Did you know that vehicle crashes cause more than 32,000 fatalities every year? Too many of those are in Middlesex Country, NJ alone. And did you know that we could reduce the number of deaths and injuries on our roads by changing our behavior behind the wheel? The National Safety Council defines defensive driving as driving to save lives, times, and money, in spite of the conditions around you and the actions of others.
When you drive defensively, you anticipate dangerous situations; make safe driving decisions; create a safe and stress-free space in and around your vehicle; drive without reducing others’ safety; practice common sense and courtesy; and recognize the risks and conditions that make driving hazardous.
Here are a few defensive driving reminders:
- Don’t drive unless you are rested and alert.
- Never drink and drive.
- Never operate a vehicle if you are under the influence of any drug.
- Always wear your seat belt.
- Plan ahead for unexpected delays and allow yourself extra time.
- Concentrate on driving. Don’t let yourself become distracted by using your phone, texting, eating, or drinking.
- Keep your eyes on the road.
- Stay calm. Driving can be stressful, so remind yourself to relax.
- Take the high road. Don’t make hand or facial gestures at other driver. Ignore rude gestures directed towards you.
- Steer clear of angry drivers and give them plenty of room. Don’t challenge them.
- Don’t tailgate.
- Drive at the posted speed. Speed is a factor in nearly one third of all fatal crashes.
- Adjust your speed when road conditions or weather conditions change.
- Use your turn signal when changing lanes.
- Pull over for police and emergency vehicles.
- Always be on the lookout for pedestrians, bicycles, and motorcycles.
SAFETY REMINDER: Sometimes, you are just going to be late. It’s better to be late than be involved in an accident.