When schooling our sixteen year old on the responsibilities of driving, there were many, many topics to cover. Consider this advice from the experts whether you’ve been driving for decades or are about to hand the keys over to a teenager.
Contrary to popular belief, the majority of highway accidents are not caused by drinking and driving, but by fatigued drivers. This is a danger that’s hard to identify. Common sense says to take a break every two hours on a long road trip, but what about driving across town when you’ve been up all night? Simply put, our reflexes and reaction times are not as acute when we’re fatigued. Falling asleep behind the wheel happens more frequently than we’d care to recognize.
For starters, keeping your car serviced and in safe working order can in of itself prevents a lot of accidents. Maintaining your car is the safe thing to do and the smart thing to do. If you are in an accident, follow these steps to ensure your safety and that of the other individuals involved. Ensure that everyone in your car is ok, if not, immediately dial 911. Pull your car out of traffic if possible in order to avoid another accident. Using caution, confirm that the passengers in any other cars involved are safe. Call for the police to assist with the accident. Return to your car and await the arrival of emergency vehicles. Going over these steps prior to an accident will help once the adrenalin from an accident kicks in.
Finally, when out with friends or heading to a party, make arrangements before you leave to identify a designated driver. A fail safe option is to call a car service to take you safely home. Don’t decide after everyone’s been drinking, who is the most sober and capable of driving. This is a dangerous option and sets the stage for a serious accident. You’ll not only be endangering yourself, but other innocent drivers on the road as well. Finally, use common sense. Make a plan of action in case of an accident; don’t drive while fatigued or after drinking alcohol. Best of luck to you.
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