Everyone wants to think that they’re a good driver, just like everyone thinks they have a good sense of humor. In reality, plenty of people can’t take a joke or choose to practice basic driving safety.
We’ve put together a list of the fundamental vehicle safety tips that everyone should practice. Be honest: How many do you follow when you get behind the wheel?
1. Check Your Lights and Mirrors
If one of your headlights or blinkers went out, you might not realize it until you get pulled over and issued a ticket. That’s because almost no one does a quick check of their headlights, blinkers, and tail lights before driving off.
You should check your lights every day and adjust your mirrors every time you get in the car.
2. Wear Your Seatbelt
Far too many people are lax about seatbelt safety. The simple act of buckling in could save your life someday. Make it a policy the car doesn’t get started until everyone in it has buckled up. If safety isn’t enough of a motivator, then consider that failing to use your seatbelt could earn you an expensive ticket.
3. Put Your Phone Away
Everybody likes to scoff at people who are glued to their phones while driving… and yet most of us are guilty of checking a text message or finding the perfect song. Studies have shown that distracted driving is at least as dangerous as drunk driving.
If you’re not looking at the road, it’s far too easy to miss a stop or hazard, drift into another lane, or change speeds without realizing it. Put your phone on silent and tuck it into a pocket or purse so you can’t see the screen. Any notifications that pop up while you’re driving can wait until you’ve reached your destination.
4. Avoid Competitive Driving
Defensive driving is good. Competitive driving? Not so much. This is the type of driving where you try to “beat” the other cars.
You might pass more than necessary (or pass on the right). You might tailgate cars you think are going too slowly. And you might also try to squeeze through a yellow light even though you know it’s about to change to red.
You won’t get a prize for getting to your destination a few minutes faster. There’s no medal awarded for passing that one truck driver who got on your nerves.
Drive safe, drive smart, and get there safely.