TodayApril 15, 2022

Keeping It Safe Behind The Wheel

Sometimes nothing beats a drive to clear your head, just you and the open roads, music on and looking for new places to explore. I just experienced that the other day driving the 2020 Hyundai Palisade with Harman Kardon surround system. Yet, other times, you just aren’t in the right headspace to drive, and this is where things move into dangerous territory. When you’re behind the wheel, you can’t afford to slip up, so those good-old health and safety practices are worth reminding yourself of now and then. Here are some pointers you won’t want to forget to keep your stories behind the wheel all happy.

Beware of fatigue

Being too tired is not a state that you’ll want to be in when you’re driving. Fatigue can really mess with your concentration, and challenges can escalate very quickly if you’re not paying close attention. If you have to drive for long periods of time, make sure that you take regular breaks. If it’s a road trip, split the journey with your spouse or a pal as opposed to doing it all yourself. Make sure you have had at least 7-8 hours of sleep before each time you drive. If you’re unsure, it’s better to be safe than sorry, you may not think you’ll ever fall asleep behind the wheel and yet- it does happen!

Snowy Conditions

When the weather is snowy and icy outside, it’s essential to be more cautious with your driving. If you can avoid driving and stay home, it’s always a better option to do this until the weather clears up. Make sure you drive slowly and apply the gas slower than usual to ensure that you don’t skid. It is going to take you longer to slow down on icy roads so take your time and allow for this too. Avoid stopping on a hill, and make sure that you get a little more momentum going just before you reach it to help you. Stick to the main roads that well are clear in prep for the weather.

Under the influence

If you are taking a prescription medication with side effects there is a good chance that you should not be driving, always check labels and with your doctor. Every year many people are injured or lose their lives due to drivers who are under the influence of drugs and alcohol, under no circumstances should anyone be driving under these conditions. Always choose a designated driver in a group situation to avoid people taking chances and doing something careless. If you’ve already got yourself into a sticky situation, there are specific DUI law firms who can help you here.

When you’ve been driving for many years, of course, it becomes second nature, yet it’s easy to forget that things can go wrong. Always remind yourself that it is your responsibility to keep both yourself and others safe. Try to remain alert at all times and do not be tempted to become distracted by mobile phones when in your vehicle. Always opt for hands-free devices if you need to have a quick call.

Lou Ann Hammond

Lou Ann Hammond is the CEO of Carlist and Driving the Nation. She is the co-host of Real Wheels Washington Post carchat every Friday morning and is the Automotive, energy correspondent for The John Batchelor Show and a Contributor to Automotive Electronics magazine headquartered in Korea. Hammond is a founding member of the Women's World Car of the Year #WWCOTY, and board member of the Women in Automotive.

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