Operating a vehicle comes with great responsibility. That’s why driver safety and road knowledge are a must. There are methods you can use to ensure you’re driving as safely as possible to protect yourself, your passengers, and other drivers on the road.

6 Defensive Driving Tips for the Road

1. Avoid Distractions

Do you sometimes have hunger pains while on the road? Take time to pull over somewhere and grab a quick meal as opposed to holding a sandwich while driving. You can also keep healthy snacks on hand in your car that you can quickly grab.

Talking and texting while driving is a big no-no. According to Driver Knowledge, there’s an average of six million car collisions in the United States and many of them happen due to distractions like mobile phone use. No matter how many funny memes your friends like to send, or how urgent you need to confirm a meeting date, doing so isn’t worth risking an accident over.

2. Monitor Your Tires

It’s always a good idea to have a spare tire in your trunk just in case you have a flat on the road. Prevent tire issues by having them rotated regularly. According to Car and Driver, tire rotation should occur every 3000 to 5000 miles. You can also have it done when you visit the mechanic for an oil change. This rotation ensures all four tires have even wear on them.

Otherwise, you may begin to feel vibrations in the steering wheel which impedes smooth steering. When you can’t steer well, it affects your reaction time on the road.

3. Use Safety Elements

Your car has seat belts for a reason. Seatbelts prevent you from flying out of the seat and through the windshield upon impact with another force. In other words, seat belts can save your life and prevent worse injuries.

You must also use safety features associated with a motorcycle. So never ride without your helmet and wear protective clothing like gloves and a proper jacket.

4. Pay Attention to the Speed Limit

Even if the road ahead of you is empty, you must pay attention to the speed limit. Doing so not only prevents a car collision but prevents you from hurting a pedestrian. As many as 700,000 hit-and-run accidents happen annually in the country, and speeding is often the blame. Be mindful of slowing down in residential neighborhoods, in school zones, and near crosswalks.

5. Keep Music Down

Many drivers love to listen to music while on the road. While good music can always help you pass the time and put you in a good mood, playing it too loud becomes a distraction. In other words, if people outside can hear the music from your car, it’s most likely too loud. When you’re on the road, it’s important that you not only see what’s around you, but you should also be able to hear alerts, sirens, etc.

6. Get Traffic Alerts

Traffic can change at any time. Inclement weather like snow, heavy rain, and hail can create bad driving conditions. There may be an accident up ahead that forces you to quickly make a detour. Let’s not forget about construction. Cities are constantly doing downtown developments or road construction that can temporarily change your normal route. Stay on top of these alerts by checking traffic updates before you leave the house. You can install a smartphone app that provides real-time traffic updates. GPS navigation systems may also give you those alerts as well.

As you can see, there are many steps you can take when it comes to driver safety. With these defensive driving techniques, it would be easy for you to maintain the safety of yourself, your passengers, and other drivers.