It makes no difference if you live in a densely populated city or a rural area, all drivers should take steps to make local roads as safe as possible. While you can undoubtedly increase road safety with a newer car that comes with cutting-edge safety features, there are plenty of steps you can take to maintain and boost road safety with your current car, no matter how old or new it is.
Pay Attention to the Road, Not Your Screen
You’ve heard this one countless times, but it most certainly bears repeating. When you’re driving, all your attention should be focused on the road and what’s going on around you. Glancing at your phone is fine when you’re stopped at a red light, but at all other times, your eyes should be glued to the road. All it takes is a second of inattention for an avoidable accident to occur.
Use the Correct Lanes
When traveling on the interstate or highway, only drive in the left lane when you’re passing. Slower drivers taking up space in the left lane can cause accidents when they block faster drivers from passing them, forcing speeding motorists into the right lane and disrupting the flow of traffic. Do your part to prevent traffic jams, accidents and road rage.
Don’t Forget About Bikers
Depending on where you live, your neighborhood could be home to bikers who travel on two wheels rather than four. If so, be sure to keep an eye out, especially during the early morning and evening when the sun can obscure your vision and make it more difficult to see what’s in front of you. Additionally, it’s a good idea to get into the habit of checking your side mirror when parked on the street and you’re about to open your door; you don’t want to accidentally hit a biker or force him or her to swerve into traffic.
Refrain From Tailgating
No matter how frustrating it may be to be stuck behind someone who isn’t driving the speed limit, tailgating simply is not worth it. By riding the other driver’s bumper, you can make her or him anxious, which can lead to an accident.
You also have to think about the fact that if that person were to quickly apply the brakes, you wouldn’t have the time or room you need to avoid a collision. While a slow driver could make you a few minutes late getting to your destination or cause you no end of frustration, tailgating isn’t worth having to fill out a claim and wasting your money on a deductible. The next time you’re tempted to tailgate, just think about how much time and money you could end up spending on waiting for your car to be repaired and your claim to go through. On the other side of the equation…
Don’t Brake Check
If someone is tailgating you even though you’re driving the speed limit, you could feel perfectly entitled to pumping the brakes to get the other motorist to back off. While this tactic is perfectly understandable, it can also be dangerous. As mentioned above, a sudden stop in front of a tailgater could lead to an accident. Rather than being just as aggressive as the person driving too close to you, it’s safer to simply slide into the adjacent lane to let the person pass you. Again, it’s not worth the insurance claim.
Don’t Ignore Recalls
Occasionally, manufacturers issue recalls for their vehicles. If you should learn that your vehicle is part of a recall, take steps to take care of repairs as soon as possible. It’s not unusual to hear of people being involved in accidents where injuries or even fatalities occurred because one of the vehicles had been recalled but not properly repaired. Usually, recall repairs are done free of charge when handled at a dealership. After all, it wasn’t your fault that the vehicle has to be repaired, so you shouldn’t be responsible for the resulting cost. You can see if there are any current recalls on the make and model of your vehicle by checking online with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
As long on you plan on operating a vehicle, you should keep your focus on being one of the safest drivers on the road. For all their convenience, cars make for a sizeable responsibility. Never forget that.