5 New Year's resolutions for better driving

Photo Credit: Photos.com/Nobilior

By Michael Pines, Accident & Injury Prevention Expert

As we usher in the New Year, lists of resolutions emerge: lose weight, eat healthier, spend more time with family, and maybe even start a new hobby. Our New Year’s resolutions revolve around our quality of life – so, why not do something that protects our lives as well? Let’s start by driving safer.

We spend countless hours behind the wheel.  If each of us can take a moment to improve the safety of our ride, imagine what that can do for the betterment of our roadways. It all starts with you.

Here’s to a happy, healthy, and safe 2013!

5 NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS FOR BETTER DRIVING

#5 Reduce Road Rage

It doesn’t make sense to get angry on the road. After all, you will most likely never see that person ever again. Why invest emotional real estate in someone who doesn’t merit the negative energy? While it may be tempting to get angry at someone that passes you hastily, fails to use the blinker, or falls short of making a complete stop, it won’t improve the situation to get mad. To make the most of a pleasant drive, try to set a relaxing mood in the car. Soft music, a safe speed, and an easy-going attitude are all great ways to lighten up your mood when it comes to other’s bad driving. Let it roll off your back.

#4 Slow Down

This year, give yourself plenty of time to get where you want to go. Just ten extra minutes can be the difference to get to your destination on time – and alive. Time management works best when you plan your day ahead of time. By understanding what you need to do by what time, you can stay on top of your day without the rush. So when it comes to saving time, don’t try to save minutes by driving faster.

#3 Be Careful

Reckless driving is one of the

top causes of car accidents in San Diego

  1. By driving inattentively, you run the risk of many bad driving habits: running red lights, tailgating, sudden braking, and improper turns are just some of the ways poor focus can lead to car accidents. This year, pay attention to the road ahead – even when it comes to seemingly little things like parking your vehicle slowly or driving a safe speed in a parking lot.

#2 Never Drink and Drive

Drinking and driving is irresponsible and causes thousands of injury accidents in San Diego every year. Resolve to never drink and drive, not only this year, but for every year ahead. By taking a taxi ride home or designating a driver, you can significantly reduce the risk of car accidents, injury, and death by way of drunk driving.

#1 Eliminate Distractions

Distractions are the number one cause of car accidents

across America. Every single driver in the United States can eliminate distractions while driving. Start by preventing cell phone use behind the wheel. According to Distraction.gov, drivers who use hand-held devices are 4 times more likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves. Download any one of the various apps that prevent cell phone use while driving. Set your phone on silent while driving. Place your cell in the glove compartment if you find it irresistible to use it while driving. Do whatever you can to reduce your risk of accident by eliminating your distractions behind the wheel. You might just save a life – even your own.

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