There are over 5 million car accidents in the United States every year. These run the gamut from minor fender benders to extreme head-on collisions and everything in between.
While some of these accidents couldn’t have been avoided, many of them could have been. All it would have taken is better and more diligent driving.
That begs the next question in our road safety series: what are some things you can do to be a better driver? We’re going to tell you below, helping you lower your car accident risk and avoid car accident injuries in the future.
Drive With Ample Clearance
Our first tip is to drive with ample clearance. In other words, keep plenty of distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you. This is vital, as it gives you plenty of time to brake in the event that the other driver brakes suddenly.
How much clearance should you keep? It’s best to follow the 3-second rule. This rule states that you should keep enough space that, if the car in front of you stops suddenly, you’re able to come to a complete stop within 3 seconds without hitting it.
In poor weather conditions (rain, snow, etc.), it’s wise to bump this up to 6 seconds, as slick roads can make it even harder to stop in a timely manner.
Refrain From Driving Distracted
You’re also advised to refrain from driving distracted. Distracted driving entails any driving that’s done while another task is being performed. This task could be eating, drinking, texting, drumming on the steering wheel, and more.
Yes, everyone does these things. However, no one should. The road would be much safer if they didn’t.
Practice Defensive Driving
Public roads are used by everyone. Good drivers; bad drivers; distracted drivers; drunk drivers. As such, they can be dangerous to traverse.
In a perfect world, your perfect driving would keep you 100% safe. Unfortunately, even a single broken traffic law from a fellow driver negates that. This is why you need to practice defensive driving.
Defensive driving is the act of expecting other drivers to make mistakes and reacting to such accordingly. Not only does it include remaining vigilant at all times but it also includes slowing down at intersections, having your foot ready to hit the brake pedal, and regularly checking your mirrors.
Secure the Possessions Inside Your Vehicle
It’s not always driver error that causes accidents. In some cases, inanimate objects can lead to accidents.
For instance, let’s say that a bottle under your seat rolls forward and jams your brake pedal. As a result, you can’t brake in time and get in an accident. This wouldn’t have happened had you secured the possessions in your vehicle.
And that’s our last tip: secure your possessions. Doing so could help you avoid a range of common car accident injuries.
Read More From Our Road Safety Series
As you can see, there are all sorts of things you can do to be a better driver. Utilize these driver safety tips, and you’ll stand a great chance of staying out of accidents.
Interested in reading more from our driver safety series? Check out some of our other articles right now!