Driving has become a lot safer in America. According to U.S. Department of Transportation statistics from 2009, traffic deaths are at their lowest levels since 1950. Even though fewer people are dying on America’s roads it is still important to be very safe when driving. There are many factors that lead to auto accidents but some common mistakes that drivers make often lead to accidents.
When drivers change lanes or turn it is imperative that you check blind spots that your rear view mirrors can’t see. A quick glance over your shoulder and out your side window can indicate if there is a car that you need to avoid when you turn.
Many drivers, me included, make the mistake of assuming there is no car there if you can’t see one in your mirrors. Always check with your own eyes before changing lanes or turning by looking in the spot directly next to you.
Compensating for a skid in the rain or snow is an easy mistake to make when drivers panic in the midst of losing traction on the road. Sometimes they hit the brakes too hard and make a skid even worse.
The best thing to do to prevent a skid is to slow down without hitting the brakes which means easing up on the accelerator. When you do have to hit your brakes, do so gradually and with even pressure. If you start to skid you should ease up on the brakes and then turn into the direction of the skid. That means if your rear end starts skidding to the left you should turn your steering wheel to the left to straighten out your wheels.
Over-compensating for a skid means you simply start skidding in the other direction and you can easily lose control. Simply going slower is the best way to prevent a skid.
Following Too Closely
When the weather turns bad or when drivers go too fast, following other traffic too closely becomes a problem if someone hits the brakes hard and has to suddenly stop. When you can’t slow down on time it becomes a rear-end collision.
To avoid following too close to other traffic, simply slow down and maintain a two second distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. Timing two seconds along a highway is easy when you take the back of the vehicle in front of you as it passes a stationary object. If you can count “One Mississippi, Two Mississippi” before the front of your vehicle passes the same stationary object then you are a safe breaking distance from the vehicle.
Speed is a huge factor in many automobile accidents. Driving too fast often leads to skids, braking problems, following too closely, and an array of other hazards.
Always drive below the posted speed limit and remain cognizant of your speed in construction zones. These two pieces of advice will help prevent any speed-related hazards.
Distracted driving seems to be in the headlines all of the time now. Frequently we hear of traffic accidents involving drivers on cell phones or even texting.
To reduce your distractions in the car you must remain focused on the road at all times. If you are going on a long trip make sure to get plenty of rest. When a small child or baby is in the car with you always try to have another adult passenger with you to take care of smaller children should the need arise. Otherwise, pulling over and taking care of a baby in the car is always a prudent thing to do in order to avoid a wreck while being distracted.
Always slow down and pay attention when you drive. The life you save might be your own or someone in your family.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration provided information for this article.