The average person will drive their vehicle every day. Every time you get into your car and drive away from your home, you risk getting into a car accident.
Although you can’t change how other people drive, you can take steps to improve your own driving skills. This can greatly reduce the chances of getting hurt or damaging your car due to a car accident.
No one wants to admit their fault in a car accident, but most “accidents” are a direct result of one or both drivers failing to adhere to good driving habits.
Here are seven tips that you can use to improve your driving skills and reduce your chances of getting into a car accident:
1. Don’t Drive Distracted
A distracted driver is a dangerous driver. There are many things that can distract a driver from the task at hand. It’s your responsibility to reduce any of these from keeping your focus off your driving.
Things such as texting, eating, putting on makeup, and even talking to a passenger can distract you from the road. All it takes is a few seconds for a tragedy to strike.
2. Practice Defensive Driving
When you are in the driver’s seat, you are in control of your vehicle. You aren’t, however, in control of the vehicles around you and you can’t always expect them to do what they are supposed to do.
Just because there is a red light, doesn’t mean all vehicles will stop. If you are coming up to an intersection, be aware of the actions of other drivers.
If you notice one car that doesn’t look like it is coming to a stop, take action to ensure they don’t t-bone you while you drive through the intersection.
This might mean that you have to slow down and interrupt your normal pattern of driving but it’s better than getting into an accident.
It’s always wise to be aware of your surroundings and don’t assume other drivers will obey traffic rules.
3. Don’t Tailgate
Tailgating, when done to you, is really annoying but tailgating is high on the list of one of the many common driving errors.
The reason tailgating is so dangerous is because it doesn’t give you enough time to react if the person in front of you suddenly slams on their brakes.
This may cause you to run into their car, which can give both you and them a serious case of whiplash or worse.
You learned the amount of space you are legally supposed to leave between yourself and the car in front of you. Different factors can cause the safe distance to become farther than normal. Get a refresher course here.
4. Make the Necessary Adjustments
When driving, you need to be comfortable and able to see all around you. When you get into your car, before you drive off, you should always make sure you make any necessary adjustments.
Check your review and side mirrors to ensure you have the best visibility of the cars around you. It’s impossible to get rid of all blindspots but when positioned right, these mirrors will greatly reduce them.
Next, adjust your seat to ensure you are comfortable and able to reach the pedals well. You may also want to adjust the steering wheel to get a better grip.
Lastly, make sure all your windows are clear of debris, snow, or fog for safe driving conditions.
5. Prioritize Safety at All Times
Driving a car is a great responsibility. You have a lot of power in your hands and you need to take that power seriously.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, there were 36,096 deaths in 2019 due to car accidents. Car accidents happen and many of them result in someone dying.
These statistics should only reinforce your desire to practice road safety at all times. If it comes down to convenience or safety, always choose safety!
6. Always Follow the Law
Laws are put in place for the safety and good of the people. Driving laws aren’t any different.
This means you should drive the speed limit, obey traffic lights and signs, and follow directions from police officers directing traffic.
These laws are all put into place to keep drivers and pedestrians safe and the roads as organized as they can be. Without these laws, chaos would reign and no one would dare chance driving at all.
7. Use Smooth Driving Techniques
Sudden moves while driving can be the direct cause of an accident. Anytime you slam on your brakes or take a quick turn, you aren’t giving other drivers enough time to react to your movement.
As much as you are able to, try to drive smoothly. Don’t accelerate or slow down too fast. Ease onto the brakes and gently increase your speed.
Not only will you keep the roads a safer place, but you will also slow down the wear and tear of your vehicle.
It might sound cool to drive like a rebel, screeching your tires and speeding around turns, but the fun is over fast when your reckless driving gets you into a fender bender, or worse.
Be smart and put these driving tips into effect in your daily habits. You never know when your good driving could actually have saved your life.