According to a Harvard Health Watch study, an average American spends a bit more than 100 minutes per day in their car, driving. This means that they spend almost 38 thousand hours driving in a lifetime. This amounts to approximately 798.000 miles – and that is how much it takes to get to the moon (3 times!).
This raises the question of our safety – all these hours spent behind wheels, driving to work, late, tired, nervous.
Statistics are troubling since numbers indicate that over 37 thousand people die in road crashes every year, with additional 2.35 million people getting injured or disabled.
So, is there anything we can do to cut this number of accidents to a minimum? Certainly.
The first rule of driving: never sit behind the wheel tired. Namely, the National Safety Council reported that car accidents are more likely to occur at night than during the day. Aside from the reduced visibility, our organism is far less concentrated after dark. For this reason, drivers are advised that as soon as they start feeling a bit sleepy they let someone else drive, or if they are alone in the car, take a nap on the side of the road and continue after they feel rested.
The truth is, it is quite difficult to determine when exactly a person is too tired to drive. Luckily, we are about to enter the era of self-driving cars – they are no longer held up as a one-day possibility. The future is almost here and the roads are about to get much safer.
Don’t drink and drive
Now, you have heard this one a thousand times, however, it seems that not many fully understand the seriousness of the situation. Did you know that in the U.S. almost 30 people die every day as a result of drunk driving crashes? Just one drink is enough to alter a drivers’ mind and affect their driving capabilities and thus put, not only drivers’ life at risk, but also people who are with them in the car, and all other people they encounter on the road.
Nevertheless, it is not always about the physical and psychological state of the driver – the car has to be at its 100% as well. It is of utmost importance to perform regular checkups, even if it seems like everything is alright with the vehicle. Breakdowns commonly happen out of the blue, when you least expect them. Not only can they mess with your plans, but they can put in danger everyone who find themselves on the road at that moment.
Tires, in particular, have to undergo regular checkups (even though some drivers claim this to be an unnecessary hindrance). Still, when talking about the safety, tires have to be properly inflated, as a good tire pressure helps to avoid accidents. This way possible blowouts will be prevented and a driver will be able to break quickly, so do not hesitate – take initiative and check the pressure every once in a while, especially if you are looking to take a long trip.
Driving in a bad weather
You will even hear authorities warning you not to sit behind the wheel when the weather conditions are bad, but more often than not, we have no other choice, right? In such situations, when you encounter a dense fog, rain shower, or a heavy snow, the first rule is to always leave extra space between you and the vehicle in front of you, since you never know just how slippery it will be. Finally, make sure your car is equipped for the season – winter tires are a must as soon as November arrives.
How are you feeling? Nervous, angry, sleepy? Do you remember when was the last time you took your car to a mechanic? We recommend you think twice before hopping into your car, no matter how important it is to get someplace.