Wednesday, April 3, 2013

7 Idiot Proof Tips For Driving Safely

Although it is terrifying to refer to one of the most dangerous daily tasks that adults perform as “idiot proof,” the fact remains that not everyone with a driver’s license is a good driver. Whether it is due to a lack of discipline, motor skills, or short attention spans, many motorists are distressingly inept.
If you have a hard time keeping your car out of accident reports, or are paying more for your car insurance than most people pay for their mortgages, these tips are for you.


Photo source: See?
Not keeping a safe following distance is the single biggest cause of accidents. What’s more is the fact that these accidents are impossible to blame on someone else.
Nothing is worse than rear-ending another driver.
“What happened?”
“Well, I tried to stop. But then I didn’t.”
Good story. Unfortunately, it’s entirely your fault, which means your insurance will go up, you’ll be held liable for any damages, and you’ll look stupid. By keeping a safe following distance (the more street visible between you and the car in front of you, the better), you ensure you won’t be on the dummy end of this one. At minimum, you should follow the “Two Second Rule”, and stay at least six seconds (at highway speeds) behind the cat in front of you.


Photo source: Keep your eyes on the road and your hands up on the wheel.
Ironically, the law that prohibits people from texting while driving has actually made this activity more dangerous. Once upon a time, people could keep their phones at eye level, out in front of them, while texting their friends from behind the wheel. This allowed them to keep one eye on the road and one eye on their phones at all times.
However, since many states have made texting while driving illegal, brandishing a phone comes with a hefty fine. Unfortunately, instead of discouraging drivers from texting, this law is encouraging drivers to hide their phones while they text, meaning people are staring down at their laps instead of keeping their eyes on the road. Instead of texting, use a Bluetooth and call.


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Yeah. This happened.
This is perhaps the most important rule out there, but many people still don’t follow it.
The math is simple:
DUI = up to a $5,000 fine, jail time, and a year without a license.
Cab ride = $30
No matter what, it is safer to leave your car, take a cab, get a parking ticket, and pick up the car the next day. Aside from the fact that driving drunk is morally irresponsible, and is a leading cause of fatal accidents in America, it also brings with it an onslaught of headaches that will last way longer than the hangover does.


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Frowned upon by driving instructors and cardiologists alike.
This tip is less talked about than drinking and driving, but it is equally important. Over 25% of Americans get some form of fast food every day, which means 1 in every 4 drivers on the road is probably driving with his knees.
Although many people live “in the fast lane”, eating while driving monopolizes their attention, ties up their hands, and prevents them from being a safe and defensive driver. Unless the meal can be sipped through a straw, it is best to wait until after arriving at your destination to dig in.


Photo source: A shiny new muffler lowers wind resistance.
One of the leading causes of brake failure is having crappy brakes. It’s true. Look it up.
Whether it means keeping snow off the windows, wiper fluid stocked, or having brakes routinely inspected and replaced when necessary, keeping a maintained and serviced car will decrease the likelihood of an accident.
Cars are made to respond under normal operating conditions, and driving with worn out parts does not constitute the normal operating conditions.


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Yes, you CAN drive 55
It sounds like something your mom would say, but the truth is that there is validity to this tip. Speeding increases the likelihood of an accident, and does relatively little to impact arrival time.
Although it gives most drivers the illusion of getting to their destinations faster, most people who speed end up catching the same red lights and freight trains as those who obey the posted limits. By following the speed limits, drivers hugely reduce their likelihood of an accident.


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Even he can do it.
One of the most challenging parts of driving is decision making. Split second decisions are constantly made, evaluated, and then second-guessed from the side of the road if an accident occurs.
The easiest way to make any snap decision on the road is to not make one. Whether or not you are merging, turning, or deciding to make the next light, remember nobody ever got in trouble by waiting for the next opportunity. While this may not make you feel like a stunt driver, it will ensure that you don’t share the life expectancy of one either.


Most of driving is common sense. By simply dedicating their complete attention to the road and following the laws and limits in place, drivers can decrease their likelihood of accidents. “Idiot proof” tips are for idiots; people who follow these tips on their own are brilliant.

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