- If you must use an ATM, choose one that is located inside a mall, or in a well-lit location. Withdraw only the amount of cash you need.
- Be aware of your surroundings and the people around you.
- If there is anything unusual about the cash machine discontinue the transaction and report your suspicions to the bank.
- Do not enter ATMs with strangers.
- Protect your PIN by shielding the ATM keypad from anyone who is standing near you. If you are at an ATM machine cover the pin with one hand while the other is used to press the keys.
- Do not throw your ATM receipt away at the ATM location.
- Keep your ATM card in a safe place and protect it just like you would cash, credit cards or cheques. Do not leave it around where others can see your card, whether at home or at work. If your card is missing or stolen notify your bank immediately.
- Never give any information about your ATM card or PIN over the telephone.
Although a common tip, buckling your seatbelt is essential. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), seat belt use helped save over 14,000 lives in 2016. About 90% of Americans wear seat belts, yet some drivers and passengers don’t take the risk seriously and still don’t wear seatbelts. Before leaving home, be sure to put on your seatbelt (and remind your fellow riders too) so you all can be safe while on the highway.
Put down the cell phone
It’s so tempting to reach for your cell phone when you hear that “bing”, but it’s especially unsafe to text and drive on the interstate. Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for 5 seconds. At 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed.” If you have an iPhone that’s iOS 11 and above, you can use the Do Not Disturb While Driving feature to send contacts an automated message that allows you to stay focused while you’re on the road.
Don’t reach for your cell phone while driving to keep yourself, riders and other drivers safe. Instead, wait until you’re pulled over to a safe location before responding to texts and notifications.
Use the right lane for passing
Be considerate of other drivers by driving in the left lane and using the right lane for passing. Some states have laws in place that will fine or ticket drivers who ride in the left lane without the intention of passing. If you stay in the left lane and other drivers behind you need to get by, they may try to make a dangerous move by passing on the right. Causing traffic to build up behind you is also a safety hazard. If you don’t intend to pass another driver, be considerate and allow other drivers to pass on your left.
Carefully get out of your vehicle after an accident
If you’re ever in an accident on the interstate, do your best to pull as far off of the road as much as you can. This will help to prevent you or other drivers from getting hurt. It’s easy to think that you’re safe while on the side of the road, but distracted drivers may not notice you or your vehicle. It’s very dangerous to get out of your vehicle while on the interstate, but if you have to, pull over as much as you can into a safer spot.
Don’t drive too closely
Don’t drive too closely to the vehicle ahead of you while on the interstate. While you might be tempted to rush someone, you could end up putting your life and others lives at risk. If the person ahead of you happens to hit their brakes abruptly, you may not have time to stop and could rear-end them. Leave some extra buffer room, especially on the interstate, between yourself and the next vehicle so you and other drivers can stay safe. As a good rule of thumb, consider the type of vehicle that’s ahead of you, and leave enough room so that you have three or more seconds to stop. The National Safety Council recommends the three-second rule, but as always, carefully consider how much room you may really need.
Watch your speed
Be mindful of your speed while on the interstate. In 2017, the Bureau of Transportation Statistics stated that “[s]peeding continues to be the number one cited driver-related factor in highway fatal crashes.” As tempted as you might be to speed, it could cost you, your riders and other drivers their lives. Always take note the of the speed limit and adjust accordingly.
Let it go
Road rage is a real issue, but it’s better to overlook another driver’s mistake or negligent behaviour. SafeMotorist.com reports that “66% of traffic fatalities are caused by aggressive driving.” While it might not be easy to ignore someone else’s mistakes on the interstate, it’s necessary. Rather than getting frustrated and driving aggressively after another driver makes a careless mistake, it’s better to take a deep breath and let it go.
Be considerate of tractor-trailer drivers
It’s important to remember while driving on the interstate to be considerate of tractor-trailer drivers. One good thing to remember is that if you’re behind a truck and not able to see the driver, then he or she likely cannot see your car either. If you want to pass a tractor-trailer, be sure to give the driver plenty of space and signal that you are changing lanes. Tractor-trailer drivers aren’t able to stop as quickly as other drivers, so be mindful before merging in front of them.
Drive defensively, anticipating that others will make mistakes. Other drivers might not slow down to let you merge onto the interstate or change lanes if you put your signal light on. Regarding defensive driving tips for teens, KidsHealth.org shares that teens should “not depend on others” and “[c]ut out distractions.” Teen Driver Source shares that while teens know not to text and drive, “they often engage in these behaviours anyway.” Instead of expecting other drivers to perform certain actions while driving, be on the lookout and cut down on distractions to develop safer driving habits.
On longer trips, you’re bound to get tired. Whenever you’re feeling drained, it’s better to stop and take a break. Usually, we try to brush off our tiredness by turning on the music or rolling down the windows and continuing right along, but this can be a reckless choice. Pullover to a safe location or have a plan to switch drivers. By stopping to allow yourself to rest physically and or mentally, you’re helping to prevent accidents.
