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Five Safe-Driving Habits For Every Driver

Los Angeles DUI lawyerIf you’re like most people, you probably made a few resolutions for the new year. You may have already given some of those up, but if you’re still chugging along with your commitments, that’s awesome! Don’t forget, it doesn’t have to be January for you to implement positive changes in your life. Any time is the perfect time to focus on safe driving habits.

Here are five safe driving habits you should integrate into your daily life in 2018:

1. Know When to Put the Keys Away

There are plenty of times when we, as humans, put our bodies to the test. It’s fine to go out and have a great time; we all need to unwind. What’s important is being responsible about your choices while you’re out. Some of the worst repercussions occur when people don’t realize they shouldn’t be driving.

Here are a few key situations that can lead to on-the-road impairment:

  • Alcohol is one of the most dangerous ingredients when it comes to potential behind-the-wheel disasters. Depending on body weight and how fast you drink, it can take only a couple drinks to be considered legally intoxicated. You may think you’re just tipsy (or you may think you’re completely fine), but if you’re pulled over, the police may arrest you for DUI. Play it safe.
  • Don’t let your mind fool you! If your prescription bottle says you shouldn’t operate a motor vehicle, it’s not kidding! You can significantly impair your motor reflexes if you try to drive under the influence of a number of prescription drugs.
  • Illicit Drugs. Let the party play out, and get a safe ride home. Uber, Lyft, and taxis are safe alternatives when you have an altered state of mind. It’s not worth risking the red and blue lights that could end your fun ride.
  • The Morning After. On average, it takes your liver about one hour to metabolize one alcoholic drink. If you had more than one drink per hour, your morning after hangover could leave you severely debilitated, meaning you could still wind up with a DUI hours after you stopped drinking. If you had a long night, call a designated driver in the morning to ensure you don’t wind up with a file filled with criminal penalties.

Related: Cost of a DUI Lawyer

2. Don’t Touch Your Cell Phone

Texting while driving is incredibly dangerous. In 2015, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported 3,477 drivers died because they were distracted; undoubtedly, many of these victims were distracted by their phones at the moment of impact.

This year, promise to keep your eyes on the wheel and off your phone. Implement safety devices that disable your phone while you’re driving. Even GPS apps these days have options that keep drivers’ attention on the wheel and away from the screen.

If you don’t think you can power through a drive without your mobile device, stick it in the trunk. That action could save your life or the life of someone else on the road.

3. Reduce Distractions

Distractions are everywhere when you’re driving, and you can’t do anything about most of them. Other drivers will always cut you off and merge lanes will always unexpectedly come to an end. There are, however, many distractions you can eliminate from your day-to-day adventures.

  • Don’t mess with the radio. Use steering wheel or voice controls when they’re available so you don’t have to take your eyes off the road. If those aren’t available in your vehicle, wait it out until you’ve come to a complete stop to swap your station.
  • Don’t pack your car with tons of people. The more people you have in your car, the easier it is for you to become distracted. If you’re on a road trip, it’s important for you to set ground rules ahead of time so your passengers are respectful. Car games and backseat arguments aren’t cohesive to any level of safety on the road. Even if you’re just carpooling, a few extra opinions can give your car a lot of extra unwanted gas mileage. Squelch the fuel before it becomes a fire, and lay down rules for your ride.
  • Check out this infographic with shocking facts & figures about distracting driving and its injuries, fatalities, and much more

4. Stay Focused on Driving

Between work, life, kids, dating, and bills, everybody has a lot on their minds. The more you have on your brain, the slower you’ll be to respond when brake lights appear before you. If you’re struggling to stay focused, find ways to take a break before you get behind the wheel. Head out for a few tapas by your office, find your place on a yoga mat, or hit the gym hard before you rev up your engine.

These activities will help you clear your mind so you’re more focused on the roadway.

5. Learn Defensive Driving Tactics

These days, it feels like we’re all playing on the offense. Someone cut you off or failed to stop at a stop sign. It’s up to you to anticipate problems before they happen, even if they’re not your fault. The more defensive game you can play on the road, the safer you and your family members will be in your car.

Consider taking a defensive driving course. These classes aren’t only beneficial to your driving skills, they could potentially lower your car insurance, depending on your particular circumstance.

Jon Artz is an expert Los Angeles DUI attorney who has been practicing for more than 40 years. If you are facing a DUI, contact Jon for your private consultation.

(Updated 7.8.2020)

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