Top 5 Safety Tips for Experienced Drivers in El Paso
When you’ve been a licensed driver for many years, it’s easy to get a bit too comfortable behind the wheel. While you probably paid close attention to the rules of the road as a newly licensed teenager, many experienced drivers become less meticulous as they get older.
Driving is an inherently risky activity, though. Even the most experienced drivers need to remain vigilant. Here are five essential safety tips to help you protect yourself and other El Paso drivers on the road:
- You may be good at multitasking, but minimize distractions behind the wheel.
For many drivers, cellphone use is a constant temptation. Our phones follow us everywhere, and a quick peek at your notifications in the car can feel innocent, especially if you’ve done it a thousand times before. However, the fact that you haven’t caused an accident while using your phone while driving doesn’t mean you’re acting safely. It means you’ve been lucky.
Even a split-second glance away from the road increases your risk of a crash, whether it’s to reply to a text, check an email notification, or change the GPS. When you’re in the car, it’s best to minimize distractions by putting your phone away.
- Always wear a seatbelt ─ even on short trips.
Seatbelt use is among the most effective ways to decrease your chances of severe or fatal injury in the event of a crash, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). It may not seem like a big deal to forego your seat belt for a quick trip through the neighborhood, but low-speed collisions can happen anywhere and have just as much potential to cause long-lasting damage as any other crash. Wherever you drive, make sure you buckle up first.
- Steer clear of intoxicating substances, including over-the-counter medications.
Everyone knows that drunk driving is dangerous. Alcohol impairs your reaction time, reasoning ability, and hand-eye coordination, all of which are critical capabilities for driving. Plenty of other substances can also affect driving ability, though. Certain over-the-counter or prescription drugs may have side effects that leave drivers impaired. So read the labels and know how medication affects you before you get behind the wheel.
- Leave the lead foot at home.
Remember when you first started driving and were so cautious you could barely keep up with the flow of traffic? Now you may find yourself frustrated with traffic slowdowns and end up speeding through town to cut down on travel time. However, higher-speed collisions can cause significantly more destruction, making this a risky move. Arriving at your destination safely is far more critical than getting there quickly.
- Don’t let those early mornings get to you ─ stay alert to stay safe.
Driving while fatigued may seem like an inevitability of your morning commute. But if you’re too drowsy to think or react safely, you shouldn’t be driving. The CDC says that sleep-deprived driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving, and many people are not good at recognizing when they’re fatigued. It’s important to get plenty of rest and check-in with yourself regularly to ensure you feel alert any time you plan to get behind the wheel.
The personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Michael J. Gopin, PLLC, want to make El Paso a safe place for motorists. We have been serving accident victims throughout Texas for more than 30 years. If you need legal advice after a crash, we invite you to contact us for a free consultation.