Texas Additional Driving Tips

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Texas Safe Driving Tips for Every Commute

Safe driving isn’t limited only to following the rules and laws of the road. It’s also about using common sense and critical thinking when encountering unexpected situations, and making good choices that foster responsible driving behaviors. It’s always your task to keep yourself, your loved ones, and all other drivers safe every time you get behind the wheel.

Aside from obeying speed limits, respecting traffic signs and signals, and keeping your vehicle maintained and in tip-top shape, there are a variety of other safe driving tips that you can (and should!) use when you drive. While these may seem to be self-evident, they are also the most commonly forgotten or disregarded behaviors. Follow these Texas safe driving tips, and you’ll continue to have a smooth and enjoyable ride each time you hit the road.

Cell Phones

While cell phone use while driving isn’t yet banned in Texas, the growing number of fatalities attributed to distracted driving should be enough to dissuade you from using your phone behind the wheel. Texting and driving is one of the leading causes of injuries and deaths throughout the nation, and the Texas roads are no exception.

Though many may find it easy to hold a conversation while driving (either on the phone, or with a passenger), statistics show that you are four times more likely to be involved in an accident when your attention is on anything other than the task at hand – driving. Texting is especially dangerous, as your eyes are literally pulled away from the road and are focused upon composing a legible and readable message. Imagine what could happen in that split second that your eyes are on your phone – you could veer into another lane, hit another car, or worse – hit an innocent child who darts out in front of your vehicle.

Regardless of whether the law allows cell phones while driving, use your own common sense – keep your phone out of reach, and only use it for emergency purposes.

Right of Way

We all learn the right of way rules in Driver’s Ed, but how many of us have forgotten them over the years? It’s important to refresh your memory on who has the right of way in any given situation. The basic rules are:

  • At a 3- or 4-way stop, the person who reaches the stop sign first has the right of way
  • At a street that ends at another through street, the traveler on the through street has the right of way
  • When leaving a driveway or alley to turn onto a main road with traffic, the vehicles already traveling the main road have the right of way
  • When turning left at an intersection with traffic coming the opposite direction, the traffic traveling straight has the right of way

Especially at railroad crossings, motorists should never push their luck. Always yield the right of way to an oncoming train – even if you can’t see it on the tracks yet. Those flashing lights and moving barricades are there to tell you that a train is on its way… and if you get stuck attempting to cross the tracks, that train will not be able to halt in time to prevent itself from smashing into you. Always turn your radio down so as to be able to hear a train approaching, and look both ways before crossing a set of tracks.

Weather Situations

With a relatively dry climate, Texas roads typically don’t have the ability to absorb moisture during a hard rainfall. This leads to flash-flooding, which just so happens to be the number one weather-related cause of traffic accidents in the state. Learning how to deal with flash floods could not only save you money in car damages, but it could also help prevent injury due to a sudden crash.

It is unwise to ever attempt to drive through flooded water. Not only will this damage your engine or your electrical wiring, but you could also find yourself stuck or carried away if the water has a current. Even in relatively shallow water, the rubber of your car’s tires could cause your entire vehicle to lift and float away. Be especially vigilant at night, as it will become far more difficult to determine the depth of flooded waters.

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