Driving is the most dangerous activity we engage in daily. You know this, so you wear your seatbelt, don’t speed, and never drive drunk or text while driving. You check for side effects of your medications and get enough sleep before driving so that you won’t be impaired by drowsiness. What about the other guy? How can you manage the risks from other road users? Here are five tips to help you stay safe.
1. Pay close attention to your surroundings to spot driving behaviors that can signal trouble. A driver who suddenly slows down, appears to be wandering, or is weaving may be impaired by any one of the above factors.
2. Drop back, get out of the way, and call the police after pulling over if you suspect a serious problem.
3. Watch also for speeding, tailgating, rolling past stop signs, hard breaking, cutting off other vehicles, and failure to yield the right of way.
4. If someone cuts you off, resist the urge to “teach him a lesson.” Just let it go. Avoid honking, making eye contact, or gesturing in such a way that the situation might become escalated. Never let an aggressive driver add to your own risk.
5. Use turn signals to communicate your intentions to other drivers, make gradual lane changes, and keep a safe distance between vehicles. Keep yourself fully engaged in the task of driving – you have everything to gain and nothing to lose.
Tips based on an article by Wayne Northey, President, AAA of West Virginia