Most adults and a large percentage of older teenagers regularly operate motor vehicles. People tend to take for granted that they can handle the challenges of driving, but small mistakes can lead to devastating consequences on the road. New drivers, including teen drivers, are at particularly high risk for causing crashes due to simple mistakes.
Few people are better equipped than professional race car drivers to safely operate motor vehicles. Josef Newgarden, an Indy 500 winner, has a few insightful safety tips to share with young adults and others who are worried about risk on the roads.
Be ready before starting to drive
Having a vehicle perfectly acclimated to a driver’s situation is of the utmost importance. Drivers should make a point of checking their seat, their mirrors and other vehicle settings before they shift to the vehicle into gear. Those few moments of checking the vehicle will make it easier for someone to drive safely while monitoring their surroundings.
Don’t attempt to multitask
If there’s one thing that a driver needs to win the Indy 500, it is a laser focus on the next lap and then the next lap. Those driving their own vehicles often lack that same degree of focus. People often try to multitask by eating or texting while driving. They may find that they miss sudden changes and could end up in a wreck as a result of dividing their focus.
Give other vehicles space
The faster people travel, the easier it is for them to lose control. If there are other vehicles near a driver who has lost control, the possibility of a major wreck significantly increases. Particularly when there are bigger vehicles nearby or when the speed limit is high, drivers need to maintain more space between them and other vehicles.
Slow down, especially when the weather is bad
It is human nature to want to reach a destination as quickly as possible. However, higher speeds translate to more collision risk. Drivers who maintain more reasonable speeds will have an easier time responding to changing traffic conditions. Lower speeds will be particularly important when the weather is bad. Even wet pavement can significantly increase stopping distance, making a crash more likely at seemingly normal speeds.
Making safety up top priority rather than just reaching one’s destination as quickly as possible can make a big difference to someone’s overhaul chances of getting into a collision. Taking advice from professional drivers might be easier for new drivers than hearing the same guidance from their teachers and parents all the time.