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How To Be a Safer Driver Today

​Many people just assume they are safe drivers without thinking much about it. They assume they will never get into a crash or be hit by another driver. But the unfortunate reality is that around 1 in 4 Americans will be involved in a car crash at some point during their lives. So, what can you do to avoid becoming another car crash statistic?

Here are a few tips that you can start following today to help yourself become a safer driver.

1) Get enough sleep.

While getting enough sleep is an important part of staying healthy, it is also an important part of being a safer driver as well. Studies have shown that exhausted drivers have about the same level of mental impairment as drunk drivers, and their reaction times are similarly slowed. So, if you know you have a long drive the next day, make sure you get plenty of shut eye the night before. And if you ever find yourself so tired that you start to feel like you're going to fall asleep on the road, pull over. It isn't worth the risk to your life and the lives of others.

2) Don't drive while intoxicated.

While almost everyone is now aware of the dangers of drunk driving, there are still many crashes and deaths caused by drunk drivers every year. As VA car accident lawyer Robert J. Haddad explains many people think they are just "buzzed" when they are really drunk enough that their driving is significantly impaired. If you are in doubt at all, simply don't get behind the wheel. Get a friend to drive you home, or call a ridesharing service. Don't risk your safety and put others in danger.

3) Don't drive while drugged.

This one has become more important, now that marijuana has been legalized in many states. While pot may be legal now, people need to be aware that driving while high can cause crashes much in the same way that driving while drunk can. And it goes without saying that you shouldn't be driving while using illegal drugs. Lastly, you need to consider your prescription drugs, as many of them can cause things like drowsiness, dizziness, and delayed reaction times. If you're starting a new medication, talk to your pharmacist to make sure it doesn't cause any of these side effects before you get behind the wheel.

4) Get rid of distractions.

Distracted driving causes many deaths each year, particularly among younger drivers. Smart phones and other electronic devices are the most common culprits that cause distractions and cause crashes, but there are other things that cause drivers to take their eyes from the road. These things include eating and drinking, applying makeup, talking to passengers, adjusting mirrors, and a variety of other things. As Ft. Lauderdale car accident attorney Ronald Rosen explains, the basic rule to remember is, if it is causing you to look away from the road, you probably shouldn't be doing it while driving. It can probably wait, and if it cannot, you can pull over.

5) Follow the rules of the road.

Lastly, make sure you understand and are following all of the rules of the road. While this may sound like common sense, a lot of car crashes are caused every year by people doing things like speeding, running red lights, and making illegal turns. No matter how tempting it may be to do these things to speed up your trip, don't do them. Breaking road rules can not only cause you to end up with a costly traffic ticket, it can put people's lives in danger.

These are just a few things to keep in mind to help yourself become a safer driver. While you can never guarantee that you won't be in a crash, since you cannot control the actions of other drivers, following these tips will help you keep yourself and others on the road safer.

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