Of course, we’d all like to think we’re safe drivers. Maybe you’ve never had a ticket or been in an accident. You’ve never even been honked at on the roadways, as far as you know. But just because you’ve got a clean driving record, don’t assume you’re a safe driver. Here are five things you’ll do if you are a safe driver.
Safe Following Distance
One of the most dangerous and annoying habits of unsafe drivers is tailgating, or following vehicles too closely. To ensure you’re keeping a safe distance, the Department of Motor Vehicles recommends following a “3-second rule”. When the car in front of you passes a certain object on the road, count how long it takes for your car to reach the same object. If it takes three seconds or more for you to reach the object, you’re following at a safe distance.
Knowing How to Merge
Ever been stuck behind the guy who doesn’t know how to merge onto the freeway? Though he may be trying to be polite by slowing down for other cars, in reality, he’s creating a safety hazard by backing up traffic.
A safe driver knows how to merge correctly. The proper method of merging is to identify a gap in the freeway and accelerate until you reach it. Be sure to always keep a safe distance of space around you once you’ve entered the freeway.
Don’t Cruise in the Passing Lane
There may be no greater annoyance for drivers than when other cars drive slowly in the passing lane, but remember that lane’s purpose — it’s called a “passing lane,” not “fast lane.” According to the DMV, proper driving etiquette states that “you should always drive the speed limit and use the left lane only when overtaking a slower-moving vehicle.”
Always Use Turn Signals
You might not think that using a turn signal is that important, but a study conducted by the Society of Automotive Engineers found that neglecting to use turn signals caused more crashes than distracted driving. Remember, other drivers can’t read your mind. If flicking on a blinker is the difference between crashing and arriving home safely, it is always worth your time.
Perhaps the biggest indicator as to whether you’re a safe driver is also one of the most obvious:
You don’t allow distractions to take your focus off the road. Though you can easily assume that using a cell phone tops the list of driving “no-no’s,” don’t forget about other things that might vie for your attention, such as food, other passengers, or the mascara you forgot to apply earlier that morning.
If something demands your attention while driving, the American Automobile Association suggests pulling off the road and stopping in a safe place. To avoid temptation entirely, consider powering down or stowing devices before taking off again.
With these five key components you can know that you are taking the necessary precautions on the road, but of course, even with the safest driving habits, sometimes accidents happen. If you’ve been the victim of a car accident, you need an attorney you can trust during a tough time. Always seek the assistance of a qualified personal injury attorney. Enough. Said. Call. Ed.