While there are many things that can contribute to a car accident, it is possible to reduce your risk by paying attention. This article from Injury Treatment Solutions will highlight some important tips on how to avoid accidents on the road.
Pay special attention to pedestrians, bicyclists, and commercial trucks on the highway. Also remember to keep a healthy distance from the vehicle in front of you.
1. Don’t Be Afraid to Change Lanes
The quickest and easiest way to get into trouble while driving is by failing to change lanes properly. If you make a rash decision to move into another lane, you may hit a vehicle that is in your path or lose control of your own car and crash into it. Changing lanes is not an easy thing to do, so it is important to take your time and not rush into it.
Before you begin the lane change, turn on your signal to inform other drivers of what you are about to do. Next, quickly look over your shoulder into the lane you want to enter and through the rear view mirror and side mirrors to ensure that there are no vehicles there and that it is safe to pass. Then, slowly steer into your new lane with only a slight movement of the steering wheel.
Many people think that if they put on their signal, this eliminates all of their blind spots and that they do not need to check over their shoulders anymore. However, this is not the case. Regardless of whether you are on a busy highway or in an urban area, you should always look over your shoulder into your new lane to ensure that there is no vehicle close behind you. This simple step is one that most people fail to do, and this is why so many drivers get into accidents when they change lanes.
2. Pay Attention to Pedestrians
When a person gets out into the roadway, whether crossing the street or walking along the sidewalk, they face certain risks. Pedestrian accidents can be very deadly, and both drivers and pedestrians must obey traffic laws to stay safe.
Drivers must always be vigilant in areas where people walk, such as school zones, residential neighborhoods and areas around parks. They also need to be extra careful when driving near businesses and parking lots, where people often enter and exit. It is also important for motorists to pay attention to pedestrians who may not be using crosswalks or walking on the side of the road, especially at night. This is when it can be difficult for drivers to see them, even if they have the right of way and are using the crosswalk.
Both pedestrians and drivers should make sure they have the proper visibility by wearing reflective clothing and being mindful of their surroundings at all times. It is also a good idea to avoid using cell phones while walking, as this can remove a person’s situational awareness and cause them to forget they are in the path of oncoming vehicles. Likewise, pedestrians should always make eye contact with drivers to ensure they have seen them before crossing the street. This helps prevent misunderstandings and confusion between the two parties about who should proceed first.
3. Keep a Healthy Distance from the Car in Front of You
The majority of car accidents are rear-end collisions, and they happen because a driver doesn’t have time to perceive that the vehicle ahead of them has slowed or stopped. This is why it is important to leave plenty of distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. If you’re on the highway, this should be at least three seconds. Determining this distance is easy; simply locate an overhead road sign, tree or other stationary object by the side of the road and note when the vehicle in front passes it. Then slowly count how many seconds it takes you to reach the same spot; if you pass the object before counting to three, you’re too close.
Leaving a healthy distance between you and the car in front also gives you the room to brake or accelerate quickly should you need to react to something unexpected on the road. It can be a driver pulling out in front of you, or even an animal running across the road. It could also be that the traffic signal turns red before the vehicle in front of you has finished turning.
A safe driving distance is even more crucial in winter when ice and snow can make stopping more difficult. Remember to decrease your speed, go easy on the breaks at stops and don’t slam on the brakes if you feel that the road is slippery.
4. Don’t Assume That Others Will Make a Turn
While you may assume that a vehicle will let you in if it signals its intention to turn, the reality is that vehicles often change their mind and do not follow their signal. This is a common cause of accidents, as you can suddenly find yourself in the path of a speeding car. This is why it is always important to glance over your shoulder and check behind you after indicating to turn.
Intersections are one of the most common causes of traffic accidents. Whether you are driving in a city or along a highway, intersections pose unique hazards due to their multiple directions. Be sure to widen your scanning pattern at intersections, looking left, right and then left again to ensure that the area is clear before proceeding.
The road can be a dangerous place and accidents are unfortunately all too common. However, it is possible to prevent many of these accidents by following simple safety precautions. By using common sense, avoiding alcohol and drugs, maintaining safe speeds, and glancing at your mirrors regularly, you can avoid many of the dangers that cause auto collisions. By doing these things, you can help to make the roads a safer and more enjoyable place for everyone. This is why it is so important to remember that over 90% of car accidents can be prevented.