"Life Is a Highway," "On the Road Again," "Take Me Home, Country Road" – there's no doubt that the open road has inspired some of the most well-known songs, and for good reason. Plenty of people have described the need to go for a drive to clear their head when stressed out, and there's no denying the great feeling of the wind in your hair. But the road isn't all good music and good vibes – there's plenty of dangers.

In the U.S., over 6 million passenger car accidents occur each year and road crashes are the leading cause of death, according to Statista. Many of these accidents are preventable, and in the cases when they aren't, appropriate safety procedures can mitigate their severity.

Read on to learn how to use the road safely regardless of how you choose to use it.


Drivers of passenger vehicles must be aware of themselves and of their surroundings at all times. Not only do drivers need to be cautious of their blind spots but be careful not to linger in the blind spots of the vehicles around them as well. Awareness of large trucks and the amount of time it takes them to stop is incredibly important when considering driving safety. It's crucial to give these larger vehicles space and anticipate how wide they may turn.

While wearing a seatbelt can prevent you from getting a ticket, it can also save your life. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, half of passenger car fatalities in 2022 involved people who were not wearing a seatbelt. Buckle up and make sure your passengers buckle up as well – it could be the difference between life and death.

Although it may seem obvious, one of the riskiest things a driver can do is drive while intoxicated. Not only will your judgment be impaired, but your reaction time will lag as well. It is always safer to have a designated driver or prepare to take a taxi than to attempt to drive under any kind of influence.


Whether you walk your dog around the park, go for a jog around the block or take a stroll around the parking lot during your office lunch break, everyone is a pedestrian at some point. Pedestrians are safest when drivers follow traffic laws and maintain cautious speeds, but there are some tips pedestrians can follow to keep themselves safe:

  • Just as drivers follow street signs, pedestrians should obey crossing signs and only cross the street when it's designated to be safe.
  • Look both ways when crossing the street and always be cautious of the vehicles around you.
  • Use sidewalks and designated walking spaces when they are available.
  • Cross the street safely when designated crosswalks are not available – cross in a well-lit area, cross when there is a lull in traffic and look both ways before crossing.
  • Wear bright colors and consider using reflective tape or lights when walking at night.


Bicycling is becoming an increasingly popular activity. Whether it's for leisure, exercise or used to commute to work, bicycle safety is tremendously important. While cyclists are more vulnerable than car drivers, they must follow the same rules of the road as passenger car drivers, but there are some things cyclists can do to stay safe.

One of the most important things you can do as a cyclist is to wear a properly fitted helmet. According to the Department of Transportation (DOT), only 18% of cyclists wear a helmet even though 70% to 80% of fatal bike accidents involve a head injury. The DOT also states that helmets are 85% to 88% effective at reducing head injuries and fatalities from biking accidents.

Just as pedestrians should utilize sidewalks, cyclists should utilize bike lanes when available. As biking becomes more popular, more cities are installing bike lanes. If your city doesn't have designated bike lanes, consider advocating for one to be built.


Motorcyclists should use a DOT-approved helmet to prevent head injury in case of a crash. Have you ever noticed that the coolest-looking motorcyclists are wearing leather jackets, long pants, gloves and boots? Not only do they look cool, but they are wearing the proper safety equipment as well. This gear helps motorcyclists prevent injury if they experience a crash and can even help to prevent dehydration.

Most motorcycle crashes occur when drivers of passenger vehicles don't see the motorcyclist. It is imperative for motorcyclists to exercise caution when navigating intersections and to yield to other cars as needed. To enhance motorcycle safety, many motorcyclists consider adding reflective material to their motorcycle to help other drivers see them properly.

Electric scooterists

Electric scooters are a newer form of vehicle, and while they may seem like a fun toy, they can be extremely dangerous if not used correctly. Some states consider these street legal vehicles, while others prefer for them to stay in the bike lane. Scooterists should consider the following to remain safe:

  • Use a helmet
  • Follow road rules
  • Only allow one person on a scooter at a time
  • Do not get distracted – keep your eyes on the road and avoid using your phone
  • Drive over level ground only
  • Operate at a safe speed

The open road is for everyone

While the open road can evoke a sense of freedom and adventure, it is crucial to recognize and address the inherent dangers it presents. Whether you are a driver, pedestrian, cyclist, motorcyclist or electric scooterist, adhering to safety guidelines can significantly reduce the risk of accidents and fatalities. By prioritizing safety and road responsibility, we can all contribute to making the roads a safer place for everyone, allowing the spirit of the open road to be enjoyed without compromising on safety.