It’s hard to come to terms with the fact that if you’re driving, you’re bound to get into an accident of some kind or other at any point in life. It’s frightening to think about, and most of us would do everything we can to avoid thinking about it altogether, lest our anxiety gets the better of us. But, the best thing you can do is to prepare yourself and try to think in advance of anything that could help you circumvent a painful accident later on. Otherwise, you may be looking at expensive car repairs, life-changing injuries, not to mention puts an increase on your insurance premium.
Being a safe driver can help you keep yourself and your loved ones safe, while also ensuring that your insurance doesn’t go through the roof. The following are a few common ways to help you avoid getting into a car accident, and how to avoid them.
Before going out for a drive, try to map out your route and be very deliberate about where you plan to go. It is important to be strategic and avoid situations in which you’re forced to break all of a sudden. Also, check your mirror: you might run the risk of being rear-ended if someone is driving too close to you.
This goes hand in hand with another important rule of the road; make it a point to never be distracted. Never allow yourself to let your eyes wander, and don’t eat, text, or even talk on the phone while driving. If ever a driver in front of you stops all of a sudden, it will only be a matter of seconds before you hit their vehicle, and hurt someone else. Or, total both your cars and end up looking at a high insurance premium.
Last point regarding mindfulness and driving: don’t take the risk and drive when half asleep, or drunk. Having your faculties impaired due to poor sleep or drugs and alcohol is a sure recipe for disaster.
Exercise Caution at Intersections
Intersections are a point wherein accidents frequently occur, and drivers can make dangerous mistakes like get distracted and miss a vital traffic signal, causing them to crash into another vehicle. As the 702 Firm indicates, these tend to be the most common car crashes, simply because people don’t notice cars pausing before making turns, or signals changing. In this case, it helps to practice what is commonly referred to as defensive driving. This entails taking a breather right after the light indicates that it’s your turn to go, and this is just to be entirely sure that no one is coming at full speed from another direction. It also helps to look for people who like to speed, desperately trying to fly past a yellow light on the cross street; avoid them like the plague. Also, be sure that when you’re approaching a yellow light, that you’re playing it safe and not take any unnecessary chances by zipping past. Intersections are tricky because they can entail a blind spot for you, so you should do your best to be careful.
Maintain a Safe Distance
One of the most important things you can do to keep yourself safe while driving is to keep a safe distance between yourself and any vehicles that are ahead of you. This gives you the safety of not having to hit anyone in case you have to stop suddenly. Not only at traffic lights or stop signs; you’ll need to do this a lot when the weather is bad and is raining or snowing a lot. You should stay about 3 seconds behind the car ahead of you, but even longer if you are driving a bigger vehicle. When the weather is especially poor, you’ll need to keep even more of a distance to prevent yourself from slipping and suddenly driving too fast, causing you to rear-end someone else.
It might sound strange, but lots of accidents either happen when the driver is already parked or is attempting to park their car. Try to keep your car parked in a centered spot. Try to park again if you find that you over or very close to the parking line, since that will keep your car from getting crashed into. Doing this can also help prevent the common annoyances of getting your car doors dinged by their swinging against the sidewalk.
While accidents do happen and it’s sometimes due to an issue far beyond your control, it does help to do your part by being prepared and remaining a careful, responsible driver. Hitting the road should be fun but not reckless, and staying safe should always be the top priority. That and making sure that you don’t get stuck with a huge bill or high insurance premiums.