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As the new year begins, many people resolve to improve their lives by focusing on health, finances, career goals, and various other priorities. Here's a resolution that will not just improve your life, it can also save it:
Resolve to drive safely.
Seat belt use is the single most important factor in preventing or reducing the severity of injuries to vehicle occupants involved in a traffic crash. It takes less than two seconds to buckle up. Make it a habit.
Driving while drowsy--whether due to a lack of sleep, the effect of even a small amount of alcohol, or the use of a prescription drug or over-the-counter medication--can delay reaction time, decrease concentration and reduce judgment skills. Make sure you are alert before getting behind the wheel.
Driving distraction-free means actively scanning the road ahead and the driving environment surrounding your vehicle, keeping your hands on the wheel and your mind on driving. Because cell phone use occurs with such frequency and duration, it's more likely to lead to a crash than other forms of distraction. Before you drive, take a moment to think of those who are counting on you to get home safely every day. Then turn your phone off.
Parking lot incidents are typically low-speed collisions, but can still lead to property damage and injuries. Safety experts recommend backing into a parking space rather than pulling in. This way, your vehicle is facing out when it's time to exit. If you must back out, complete a vehicle walk-around to check for children and objects. Once all is clear, make your exit promptly and cautiously as conditions may change.
Being rear-ended and rear-ending another vehicle are two of the most frequent types of crashes. To avoid these common collisions, always leave at least 3-4 seconds of distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you. If the roads are wet or slippery, double your following distance.
The Indiana State Police encourages all motorists to practice safe driving habits in 2014, so that together we can significantly reduce the number of traffic crashes in Indiana.