As the roads of the Tampa Bay area continue to expand and change, it can seem like your daily commute is more like a NASCAR race than a calm drive from one point to another. Drivers may follow too closely or cut you off, increasing your chances of getting into a car accident. 

You can’t control what other drivers do, but you can take steps to be a safer driver this year. Follow this checklist to reduce the chances that you cause an accident on our busy streets. 

#1) Limit Your Multitasking

Put down your phone, put away your makeup, and save your food for later. More than 1,000 people are injured daily in accidents caused by distracted driving. Focus on the road until you have stopped in a safe location. 

#2) Commit to Leaving Early 

You won’t need to speed down the road and make risky driving choices if you’re not in a hurry. If you have a habit of driving recklessly when you’re in a hurry, commit to leaving early and showing up on time. 

#3) Leave More Space in Front of You

You can’t prevent cars from tailgating you or following at an unsafe distance, but you can stop that behavior yourself. Give a few more feet of space between you and the car in front of you so you can stop immediately in an emergency.  

#4) Use Your Turn Signal

Your turn signal is a way to communicate with other drivers on the road. Tell people when you are merging or changing lanes so they can give you space. 

#5) Don’t Assume Drivers Are Going to Turn

That being said, don’t assume that every driver with a turn signal on will actually make the turn. Some drivers forget about their signals and continue driving straight, and you could get in an accident if you aren’t watching their behavior. 

#6) Follow the Speed Limit

Just because a large truck or sports car flies past you on the bridge doesn’t mean you need to increase your speed to unsafe levels. Stay cognizant of the speed limit and flow of traffic to maintain a safe speed. 

#7) Stay Alert in Intersections

While you may have the green light distracted drivers could enter the intersection unexpectedly. Approach carefully and check the lanes around you.  

#8) Choose the Right Music

Calming music will make you a calmer driver. Consider how music changes your mood and choose it carefully. 

#9) Remember Your Blindspots

You might stop checking your blind spots on roads you’re comfortable on. Keep up this habit to prevent accidental wrecks.  

#10) Know When to Take a Cab

There’s no shame in calling a taxi or Uber if you can’t drive home. If you are too tired or too intoxicated, you make the roads safer for everyone by leaving your car and returning to it the next day. 

Protect Yourself Behind the Wheel

Hopefully, these tips will keep you (and others around you safe) on the road! But, if you do get into an accident, make sure to take the right next steps. Find out what you should do if you end up in a car accident on the road. Learn more about protecting your health after a car accident from our friends at Florida Wellness Medical Group. They have four locations serving Tampa Bay, offering primary carediagnostic labs and imaging and chiropractic care. Call 844.935.5669 for a location near you!  

Cover photo courtesy of Unsplash