So many factors play a role in the safety of driving, from driver experience to vehicle safety to road conditions. Some of these factors are in your control, but others are not, especially those involving other motorists.
As you drive around, be aware of these three dangers you may face on the road so you can take steps to avoid an accident.
1. Drunk drivers
The danger most people are aware of is driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Everyone knows it is dangerous, but some people still do it. The risk of a drunk driver hitting you is greater at night, on weekends and during holidays, reports the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, so take extra precaution during those times to watch out for intoxicated motorists. Signs include swerving, driving well below the speed limit and making erratic maneuvers.
Another increasing danger in today’s electronic world is digital distractions. Texting behind the wheel takes hands and minds off the road. Even those who use hands-free devices are still dividing their attention, and safe driving requires full focus. Additional distractions include eating, drinking, daydreaming, putting on makeup or doing hair, talking to passengers and fiddling with the radio or controls.
Some drivers work night shifts or have been traveling on the road for a long time, such as truckers. It is easy for these drivers to become fatigued. Certain medications can also affect alertness. Driving while drowsy can be just as dangerous as drunk driving, reveals the National Sleep Foundation, and sometimes even more so because unconscious drivers cannot react at all to hazards. Watch for vehicles that drift into other lanes, speed down the highway or follow others too closely.
If you see drivers involved in any of these dangers, you may want to safely pull to the side of the road and report the vehicle. You can then try to find an alternate route if necessary to avoid being in the vicinity of the hazardous driver.