We all remember the days of Drivers’ Ed classes… a bare, cold classroom and a monotone instructor who likely forgot what a sense of humor was the decade before. But, did all of that handy driving information REALLY sink in? OK, don’t worry – this isn’t a Drivers’ Ed class! We will, however, use this opportunity to review a few simple and impactful tips to keep you and others safe on the roads.
Whether you are a newly-minted 16 year old driver or a seasoned veteran of the road, the basics of driving safely and defensively remain the same. There are some risk factors we can control as drivers, such as our speed or what’s happening inside the vehicle. Other factors are simply out of our control – weather, blown tire, OTHER DRIVERS! So, for the moment we are going to stick to a few of the major elements that we are able to control.
I have come to accept that this may be the single most important factor to avoiding accidents. If I am far away from other cars it becomes much more difficult to collide with them! Whether you are driving 20mph through a school zone or 75mph on the fresh new tollway in the city – remember to keep a safe distance. More speed = more distance. A great rule to remember is one car length for every 10mph of speed you’re driving.
Cell phones didn’t invent distracted driving but there is hardly a more deadly distraction on our roads today. In fact, the National Safety Council estimates that 25% of ALL CAR CRASHES in the U.S. are a result of use of some sort of handheld device while driving. Relatedly, a driver who is texting or using a mobile device is believed to be between 8 times up to 23 times more likely to be involved in a car crash.
Today, 47 states have active laws fully banning texting while driving – September 1 marked the first day the law was active in our great state of Texas. So whether you feel it’s safe or not, the bottom line is that it is now ILLEGAL TO TEXT while driving a vehicle.
Certainly, other activities can be just as distracting as cell phones. Grooming, eating, reading, make-up…. Keep it out of the car and keep your attention where it belongs – on the road and on other drivers.
The most notorious factor in vehicle accidents and deaths is surely drugs/alcohol. We’ve all seen the stats, we’ve all seen the pictures and awareness campaigns but the fatality rates stay alarmingly predictable. On average, our nation sees 28 people die everyday due to intoxicated driving. If you have had anything to drink, have a plan and don’t risk your life. Give your keys to a friend, take a cab, or sleep where you are! Just don’t get behind the wheel – the odds are not in your favor.
Our hope is that you will be reminded of some practices to keep you, and others, safe and well on our roads. Please share this, especially with any young drivers as it’s ALWAYS a good day to remember DEFENSIVE DRIVING. Thank you for supporting our company and for being part of the Blakely family!
Blakely Construction Staff