Five Tips for Getting Home Safe

Being able to drive is one of the great pleasures in life. Not only is it fun to do, but it helps transport you long distances in a short amount of time. However, with this enjoyment and convenience comes a level of danger. It’s not always safe out on the road, due to a wide range of circumstances.

With that in mind, here are five things you can do to help ensure that you get home safely.

Inspect Your Car

One thing you should always do before you drive is inspect your car. Our cars wear down over time, and if you don’t take care of your car, you may find yourself getting into an accident because of some mechanical failure. Some simple things you can check before you drive are: Your tires, your windshield wipers, and your lights. Before you get up to full speed, you should also give your brakes a few taps to make sure they’re working.

Some other things you should be on the lookout for are any odd smells or noises coming from your car. For example, if you smell fuel before you get into your car, there’s a chance that you have a fuel leak. This not only puts you at risk of running out of gas while you drive, but it’s also a fire hazard. So, take a few seconds to conduct a quick visual inspection of your car before you drive, and conduct a more thorough exam every few weeks. Sparing a few minutes for these here and there could go a long way towards helping you get home safe.

Check the Weather

The next thing you should do is check the weather before you drive. While it might be bright and sunny outside now, that doesn’t mean a bad storm isn’t on the way. Thousands of people getting into car accidents each year because of bad weather, so it’s not something you want to take lightly. A quick search on your phone can let you know what the weather should be like for the next few hours. If you see a bad thunderstorm or snowstorm on the way, it might be better to just stay where you are until the storm passes.

Remove Distractions

If your car is in good shape, and the weather looks fine, that doesn’t mean you’re out of the woods just yet. While the weather and the condition of your car are largely out of your control, your own actions aren’t. One of the best things you can do to make sure you get home safe is remove distractions while driving.

We all have things that are competing for our attention while we drive. Our phones ring, kids ask for things from the back seat, or we fiddle with the radio to try to find a station. Modern cars have tried to reduce distractions by adding more controls to the steering wheel, or allowing for voice commands, but it’s not always enough. It’s up to the driver to show some restraint and limit as many distractions as possible so that they can focus solely on the road ahead of them.

Know When You’re Unable to Drive

One issue a lot of people struggle with is driving when they shouldn’t. Maybe they’ve had a few drinks, or they didn’t get much sleep the night before. Driving when you are impaired – whether it be from drugs, alcohol or something else – is not only a danger to you, but it’s dangerous for everyone else on the road.

In fact, according to Schwartzapfel Wrongful Death Lawyers, “Each day in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 28 people die in an automobile accident because of a drunken driver. This amounts to a person dying once every 53 minutes. While there are harsh penalties out there, they are not designed to compensate the victim. Victims may find relief in knowing that the individual who caused their accident is in jail, but this does not cover the financial losses that most car accident victims encounter.” So, safe yourself all the trouble, and keep yourself and others on the road safe, by knowing when it’s not a good idea to drive.

Call for a Ride

Sometimes, the best thing you can do to get home safely is allow someone else to drive. If you’re physically unable to drive, or you aren’t comfortable driving in bad weather, or there’s an issue with your car, call for some help. You can turn to friends and family in this situation, or even use apps like Uber or Lyft. Sure, you might have to spend a little money, and you’ll need to find time to go back and get your car, but if it gets you home safe, it’s worth the hassle.

Make Your Safety a Priority

Too often we know it isn’t safe to drive, but we do it anyway. We figure that our car problem can wait until we get home, or that the storm won’t be the bad. But as evidenced by the thousands of accidents that happen each year, the roads are more dangerous than you might think. So before you get behind the wheel to head back home, take some time to evaluate whether or not you should even drive, and if you’re unsure, opt for the safer option.

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