In a perfect world, everyone drives safely without taking dangerous risks; however, it’s impossible to deny that some people don’t prioritize safety while they’re on the road. When you have a disability, it can affect every aspect of your life—including how you drive.
Whether the disability impacts your reaction time or your ability to drive, practicing additional safe driving is mandatory, especially in a world full of aggressive drivers. Before you hit the road, consider these safe driving tips for drivers with disabilities to ensure you arrive at your destination without any conflicts.
Plan Your Route Carefully
The last thing you need to worry about when you’re driving is where you’re going, especially if construction or an accident interrupts your path. Prior to leaving, research your route and any alternative routes that you could take if traffic is bad. Keep traffic patterns, road closures, and construction projects in mind. Having a vague idea of where each turn is will help your drive go as smooth as possible.
Follow Traffic Laws
While it may be tempting to drive slightly over the speed limit or skip a stop sign when no one else is around, it’s essential that you follow all traffic laws and regulations as closely as possible. Don’t let any aggressive drivers pressure you to break traffic laws by tailgating you—stick to your instincts and stay focused on your own safety. Following the laws will ensure that the law is on your side if any altercations happen while on the road.
Additionally, give other drivers on the road as much notice as possible for turns and stops, especially if you need to take turns slower than they expect. Put on your turn signal as soon as you see the sign for the turn, gradually slow to a stop, and always use your turn signal when changing lanes on a highway. Communication, even if indirect, is essential for every driver.
Practice Defensive Driving
Defensive driving is the concept of preparing for the unexpected while operating your vehicle. This includes other drivers, animals, and environmental hazards. Drivers with disabilities benefit from defensive driving techniques because they allow them to spot potential dangers before they impact their safety. If you put care into your driving, you’ll be less likely to experience an incident.
Consider Your Medications
Taking your medications into account is an essential safe driving tip for drivers with disabilities, as many people take medicines to help with handling either pain or mood disorders. Some medications, especially soothing medications, impact your ability to handle heavy machinery—this includes your car. If you ever need to take a medication that induces drowsiness or that explicitly states not to drive while taking it, don’t take the risk; let someone else drive you or wait until it’s safe to drive on your own.