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Cultivating good safe driving habits is one of the most important things in a person’s life. When going about your daily activities, the time you spend on the road has the highest risks associated with it. After all, it’s not likely that you’ll encounter many life-threatening situations while watching tv on the sofa or working at your desk. However, driving provides many dangerous situations and serious injury is always just one mistake away.

Fortunately, there are a lot of things we can do to decrease the likelihood of ever experiencing a serious road accident. And it’s not just about your own health. With children walking, bicyclists, and other drivers using the road, making a mistake while behind the wheel can have disastrous consequences for the people you encounter. It’s important to always be mindful when operating motor vehicles so that you hurt neither yourself nor another person.

1. Stay Off Your Phone

The most common problem in the modern era is phone use. So many people are constantly using their phones when driving. Phones have so many features that we rely upon through the course of our day that it’s easy to create a habit of constantly checking the phone.

While texting and driving is probably the number one issue, there are dozens of different reasons why people check their phones behind the wheel. And it only takes a moment of distraction to get involved in an accident.

So be careful to avoid checking your phone for any reason while driving to maximize your safety and the safety of those using the road in your vicinity. This includes social media notifications, answering the phone, or any other feature that isn’t hands-free.

If you are involved in an accident, it’s likely that authorities will check your phone to see what kind of activities you were engaged in on your phone at the time of the accident. The liability will fall entirely on you if are found to have been messing with your phone.

2. Pull Over Immediately When Distracted

If you must answer your phone, or if you experience some other distraction like a coughing fit or an issue with a passenger, you should pull over immediately. This is a commonsense notion that many are hesitant to enact for some reason.

It’s a great way to stay safe and it’s easier to address problems when you’ve pulled over than rolling down the highway. Just double-check that you’re in a safe place to pull over. It’s important not to pull over on interstates arbitrarily as it’s illegal. You’ll need to wait for the next exit.

If you’re in a work vehicle, your driving activities will likely be monitored for company liability purposes. Many work trucks are now equipped with cam GPS units that track everything about the vehicle’s movements. This does as much to protect you as it does to protect your employer, so driving correctly will all but ensure that you don’t take the blame for something that you didn’t do.

3. Stay Right, Slowpoke

Another common behavior that causes accidents is improper use of the roadway. One such way that drivers frequently make mistakes is by failing to keep right. Slower drivers should always stay to the right of the roadway. This makes it so that faster drivers can easily go around you on the left without interrupting the flow of traffic.

Interrupting the flow of traffic by lumbering down the road in the left lane causes several problems. One such issue is that faster drivers may need to slam on their brakes to avoid hitting you. This could even cause an accident.

4. Keep A Safe Speed

This one is pretty basic. Don’t exceed the posted speed limits. This will greatly reduce accidents and keep you out of the courthouse. Observe the posted speed limits and be mindful of road changes that signal speed limit changes. School zones, residential, industrial, and highways all have different limits. So pay attention to the zoning and assume the speed limit in instances where signs are not clearly posted.

5. Don’t Rely On Other Drivers To Follow The Law

You can’t take your life for granted. And that extends to driving as well. Most drivers assume that they won’t be the victim of an inebriated or distracted driver, but that’s just not true. In most instances of motor vehicle accidents, it will be because one or more drivers were distracted.

Don’t assume and always keep your eye out for the mistakes of others. Some of the more important things to watch for are people running red lights, drivers weaving in and out of traffic, crossing the middle line, and drunk drivers.

6. Avoid Driving On Medications Or Alcohol

Everyone knows that it’s not safe to drink and drive. However, there are a lot of other medications and drugs that should be avoided when driving. There are even other non-substance-related issues that cause impaired driving. It’s best to avoid driving if you are under the influence of intoxicants, are extremely fatigued, or are experiencing an illness that makes you feel light-headed or confused.

If you carefully take into account all of the things listed in this article, you’re likely to experience a much better life of motorway use. Keeping your family, yourself, and your fellow citizens safe is the primary concern. It only takes a second and a single mistake to find yourself in a life-altering situation that you’ll regret for the rest of your life.