A car accident may only last for seconds but, in many cases, it’s what comes after the accident that’s more “painful.” From the inconvenience of getting your vehicle repaired to dealing with inflated insurance rates, your wallet and overall well-being will pay the price for even the smallest fender bender. Some accidents cannot be avoided, but fortunately many can. It truly doesn’t take a lot to increase your chances of avoiding an accident and all the events to follow the incident. Follow these tips below to avoid future car accidents and help you become a more defensive driver.
Judge a Vehicle by Its Cover
Is there a vehicle driving around you with a questionable amount of dents, stretches and/or other blemishes? Get away from it! If a vehicle’s condition looks like it’s been through its share of accidents, chances are the vehicle owner is an inattentive driver that’s not afraid to put its car in jeopardy to get where he/she wants to go.
Know Your Vehicle’s Limits
A lot of accidents happen simply because a vehicle is pushed beyond its capabilities and limits. Whether you own an economy car or a luxury sedan, it’s important to understand how fast you can maneuver your vehicle safely, along with its emergency stopping capability.
Make Sure You’re in Good Contrition to Drive
This may seem like an obvious tip, but we are referring to your overall well-being before, during and after you drive. It’s important to schedule routine eye exams and make sure you are in good health. Healthy people are more likely to react faster and less likely to have a heart attack, stroke or other severe health problems while driving. You should also refrain from taking any medications before your drive that could cause drowsiness.
Keep the In-Car Distractions to a Minimum
Food, makeup and CDs are all culprits for in-car distractions that lead to accidents. From looking for a receipt in the glove compartment to switching the song on your music player, people seem to think they can do it all when they’re behind the wheel. It’s wise to finish your lunch or find the perfect music before you shift into drive. Also, if you are traveling with kids make sure their snacks and toys are within their arm’s reach, not the driver’s.
Leave the Tailgating for Game Day
The only sort of tailgating you should be participating in is when your vehicle is in park and you’re getting excited for the big game with your friends. It’s never a good idea to follow another driver too closely. It cuts your reaction time in half and puts your vehicle more at risk for a head-on collision.
Don’t Treat the Green Light like a Racecar Driver
If you’re at a traffic light, don’t treat the green light like you’re at the Daytona 500. Do you remember a time when you ran a red light when you were in a hurry? It’s quite common and could happen anytime. When the light turns green, give yourself a second or two before you make your way through the intersection to avoid these “speed racers.”
Drive Before Dusk
Driving at night is the most dangerous driving time in the day for many reasons. Not only is it more difficult to see, but this is also when drivers feel the most fatigue and drive when they should probably pull over. Plus, drinking and driving is more likely to happen at night, so do yourself a favor and avoid the roads after dusk.
Steer Clear of the Fast Lane
The Eagles said it right. “Life in the fast lane surely makes you lose your mind.” It will also make you a target for tickets from highway patrol and more prone to accidents. When you stay in the middle and right lanes on highways, you’ll have access to more escape routes if an emergency were to occur. Keep your peace of mind intact and avoid the left lane at all costs.
Refer to the Basics
Although you took driver’s education the summer before your 16th birthday and spent half the time daydreaming about what you could be doing instead of sitting in a classroom listening to your physics teacher talk about stop signs, you learned the fundamental basics that could save you from getting into an accident. Position yourself and your mirrors, keep the hands at 10 and 2 and always check your blind spots. These will increase your reaction time in the event of an accident.
Keep these tips in mind before you start your engine. Save yourself the time and trouble that comes from an accident and protect your most valuable asset – your life.
We want to hear from you! Can you give us any other tips that could help a driver avoid accidents?