None of the safety features in a car have as great an impact on the motorist’s safety as the beliefs he carries in his head. While the car’s safety devices allow its driver to better survive an accident or recover from driving mistakes, it is best to avoid accidents and mistakes in the first place. As Nashville car accident attorneys, we want you to drive safely by not adhering to these four common misconceptions about safe driving:
Driving at Posted Speed Limits Is Safe
Posted speed limits are based on ideal driving conditions. If the road is covered in black ice, it is obvious that driving at the posted speed limit is dangerous. The same is true of a blinding whiteout snow storm or extremely thick fog. These examples are apparent to most drivers. However, few realize the effect that wet pavement has on their braking distance and ability to make emergency maneuvers. Few motorists slow down on wet pavement or at night when visibility is reduced.
Driving Slower Is Safer
While slower driving is safer in poor driving conditions, one can also drive too slowly for good road conditions and become an obstruction to traffic flow. The car that moves drastically slower than the rest of the traffic is a hazard to everyone. This is especially true on interstates. Driving at 30 mph while everyone else is driving at 65 mph is like leaving a parked car on a road with 35 mph traffic.
Driving Is Safe When Your Blood Alcohol Level Is within the Legal Limit
Alcohol reduces reaction time, judgment, visual tracking of moving objects, and the ability to cope with multiple things occurring at the same time. These driving deficits don’t simply “switch on” after reaching the legal blood alcohol limit. They start with a person’s first drink. Even small amounts of alcohol can have dangerous effects on drivers who are already suffering from fatigue or during adverse driving conditions.
Using a Hands-Free Cell Phone Is Safe
Although a hands-free cell phone keeps one’s eyes on the road, having a phone conversation diverts the thinking brain away from driving. It relegates driving to conditioned reflexes and muscle memory which are incapable of coping with the demands of safe driving.