Photo Credit: Jo Panuwat D/


9 Ways to Be A Safer Driver in 2024

Written By: CarPro | Dec 26, 2023 12:05:00 PM

All of us at the CarPro wish all of you safe commutes and journeys through the year ahead.  These nine New Year's resolutions to drive more responsibly in the year ahead will help make those roads safer for yourself and other drivers, including law enforcement and first responders who risk their lives every day working traffic incidents.

1. Resolve to never drive distracted.

Distracted driving remains a dangerous and deadly problem on U.S roads. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration reports that distracted driving claimed 3,522 lives in 2021,  8 percent of all traffic fatalities.

In 2024 resolve to:

  • Put your cell phone down and focus on the road.
  • Don't text and drive.
  • Set your destination in your navigation before heading out on the road.
  • Speak up when you're a passenger and your driver uses an electronic device while driving. Offer to call or text for the driver, so his or her full attention stays on the driving task.
  • Resolve to remain an engaged driver even when new advanced driver assistance safety (ADAS) technologies are in use. Resolve to know how they work and to understand their limitations.
  • Take the NHTSA pledge to not to drive distracted


2. Resolve to never drive aggressively.

A new AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety report found that 17.3 percent of respondents self-reported distracted and aggressive driving behaviors. 

In 2024, resolve to follow these AAA tips to prevent road rage:

  • Don’t Offend: Never cause another driver to change their speed or direction. That means not forcing another driver to use their brakes, or turn the steering wheel in response to something you have done.
  • Be Tolerant and Forgiving: The other driver may just be having a really bad day. Assume that it’s not personal.
  • Do Not Respond: Avoid eye contact, don’t make gestures, maintain space around your vehicle and contact 9-1-1 if needed.

3. Resolve to never drive impaired.

Many substances can impair driving, including alcohol, some over-the-counter and prescription drugs, and illegal drugs.  NHTSA figures show that in 2021, 13,384 people died in alcohol-impaired driving traffic deaths — a 14% increase from 2020. 

 In 2024, resolve to:

  • Drive sober and not under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Designate a sober driver and take keys from impaired friends.
  • Call a cab or use a service like Uber or Lyft to get home safely.
  • Check with your pharmacist about prescription medications that could cause impairment.
  • Call 911 if you see a drunk driver. 

4. Resolve to not speed or run red lights.

The NTHSA reports 12,330 speeding-related death in 2021. Over half (51 percent) of speeding drivers in fatal crashes in 2021 weren't wearing seatbelts.

Further, according to the AAA Foundation's 2022 Traffic Safety Culture Index (TSCI) report,  fewer drivers perceive speeding as dangerous. Researchers also say speeding behaviors have the lowest perceived social disapproval of all the examined unsafe driving behaviors. In the study, 22.7 percent of drivers reported driving 15mph over the speed limit on freeways and/or 10mph over on residential streets, but did not engage in most other dangerous behaviors. 

Red light running is also a safety issue. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that in 2021, 1,109 people were killed in crashes that involved red light running.

In 2024, resolve to:

  • Obey the speed limit and avoid running red lights.

5. Resolve to slow down for First Responders and Roadside Assistance Crews.

First responders and roadside crews put their lives on the line every day responding to motorist crashes and drivers in distress.  Meanwhile, California safety regulators say that in 2021, more than 10,000 work-zone crashes occurred on California roadways, resulting in more than 4,500 injuries and 120 fatalities.  

Every state has “Move Over” laws, requiring drivers to move over and/or slow down when approaching stopped emergency vehicles with emergency lights activated.

In Texas, changes to the Move Over or Slow Down law went into effect on Sept. 1, 2023, and impose heftier penalties for violations, including fines of up to $1,250 for a first offense. Stricter penalties for drivers who cause serious injuries by failing to follow these rules now include possible jail time and a fine of up to $4,000.

In 2024, resolve to:

  • Observe Move Over Laws by slowing down for emergency vehicles and first responders.
  • Slow down for roadside crews assisting stranded motorists or working alongside the road.

6. Resolve to watch out for pedestrians.

Pedestrian deaths are increasing at a higher rate than all other traffic fatalities -according to the Governors Highway Safety Association. GHSA says its analysis,  which includes 2021 data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, found that pedestrian deaths have skyrocketed 77% since 2010, compared to 25% for all other traffic-related deaths.  In 2022, GHSA figures show that drivers struck and killed at least 7,508 people walking –  that's 20 people killed every day - the most pedestrian deaths since 1981.  Researchers attribute the deaths to dangerous driving, inadequate infrastructure, larger and heavier vehicles contribute to record death toll.

In Texas, safety officials report a 30 percent increase in pedestrian traffic deaths from 2018 to 2022.  The top contributing factors were pedestrians failing to yield the right-of-way to vehicles, drivers failing to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians, driver inattention and speeding.

California safety officials report t in 2021, there were 1,108 pedestrian fatalities in California, an increase of 9.3% from 2020.  

In 2024, resolve to follow the Texas Department of Transportation's safety tips to prevent pedestrian traffic deaths:

  • Stop and yield for pedestrians in crosswalks.
  • When turning, yield the right of way to pedestrians.
  • Be cautious when passing stopped buses or other vehicles that can block your view of pedestrians.
  • Pay attention and put your phone away, so you’re prepared if pedestrians enter your path.
  • Follow the posted speed limit and drive to conditions.

7. Resolve to know your driving limitations due to age or a medical condition.

Whether it's a medical condition, or simply getting older, it's difficult to consider giving up your keys.  But some medical conditions and things that occur naturally as we age can lead to dangerous driving. For example, seeing at night is one thing that can become more difficult as our eyes change as we get older.

A 2018 AAA Foundation For Traffic Safety study found that nearly 83 percent of older drivers reported never speaking to a family member or physician about their safe driving ability 

To read more about aging and driving by visiting the National Institute of Aging website.

In 2024, resolve to:

  • Talk with your doctor and family about any age-related concerns you have about driving.
  • Get your eyesight and hearing checked as recommended by your doctor.
  • Avoid driving at night and other challenging driving conditions.
  • If you have a neurological condition such as Alzheimer's disease or other types of dementia look for these signs you should not be driving.

8. Resolve to not drive when you're tired.

The NHTSA reports 684 drowsy driving-related deaths in 2021.

In 2024, resolve to:

  • Never get behind the wheel when you are sleepy.
  • Be aware of medications you are taking that may cause drowsiness.
  • Get off the road at the first sign of being drowsy at the wheel. Signs include:
    • The inability to recall the last few miles traveled.
    • Having disconnected or wandering thoughts.
    • Having difficulty focusing or keeping your eyes open.
    • Feeling as though your head is very heavy.
    • Drifting out of your driving lane, perhaps driving on the rumble strips.
    • Yawning repeatedly.
    • Accidentally tailgating other vehicles.
    • Missing traffic signs.

9. Resolve to always wear your seatbelt.

Always resolve to always wear your seatbelt. Wearing a seatbelt saves lives.  The NHTSA reports that in 2021, 51 percent of speeding drivers in fatal crashes weren't wearing their seatbelts.  

Visit the Kailee Mills Foundation for more information on the importance of seatbelt use. 

In 2024, resolve to:

  • Always wear your seatbelt and ensure everyone in your vehicle is buckled up, too.
Photo Credit:  Jo Panuwat D/