8 Ways to Be A Safer Driver in 2022

8 Ways to Be A Safer Driver in 2022

All of us at the Car Pro Show wish all of you safe commutes and journeys through the year ahead.  These eight New Year's driving resolutions will help make those roads safer for yourself and other drivers, including law enforcement and first responders who risk their lives every day working traffic incidents.


1. Resolve to not be a distracted driver.

Distracted driving remains a dangerous and deadly problem on U.S roads. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration reports that distracted driving claimed 3,142 lives in 2019.  In 2022:

  • Put your cell phone down and focus on the road.
  • Don't text and drive.
  • Set your destination in your navigation before heading out on the road.
  • Speak up when you're a passenger and your driver uses an electronic device while driving. Offer to call or text for the driver, so his or her full attention stays on the driving task.
  • Resolve to remain an engaged driver even when new advanced driver assistance safety (ADAS) technologies are in use. Resolve to know how they work and to understand their limitations.

 

2. Resolve to not drive aggressively.

Aggressive driving and road rage are dangerous problems on the nations roads.  (Aggressive driving is a traffic offense, road rage is a criminal one.)

An AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety study found that regardless of gender, nearly 8 in 10 (79%) American drivers demonstrate aggressive behaviors when behind the wheel. Speeding 15 mph over the freeway speed limit topped the list. Other aggressive driving behaviors include tailgating, merging dangerously, and making rude gestures or honking.   

In 2022, resolve to avoid aggressive driving and road rage scenarios with these AAA tips.

  • Don't Offend: Never cause another driver to change their speed or direction. That means not forcing another driver to use their brakes, or turn the steering wheel in response to something you have done.
  • Be Tolerant and Forgiving: The other driver may just be having a really bad day. Assume that it's not personal.
  • Do Not Respond: Avoid eye contact, don't make gestures, maintain space around your vehicle and contact 9-1-1 if needed.

3. Resolve not to drive impaired.

The NHTSA says many substances can impair driving, including alcohol, some over-the-counter and prescription drugs, and illegal drugs.

In 2019, NHTSA figures show that 10,142 people lost their lives in drunk driving crashes in 2019.   In 2022 resolve to:

  • Designate a sober driver.
  • Call a cab or use a service like Uber or Lyft to get home safely.
  • Download NHTSA's SaferRide mobile app, available on Google Play for Android devices and Apple's iTunes Store for iOS devices. It allows users to call a taxi or a predetermined friend and identifies the user's location so he or she can be picked up safe and sound.
  • Take the keys from impaired friends.
     

4. Resolve not to speed or run red lights.

In 2019, speeding killed 9,478 people, and nearly half of those killed were not wearing seat belts according to NHTSA stats. Running red lights is also a problem. In 2019, the AAA also reported a 10-year high in red light deaths in the U.S., with 939 people killed in red light running crashes in 2017. In 2022, resolve to obey the speed limit and avoid running red lights.

 

5. Resolve to slow down for First Responders and Roadside Assistance.

We shared a story from AAA earlier this year about the deaths of two AAA tow truck drivers while they were assisting drivers along the side of the road.  

Resolve to slow down for roadside assistance personnel as well as first responders assisting motorists or at crash scenes.  

 

6. Resolve to know your driving limitations due to age or a medical condition.

Whether it's a medical condition, or simply getting older, it's difficult to consider giving up your keys.  But some medical conditions and things that occur naturally as we age can lead to dangerous driving. For example, seeing at night is one thing that can become more difficult as our eyes change as we get older. In a 2018 AAA Foundation For Traffic Safety study, nearly 83 percent of older drivers reported never speaking to a family member or physician about their safe driving ability. Resolve to be aware of your health and how it may be impacting your driving skills and then discuss the situation with a family member and your doctor.

 

7. Resolve not to drive when you're tired.

The NHTSA reports that there were 697 deaths from drowsy driving-related crashes in 2019.  In 2022 resolve to:

  • Get more sleep.
  • Be aware of medications you are taking that may cause drowsiness.
  • Get off the road at the first sign of being drowsy at the wheel. Signs include:
    • The inability to recall the last few miles traveled.
    • Having disconnected or wandering thoughts.
    • Having difficulty focusing or keeping your eyes open.
    • Feeling as though your head is very heavy.
    • Drifting out of your driving lane, perhaps driving on the rumble strips.
    • Yawning repeatedly.
    • Accidentally tailgating other vehicles.
    • Missing traffic signs.

8. Resolve to always wear your seatbelt.

We hope you're doing this already, but if not, resolve to always wear your seatbelt. Wearing a seatbelt saves lives.  In new stats from the NHTSA,  47% of speeding drivers in fatal crashes were not wearing seatbelts.  

Visit the Kailee Mills Foundation for more information on the importance of seatbelt use. 

 


Photo Credit: Jo Panuwat D/Shutterstock.com