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Buckle up! Driving in a car is a normal day occurrence for many people. It often becomes second nature to the point where you don't think about the act of driving, you just do it. The subconscious side of the brain often takes over and drives you back to your house every day without you realizing it. Here are some useful tips to help anyone be more alert and safe from harm while driving: 

  1. As you turn the key, check the warning lights and gas level to make sure you're good to go and won't have any unexpected issues while on the road.

  2. Check the blind spot. Sounds simple enough, however, some people still assume that the lane next to them is clear if they don't see anything in their mirror. Better be safe than sorry.

  3. Keep a safe distance from the car in front of you. Slamming your brakes on to stop takes substantially longer the faster you are going. Give yourself a good 15-20ft while traveling at high speeds. Always be sure that you can see bottom of a car's rear tires in front of you.

  4. Scan the environment around you. Distractions abound while driving; talking, listening to music, and eating snacks. Don't let these fun tasks distract you from potential dangers on the road. Accidents can often be avoided with a little extra prudence.

  5. Avoid poorly kept/damaged cars. A car with dirty windows and a low hanging bumper is worth avoiding. A car tells a lot about the owner including personal habits and even driving experience. Avoid cars where you can tell the person is obviously distracted (swaying in and out of lanes) or cars that need obvious repairs. These types of people likely are much more distracted than you are.

  6. Know your car's limits. This doesn't mean that you should go out and test those limits. Be aware of how your vehicle operates in different weather conditions and don't push it. If you know you probably can't make it up that hill, don't try. Testing the limits of a car can end with expensive consequences.

  7. Don't drive while tired. After hard days work, it's easy to want to relax and be home. Driving while exhausted can lead to issues not only with sleeping at the wheel but also with reacting with dulled senses. Your reaction time while driving tired is much slower. Don't feel bad about taking the bus or asking a friend to drive you if you aren't feeling up to it.

Driving can sometimes be fun while other times a chore. Whatever mood you are in when you turn that key, make sure you remember that alertness is key in avoiding accidents. If you are ever injured in an accident, don't hesitate to come see us at Handy and Handy Law in Salt Lake City.

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