5 Tips to Make You Safer on the Road

Driving safely not only saves lives and vehicles, it also keeps your insurance payments low. Here are some tips on how to drive better, even if you consider yourself a driving pro.

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1. Mind the gap

SafeWise recommends
Drop Stop

Amazon.com price as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. Read full disclaimer.

Every day, nine people are killed by distracted driving. One way to keep your eyes on the road is by removing distractions.

If you’re like most people, you probably drop things while driving and they disappear in the little gap between your seat and console. Then, you reach around to find the dropped item while you’re driving. You can’t not grab it. What if it gets stuck under the break and you can’t stop, right?

Talk about distracted driving.

To prevent the groping searches, get a Drop Stop. This item fills the gap, preventing items from disappearing.

Just to be safe, you shouldn’t be messing with stuff while you’re driving, though. Just saying.

2. Put down the phone

Taking your eyes off the road for two seconds doubles your chances of being in a crash.¹ The average text takes around five seconds. Using a hands-free device may seem like the answer to keeping safe, but it’s not

Anything that makes you do something in addition to driving is distracted driving. And over 1,000 people are injured and nine people are killed every day because of distracted drivers in the US.

Pull over or wait until you’re at your destination to answer that text or call. There’s nothing the person on the other end can say that is worth you putting yourself or others at risk.

3. Track your teen driver

Best tracker
Vyncs Vehicle GPS Tracker
Vyncs GPS Tracker
$89.99 + fees

Amazon.com price as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. Read full disclaimer.

Crashes are the number one cause of death for people 15 to 20 years old.² Using devices, like the  Vyncs GPS Vehicle Tracker, to check on your teen’s driving practices is a smart move.

See any worrying habits? A heart-to-heart conversation can lead to safer driving.

Video: How Well Do Vehicle GPS Trackers Work? | Hide-and-Seek with GPS Tracking Devices

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4. Secure your pets

Best car harness
sleepypod sport harness

Amazon.com price as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. Read full disclaimer.

A trip to the coffee shop for a puppuccino is always fun. But those cute little faces are a big distraction, especially if they are jumping around the car as you drive. 

Just like human babies, our fur babies need to be secured in a moving car for their safety and your own. Check out our best car safety products for pets guide to find the safest way to take your pet for a ride.

Video: Car Safety for Pets | Traveling Safely with Big Dogs, Little Dogs & Cats

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5. Watch other drivers

One of the most important things my dad taught me while I was learning to drive safely was to watch the other drivers. This has served me well on many occasions. 

Most recently, I noticed the woman in the car ahead of me talking on the phone. As I passed, I made particular attention to her car because I knew she was distracted. Sure enough, her car bobbed out of its lane and almost hit mine. If I hadn’t been paying extra attention to her, I wouldn’t have been able to swerve to prevent a crash.

There are several ways you can improve your defensive driving:

  • Take a peek in your mirrors every few seconds so you know where vehicles are located around you at all times.
  • If you see a car driving erratically, stay further away from them than you normally would. Have a passenger call 911 to report the driver if you think they may be drunk or a danger to others.
  • Take more time at stop signs and look around. You never know when a distracted driver may come speeding through the intersection.
  • Watch your location around large trucks. Often truck drivers can’t see your car if you are driving alongside their trailer.

Krystal Rogers-Nelson's car after the crash.

Image: Krystal Rogers-Nelson, SafeWise

Advice from someone who’s been there

One of our own here at SafeWise, Krystal Rogers-Nelson, was recently in a crash caused by a speeding, distracted driver. It left her with a totaled car and this insight into driving safely: 

“We can’t control other drivers, but we can control how we drive and the decisions we make every day when getting behind the wheel. [The crash] was a good reminder to me to recommit to driving defensively, make sure not to drive with distractions, and to put my phone away while driving. (Especially with young kids in the car).”

Related articles on SafeWise


  1. New York Times, “2-Second Rule for Distracted Driving Can Mean Life or Death,” September 27, 2018. Accessed July 21, 2022.
  2. Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, “Basic Facts About Teen Crashes.” Accessed July 21, 2022.


*Product prices and availability are accurate as of post date and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. Safewise.com utilizes paid Amazon links.

Certain content that appears on this site comes from Amazon. This content is provided “as is” and is subject to change or removal at any time.

Alina Bradford
Written by
Alina Bradford
Alina is a safety and security expert that has contributed her insights to CNET, CBS, Digital Trends, MTV, Top Ten Reviews, and many others. Her goal is to make safety and security gadgets less mystifying one article at a time. In the early 2000s, Alina worked as a volunteer firefighter, earning her first responder certification and paving the way to her current career. Her activities aren’t nearly as dangerous today. Her hobbies include fixing up her 100-year-old house, doing artsy stuff, and going to the lake with her family.

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