Imagine an existence where driving a vehicle is no longer necessary and the concept itself is laughable to a younger generation. How do people navigate from one place to another? How are fundamental items such as food, water, clothing and household products transported from their origin, to our shopping centers for us to purchase? The one true constant in this world is change. Technology sparks continuous innovation and ignites minds to re-evaluate and revolutionize current resources and how to best utilize them.
Historically, roadways were narrow passages allowing for horse drawn carts and wagons, along with pedestrians, to travel gathering supplies, selling goods and migrating. Today, with explosive population growth, urban and rural sprawl, and the demand for efficient transportation, our roadways are immense and inter-connected. New freeway development is a constant occurrence in our daily travels. The ability to traverse from one town to another, across state and country borders is a normal expectation. The integration of mass transit systems such as railway, bus, light-rail and subway tunnels are an example of ingenuity and allows large numbers of individuals the freedom to work, shop, entertain and travel freely.
Traffic engineers perpetually gather information from our roadways and seek solutions for improvement in the flow and quality of driving from one destination to another. Predicting the quantity of usage in newer locations, upgrading established high-traffic passages and reducing the probability of vehicle collisions, allows the common driver to more swiftly complete an excursion.
More important than all of the new technologies implemented and planned infrastructure, is the personal responsibility everyone has a driver on our shared roads.
The privilege of driving a motor vehicle is based on educated, undistracted, law-abiding, and courteous individuals. Constant awareness of traffic and weather conditions, vehicle capabilities, vehicle maintenance, and time management are critical components of arriving safely to a destination. However, self-awareness and assessment, along with being mindful of our behaviors, attitude, physical condition and/or impairments, can be the determining factor in positive and negative driving outcomes.
It is essential to be fully aware of the capability of the vehicle and be particularly vigilant while driving, either on the highway or on local roadways. The essential elements that must be monitored and maintained include the following: servicing tires, replacing lights, ensure windshield wipers are in working order (do not wait until it rains to do this), maintaining vehicle fluid levels, maintaining proper tire pressure, and ensuring there is plenty of gasoline to reach the desired destination and beyond. All of these items are particularly important to elderly drivers who often own and drive older fleet cars.
In addition to maintaining the vehicle properly to ensure safety, time management and proper planning will help drivers to stay safe while on the road. To do this, always plan a sufficient time to reach the destination, particularly when dealing with the unexpected such as construction zones, accidents, increased traffic volumes, etc. This can also be achieved by traveling when traffic times are less condensed, especially when traveling to appointments as well as combining trips. For traveling on local roadways, keep in mind these may contain confusing intersections, hazard signs, signals, and traffic congestion.