Here are some of my resolutions for safe driving for 2010, which I hope you make your own.
Slow down — Speeding-related accidents kill approximately 13,500 Americans each year, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association. Many of those victims are pedestrians. So, I resolve to leave for wherever I am going five minutes early instead of five minutes late, so I won’t have to drive beyond the speed limit, tailgate or weave across lanes to pass other vehicles en route. If I am walking, those few extra minutes will let me avoid the life-threatening hazards of jay-walking across a busy city street or suburban shopping mall parking lot.
Don’t drive tired — A whopping 90% of accidents are due to driver error, including errors caused by drowsiness, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Tired drivers kill at least 1,500 drivers, passengers and pedestrians, and injure 70,000 more people every year. So, if I am tired, I will pull over, get out and stretch – especially legs, shoulders and neck — and find a caffeinated beverage and something to eat to refuel my energy level.
If you ever see a woman doing jumping jacks in the parking lot of an interstate highway rest stop, that’s probably me, taking a break on a long drive, so be sure to wave – or join me. And, I resolve to wait at least 15 minutes before getting back behind the wheel since it takes that long for the caffeine fix to kick in.