Safe drivers make the decision to drive safely
They remain focused and watchful while they drive and they proactively anticipate what other drivers are going to do. They don't get rattled by unexpected things, but they look far down the road to see what could happen and they are ready for it.
Safe drivers do something else that unsafe drivers do not
They plan ahead and choose routes that increase the likelihood that they will arrive at their destination safely.
A safe driver goes online to consider the weather, news, road conditions, and construction reports to assess the best route to go. They also check maps, social media, and news reports to determine what roads are going to be like.
They know that a route with plenty of construction might require traffic to merge and become congested; they know that the time of day will impact the number of vehicles on the road; they know that turning left across a busy roadway at an intersection with no lights is riskier (and possibly more time consuming) than taking a slightly different way that leads to a controlled intersection; they know that heavy rainfall might create flooding across certain roads or a drop in temperature might make a hill particularly treacherous; they know that a house fire might block off a road and they know that school zones have lots of kids running around – especially when school is letting out.
Safe drivers take all of this into account
It seems like a lot of information, but it really depends on the driver and the destination. A quick route change might not add a lot of time to a trip but it can dramatically reduce the stress of the commute as well as the dangers. A safe driver doesn't take the same route to work every single day just because that's the way they've always gone. Rather, a safe driver has a number of routes available to him or her and they choose based on a number of factors.
If you want to be a safer driver, do the following:
- Get a map and find two or three additional routes to work. Look at the map to guess at the various hazards you might face as you go
- Go to Twitter and follow weather updates and road construction updates for your city (and for your destination, if your destination is another city)
Safe drivers make the choice to be safe and that is obvious in the way they drive
But they also do one other thing: They consider the routes they can travel to their destination and evaluate how safe they are likely to be on each route.