Each year thousands of people die on the road in traffic accidents. In the first quarter of 2013, more than 7,200 people have fallen victim to car collisions. A great deal of these collisions could have been avoided if the drivers were following a set of rules to help prevent mishaps. The best protection a driver can give himself or herself is full concentration and practice of the following driver’s safety guidelines: 1. Inspect the Vehicle Before Leaving A brief inspection of the vehicle before taking any trip can prevent an accident later. A driver should first check his or her tires for proper tread, slow leaks and imbedded pins and other sharp objects. Tire blowouts make up for more than 4 percent of crashes. While the vehicle owner is inspecting the vehicle, he or she should also inspect for leaking fluids and make sure that all turn signals and headlights are working. Drivers who have non-operational lights are more likely to get into a vehicle collision. Additionally, leaking fluids can cause the brakes or belts to malfunction. 2. Adjust and Clean Mirrors A large majority of accidents occur because one driver experiences visibility issues. Before taking off for any trip, a driver should adjust his or her rear view mirrors and side mirrors to maximum visibility. Additionally, the person should make sure that all mirrors are free of frost, fog and dirt. No one should drive before all the windows are defrosted and clear. The rear mirrors are just as important as the front and side mirrors. Most vehicles have rear window defrosters in addition to the standard defrosters. The process takes less than 10 minutes in most cases. Taking an extra 10 minutes to preserve the safety of other drivers and passengers is honorable. 3. Shut off the cell Phone Many states have instituted laws against using a cell phone while driving. The reason they put these laws into place is the amount of accidents that occurred while the driver was distracted. Even if the driver has the cell phone in the other seat, it can still cause a distraction when the person hears a notification of a call or text message. To avoid temptation, one should power off the cell phone immediately upon entering a vehicle for operation. The driver can always reply to the person once he or she reaches a safe destination. 4. Buy a Safe Vehicle Some vehicles come equipped with a multitude of safety features that will help a driver prevent an accident or save his or her life in the event of the accident. Newer car models have safety features such as dual, front, and side curtain airbags for the protection of everyone in the vehicle. The Pulsar Sedan also has an antic lock breaking system that is an excellent safety feature. Owning a vehicle that is equipped to take care of the driver in the event of an accident is the best way that one can increase safety. 5. Look Straight and Sideways Every driver should always keep his or her eyes in front of him or her at all times. Having the maximum amount of reaction time is important for survival. Therefore, the eyes need to be toward the vehicles ahead, in case someone decides to make a sudden movement. Additionally, the person should tune into his or her peripheral vision. One should always use this special ability while driving. If a person is able to use peripheral vision to stay aware of his or her surroundings, that person will be able to dodge a near-sideswiping incident with another person. Some people accidentally drift over into other people’s lanes. A driver who is watching the motions of vehicles to the left and right will sense the movement and maneuver the car. 6. Increase Distance in the Rain The rain causes roads to become slippery within the first few seconds of rainfall. A person who increases the distance between himself or herself and other vehicles is likely to avoid a crash if hydroplaning, sliding or slipping occurs. The recommended distance between two vehicles on a dry day is one car length. In rainy conditions, one should raise this distance to two cars. The same rule applies for icy conditions. The driver will want to keep as much distance from other automobiles as possible. 7. Avoid Speeding Many drivers speed because they are in a rush to work, school, or other obligations. However, many accidents occur because one of the drivers was moving too fast to avoid a collision when another driver made a mistake. The best rule for speed is to go the required speed limit. Those who made the speed limit rules were well aware of what they were doing when the made them. A driver who wishes to keep up with the flow of the traffic may be safe traveling less than five miles per hour over the speed limit. However, the police still have a right to issue a ticket for it. 8. Avoid Driving Under the Influence Alcohol and illegal drugs are not the only substances that hinder a driver’s judgment and reaction time. Medication such as cough syrups, pain medications, tranquilizers and the like can have a side effect of dizziness or drowsiness. To avoid falling asleep at the wheel and causing a collision, one should wait until the effects of the drug have worn, or ask a trusted friend or family member to do the driving. 9. Check the Blind Spot Thoroughly Every vehicle has a blind spot. A blinds spot is an area in which the driver has difficulty seeing another vehicle in the mirror. Before shifting into an opposite lane or making any sudden movements, one should check the blind spot several times. Another option is to ask a passenger if the path is clear before making a move to the left or the right. The passenger will have a clear view of the other car’s distance away. 10. Listen to the Body A person who is sick or extremely fatigued should not operate a motor vehicle. For long trips, one should either switch drivers or stop for a rest to rejuvenate. Sometimes stopping and getting one to two hours of sleep is sufficient for a person to refresh his or her mind. One of the worst things a driver can do is continue operating the vehicle after he or she has dosed off. In such cases, the person’s body is trying tell him or her that it is time to pull over. The aforementioned tips provide only a generalized rule set for the safest driving experience. A driver should always keep the protection of himself or herself and the rest of the driving community in mind. If one’s vehicle is operational and can pass an inspection, then it is safe enough to operate on the roads. If a driver stays on top of what is going on in or around him or her at all times, then that person will see danger coming. More lives will be spared as drivers educate themselves on how to keep the streets safe and accident free.