Tips on Driving in Traverse City MI

Drinking and Driving:

Alcohol impaired driving accounts for about 40% of fatal crashes.

Never drink and drive.

Celebrations are part of our lives and sometimes they include alcohol. Decide who the designated driver is before the party starts. If you’re impaired, make the safe choice – ride with a designated driver, call a taxi, stay where you are, or call a sober friend or family member.

Drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs often display certain characteristic driving behaviors. Keep these in mind to avoid a dangerous situation.

Weaving, swerving, drifting or straddling the center line.

Driving on the wrong side of the road.

Driving at a very slow speed.

Stopping without cause or braking erratically.

Turning abruptly or responding slowly to traffic signals.

Driving with the window down in cold weather.

Driving with headlights off at night.

If you spot an impaired driver, keep a safe distance from their vehicles. Alert the policy that there is an unsafe driver on the road.

Aggressive Driving:
If you encounter an aggressive driver, remember:

If someone provokes you, take a deep breath and resist the urge to retaliate.

Don’t “punish” slow drivers by tailgating.

Avoid eye contact with an aggressive driver.

Don’t make or return obscene gestures.

Use your horn sparingly.

Don’t block passing lanes.

Signal before switching lanes.

Never try to beat a yellow light.

Do not “Piggy-back” on a car ahead of you at a four-way stop.

Don’t weave in and out of traffic.

If you are upset or angry, don’t get behind the wheel until you are calm.

when parking, don’t take up more than one space. Don’t allow your door to hit the car parked next to yours.

If you think someone is driving dangerously and may be breaking the law, consider reporting that driver to the authorities. If you have a cell phone and can do so safely, call the police.

Loaning Your Vehicle:

You are responsible for who you allow to drive your vehicle.

Know the person that you are lending your vehicle to. Never allow an impaired driver to operate your vehicle.

If another driver wrecks your vehicle, you are responsible for filing the claim and paying any applicable deductibles.

If the damage exceeds policy limits, you may be held liable for the additional monetary damages.

Staying Alert:

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that at least 100,000 crashes, 1,500 deaths and 40,000 injuries are caused each year due to drowsy driving.

Get a good night’s sleep before starting a long drive. Avoid driving during your body’s natural “down time” when you’d normally be sleeping.

If you become tired while driving, stop. A short nap (15 to 45 minutes) and consuming caffeine can help temporarily.

Avoid taking medications that make you drowsy.

Keep the temperature cool. Listen to the radio.

If possible, take a companion along to help you stay awake and possibly share the driving on long trips.

Sit up straight while driving; don’t slouch. Don’t stare straight ahead for prolonged periods of time; scan the road and check your rear and side view mirrors regularly.

Stop at regular intervals when driving long distances. Get out of the vehicle every 2 hours to stretch and walk briskly.

Some warning signs that you may be experiencing fatigue and drowsy driving:

You can’t remember the last few miles driven.

You hit a rumble strip or drift from your lane.

Your thoughts are wandering and disconnected.

You yawn repeatedly.

You have difficulty focusing or keeping your eyes open.

You tailgate or miss traffic signs.

You have trouble keeping your head up.

You keep pulling your vehicle back into the lane.

If you’re tired and are in danger of falling asleep, then you cannot predict when a “mini” sleep may occur. Getting enough sleep will not only help you feel better, it can save your life.

Teen Drivers:

Set a good example – children learn by imitating their parents.

Discuss driving rules and attitudes.

Discuss safety, drinking, speeding, and seat belt use.

Set driving curfews for teen drivers. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety; 53% of all teen-age motor vehicle deaths occur on Friday, Saturday and Sunday; 43% of these accidents occur between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.

Discuss peer pressure and unsafe driving actions.

Limit distractions by keeping the number of passengers to a minimum, only talking on a cell phone while driving if it is an emergency, and adjusting radio/CD controls only while the vehicle is stopped or have the passenger make the adjustments.

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