Prioritizing Your Family’s Safety: 6 Circumstances in Which You Should Never Sit Behind the Wheel

Many modern cities are not built with pedestrians in mind, which means we use our cars to get most places. You want your family to be safe when traveling, whether that’s from the weather, other drivers, or even yourself. While we may need to get from point A to point B, there is never an excuse for putting your safety or the safety of your loved ones at risk. Here are six circumstances in which you should never sit behind the wheel:

  1. When you’ve had too much to drink

When sober, most people will assure you that they would never drive under the influence of alcohol. However, many people are unaware as to when they’ve gone over the limit. To make sure that you have not had too much to drink before driving, consider using a personal breathalyzer or calculator to figure out how much you’ve had to drink.

  1. When you’re using certain medications

Even when prescribed by a doctor and taken as needed, certain medications can affect your ability to drive safely. These medications can cause drowsiness, slow responses, motor coordination issues, and visual function impairment. This is why it’s important to discuss any problems that your medications may cause with your doctor before you start taking it and driving.

  1. When you’re extremely stressed

If you are experiencing incredibly high-stress levels and could also be having panic attacks, it’s crucial that you refrain from driving. Extremely high levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) can negatively impact your driving ability. If you are crying, you will also be unable to see as well.

  1. When you’re very angry

Anger and driving can be a deadly combination. Incidents of road rage have shown that people have a much harder time not taking things personally when on the road, not distancing themselves from events, and not driving safely or within the speed limit. If you’ve experienced something that has made you very angry, or you have a tendency to experience road rage, you must learn to control your anger or refrain from driving if you don’t want to put yours and your family’s lives at risk.

  1. When you’re exhausted

When comparing response times, researchers have found that driving tired is the same as driving drunk. When you’re tired, you are unable to focus on the road and your response times are deeply affected. If you are exhausted and find your eyes closing, car accident attorneys from Derrick Law Firm suggest  it’s much safer to pull over to a safe area and rest your eyes for a time instead of trying to force yourself to drive home, especially if your children are in the car.

  1. Texting

Time and time again, police have warned people that texting and driving is even more dangerous than drinking and driving. While it may seem that you have time to grab your phone and answer a text or check a reply, it only takes seconds for a horrible accident to be caused. Drivers who are texting have been shown to be slower to respond and need much more time to brake safely than drunk drivers. If you must stay connected while driving, invest in a car with Bluetooth connection to your phone and voice recognition software that will allow you to have your texts read to you and will enable you to respond without taking your eyes off the road.