If you are a new driver, keep these things in mind

Learning to drive is a virtual rite of passage in America, as access to jobs and many parts of the country depend on it.

Being a licensed operator of a motor vehicle is a huge responsibility, though, as its mass and velocity while in operation make it one of the most deadly implements in modern society.

Road accidents kill thousands of fellow motorists, bikers, cyclists, and pedestrians every year, so it is important to keep safety in mind every time you get behind the wheel.

In this article, we’ll discuss a few things you should keep in mind before you hit the highways for the first time.

1) Don’t forget to check your blind spots

The habit that driving instructors will hammer into your head the most is the need to do shoulder checks before moving into a new lane or merging onto the highway.

Don’t let it slip like many drivers do after their test, as using only your mirrors will give you a false sense of certainty that could cost the life of a motorcyclist or a driver in a small car.

The danger using your side mirrors exclusively is that there is an area on each side of your vehicle they miss – appropriately enough, they are called blind spots.

They are big enough to conceal a fellow highway user who might be passing or (annoyingly) cruising alongside you.

By looking over your shoulder each time, you’ll avoid an accident you’ll never see coming.

2) Smartphone use and driving don’t mix

If you ask car accident lawyers in Salt Lake the most common cases they take on these days, they’ll regale you with tales of careless motorists who thought that using their smartphone while driving was a good idea.

A problem that has only emerged in the past decade, this form of distracted driving stems from the incessant need of many people to stay connected at all times.

Whenever their phone pings, they reflexively pick it up and check their notifications, even if they are battling rush hour traffic.

For these folks, it is only a matter of time before they end up rear ending a vehicle that has slowed down or stopped for whatever reason.

To avoid this fate, silence your phone before driving or better yet, power it down. Further, if you aren’t going on a long trip or if you have no particular need for your device where you are going, consider leaving your device at home.

3) There is never an excuse for driving drunk

We have all seen PSA’s on this subject, yet every year, drunk drivers claim the lives of thousands and irreparably alter the lives of many thousands more.

Don’t be end up like the idiots who think they can drive competently after having more than two drinks – have a plan that will get you home safely.

Have a designated driver do chauffeur duty for you and your friends, or if that isn’t an option, call a taxi. If you have to, get a hotel room for the night or sleep on your buddy’s couch.

All of these are preferable to living a life of heartbreak, knowing that your poor choices took an innocent life.