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In the US each year, there are over six million auto accidents reported. Some are minor, while others are major and far too often, the collisions result in extensive vehicle damage and serious injuries. Most often the cause of these accidents is due to driver error and risk miscalculations. Take control and make a few adjustments to your driving habits to reduce your crash risk.
Maintain and Utilize Your Lights
Your lights are crucial to properly signal turns, stops, and emergency moves, which means it’s imperative that they are all working well. Check to make sure your light systems work and make sure the light housings are clear of damage and debris.
If there is damage, including standing water, you’ll want to get them repaired as soon as possible. Once you verify your lights are working properly, resolve to always us them to indicate your intentions while driving. And don’t forget to turn on your headlights during inclement weather and just before dusk to keep your vehicle visible to other drivers (and pedestrians).
Redirect Your Attention to the Road Ahead
Distracted driving is dangerous and injures over 400,000 people each year. This number is likely to increase unless drivers resolve and commit to redirecting their attention to the road ahead. Texting is the most common form of distraction, however there are several other forms of distraction including: eating, talking with others, changing radio stations, applying makeup, setting up navigation, watching movies, and reading.
Improve your safety while driving by pulling over to complete these actions. Don’t forget to signal and merge back into traffic to continue on your way.
Adhere to Safe Following Distances
Do you know how far back you should be behind the car in front of you? The three second rule is a great thing to utilize to ensure you have enough time to stop if a hazard appears in front of the vehicles in your path.
To check your following distance, pick a stationary object ahead and start counting when the vehicle in front of you passes it by. If you pass that object before three seconds have passed, you will need to briefly slow down to adjust your following distance. In hazardous weather, heavy traffic or other potentially risky driving situations, increase your following distance even further.
Resist the Urge to Speed
Your risk of getting into collision doubles with each 5 MPH increase in speed. While you might feel that speeding gets you to your destination faster, the reality is that even a 20 MPH increase in speed does very little for your arrival time.
Resolve to follow posted speed limits to minimize the risk of sustaining fatal injuries for you , your passengers, other vehicles, and pedestrians.
The zipper merge technique is the most efficient and safest way to combine two lanes of traffic. Instead of stopping short to merge into the continuing lane early, simply stay in the lane until arrows appear. Then, turn on your blinker and slow down to match your speed with the vehicles in the adjacent lane before smoothly merging over. If you are already in the continuing lane, move your vehicle forward at a steady, predictable pace and leave enough room for one car to zip in at the merge point.
Stay Right Unless Passing
Traveling in the right lane allows you to lessen the risks associated with speed differences between two or more vehicles. Left lane drivers will be able to pass you without weaving around vehicles, which will also help prevent your involvement in a collision. This practice will also help you stay out of legal trouble, as it is illegal in many areas to remain in the left lane continuously.
Even if you follow all these resolutions, you may still find yourself involved in an auto accident at some point. If, and when, an accident occurs, call one of the members of Your Hometown Body Shop for the necessary repairs.