As summer begins to wane, many students are gearing up to go back to school. For many high school and college students, this means driving themselves to school every morning. If you are driving yourself for the first time, or even have a couple years under your belt, here are some important safety tips to help you stay safe behind the wheel.
Choosing not to fasten your seat belt doesn't just result in a nasty fine. If you get into an accident, it can mean losing your life, or being severely injured. Before you pull onto the road, make sure your seat belt, and also those of any passengers are buckled. Seat belts should also be adjusted properly. The lap belt needs to go along your hips, and the chest belt across your chest. The belt will protect you in an accident, but only if it’s adjusted properly.
It can Wait
It's tempting to check your messages or glance at your phone while at a stoplight, but every second you take your eyes off the road increases your risk of an accident. 1 in every 4 accidents is caused by texting and driving, so keep your eyes on the road and your hands off the phone till you get to your destination.
If you find yourself unable to resist checking, putting your cellphone in the trunk of your car can remove any chance of checking so you can focus on safe driving.
Watch for Pedestrians
Other kids and young adults are trying to get to school too, and not all of them are in cars. Watch out for bicycles and pedestrians. Not all pedestrians use the cross walk in order to get to their location, so pay attention when passing them at all times.
When you park along the side of the road, check your mirror before opening a door to make sure a bicyclist is not about to pass you. A bicyclist can be severely injured or killed flipping over a suddenly opened door. A little extra caution could save someone’s life.
Follow the Speed Limit
Speed limits are designed to keep you and everyone else safe. Excessive speed can turn what might have been just a fender bender into a deadly car accident. Speed limits are especially low in school zones for good reason—kids aren't always good about checking for cars before dashing onto the road. When you are driving, keep yourself and everyone around you safe by following the law.
These reminders aren't just important for young drivers, they are something everyone should keep in mind. If you are the passenger and see a friend, or even your parents checking their phone or driving too fast, speak up. You deserve to be safe no matter which seat you are sitting in. Just as peer pressure can make you feel like you need to break the law in order to be cool, it can also be used to keep people safe.
For more information, visit Seaman & Associates at http://www.seamanatty.com/ . If you’ve been injured in an accident, call us at (216) 696-1080.