Drive according to weather conditions
Stay aware of weather conditions while on the interstate. During inclement weather such as rainy or snowy conditions, you need to be more alert and provide yourself with more time to react. Don’t always assume the roads are safe for driving the speed limit, especially in low-visibility conditions. That’s why it’s a good practice to reduce your speed and give yourself some buffer room.
Do not drive under the influence
Don’t drink and drive or get on the roads incapacitated. Driving under the influence and incapacitated driving can both be costly risks. The NHTSA reports that 29% of fatalities in 2017 occurred due to drunk driving. When you are not fully aware and functioning, you’re not as likely to make good judgements while on the road. You should have a designated driver or use a rideshare app like Uber or Lyft instead.
Make safety your priority while driving on the interstate
Safety should be a top priority while driving on the interstate. It’s easy to get caught up listening to music or talking on the phone, but it’s not so easy to correct the outcomes of an accident. That’s why it’s best to develop safe driving habits and drive proactively while you’re on the highway.
- Obey all speed limits and signs.
- Be attentive and drive responsibly.
- Never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Always wear your seatbelts.
- Before driving a car, do a simple safety check. Turn on the lights and walk around the vehicle to ensure that all lights are in working order. Also check your blinkers for proper operation. Look for any fluid leaks or things hanging from the vehicle. Check that the tires are properly inflated.
- When you get into the car, adjust all mirrors and seats before placing the key in the ignition. To properly adjust the left mirror place your head against the left window and adjust the mirror so that you can just see the left side of the car. For the right, move your head towards the center of the vehicle and adjust the right mirror in the same way. When you are sitting correctly in the driver’s seat, you will not be able to see your vehicle, but your blind spots will be greatly reduced.
- Always drive with your headlights on, a car is visible for nearly four times the distance with it’s headlights on.
- Always use your turn signals.
- Pay attention to all signs
- When stopping at a stop sign, spell S-T-O-P to yourself before proceeding. Always turn your head to look left, then right, straight ahead, then left again before proceeding.
- When a light turns green, look left, then right, straight ahead, then left again before proceeding through the light. Notice all vehicles and ensure that someone else is not going to run the light.
- Keep your eyes moving. Notice what is happening on the sides of the road and check behind you through your mirrors every 6-8 seconds.
- When driving on a two-lane road that allows parking on the right, stay toward the center line to allow for room if someone were to open their door to exit their vehicle in front of your car. This forethought will help you from swerving to miss an opening door. If there is no parking allowed on the road position your car toward the right to allow for more room between you and oncoming traffic.
- Expect the other drivers to make mistakes and think what you would do if a mistake does happen. For example, do not assume that a vehicle coming to a stop sign is going to stop. Be ready to react if it does not stop. Never cause an accident on purpose, even if a pedestrian or another vehicle fails to give you the right-of-way.
- Every time that you re-fuel, check your oil and other fluid levels. Look for noticeable leaks throughout the engine compartment.
- If your car stalls on the road, do not leave your car. Put on your hazard lights to allow others to see you better. Wait for the proper authorities to come to your aid. Do not let someone talk you into leaving your vehicle.
- When traveling behind other vehicles, there should be at least a four second space between your vehicles. When the car in front of you passes a stationary object, slowly count to yourself. If you pass the object before the allotted time, you should back off. When traveling at night or inclement weather, these times should be doubled.
- Don’t talk on a cell phone while driving. Phones detract from your ability to concentrate on the road and increase your chance of a collision by nearly 400%. If you must use the phone, pull over to a safe, well-lit parking lot and place your call there. After completing your call you may continue on your way.
- When leaving for an out of town trip, be sure to give an itinerary to someone back at home with the route of travel, approximate time of arrival and a contact number at your destination. Do not deviate from this plan without informing your at-home contact. If you are traveling a long distance, check in throughout the trip with a current location and any changes in your route or times. If something were to happen, this information may be used to narrow the search.
- When being approached by an emergency vehicle, pull to the right shoulder of the road and stop.
- Carry in your vehicle, in an easy to find place, all contact numbers that you may need as well as emergency contact information, personal information and any outstanding medical needs that you may have.
- Leave early, plan to arrive 10 minutes before the appointed time. Speeding does not increase your ability to arrive on time, rather it only increases your chances of not arriving at all.
- When traveling on a multiple-lane road or highway, keep in mind that the left-most lanes are for passing only. If not actively passing a vehicle, stay in the right lanes, allowing others to pass.
- Avoid the “No-Zone” with trucks or buses — they cannot see you from many areas. Remember if you cannot see the driver in the truck’s rear view mirrors, they cannot see you! Also remember that trucks make large right turns.
- There is an old saying — “If the roads are wet, then drive like it’s snowing. If the roads are snow-covered, then drive like they’re icy. If the roads are icy, then don’t drive.” Click here for winter driving tips.
- During inclement weather, if it is necessary to reduce one’s speed, the brake should be applied slowly without making sudden moves. When making sudden moves it’s much easier to lose control of your vehicle.
- Remember as your speed increases so does your braking distance. If you double your speed, you quadruple your braking distance. If you double the weight of your vehicle, you double the stopping distance.