Research suggests that over 90% of accidents are caused partially or wholly by driver error. Every driver has a responsibility to prioritize safety to protect themselves and others. Could you be a safer driver? Here are some common mistakes to avoid.
Driving too fast
Speeding is one of the most common causes of car and truck accidents. If you drive too fast, the risk of losing control of the vehicle increases, and it’s harder to react to hazards. The risk of severe injuries is also much higher when you crash at speed. It is also important to understand that it is illegal to exceed the speed limit. If you cause an accident, you will be liable for the incident. You could get into trouble with the police, and if you injured another driver or a pedestrian, they have the right to seek advice from a car accident lawyer. Keep an eye out for speed restriction signs, make sure you drive below the legal limit and reduce your speed if the road is slippery, there is heavy traffic, or visibility is poor.
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Distracted driving causes around 3,000 fatalities per year in the US. If you are using your phone, you’re talking, or you’re playing around with the radio controls, for example, you run the risk of being involved in a collision. If you’re not looking, and you’re not prepared to stop suddenly, you might not be able to react fast enough to hazards, such as animals in the road, debris, pedestrians or other vehicles stopping unexpectedly. Focus on the road ahead at all times, use your mirrors and pay attention to what other vehicles are doing.
Tailgating can be intimidating for other drivers and it can also put you at risk of injuring yourself and others and causing damage to your car or truck. When you drive, keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front. You need to ensure that you have sufficient space to stop if you need to put the brakes on urgently. If you are too close, you will crash into the vehicle in front. Always keep your distance and increase the space between your vehicle and the car in front if it’s slippery.
Failing to signal
When you’re driving, other road users rely on you to let them know what you are doing. If you fail to signal, you could cause a collision. Check your mirrors and your blind spot and indicate, providing plenty of notice for the cars around you. If you don’t use your signals, or you fail to give other drivers enough time to react, you could crash into a vehicle or a car could hit you. If you’re at a junction, or you’re changing lanes on a highway, for example, give yourself enough time to decide what you’re doing and then let others know.
Even the most careful drivers make mistakes. If you are eager to be a safer driver, and you want to minimize the risk of accidents, try to avoid these common driving errors. Pay attention to speed restrictions, stay focused, keep a safe distance from other vehicles and make sure you signal to let other drivers know what you are doing.