Driving always presents a number of dangers even for experienced drivers, but new drivers venturing out on the roads are not always aware of the problems they could face. Even though there are many ways to make a trip easier and safer, there are four that should definitely be on the mind of a new driver.
Rule Number One: Stay Focused on Your Driving
Distracted driving plays a huge role in accidents of all types, and inattention is estimated to be a contributing factor in almost 60 percent of accidents involving teenage drivers. That means all drivers, but especially those with little experience, need to focus on driving rather than engaging in any other activities.
Distractions can include talking on a cell phone, looking at a GPS, talking to a passenger, and even eating or drinking. Even in ideal driving conditions, it’s far better to leave those activities until you take the time to stop at a highway rest area or other safe location.
Rule Number Two: Expect the Unexpected
Defensive driving involves a lot of things, but the most important is being aware of what other drivers are doing and learning to anticipate their actions. If driving conditions are less than ideal, paying close attention to what other drivers are doing becomes even more critical. Make sure you always have plenty of room to react if another driver does anything unexpected.
Rule Number Three: Make Sure Someone Else Is Aware of Your Plans
Far too often, drivers don’t let anyone else know what their plans are. Before leaving on any type of trip—even a short one—provide your itinerary to a family member or friend. That means giving your route information, estimated time of arrival, and contact information for someone at your destination. Of course, the person should also have your cell phone number.
In the event those plans have to change, call your friend or family member and let them know about the changes. That’s simply good sense, as it could be important in the event something should occur and you did not arrive at the destination as planned.
Rule Number Four: Know What to Do in Emergency Situations
Before leaving on a trip, make sure you have a list of emergency contact numbers to call in case of an accident or other unplanned events. Since there are several things that commonly happen during any type of trip, it always pays to be prepared to deal with an emergency.
Drivers frequently experience mechanical breakdowns along the road, so have contact information for roadside assistance providers available. That can mean towing services, arranging to replace a damaged tire, bringing gasoline to the vehicle, or obtaining medical assistance.
Knowing what to do if an accident were to occur is also important. While calling 911 for assistance immediately is always important, it’s also vital to collect as much information as possible at the scene of an accident regardless of its seriousness.
Insurers generally provide drivers with lists of information to collect should an accident occur, but there can be other questions that come up. If you’re unsure how to proceed, see AtlantaAdvocate.com/atlanta-car-accident-lawyer for more information or to get fast advice.
Of course, there are many other tips drivers can take advantage of to arrive at their destinations safely. Learning how to drive defensively now will create habits that reduce accidents and help drivers avoid hazardous situations now and in the future!