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  • Post last modified:October 5, 2020
  • Post category:Insurance

The commute to work, a friend’s home, or even to a family event can turn sour if road safety isn’t a priority. On the road, you can come into contact with a variety of obstacles, so make sure that you follow these road safety tips before you start to drive.

Road Safety Tip #1: Prepare for Inclement Weather

It may be sunny when you head out, but in a matter of seconds you could be stuck driving in a torrential downpour. Therefore, it’s imperative that you’re prepared for any situation. Don’t try to drive through flooded waters, and if you don’t feel comfortable driving, pull over to the safest side of the road.

A wet road during a cloudy day.

Additionally, if you live in an area known for wet and snowy winters like we are, you’re probably used to the snowfall and ice that accumulates in the colder months. Similarly to driving on flooded waters, ice and snow can impact your commute. So, make sure to give yourself extra time to get to your destination safely. Don’t rush! Black ice and slushy roads can make you lose control of your vehicle.

It’s also a good measure to have an emergency kit in your car at all times, in case you have to wait out a storm and are stuck somewhere. Your kit should include:

      • Extra car fluids (oil, antifreeze, washer fluid, etc.)
      • Jumper cables
      • A spare tire and a durable jack
      • A chain or strap for towing
      • Extra bulbs and fuses (in case a light bulb dies in your vehicle)
      • A first aid kit
      • A small tool kit (should include essentials like a screwdriver, pliers, etc.)
      • A tire pressure gage
      • A spare gas can
      • Roadside flares
      • A small fire extinguisher (in case of a gasoline or electrical fire)
      • Escape tools
      • Blankets
      • Extra clothing (socks, gloves, and boots)
      • Bottled water (a few jugs should be fine)
      • Food (granola or protein bars)
      • Flashlight
      • Battery powered (or hand cranked) radio
      • A spare cell phone charger
      • Extra batteries
      • Car battery charger (this is a bit pricey, but can come in handy if your car won’t start)
      • Toiletries (extra napkins or hand sanitizer should suffice)

The more prepared you are for inclement weather, the easier it will be for you and your family to get through a tough situation.

Road Safety Tip #2: Be Alert

This may be a common sense tip, but many drivers operate a vehicle impaired or distracted. In fact, it’s estimated that 660,000 people use their cell phones while driving.

A person texting while driving.

When you aren’t fully focused on the road in front you, anything can happen – a deer can run out into the road or a vehicle ahead of you could suddenly slam on their brakes. Your focus needs to be on the road, not on your phone or other passengers in the car.

Pay attention to your surroundings, too. Things like debris or other dangerous objects could be in the road, and if you don’t notice them until too late, they could damage your vehicle and potentially cause a flat tire.

Additionally, you should assume that the worst could happen at anytime. Now, you don’t have to be on edge while driving, however, you should assume there are drivers around you who may be improperly operating a vehicle. Whether they’re under the influence, on their phone, a new driver, or sleep deprived, an accident can happen any time, so be on the lookout for the warning signs before an accident occurs. Warning signs can include swerving, excessive speeding, and tailgating. So, if you can safely keep distance from yourself and other drivers, you could potentially prevent an accident from occurring.

Road Safety Tip #3: Your Health Matters

You may not think that your health plays a critical role in road safety, but it does. If you’re too tired, you could fall asleep at the wheel and potentially drive off the road. The same applies to any medication you may be taking, so be sure to check your prescription or with your pharmacist before you take medication and drive.

You’ll also want to be careful about any current health conditions you may have, especially if you are prone to seizures or have heart conditions. Make sure to discuss options with your doctor to prevent anything serious from happening on the road.

A stethoscope used by a doctor.

Additionally, as you age, make sure to get regular eye exams. You may not think about it, but if you’re squinting to see traffic signs, that’s a sign your vision may need to be corrected. Don’t skip on proper eye care, if your vision is getting weaker you’re putting others at risk when you drive. If you can barely see the road signs, you might not be able to see pedestrians or other drivers. Be proactive and take care of your eyes!

Do you have any other road safety tips? We’d love to hear them in the comments below!