The internet’s abuzz with fun, trendy new year’s resolutions for 2020. A 2019 Vitagene study revealed that the most popular new year’s resolution in Kentucky and Ohio was to lose weight. In Indiana, it was to save money.1 No states mentioned anything about safe driving! But you could. What if, this year, you kept it classic and resolved to be a safer driver? It’s harder than you think and takes a little bit of practice, but it will keep you, your passengers and your fellow commuters safer on the road.
Be Mindful of Road Conditions
Driving habits and dangers depend upon road conditions and your climate. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Kentucky is one of the top 10 most dangerous states for driving in the rain.2 While Ohio and Indiana didn’t make the list, drivers from those states still need to be extra cautious when faced with dangerous road conditions.
Driving Safe in the Rain and Snow
Rain and snow are two of the most dangerous driving safety hazards, but there are a few easy habits you can insert into your driving routine that will improve your commute.
- Slow Down– This one might sound obvious, but that doesn’t stop motorists from speeding. The amount you slow down depends on the road conditions. You may have heard the “slow down by 5 MPH on wet roads rule,” but reliable safety habits take a little more consideration. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration advises drivers to reduce speeds by 1/3 while driving on wet roads. For example, if the typical speed limit is 60 mph, but it’s raining and the roads are wet, the FMCSA recommends drivers slow down to 40 mph. For snowy roads, the FMCSA recommends cutting your speed in half (or more).
- Headlights– Drivers who use headlights are safer, but by how much? According to a National Highway and Traffic safety administration study, the use of daytime running lights decreased accidents between trucks/vans and two passenger vehicles by 5.7 percent.3 If you’re visible, you’re less likely to get in an accident.
- Safety Devices– Your car is a tool and it needs to be in perfect condition before you face the rain and snow. May sure your car is inspected, and your windshield wipers, brakes and headlights are fully functioning and up to date.
Stay Safe While Sharing the Road with Big Trucks
When you’re driving near a big truck, your main priority is staying visible and following the laws of the road. Big trucks don’t have the same maneuverability or safety capacities as smaller cars, so stay safe by following these easy tips:
- Blind Spots – While driving next to a big truck, do not linger on the side, where the driver might not see you.
- Passing – Make sure to give the truck plenty of space and notice before shifting into its lane.
- Cargo – What is the truck hauling? Debris can slip from its confines and onto the road, so be careful while driving behind a big truck and always keep your eye out for possible road hazards.
- Speed – Big trucks cannot slow down as quickly as a two-passenger car, which means that slamming on the brakes in front of a big truck can cause catastrophic consequences.
Don’t Overestimate Your Vehicle’s Safety Features
A 2019 State Farm study revealed that Americans who drive vehicles equipped with advanced safety technology are more likely to take risks while driving, such as texting and using video chat.4 Vehicle safety features are only effective as long as drivers practice engaging, safe driving behaviors.
When you’re on the road, stay far away from habits such as texting or phone calls, to optimize your safe driving experience.
Getting off the Phone
This is as hard for adults as it is for teenagers. When your phone’s in reach, giving in to the temptation of your cellular device is a powerful vice.
The first step towards putting the phone away while driving is wanting to put the phone away. This is a big one because some drivers think they can balance driving with responsible phone use. This is never the case. It only takes one second to make a life-altering mistake.
- Be a Good Example – This is so important for parents to remember. As the saying goes: “One ‘oh, shoot’ can erase a thousand attaboys.” Your children remember seeing you breaking the phone rule, so don’t do it. Never do it! Keep your phone under lock and key and explain to your children at a young age why it’s never in your hands while driving.
- Invest in Hands-Free Technology – If you just can’t keep your hands off your phone, invest in a hands-off solution. It’s important to note that hands-off technology isn’t perfect. You’re still pressing buttons and taking your eyes off the road. You still need to be mindful when talking on the phone, because it is included in the distracted driving category.
- Put Your Phone Away – No one uses the glove box for gloves anymore! Since there’s all that extra storage space, try sticking your phone in there. You’ll always know where it is and you’re less likely (hopefully) to try and fish it out while driving.
Call Isaacs & Isaacs Today!
We hope you consider a safe driving resolution, this year, and wish you the best of luck driving safe throughout 2020. Even if you did everything right, there’s no guarantee the other drivers sharing the road will follow all of the rules. If you’ve been in a car accident or had an accident with a big truck, call Isaacs & Isaacs today at 800-800-8888!
Isaacs and Isaacs, Primary Office
1601 Business Center Ct
Louisville, KY 40299