Nicole Hood, a safety traffic engineer at the Missouri Department of Transportation, reveals that speeding contributed to 48% of road accident fatalities recorded in the St. Louis district last year, according to St. Louis Public Radio. Traffic injuries and deaths are preventable, but many people are unaware of road safety regulations, a key factor contributing to the rise of road fatalities. Fortunately, becoming more aware of road safety isn’t as difficult as it might sound.
Moreover, everyone has to keep the roads safe for driving, walking, and cycling, regardless of age. It’s essential to know the safety tips for driving in hazardous conditions if you’re a driver. On the other hand, cyclists should slow down at intersections to avoid being hit by oncoming vehicles. Read on to learn a few steps to become more road safety aware regardless of age.
Understand Road Safety Signals
The key to making roads safer for everyone is learning the traffic signals. If you’re a parent or teacher, make it a point to teach young kids the basic traffic signs, then gradually move on to the other signals. Some of the main road signs young children should learn to include the traffic lights. Green means that vehicles should continue moving ahead.
Red is a warning signal that commands all cars to stop, while yellow indicates the lights will turn red soon, so drivers should slow down. Most importantly, educate kids that the walking man sign should be green and not red when crossing intersections. Adults should also review traffic signals and laws from time to time to ensure they understand what to do and not to do while cycling, driving, or walking.
Ensure Everyone In The Car Is Wearing A Seatbelt
Drivers have a significant role in ensuring passengers arrive at their destinations safely. With this in mind, make sure that everyone in your vehicle is wearing a seatbelt properly. There are many benefits of using seat belts even when traveling a short distance. Typically, buckling up protects your head from hitting the windshield or, much worse, being thrown out from your car during a crash. While airbags are essential car safety features, they are less effective when you’re not wearing a seatbelt. You’re likely to hit parts of the car or passengers when an airbag launches, increasing the risks of serious injuries.
Prioritize Vehicle Maintenance
Investing in vehicle maintenance is an excellent way to help reduce the risk of breakdowns that might cause a fatal accident. Therefore, inspect your tires, engine oil levels, brake performance, and lights. Your routine car maintenance checklist should also involve checking the battery, chassis lubrication, air filters, belts, and cables. These regular checks are simple and easy ways to ensure your car is in good driving condition, so you don’t endanger the lives of other road users.
Once you have identified mechanical faults in your automobile, consult a professional mechanic to fix them. In addition to helping you repair mechanical faults, a mechanic can offer tips on how to repair minor dents on your car. In most cases, mechanics recommend hiring a professional to fix small dents. Nonetheless, you can do it yourself using readily available items like a hairdryer, a block of ice, and aluminum foil. Although dents might not impact road safety, they ruin the appearance of your automobile, making it look non-road worthy. As a driver, you should always strive to drive safe vehicles at all times.
Stick To Speed Limits
It’s a common misconception that speeding will help you arrive at your destination faster, especially when running late for an appointment. Instead, speeding makes roads unsafe because it increases the stopping distance when you sense danger. As a result, you might hit a pedestrian, a road infrastructure, or crash into another vehicle. Exceeding speed limits also increases the potential for loss of automobile control and minimizes the effectiveness of safety equipment installed in cars. Not to mention your insurance rates can increase by hundreds of dollars every year after receiving a speeding ticket.
To become more aware of road safety, you need to be cautious of speed limits posted on roads and reduce your pace when driving in inclement weather like ice and rain. In a situation where you’re sharing the road with speedy drivers, give them plenty of room. That way, you can avoid a possible collision if they lose control over their vehicles. Additionally, adjust your driving accordingly and steer out of the road if a speeding driver is tailgating or trying to get you involved in risky driving.
Avoid Drunk Driving
According to NHTSA, 28 individuals in the US die every day in road accidents caused by drunk driving. That’s why you should not drink and drive, even for a short distance. Since alcohol reduces your brain’s functionality, it causes impaired thinking and affects muscle coordination. Your reaction speed also reduces significantly, making it impossible to steer clear of any danger on the road.
There are many consequences linked to drunk driving, and each one of them can be life-changing. Drinking and driving can land you in jail, and result in driver’s license revocation, installment of interlock ignition devices, and hefty fines. Therefore, avoid driving after drinking and don’t let someone you know drive while drunk. Instead, call a taxi or ask a sober friend to drive you home.
Today’s drivers have a habit of texting and receiving calls while driving. Some eat while behind the wheel to reduce travel time, and others interact with navigational tools. Other causes of distracted driving include reaching out for things, holding a conversation with car occupants, and getting lost in thought.
Luckily, there are ways to prevent distracted driving, thus enhancing road safety. These steps entail paying undivided attention to driving, pulling up to the side of the road to grab something on the floor or back seat, and putting your phone or other mobile devices away. It’s also highly recommended to secure pets and kids safely in the car to prevent them from causing any distractions. Jaywalkers and cyclists should also avoid distractions, such as using headphones while on the road.
All road users, young and old, have a duty to enhance safety while walking, driving, or cycling. And the first step to making roads safe for everyone is by practicing road safety habits. This step entails understanding road signals, wearing seat belts, maintaining cars in good condition, eliminating distractions, and avoiding drunk driving.