Top Driver Safety Tips for Dashers from Dashers

Use tips from experienced Dashers and see how they use Driving Insights to deepen their understanding of safe driving practices.

8 min read
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Dashers spend a lot of time behind the wheel, so driving safety is a top priority. But there is always room to enhance your knowledge, and there are insightful tips that can help any driver feel more confident on the road.

The most important areas of driver safety

When it comes to driver safety tips, there are many that should always be top of mind, like wearing a seatbelt. According to the NHTSA, this simple measure reduces your risk of fatal injury in an accident by 45%, and your risk of moderate to critical injury is cut in half.

Another well-known safety tip is to always drive defensively. Defensive driving means operating under the assumption that other road users are unpredictable and could do something risky at any time — whether it's turning without signaling, stopping too abruptly, changing lanes without notice, or not leaving sufficient following distance. When you drive defensively, it forces you to remain aware of your surroundings at all times, maintain an appropriate speed, and be respectful and accommodating toward pedestrians, cyclists, and other drivers.

Reducing certain driving habits can also promote safety on the road.

Excessive speed

For every mile per hour your speed increases, the chances of you being in an accident also increase. And since speeding wastes gas, it's also wasting money. Reducing driving at excessive speeds can help fuel economy and save you money. 

Rapid acceleration

Sometimes called 'lead foot syndrome', this habit can cause wear on your tires, brake rotors, and brake pads. This can cause jostling and vibration in the suspension and drivetrain components of your vehicle, which degrades your driveshaft over time and gradually impedes your car's ability to move and turn properly. Rapid acceleration can lead to additional problems such as brake fluid leaks. And, like speeding, it wastes a lot of gas.

Overly hard braking

Drivers may have to brake hard if they're approaching another driver or an obstacle too quickly or reacting to another driver, which can  increase their risk of being hit from behind.

Can braking too hard cause damage to your car? Definitely. Similar to rapid acceleration, the friction caused by hard braking wears out your tires and brake pads. It also causes pads to overheat, which in turn can damage brake hoses and lead to fluid leaks. Also, if your car has an anti-lock braking system, it can sometimes unnecessarily engage during a hard brake, and this can weaken your brake pedal over time. Finally, there's the matter of fuel efficiency. Excessive braking might be lowering your fuel efficiency by as much as 40%.

Wear and tear

Because these driving behaviors can cause  a lot of gradual damage, and scheduled maintenance appointments may only happen annually, a serious problem could go unnoticed.

The best strategy is to always drive defensively. And if you begin to notice uneven pressure in your tires, or a feeling of softness or dullness in your brake pedal, it's a sign that you should take a look at your driving tendencies  — and book a tune up with a mechanic.

It's also important to remember that if you've worn down your car's brake pedal, pads, hoses, or rotors, the hazards that come with rain, ice, snow, and fog are intensified.

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How Driving Insights empowers Dashers

Driving habits develop over time and many drivers may not fully understand their driving tendencies.

That's why DoorDash has developed Driving Insights, an optional feature that you can use to observe your own driving behaviors and  help you be safer on the road.

Understand your driving habits

With Driving Insights, you can review information about  a recent dash right in the app — including hard braking and rapid acceleration.  And don't worry, it will not impact your dashing or your Dasher rating. It's simply for your information.

Reduce maintenance costs

Knowledge is power, and Driving Insights is designed to help you make more informed decisions about your driving behaviors. In addition to promoting safe driving habits, it delivers direct value to you since you'll save money on gas, and vehicle upkeep.

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When you're on the road, DoorDash has your back. Dashers have access to Real-Time Safety Alerts through a partnership with samdesk, a global crisis detection platform, with a team who will proactively contact you in the event of an emergency in your area.