Road safety rules aren't always fun, but they're there for a reason. Whether or not you understand the purpose behind a road safety rule, you should follow it for your own protection and for the protection of others. In Texas alone, nearly 900 fatal crashes occur annually on local roadways, typically as a result of people who aren't obeying road safety rules. Count urban roads and arterial routes, and you've accounted for another 1,200 fatalities annually.
What can you do to be safer on the road?
Obey the Posted Speed Limit:
Posted speed limits don't always make sense. We've all been driving down those perfectly fine, straight roads where the speed limit is 30 and you're itching to go 45 or 50. Resist the temptation. The speed limit is 30 for a reason. If you're in a residential area, you never know when a child or a pet might come darting into the road in front of your car. Posted speed limits aren't there to annoy you; they're there to ensure both your safety and the people who use the area regularly.
Use Appropriate Restraints When Driving:
Seat belt laws exist because seat belts save lives. In Texas, the driver and all of the passengers must wear seat belts and the law exists because using the appropriate restraints is proven to reduce the number of fatalities and serious injuries in car accidents. Seat belts in newer cars aren't even particularly uncomfortable, so there's no excuse not to wear them. Buckle up - it's not just the law, it can save your life.
Signal Clearly Every Time
Poor signaling or a complete lack of signaling is responsible for thousands of motor vehicle accidents every year. If you're turning you can have the courtesy of letting your fellow drivers know that. Follow your state's guidelines on signaling before a turn or lane change. As with many driving laws, they're there to promote safety and because they make sense, so don't ignore them or ‘forget' to signal before your turns. Do whatever you need to do to remind yourself.
Keep A "Safe Assured" Distance
What this really means is that you should keep enough distance so if the car in front of you had to come to a complete stop, you would have enough time to safely stop your vehicle without running into the car in front of you. There are many things you should take into account when following this rule including time of day, weather, lighting, and turns along the roadway. This may seem like an extreme measure, but if you follow this rule you can make sure you can always come to a safe stop if there is no other option.
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