We all seem to have lives that are going a hundred miles an hour. It doesn’t matter if a person is single, married, has children or not, we are all busy. A person may have to get kids to sporting events or get a project completed on time. Most people are juggling so much that they have a lot on their mind all the time. Having a lot on your mind can be distracting. Distractions can be very dangerous while driving. It is essential to stay alert to stay alive.
When you are driving, staying alert is important. Getting behind the wheel of a vehicle is a big responsibility. It is your job to be focused and alert so that you, your passengers and the other vehicles around you stay alive and get home safely. So, how can you stay alert?
- Minimize distractions as much as possible.
- Keep your radio volume at a minimum
- Ask any passengers to keep the chat volume to a minimum
- Do not eat while driving
- Be sure to drive well-rested
- Do not drive if you haven’t slept or are tired
- Pay attention on long trips to your level of fatigue
- Turn off your phone – although this would also be considered a distraction, it can be a huge distraction
- Turn your phone off, while driving or at the very least put it on silent
- Do not text or make phone calls while driving
Unfortunately, we cannot always control everything that goes on around us while we are driving. We can be very alert, keep our distractions to a minimum, make sure we turn our phones off and be certain we only drive when we are well-rested and still find ourselves in dangerous situations while driving.
There are many unforeseeable incidents that can happen on the road:
- Animals – are not always aware of their surroundings. An animal may be trying to locate food or follow the group the animal is with. As a result animals like deer, squirrels, raccoons, bunnies, etc. will sometimes cross a road, unexpectedly catching a driver off-guard.
- Weather – road conditions can deteriorate rapidly from rain, snow or sleet.
- Accidents – can happen in a split second in front of us or next to us.
The only “defense of” an unforeseeable incident is to already know what your options are. For example, if you know there is a car next to you on your right, but you also know that the road is clear on your left you have a possible way to avoid an accident. We never want to switch lanes without looking, putting our signal on, and looking again before we switch, but occasionally the risk is necessary.
If you are driving and you see 2 cars hit each other right in front of you, your choices are limited when you are driving 60 mph. If you continue to drive forward you will likely hit those cars and become part of the accident. Even if you apply your brakes, you may not have enough distance to avoid the accident. This is why knowing your left lane is clear could save your life.
Stay Alert to Stay Alive
Stay alert to stay alive is the best way to get you and your loved ones home safely. No one can predict every possible scenario on the road, but staying alert, minimizing distractions and knowing your options all give you the best chance of avoiding getting into a car accident.