Here are some of the most fundamental safe-driving strategies:
- Take good care of your vehicle: Maintain your vehicle in good working condition, regularly checking the tires (condition and inflation), brakes and suspension. Clean all windows inside and out.
- Drive when you are emotionally and physically fit to do so: Monitor your emotions, medications and alcohol use. Certain drugs, combinations of drugs or even small amounts of alcohol can impair the skills you need to drive safely. Impaired driving has been linked to increases in crash risk.
- Pay attention: Primary causes of traffic collisions are inattention and distraction.
- Use all the safety equipment you can, including proper restraints for the driver and all passengers: The use of seat belts alone typically cuts the rates of injury and death in traffic collisions by about 45 percent.
- Do not drive faster than the posted speed limits; drive slower when conditions dictate: Driving at a speed higher than what is safe for various conditions leaves you with less reaction time and braking distance than you may need to avoid a crash. Speeding also increases the risk of serious injury in a crash.
- Observe and obey all traffic laws: Just as you expect other drivers to follow the rules, they expect you to do so too. Another driver may not be able to stop in time for you if you fail to observe and obey traffic regulations, signs and signals.
- Be ready to react to unexpected situations: Rear end collisions are very common at intersections. Avoid them by maintaining a safe following distance.