Every time we get behind the wheel of a vehicle, each of us has a responsibility to protect ourselves, our passengers, other motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists by doing all we can to prevent a car accident from happening.
Whether you are cruising along the New Jersey shore roads or going from one state to another, there are several defensive driving tips that you should follow in order to prevent an accident:
- Limit distractions. There are so many distractions in our lives these days. Using your cell phone, texting, and fiddling with the radio or GPS should all be done when you are at a complete stop or avoided altogether. Give 100% of your attention to the road. The text message can wait. Your friends and loved ones should understand that you are driving and that your safety and the safety of others is far more important.
- Scan the area and beware of blind spots. Make certain that your mirrors are in the correct position. However, you shouldn’t put complete faith in your mirrors. Quickly turn around and look before changing lanes or entering the highway to make certain that you are not about to pull out in front of someone. Also, try to avoid the blind spots of other drivers, especially semi-trucks. If you can, limit the length of time that you have to be in their blind spot.
- Limit nighttime driving. No matter how good your eyes are, night driving is still more difficult and comes with a higher risk of accidents. Not only is your visibility reduced when it’s dark out, but also drunk drivers tend to be out on the roads much more during this time. If you have to drive after midnight, make sure you stay extra alert for reckless drivers.
- Avoid the fast lane if possible. Did you know that most highway accidents occur in the far left lane? Many people just speed too fast in that particular lane. If you are in the center or far right lanes, you are more able to maneuver away from a potentially dangerous situation than if you are in the fast lane. Accidents that occur at high speeds are more likely to cause catastrophic injuries or death.
- Never assume. Never just assume that a driver is going to stop or turn. It’s better to assume they may not! For example, when going through a green light, still look both ways to check if anyone is going to run the light. Not only do drunk drivers often run red lights, but so do distracted drivers. Remember, it may be an accident that their turn signal is even on. Better to drive cautiously.
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