Defensive Driving Tips in the State of Texas
Everybody who’s had some experience driving knows that being a safe, responsible driver requires constant practice and learning. After all, just because you have a Texas driver’s license doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re an effective defensive driver on the road.
Indeed, taking a defensive driving course is one of the best ways to bone up on your safe driving skills. However, most people incorrectly assume they’re reserved for those who’ve received a traffic ticket. Here are some important defensive driving tips that everyone (not just those with a ticket) can use.
Drunk Driving – Not Even Once
Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is bad – we all know that – but the ramifications of doing so can be downright shocking. If you’re pulled over in Texas and have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher, you can be charged and ticketed with a DUI – and the costs aren’t pretty. The consequences of a first-offense DUI include:
- A fine upwards of $2000
- Jail time up to 6 months
- A suspended Texas drivers license for up to 1 year
- An annual fine of $1000 for 3 years to keep driving privileges
If these charges may seem a little excessive, consider that driving while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol not only endangers you, but also your passengers and anyone else on the road. If you’re thinking you’re able to drive even though you’ve only “had a couple drinks,” don’t risk it .
Distracted Driving – A Growing Problem
One of the most revolutionary inventions of this generation has to be the smartphone, but for all its good, it’s also an increasing problem on the road. Texting while driving is a serious problem among drivers; in 2009, 24,000 motorists were injured in accidents that involved a phone, and according to the Governor’s Highway Safety Association, nearly 2/3 of drivers use a cell phone while driving.
Distracted driving in general can pose a major problem to your driving skills and awareness, so be sure to follow these tips:
- Keep your phone out of reach – the simplest way to tackle the smartphone problem is to take the phone out of the equation. Stow it in the glovebox until you’re at your destination.
- Keep the music low – loud music can prevent you from hearing road sounds critical to driver safety, such as ambulances and approaching trains.
- Drive rested – Driving while sleepy is just as dangerous as driving drunk. If you must, pull off to the side of the road and take a quick 10-minute power nap before embarking on the road again.
This is just a taste of what a defensive driving course offers for Texas drivers. Along with these important bits of info, you’ll also learn the following:
- Road rules and signs
- Proper speed limits for different environments
- Freeway driving vs. street driving
- Driving in inclement weather or other situations
You’re never too old to learn new things – and that’s especially true of safe driving.