It goes without saying that too many people take driving too lightly. It’s not just commute, not just the practice of going from one place to another. When you’re driving, you’re inside a metal box on wheels—a metal box that can crash and explode and catch fire and cause serious harm to anyone in its way.
The only way out of a potential car crash is to drive defensively, and to drive with general regard for everyone out there on the road. We’ve put together a list of things you need to look out for when you’re behind the wheels to ensure that you and everyone around you are safely tucked inside that big bad metal box.
Look Out Far and Ahead
When you’re starting to learn how to drive, train yourself to look out far ahead, and not just in front of you. While yes, the main part of your attention should be focused at the vehicle immediately ahead of you, but it’s also that big bad truck some paces ahead that could brake suddenly, causing you to be caught in a massive car crash. Always look far ahead to be as perceptive as possible.
Get the Big Picture
One of driving education’s main motto is “get the big picture,” so chances are you’ve probably heard of this expression before. But what exactly does it mean? It means, shortly, that you should be aware of everything that’s going on around you. Keep looking out far and ahead and always be aware of what could potentially go wrong. For instance, if the cars in front of you have started slowing down, there might be some obstacle ahead—which means you should change lanes now for smooth, uneventful merging.
Always Have an Escape Route
Bad traffic jams, fires, emergencies, even a terrorist attack or a mass shooting—problems can hit you worst when you’re least expecting them. A metal box is no place to hide inside when faced by such difficulties, which is why you should always have an escape route planned. Not just this, there could always be a chance that the car driving in front of you will burst a tire and go haywire crazy. You should have considered this possibility from the beginning—because whatever can go wrong will go wrong, as the law goes. Always keep your distance, and be prepared for every emergency.
As has been said, maintain your distance. Many drivers overlook this most basic rule of driving because they get too comfortable in their craft—which is completely fine, but catastrophes don’t come calling. If you never want to be caught up in an accident where you hit someone from behind, you should keep your distance. We know that other drivers will try to cut you off the moment you give them some space, but what’s a little annoyance when you’re trying to do right by law?
Smartphones, headphones, Starbucks, GPS, even the radio—anything that could cause your attention to flicker for the minutest of times is a liability to you and to everyone around you. Out of the 2.5 million Americans who are caught up in road accidents every year, 1.6 million end up in a hospital due to a cell phone. Relax, you can send that text message later on.