Defensive Driving –A Way of Life Annually, more than 40,000 people lose their life in automobile accidents each year. Another two million suffer disabling injuries. These startling statistics are from the National Safety Council. The amount of casualties could be reduced if more people learned to drive defensively. No matter how careful or a skilled driver you are, high speeds, impaired or careless drivers, and not using occupant restraints correctly or not at all, threatens each person on the road. We have all heard the term to drive defensively. This means that you take responsibility for yourself and your actions and in addition, you are always aware of the other driver's actions. Below are some driving tips from the National Safety Council to help reduce risks on the road. Ø Do not start the engine without securing each passenger in the car, including children and pets. Safety belts save thousands of lives each year! Lock all doors. Ø Remember that driving too fast or too slow can increase the likelihood of collisions. Ø Do not kid yourself. If you plan to drink, designate a driver who will not drink. Alcohol is a factor in almost half of all fatal motor vehicle crashes. Ø Be alert! If you notice that a car is straddling the centerline, weaving, making wide turns, stopping abruptly, or responding slowly to traffic signals, the driver may be impaired. Ø Avoid an impaired driver by turning right at the nearest corner or exiting at the nearest exit. If it appears that an oncoming car is crossing into your lane, pull over to the roadside, sound the horn and flash your lights. Ø Notify the police immediately after seeing a motorist who is driving suspiciously. Ø Follow the rules of the road. Do not contest the "right of way" or try to race another car during a merge. Be respectful of other motorists. Ø Do not follow too closely. Always use a "three-second following distance" or a "three-second plus following distance." Ø While driving, be cautious, aware, and responsible. Following these common sense suggestions, you will be sure to have a safer ride in your car, as well as the safety of others on the road.
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