Florida Driving Safety Tips
Some Tips For Staying Safe and Alert on Florida Roads
Safety on the road starts before you even get in your vehicle. It is important to be well rested and alert at all times when behind the wheel. If you are planning a long trip, you should rotate drivers on a reasonable schedule, and if you are driving alone it is important that you take stops for rest at reasonable intervals.
Of course, never drink and drive. Alcohol slows your reaction time, blurs and distorts your vision, and greatly impairs your judgment. Read the labels on all over-the-counter medications before driving. If you take any prescription medications consult your doctor first to make sure it is safe to drive while taking them.
When making mobile phone calls, use a hands-free technology. Also, do not read or compose text messages while driving. It is against the law in many states to text and drives. Not only does it distract you and take your eyes off the road, but studies have also shown that it is worse than drinking and driving.
Take care of your vehicle! Not only will a properly maintained car help to keep you safe, but it will also help on your wallet too. You do not have to be a mechanic to keep your vehicle properly. You should regularly check all of your tires to make sure they are maintained at the proper inflation. Your tire’s pressure should be set following the tire manufacturer’s specifications. Tires that are not inflated properly can be very dangerous, affect braking, your ability to steer and handle corners, gas mileage and the life of your tires. You should also keep an eye on the tread of your tires. It is recommended that you rotate and balance your tires every 5,000 miles. Ask your technician to inspect your tires during any routine, car maintenance service.
Other precautionary maintenance measures include, but are not limited to, the following: timely replacement of your windshield wipers, period checks of all exterior lights to make sure that they are working properly, routine brake service and be sure to know your vehicle’s “blind spots,” or the areas of the road that cannot be seen while looking forward or through either the rear-view or side mirrors.
Always wear your functional seatbelt, which includes the lap belt and shoulder harness, and require your passengers to wear their seatbelts at all times. Children should be placed in appropriate child seats and should not be allowed to sit in the front passenger seat until they reach an appropriate age.
Always pay attention when driving your vehicle. It is recommended that you check your mirrors at least every 5 to 8 seconds while driving. It is also strongly suggested that you avoid talking on your cell phone when behind the wheel. Some studies indicate that a distracted driver on a cell phone is as impaired as a drunk driver.
Be sure to slow down in the rain! Florida has a lot of rain, and the roads can get extremely slippery. When it first begins to rain, water, oil and debris build-up on the surface of the road and can make for hazardous driving conditions. Hydroplaning can occur when a layer of water builds between the rubber tires of a vehicle and the road surface, leading to the loss of traction and prevents the vehicle from responding to controls such as steering, braking or accelerating.
Never exceed the posted speed limit. According to the 2009 Florida Driver’s Handbook, it is recommended that you maintain the following distance of at least 2 seconds behind the vehicle in front of you. If the road or weather conditions are not ideal, double your following time.
A significant portion of car accidents occurs at intersections. The following preventative rules for intersections should be followed:
- When you are approaching a green light you should be prepared for it to turn red
- When you are stopped at a red light, and it turns green, proceed slowly and look in both directions for vehicles that may have entered the intersection
- A yellow light means “proceed with caution”
Finally, many collisions occur when a driver is mad, driving aggressively, or upset with other drivers on the road. It is important to remain calm and rational when behind the wheel and to be respectful of other drivers. Safety should be everyone’s No. 1 concern when driving.
A Kit for Accidents
You should have the proper materials with you in your vehicle just in case an accident occurs.
- Insurance Card
- Vehicle’s Current Registration
- Pencil & Paper to Write Information
- Flashlight with working Batteries
- Triangle Reflectors
- Disposable Camera
- Jumper Cables
- Work Gloves
- First Aid Kit
Our law firm has an instructional brochure which you should keep in your glove box. This brochure will give you advice and assistance on how to handle things in the event an accident occurs. Having this brochure in your glove box will be of great assistance to you during a time of stress.