Staying safe on the roads needs to always be the number one priority for drivers. While sometimes things can happen that are outside of our control, there is a lot we can do to make sure we are protecting ourselves and others.

Here are 5 very important tips to help you stay safe on the road.

1. Avoid Driving in Poor Weather Conditions

Where possible, you should always try and avoid driving in hazardous conditions, including heavy rain, thunderstorms, hail, snow, and ice. According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) out of 6 million car accidents that happen each year, an estimate of 22% is due to inclement weather. Furthermore, almost 6000 people are killed and roughly 445,000 are injured because of poor weather conditions.

With these statistics in mind, you can see why it is best to avoid driving when the weather is bad. Even if you believe you are the safest driver in the world, unfortunately, you cannot control the drivers around you, and if someone is speeding and skids out of control due to excess rain, you could be on the receiving end of it.

2. Keep Your Driver’s Knowledge up to Date

Laws and rules are constantly changing and if you did your theory test years ago then you are likely to not be up to date in your knowledge. It pays to regularly check up on things that are changing in your state and make sure that you are up to date. Even something as simple as a change in a speed limit can cause you problems if you are unaware that it has changed. This does not mean you have to go and study the highway code down to every last page, we are just recommending that you stay in the know as much as is reasonably possible.

3. Never Drive When Feeling Sleepy

Driving when you are tired is a big no-no. It is dangerous and there is no way of stopping yourself from drifting off at the wheel. Driving when tired is one of the most common causes of car accidents in Tampa, FL and it can have fatal consequences. The National Sleep Foundation found that roughly 50% of drivers in the US had admitted to getting behind the wheel while feeling tired. Another 20% admitted to falling asleep behind the wheel in the year 2020, and more than 40% admitted that they had fallen asleep behind the wheel at least once in their driving lifetime.

These numbers are shockingly high, so make sure you are not one of them and do yourself a favor and never drive when you feel tired. Protect yourself and those around you. If you are feeling tired and you do have to drive somewhere, then try taking a nap beforehand or having a very strong coffee or an energy drink to perk you up.

4. Don’t Drive Distracted

If you are feeling distracted then you will not be able to focus properly on the road and your driving. This is dangerous because when you are on the road you need to be alert and vigilant at all times. As we mentioned earlier, you might be the best driver in the world but you have to watch out for drivers who are not in control. If you suspect a drunk driver is ahead of you, you need to be alert for this so you can slow down and give them a wide berth.

If you are looking at your phone or trying to text, you could miss something as important as a drunk driver, or worse still, you could not spot a pedestrian in the road. Make sure you remove distractions before driving, for example, you can put your phone in the glove compartment, or turn the music down a touch so you can hear what is going on around you.

5. Prepare for Emergencies

Another important tip to make sure that you stay safe on the road is to always be prepared. Preparing for emergencies might seem like a daunting idea, however, if an emergency does occur you will be extremely grateful that you did prepare. It doesn’t have to be excessive, you can do small things like storing a first aid kit in the back of the car, alongside some important phone numbers for car repair or numbers of family members who can come and help you. It is also a good idea to have a spare tire in the car, and if you don’t know how to change a tire then put an easy-to-follow manual on how to change a tire in the back of the car too.

Staying safe needs to be the priority of every driver, so make sure you are doing your bit to keep yourself and others safe out on the road.