Last year, our fleet fuel card company wrote a blog titled “10 Tips for Safe Driving” as a resource for fleet drivers and fleet owners. Today, we thought we’d expand it to include 10 more tips to help keep drivers alert and out of accidents.
1. Watch other people
Just because you’re a good driver doesn’t mean other people are, so pay attention to the way others drive. With practice, you’ll be able to anticipate actions and have a better idea of how to react to avoid a collision.
2. Keep tires inflated
Tires that have too little air could cause a blowout – and that’s not something you want to happen while you drive. When a tire’s air pressure is low, it puts pressure on the sidewalls, making them flare out, and over time, could cause them to burst.
3. Drive defensive (not aggressive)
Defensive driving means being alert, keeping a safe distance, and staying calm when things don’t go your way. Aggressive driving, on the other hand, means speeding, initiating conflicts, and not obeying traffic rules. Make sure you practice defensive driving, not aggressive driving.
4. Don’t use your cell phone
In many states, it’s illegal to use your cell phone while you’re driving. This is because a cell phone can be an easy distraction and can break your focus, causing a slower reaction time and a greater chance of a collision. Put your cell phone away while you’re driving and only check it once you’ve reached your destination.
5. Beware of medications
Some medications, whether prescription or over-the-counter, can cause drowsiness, dizziness, headaches, and other side effects that could impair your ability to drive. Make sure you read the label thoroughly before using any medication and then operating a vehicle.
6. Mind blind spots
While car mirrors help you see what’s going on around you, they don’t always give you a clear vision of your blind spots. Before merging or changing lanes, double-check that there’s no one in your blind spot before you proceed.
7. Don’t multi-task
Like using your cell phone, multi-tasking (like eating, putting on makeup, changing clothes, etc.) can be a distraction from your focus. If you need to get something done, pull over to the side of the road to do it.
8. Secure your shipments
No matter what kind of shipment you’re transporting, make sure that it’s secured tightly in your car or truck – you don’t want things to be flying around if you make a sharp turn or have to stop suddenly.
9. Read signs
This may sound basic, and it is: many people disregard or simply don’t pay attention to road signs, but they’re put in place for a reason. Road signs will tell you what’s coming up on the road ahead of you so you can be alert and plan accordingly. Don’t take them for granted.
10. Use low-beams in fog
Your vehicle’s high-beams are meant to help you see further, however, when it comes to fog, they’ll actually do more harm than help. Since fog reflects, shining a brighter light into it will worsen your ability to see. Instead, use your low-beams or fog lights. Or, if the fog is very dense, pull over until it clears.