow Down

Unfortunately, it’s easy to overlook speed limits. We think that if we just go 10 miles an hour over the limit, then we’ll get there that much more quickly. However, this math does not add up to actual distance, as, on average, speeding won’t get you anywhere faster by any meaningful amount of time. Instead, all you’re doing is driving recklessly, putting yourself at risk of a ticket, and endangering the people around you. It can be hard to unlearn negative habits, but be mindful of your speed as you go about your commute to be a safer driver.

Improve Focus

We work long days and often have trouble sleeping at night. In fact, over one-third of Americans don’t get the necessary amount of rest and are running on fumes, so to speak. That can lead to a loss of focus, which can cause driving to become dangerous. To improve things, take the time to get enough sleep, but don’t stop there. If you find yourself nodding off or becoming distracted, turn the AC up, drink water, and try chewing gum to keep your brain alert.

Becoming a better driver won’t happen overnight, of course, but you can make it happen. Of course, it will take perseverance, dedication, and time. However, it will be worth the effort to make the roads a safer place for everyone.

Image courtesy of Pixabay