A guest contribution to The Prepper Journal from Brennan Valeski, a writer for SurvivalTechShop.com who loves gear and technology that allows him to be ready for any situation that arises. He shares his personal experiences and recommendations to help you be prepared for your next adventure.
5 Ways To Stay Safe On The Road
There are many different ways to approach road safety. At the end of the day, it begins with you and your actions behind the wheel. According to ASIRT (the Association for International Road Travel), “nearly 1.25 million people die in road crashes each year, on average 3,287 deaths a day”. The sad truth is that often most road crashes are predictable and preventable. Here are a few key actionable tips to keep yourself and others safe on the road.
#1 – Wear Your Seat-belt
This one is a no-brainer. Every time you step into a vehicle you’re going to want to buckle up your seat belt. Each time you get in you’re also responsible for your passengers. Sometimes they may think they’re exempt, although without wearing them a lot of damage can occur.
This simple action can prevent injuries, and save a life if you were to get in an accident. In some cases, it can even be fatal consequences if not worn, so it’s important to make sure you and your family are buckled up every single time.
#2 – Eyes On The Road
Keep your eyes on the road. This should be the only thing you’re focusing on while driving. Everything else can wait, including any texting or social media.
If you have a passenger, let them take care of navigation or music. If you’re driving alone, make sure to take care of these things when you first get in the vehicle before you start moving.
It’s easy to get distracted by your cell phone, and you don’t want that to take your attention off the most important thing while in a car… driving.
According to AAA, 6 out of 10 teen crashes involve driver distraction. The most common forms of distraction include:
- Interacting with one or more passengers: 15%
- Using a cellphone: 10%
- Looking at something in the vehicle: 10%
- Looking at something outside the vehicle: 9%
- Singing/dancing to music: 8%
- Grooming: 6%
- Reaching for an object: 6%
#3 – Never Drink and Drive
Under no circumstances should you ever get behind the wheel while under the influence. If you’re going to drive, don’t drink. If you’re going to drink, don’t drive. You should never mix the two together. If you ever find yourself in a situation where you’ve had too much to drink, then get an Uber, Lyft, cab, or friend to take you home.
With all the technology available nowadays, there’s no excuse to ever drink and drive. The cost of a ride does not compare to your life, or potentially harming someone else due to your irresponsible actions.
#4 – Stick To The Speed Limits
The speed limits are there for a reason. As annoying as they may seem sometimes out on the open road, they’re designed to keep drivers safe. While most modern cars can handle 120 miles per hour, you may not think it’s a big deal until something happens. This is the main reason speed limits exist. They’re based upon the width of the road, the varying weather conditions, and many other factors. T
he speed limits leave room for error with drivers and are built for the type of road. Especially when driving in unfamiliar territory, you never know when a sharp turn could be just around the corner. Instead, it’s best to keep racing on the tracks, and the roads for getting around.
#5 – Stay Prepared
Preparation is another key element of road safety. One way to stay prepared is to utilize a road safety kit. This way, you can make sure you always have that crucial gear in a time of need. If you plan on vehicle dwelling, I’d also suggest you take a look at these van life essentials. Each of these items may be helpful in a pinch on the side of the highway or at your campsite.
In addition, for those planning on going camping with a trailer, you may want to consider your camper weight. If you go over your vehicle’s maximum towing capacity, you can cause serious damage to your engine. Or worse, you may even cause potential jackknifing. This dangerous situation could flip your trailer or car. I’ve seen a few campers turned over on the side of the highway and it’s not pretty. Therefore, it’s very important to make sure you’re towing a safe load with your vehicle. You can check your owner’s manual or look on the manufacturer’s website for the specific details of your make and model.
One last way to stay prepared is to check your tires and vehicle before driving. It may sound very simple, yet you’d be surprised by how many people don’t. It’s as simple as walking around your car before you get in. Check the tires to make sure they have enough tread on them (nothing protruding, scarring, or nails). A little walk around to check your car is in good running order is a very important act for road safety.
A little bit of preparation goes a long way. These steps can help to keep yourself and others safe on the road. Above all, it begins with you and your actions behind the wheel. You cannot always control what others do on the road, so you should stay alert and aware of your surroundings.
- Wear your seat belt
- Keep your eyes on the road
- Never drink and drive
- Stick to the speed limits
- Stay prepared.
As long as you follow these rules of the road you’ll be much safer out there. Of course, you can’t prep for everything, yet this is the best you can do. Do your part when driving as it’s a collective effort for not only for your own safety, yet others as well. Drive safe!
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