The reason you are urged over and over to practice safe driving is to avoid road accidents. Driving a car is fun, but it also comes with certain risks. Many traffic rules and road signs have been devised to help prevent or minimize accident cases. Defensive driving techniques are essential, but they do not go deep enough in helping you to avoid car accidents.
Injuries, death, car repairs, or buying a new car are some of the results of road accidents. The insurance companies also calculate the insurance premium depending on how frequently you get involved in accidents.
Therefore, safe driving is good not just for your physical well-being – it also preserves your financial health.
Doing what you can to avoid car accidents is the best way out. So, here are 8 ways to avoid car accidents:
1. Keep Distance (Do not tailgate)
Do not drive too close to the car in front of your car to give yourself an allowance to stop in time should the car in front suddenly stops.
It is recommended you keep at least three seconds from the car in front. This is enough time for you to press the brake and stop. Of course, you should extend the distance if you are driving in bad weather conditions.
On your part, try to avoid situations that might cause you to apply an emergency brake when the car behind you is following too closely. You do not want to be hit in the rear by a reckless driver.
2. Park Your Car Properly
Parking your car the wrong way or in the wrong place can expose it to damages by other cars.
Avoid parking near busy intersections, driveways, or tight turns
If you are parking in a parking lot, try to place your car away from the heavy traffic to reduce your chances of getting hit by other vehicles.
If space allows, park the car in the center of the space available. Also, park in a garage whenever possible.
As you park, think about the time you will be driving out of the parking. Accidents also happen as drivers back out of the parking. Park in a way you won’t have to back out when rejoining the traffic.
Sometimes it’s challenging to get out other than by backing out. Therefore, you should consider installing a back-out camera if your car does not have one.
3. Stay Away from Speeding
Speeding would not be a problem if not for the fact that the more you accelerate, the less you are in complete control of your car. This is especially when an emergency happens. You are less likely to save the situation when you speed than when you maintain an acceptable, safe speed limit.
What’s the best way to avoid speeding? To avoid speeding, simply begin your journey early enough.
4. Be More Alert At Intersections
Many traffic accidents occur at intersections. Always stay alert at the intersection. Observe the traffic signals so that you don’t take the green for red.
Also, watch other vehicles; some drivers pause before making a turn while others go express.
5. Avoid In-Car Distractions
Nowadays, there are just too many distractions. We do not even have the time to sit down with our loved ones and maintain uninterrupted eye contact while having a conversation. We have to pause whatever we are doing to check the notifications or update our social media statuses.
When driving, give all your attention to it. Habits such as changing radio channels, scrolling cell phones, eating, changing CDs, or taking selfies have resulted in severe accidents.
You may suddenly have to deal with a pothole, deer crossing the road, or the car in front stopping just when you had your other hand in the popcorn wrapper. Always have your eyes on the area you are to drive on in the next 10-12 seconds.
Some drivers fiddle with the GPS while driving and think it’s not unlawful because they depend on the map to get to their destination.
Anything (no matter how important) that keeps your focus on the road now and then is a distraction. Road accidents are usually a matter of split-second misjudgment.
If you must engage your attention in something else, you better stop the car first.
6. Regularly Service Your Car
You should perform regular car maintenance; change the engine oil, check the engine condition and ensure the tires are always properly inflated. You do not want your car engine to stall as you drive.
Whenever your car engine makes an unfamiliar sound, have a qualified mechanic check it.
The tires should not be worn out. It’s dangerous to drive on old tires that can blow out any moment, even when you are in the fast lane.
7. Don’t Drink and Drive
Don’t drink and drive, or don’t drive while under the influence of alcohol. This is one rule all the drivers are familiar with but, sadly, it’s disregarded by many.
Alcohol impairs your judgment. As a driver, everything depends on your mental state. In fact, it goes beyond alcohol; do not use any drug or substance that is like to impair your judgment while driving.
8. Don’t Over-Trust Your Mirrors
Mirrors never lie, or so an old saying goes. But when it comes to driving, do not over-rely on your mirrors.
While you must ensure they are correctly positioned, you should turn around and look back in person when changing lanes.
9. Limit Night Travels
Driving at night should be an exception, not the norm. Night driving comes with a higher risk of incidents. Your visibility is considerably reduced at night. Again, drunk drivers are on the road mostly at night, meaning you are likely to face reckless drivers.
You are also less active at night. So if you must drive at night, be prepared to be extra alert.
Wrapping It Up
In 2019, there were 33,244 fatal vehicle crashes in the United States alone. From these crashes, 36,096 American citizens lost their lives.
At Pierre Paul Driving School, we do not wish that any of our graduates end up as a statistic sooner or later after receiving our driving instructions.
For that reason, we go out of our way to ascertain that only thoroughly qualified learners are handed over to the DMV.