While none of these tips are guaranteed to prevent a crash, driving safely
can drastically reduce your chances of an auto accident. These 10 tips
are simple, and should quickly become second nature to any driver.
1. Check Your Blind Spots
This tip should be second nature to everyone on the road. Before you change
or merge lanes, it’s vital to check your blind spots thoroughly.
Although you’re primarily looking for cars or trucks, motorcycles
are particularly hard to see when they are riding in your blind spot.
2. Maintain Control Over Your Car
In order to properly react to any potential danger ahead, it’s vital
to have complete control over your car. Keep both hands on the wheel at
the recommended 9 o’clock and 3 o’clock positions. For maximum
control, you should also keep your seat slightly more forward than you
might be used to, to the point where you can rest your wrist on the wheel
with your back against the seat.
3. Know Your Car
Even the best driver can make foolish mistakes behind the wheel of an unfamiliar
car. For example, if you are struggling to find the headlights or windshield
wiper switch in a new car, you may be distracted and can cause an accident.
A lack of familiarity with brake sensitivity and similar features can
lead to unexpectedly sudden stops.
4. Be Cautious at Night & in Hazardous Conditions
This rule applies equally for nighttime driving and driving in hazardous
road conditions–avoid it when at all possible. Late at night you’re
likely to see far more intoxicated drivers, as well as people who are
simply tired. Combine this with a decreased field of vision for all drivers,
and you have a recipe for disaster.
5. Maintain Your Car
All the reaction time in the world means nothing if your brakes don’t
work. Keeping your car in good repair is one of the most fundamental ways
to stay safe on the road. In addition to brakes, you should be sure to
regularly check tires, headlights, taillights, wiper blades, and other
critical safety equipment. You should also make sure to keep your windshield
and windows clean to avoid sun glare and reduced visibility.
6. Scan the Area Ahead
It’s vital to keep an eye on not just the car ahead, but the entire
road ahead of you. For example, if you notice that traffic has come to
a complete stop half a mile up the road, you’ll have plenty of time
to react and slow down. If your eyes are locked on the brake lights of
the car in front of you, you may have to slam on your brakes to avoid
7. Stay in the Center Lanes
The “fast lane” is one of the most dangerous places to be on
the road. This is because your options are much more limited in an emergency
situation; if there is an obstruction in the lane, you can only move to
your left to avoid it.
8. Avoid Damaged Cars
While judging a book by its cover isn’t usually the best idea, it
can help you avoid accidents while on the road. Unrepaired damage to cars
can indicate a poor driver, as well as someone who may not be properly
maintaining their car. Furthermore, previous accidents can be a sign that
their insurance is more expensive, increasing the likelihood that they
have minimal coverage.
9. Keep a Safe Following Distance
Tailgating is one of the most dangerous driving habits you can have. When
you tailgate another car, you decrease your reaction time significantly
and make it far more likely that you’ll hit them if they stop short.
Furthermore, it decreases your visibility by making it harder to see past
the car in front of you.
10. Drive at a Safe Speed
Last but not least, it’s important not to speed excessively on the
road. While most drivers are guilty of occasionally driving over the speed
limit to pass another car, consistently driving faster than the speed
of traffic is dangerous and illegal. Backing off the gas can save you
from a ticket and an accident.
If you’ve been injured in a car crash, call the Atlanta auto accident
attorneys at The Weinstein Firm, LLC for skilled representation.