New Jersey Defensive Driving Tips
Keeping yourself and your passengers Safe on the Road is extremely important. According to the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety, “motor vehicle crashes claim the lives of more than 700 New Jersey residents each year.” To combat this staggering statistic, the state has named October 10th Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day! The idea is to drive safer than you usually do on this day so that at least one day a year will be void of traffic-related fatalities. This is a great idea and we encourage every single New Jersey Driver to observe this day by utilizing all of the defensive driving techniques you have in your arsenal to help reach this goal. At Easy New Jersey Defensive Driving, however, Our Goal is to increase the safety on New Jersey’s roads every day. To help New Jersey drivers become safer behind the wheel, we have compiled the following list of defensive driving tips that should be utilized every time you drive!
Keep Your Eyes on the Road
Distracted driving has become a major crisis in the United States; the most common offenses involve using a cell phone while driving. Whether it's talking, texting or using the device in another way, paying attention to your device instead of the road is as dangerous as it gets. In March 2008, New Jersey banned using handheld devices while driving. Hands-free devices are allowed, though not encouraged as they also take your focus from the task at hand. Cell phone safety has become increasingly more important as mobile devices have become more common, especially with younger drivers. Some defensive driving techniques that can help you handle your cell phone usage in a safer manner include:
- Set your ringer to silent. If you don't hear it, you won't feel the need to answer it.
- Put your phone away. If it's out of sight, there is a good chance it will be out of mind.
- If you must talk on the phone while driving, invest in a hands-free device.
- Pull off of the road if you need to make a call.
- Have a passenger make or answer your calls for you while you are driving.
- Install an application on your device that will discourage or prohibit use while driving.
- Keep this mantra in mind: "It Can Wait!"
Unless it really is an emergency situation, in which case the use of a cell phone is allowed as long as one hand remains on the wheel at all times, most calls can wait until the engine is off. Don't lose your life, or take someone else's, because you couldn't wait to pick up your cell phone. It's not worth it and it can wait!
Wear Your Seatbelt
For years there have been numerous campaigns that remind us about the importance of wearing a safety belt. The message has stuck around for so long for a reason. The New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety estimates that “more that 2,000 unbuckled drivers and front seat passengers died on New Jersey's roadways in the past 10 years,” with an estimated 700 of them being thrown from their vehicles. Using a seat belt is the easiest defensive driving tip to enact. Make it a habit to buckle up as soon as you sit down, and require the same of your passengers. If all of the other defensive driving techniques that you use aren’t enough and you still find yourself in a traffic crash, your safety belt can protect you. The New Jersey Seat Belt Laws are for your safety. Do yourself a favor and put on your seatbelt every time you turn on your car.
Don't Drive Aggressively
We all know how to identify an aggressive driver on the road, but do you know when you are Driving Aggressively? The New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety asserts that “Aggressive driving is an epidemic on our nation's roads. Tension among motorists is particularly high in New Jersey, which is the most densely populated state in the country.” They go on to state that the characteristics of an aggressive driver include:
- Excessive lane changing
- Gesturing at other drivers
Sound familiar? As much as we try to deny it, there have been times when almost every one of us has lost our cool while on the road. The Are You an Aggressive Driver Quiz can shed some light on the areas that you might want to work on when it comes to this topic. There are quite a few defensive driving tips that will help you avoid becoming an aggressive driver:
- Remember to follow all of the traffic safety laws and obey traffic signs.
- Don't engage in altercations with other drivers on the road.
- Always maintain a safe following distance.
- Watch your speed.
- Don't drive when you are emotional or tired.
- Breathe and remember that nothing is more important than arriving safely.
Even if you always utilize these defensive driving techniques, other drivers may not have the same idea. Encountering an aggressive driver can be a scary situation. If you come across one, don't make it worse. Get over or get off the road. If you think it's necessary, feel free to report any aggressive drivers using the #77 Aggressive Driver System.
There is really no upside to driving while under the influence. It puts your live at risk, endangers others, and, if caught, is extremely costly and can greatly affect your way of life. Even though the Penalties for Driving While Intoxicated are harsh, nothing compares to the danger that doing so presents. The Facts show that only one out of every 772 drunk drivers is arrested, but an arrest isn’t the only thing at risk when you get behind the wheel while intoxicated. The Talking Points that warn against drunk driving are familiar; we’ve heard them all before. According to the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety, impaired driving is a serious crime that results in almost 18,000 deaths and 250,000 injuries nationally every year. Even with such serious consequences, too many drivers don’t get it. Impaired driving is still “one of the most often committed crimes, randomly killing someone in America every 30 minutes and nearly 50 people a day.” New Jersey law enforcement officers are always on the lookout for drivers that may be under the influence, undergoing special training and installing Checkpoints throughout the state. Don’t become a statistic or endanger your life by driving while impaired. Use these defensive driving tips to make sure you always drive sober:
- Arrange a designated driver for the evening.
- Keep a number for a reliable taxi service in your phone.
- Know your limits and don't exceed them.
- Having a drink or two? Give your keys to a sober friend.
- Make sure to eat while you drink to help absorb your alcohol.
- Don't have an alternate way home? Don't drink!
The best way to keep you safe from the dangers of drinking and driving is to avoid any situation where you might feel tempted to do so. If you are planning on having drinks, don’t even bring your car. Ride with a friend who won’t be drinking or take a cab. Never put yourself in a “Should I drive?” situation, because more often than not, the answer is “No.”
Take a Defensive Driving Course!
Are you interested in learning more defensive driving techniques to keep yourself safe? Our New Jersey defensive driving course will teach you everything you need to know. The program is easy, convenient and full of great Benefits. While securing an auto insurance discount and cleaning up your driving record, you will also learn safe driving lessons that have the potential to save your life. Whenever you're ready to travel the road to becoming a safer driver, Sign Up for Easy New Jersey Defensive Driving and we'll help you get there!