Safe Driving Tips
Short of never getting into a car, there is nothing you can do to completely guarantee you will never be involved in an auto accident. But, like most things in life, there are steps you can take to minimize your risk. By adopting some safe driving tips, you will minimize your risk of causing an accident and maximize your protection against the bad driving of those you share the road with.
Do Not Speed
Speeding is an obvious risk factor for getting into an accident; this tip is obvious and does not need a thorough explanation. But, perhaps knowing the full reality of the dangers may help this obvious piece of advice sink in a bit more deeply. Driving just 10 miles over the speed limit—which many of us do not consider that much over the posted limit– increases your risk of an accident by a whopping 50 percent.
Keep Your Eyes Focused on the Horizon
When we drive, we tend to put all of our attention on the car directly in front of us and missing the full picture of the traffic situation we are currently in. Drive with your sights set on the horizon—this is referred to driving with ‘’high eyes’’ in the racecar world. When you are taking in more of your surroundings, you will be better equipped to deal with the potential dangers that lurk on the road, such as sudden stops, accidents and reckless driving by others.
Leave a Safe Distance between Vehicles
A major cause of accidents is not leaving enough room between our car and the car in front of us. We know this but we may not know what constitutes ‘’safe.’’ When we are driving too closely, we do not have enough time to react should the person in front of us swerve, stop short,etc…A good rule of thumb is the ‘’three second rule.’’ To apply, watch for a stationary object on the side of the road; as the car in front of you passes it, you should be driving at a pace where it takes you at least three seconds to pass that same object. If the weather is bad, make it the ‘’six-second’’ rule.
Assume the Worst
No matter how good you are driving, you are always at risk of an accident due to the bad driving of others. One of the best ways to stay safe on the road is to never assume that someone else is going to obey that traffic light, use proper merging etiquette, or signal when changing lanes. Always be vigilant and operate your vehicle on the assumptions that there are bad drivers all around you.
Minimize Lane Changes
The more you stick to one lane at the posted speed limit, during your trip, the better off you will be. Constantly switching lanes increases the risk of you hitting someone or someone hitting you. Pick a lane and do your best to stick to it.
When we are driving, it is easy to kind of zone out and not really pay attention to what is going on around you; this is especially likely if you are taking a familiar route that you travel frequently, such as your daily commute to work. This hypnotic-like trance can really put us in danger, though. When you are driving, simply looking around to see what the other cars are doing, what is coming up ahead. Your mirrors are there for a reason, make good use of them.
Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who has experience covering a range of topics. When it comes to automotive, she has written about everything from safe driving tips to how to get better car insurance rates. If you are in the market for a vehicle in the New Haven, Madison or Hartford, CT visit Hammonasset Ford for a great selection of vehicles.