Driving Safety Fundamentals
A primary component of GROM’s mission as a company is to create innovations that make listening and using vehicle entertainment and infotainment safe for drivers, passengers, and everyone else they share the road.
This is why a primary goal for all our products is to diminish distracted driving while encouraging healthy driving habits.
As part of our commitment to this goal, GROM will feature monthly posts covering a plethora of relevant and vital topics on car and road safety. This month we want to start talking about general tips to stay safe while behind the wheel.
Why It’s So Important
Driver-related deaths are slowly ebbing upward. The U.S. Department of Transportation reported that though the rate of deaths by cars has declined since 1975, it has slowly risen 7% since 2015. Also, crashes ended the lives of 35,092 in the U.S. that year.
Using practical sense, focused driving, and awareness of your surroundings can make a big difference while behind the wheel. It can save the life of your loved ones, others on the road, and yourself.
- Maintain focus on the road. It seems obvious but it is easy to begin to turn your attention to a passenger, your stereo, your phone, or inward towards your thoughts. A simple trick is to keep your eyes scanning the road in front of you and not stare blankly straight ahead.
- Don’t forget to look to your sides and rear. This is a must while changing lanes or making a turn. It isn’t safe to constantly take your eyes off of the road in front of you, but occasionally focusing on your rear or sides can also keep you safe.
- Well-rested and nourished is the best condition to be in while behind the wheel. So if you’re commuting to work or beginning a long road trip, always remember to have plenty of sleep and a full stomach. Using the bathroom before you leave wouldn’t hurt either.
- Make sure your car is ready to roll. Have you ensured that you have done all the maintenance on your vehicle as regularly required? Oil Change, Transmission Fluid, Tire Health, Plenty of Gas, Alignment/Rotation, or annual inspection? This is extremely important if you commute daily or are about to travel on a long road trip.
- Put your passengers to work. Especially if you’re driving in a carpool or sojourning in your car with a crew of road-trippers, you can use your passengers wherever they can be helpful. Someone else can manage the GPS or navigate, act as DJ for road music, or simply help keep an eye out on the road.
- Use GPS for heavy traffic and hazardous road navigation. Navigation services are not just about getting to a destination or finding gas. You can use these features to find the best route through traffic jams or dangerous road hazarders. Apps like Google Maps and Wave are essential. GROM’s app DashlinQ has Google Maps built in and designed for easy/safe access while in a car.
Precious Road Cargo – Child Road Safety
- Your children are your most important passengers; drive appropriately when they’re onboard. You know this but maybe you don’t realize the dangers that should motivate your actions. Vehicle crashes are the primary cause of death among children in U.S. In 2015, 663 children under the age of 13 died in a car crash while 132,000 suffered injuries. You can help make sure this doesn’t happen.
- Make sure your child is buckled up appropriately for their age group and size. This can be done by following simple guidelines, especially by utilizing a car seat inspection station. Here are some basic guidelines to review: https://www.cdc.gov/features/passengersafety/index.html
Road Focused Driving – Distracted Driving Prevention
- Remove all your stuff that distracts you. The best way to avoid distraction is keeping your distractions out of your car (or keeping them in trunk). Tablets, grooming gear, reading material, or even food can keep you from focusing on your driving. By not having them around, you can take your safety to a new level.
- Avoid involving or distracting music or audio. Loud or even overly-absorbing music can keep your mind off the road. Turn it down or turn it off. Audio books and Podcasts are great but are they occupying too much of your attention? Consider the value of the content you are listening to against the value of yours and other’s lives. It makes sense and helps prevent crashes.
- Keep socializing and conflict to minimum while driving. Don’t let conversation become a dangerous distraction while behind the wheel. Always remember that your attention to your driving could make the difference for the well-being of those in and out of your car. You may not be at fault for a crash but that doesn’t mean you can be a force to prevent it.
- Turn off your phone alerts and notifications. Aside from possible road or navigation focused alerts, your phone calls, text messages, and emails can wait. Would you have your phone alerts on while at work or at a social gathering? If not, consider the safety issues in these situations. Can you agree they’re minimal? Make sure the safety of everyone you’re entrusted with while driving isn’t threaten by a phone calls or a Facebook notification. There are a variety of phone apps that manage phone alerts while driving. GROM’s DashlinQ would also be a choice for those features.
Road Awareness – Keeping Your Eyes Peeled for Pedestrians and the World at Large
- Always be on the lookout for children. Children don’t have the awareness or judgement of adults. It’s important for you to be aware of where children are on the sidewalks and streets. Don’t forget to have extra caution and attention to school zones, parks, and playgrounds.
- Slow down and be ready to yield at crosswalks. These are pedestrian and designated crossing zones. Remember that crosswalks protect and help drivers by designating safe areas for pedestrians to walk across the street. They minimize jaywalking and unexpected pedestrian encounters.
- Look behind you when pulling out of a driveway or parking lot. Don’t rely on Rear mirrors. There a nice extra while observing your rear but are no replacement for looking behind you when pulling out. Parking lots are danger zones for backing out. 52% of these types of accidents happen in lots.
- Follow the weather reports and consider taking a break or slowing down. Bad weather makes driving twice as dangerous. Black ice can lead to spinouts and accidents. Rain can obscure road visibility. Why rush to your destination in the face of fatal accident? Be aware of the unexpected and drive slow.
- Listen to road reports and be aware of GPS updates on crashes and road hazards. Knowing there is a problem before it becomes your problem is important, and can affect your safety and travel time. Keeping your eyes peeled for potential hazards and obstacles pocketing the road can keep you from hitting them or making capricious actions that lead to an accident.
Remember that Your Behavior and Attention Can Make a Difference.
Some accidents are unavoidable but in many cases, you as a driver can be a vital source of saving lives and avoiding inclusion in a fatal crash. Making sure your road focused and aware of road dangers can make a big difference. This is fundamental in all road safety. Turning down your radio and keeping yourself alert can help you and your companions to have a great trip, free of threat and danger.