Remember the first time you went behind the wheel? You were probably excited about your newfound freedom. Or maybe you were anxious, and images of wrecked cars and gory accidents couldn’t leave your mind. You are probably more confident behind the wheel now that you have some experience under your belt. However, are you driving as safely as possible? Are you applying the best driving practices while on the road? Here are four questions to consider as you reflect on your driving.

1. Are You Always Focused and Avoiding Distractions?

Every day, distracted driving claims the lives of Americans. The most common source of distraction is mobile device use. Drivers text, call and even watch funny videos while behind the wheel. You are not driving as safely as possible if you are not focused on the road.

Even seemingly small sources of distraction, such as daydreaming, can cause you to lose focus and cause injury to other road users. You’d then have to go through expensive litigation or settlement cases. 90-95% of personal injury cases never end up in court but as settlement cases. Regardless, you could still end up in jail with heavy fines.

2. Do You Maintain a Safe Distance from Other Vehicles?

One of the most common causes of collisions is the lack of space between vehicles. If you drive too closely to other vehicles, you put yourself at risk if the other vehicle were to come to a sudden stop. The recommended distance is four seconds or one car space between you and the preceding car.

Safe driving is even more critical when sharing the road with large trucks. Large trucks have big blind spots and make wide turns, making it critical that passenger vehicles drive safely behind them. Even if you’re in a hurry, plan for your safety and that of other road users by keeping a safe distance.

3. Do You Drink and Drive?

You’ve heard it before. Don’t drink and drive, but do you follow this practice? Do you once in a while take the risk and drive even though you’re drunk? If you occasionally drink and drive, you’re not driving as safely as possible. If you want a fun night with friends, you can leave your car at home and then use a cab. Alternatively, you could ask a friend or family member to pick you up if you’ve had one too many. You can always have fun without compromising your safety.

4. Do You Maintain Your Vehicle Regularly?

It may seem obvious, but if you are not doing regular car maintenance, you are not driving as safely as possible. While human behaviors are often to blame for car accidents, poor vehicle conditions can be the culprit too. Universal joints, carrier bearings, and couplers are the components that, when faulty, can lead to car vibrations.

It’s recommended that you visit an auto repair shop for maintenance and repair of faulty components. Independent auto repair shops do 75% of all auto repairs. That means you can get a repair shop that deals with your specific make and model of vehicle. You may also be able to get customized services.

Some people drive for decades without ever having an incident. While poor drivers can put you and other road users at risk, you have more control over yourself and your driving behaviors. To drive safely, you must follow certain standards and practices. Remember, as a driver, you are responsible for your life and that of other road users. With these tips in mind, you can make safe and responsible driving part of your lifestyle.