You got your first car and are excited to be on the road. You’re ready to rev up the engine; however, are you ready for the unexpected pitfalls of driving? There are traffic laws that one should obey to ensure your own safety and the safety of those who are driving with you. It isn’t just about avoiding accidents, but also the sky-high expenses that go along with it in the offset of a sudden vehicle pile-up. Here are just a few dos and don’ts that you should keep in mind whenever you’re on the road:
Let’s begin with the Dos:
- Always wear your seat belt.
- Keep children in tested and approved car seats, no matter how much they beg or plead to get out. If you need, take frequent breaks so that little ones can stretch their legs.
- Review the official rules of the road for your jurisdiction periodically, and follow them always.
- Follow the speed limits.
- Pay attention when you are driving, even if you are familiar with the area. A surprising number of accidents happen only blocks from home!
- Be courteous toward other drivers.
- Give pedestrians the right-of-way in crosswalks.
- Make room for bicycles.
- Pay for your parking tickets or traffic tickets on time, unless you plan to contest them.
- Keep a winter survival kit in your car for bad weather conditions. A good survival kit should contain a cell phone, matches, flares, a working flashlight, food, water, and blankets.
- Make sure that your spare tire is in your car and that you have a working jack.
- Make time for routine preventative maintenance on your car. Breakdowns can be dangerous and costly.
- Plan your route out in advance for long car trips and keep a map or atlas in the car in case you get lost.
Now, let’s get to the Don’ts:
- Don’t drink alcohol and drive.
- Don’t let your emotions and frustrations get the best of you. Avoid road rage, at all cost.
- Don’t make assumptions about what other drivers are going to do. Just because someone has their turn signal on does not mean they are actually going to turn. They may be like the rest of us, and have forgotten that it is on!
- Don’t assume that other cars know what you are doing, either. Make sure that you use your turn signals and give yourself plenty of room to maneuver.
- Don’t tailgate other cars, pass on shoulders, fail to yield, run stoplights or stop signs (even if no one else seems to be around), or break any other rules of the road on purpose.
- Don’t play your car stereo so loudly you are unable to hear train signals or emergency vehicle sirens.
- Don’t talk on your cell phone and drive at the same time.
- Don’t engage in other activities, while driving, that distract your attention or reduce your reaction time. Eating, changing clothes, or putting on makeup while driving is definitely dangerous.
- Don’t leave valuables in your car, especially in unfamiliar places.
Memorize and comply with all of these, and you’d never have to worry about road accidents anymore. The more you know, the less chances of you getting involved in a dangerous situation.
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