When you’re behind the wheel, it’s not just important to drive safely — it’s crucial. But staying alert has become an issue for many drivers due to distraction, disinterest, or some other debacle. The basics are obvious, but there are some less “duh!” driving dos and don’ts.
Before you hit the road, read up and remember to do your part as far as safety is concerned. Fasten your seatbelt and let’s go!
Mind your meds
Perhaps you’ve been prescribed medication or you’re taking something over the counter for a cold, allergies, or another ailment. No matter the medication, be sure to check the label for potential side effects. Drowsiness, confusion, lethargy, or nausea could be a serious concern if you’re the one in the driver’s seat!
Talk to your doctor, a vybe urgent care clinician, or pharmacist about the medications you’re taking or planning to take in the near future. Pro tip: see if taking your meds at a different time of day would allow you to drive. While most meds won’t be a problem, a quick check is worth your while — better safe than sorry.
Leave your phone alone, even at a standstill
It’s no secret that texting while driving is a dangerous distraction. Even so, there are plenty of people on the road tapping, swiping, and sending, seemingly unaware as to what a split second of not paying attention could cause.
But what about when you’re at a stop sign and red light? Even if the car isn’t in motion, as the driver, it is your responsibility to be aware and alert at all times. Someone could pop out of nowhere just as the light turns green, or an oncoming car could swerve into your space in an instant. You must be ready to rely on your reflexes at any moment. So, switch your phone to driving mode when you hop into your car—go the extra mile and set up a pre-formulated text that informs your contacts that you’ll get back to them when you’ve reached your destination!
If the shoe fits…
Think twice about your shoes before you put the pedal to the metal. Driving isn’t a fashion show, so save the stilettos for a special occasion. A high heel or clunky shoe can get lodged under the pedal, and the same goes for flip-flops or sandals that may not be secure on your feet.
Bring a change of shoes if you must, just don’t chance it by wearing shoes that aren’t driving-friendly. And please, don’t go barefoot! You need a shoe’s structure to support your feet and offer better control as you tap the gas pedal and pump the brakes. If you’re worried about messing up your pedicure, wait another five minutes for it to dry.
Check your emotions at the door
No one expects you to be chipper 24/7, but if you’re feeling especially emotional (be it angry, frustrated, sad, nervous, or anxious) you may be too fired up, wired, or weirded out to drive. Your mind will be on other things when you need it to be focused on what’s in front of and around you!
Never storm out of a scene and drive away in a frenzy. If you need a moment, try taking time to breathe or listen to music before you buckle up and put it in drive. Otherwise, get a ride from someone who’s in a calmer state — it’s okay, we all have our days. If you think you’re having physical pain due to emotional stress, we can help you figure out what’s wrong! Visit your local vybe urgent care.
A big mess can be a big mistake
Trash, shopping bags, shoes, and random debris make for a messy car. Perhaps you’re no “Mr. Clean,” but your car needs to be tidy for it to be safe. If you have junk all over the seats and floor, something could go flying if you stop short, or roll under the brakes causing them to jam – and leading to an accident.
You don’t have to keep things completely spick and span, but remove items that can “take flight” if you get rear-ended or need to hit the brakes suddenly. Toys and empty bottles belong somewhere else. Not to mention that without all the stuff lying around, your car will be more inviting to passengers and give you room to breathe.
When you get behind the wheel, make sure you’re ready to drive safely and with your full attention. Keep your eyes peeled and your hands on the wheel, and always put safety first. Now you’re ready to roll! If you need medical assistance along your route, you know where to find us!