We all get into bad habits as drivers, so it’s important to be reminded from time to time how to prevent accidents on the road. If you are a novice driver, learning good habits early on will help you stay safe on the road.
- Always use your turn signal, even if you do not think anyone is around you. This establishes a habit and alerts others that might not be in your immediate field of vision.
- Follow the flow of traffic and speed limits; going too fast or too slow through an area can cause an accident.
- Be aware of pedestrians and cyclists. Not all areas have clearly designated bike paths. Be aware of peripheral activity.
- When parking on the street, make sure you look for traffic before you park, when you get out of your car, and before you pull out of a parking space.
- Speed up when merging. Use the ramp area to gain speed before merging into traffic.
- If you see mergers while on the highway, try to get into the left lane to give them room.
- In most areas, the left lane is for passers or faster traffic. Do not go below the speed of traffic in left lanes.
- Use your turn signal for switching lanes. It is always a good idea to let your fellow drivers know where you intend to go.
- On long trips, make sure you stop to rest. Do not drive when you are tired!
- Turn your lights on by dusk, shortly before sunset. Headlights should also be turned on when it’s overcast or foggy.
- Turn your bright lights down when passing drivers in rural areas. Bright lights can negatively affect drivers coming towards you, especially if the road you are traveling on is already very dark.
Inclement weather driving:
- Always make sure your headlights are on when it is raining, foggy, or when there is other precipitation.
- Turn on hazard lights when rain impairs vision.
- If you must go slower than normal speed, be sure to drive in the right lane, unless that lane is unusable due to the weather situation.
Other safety tips:
- Do not text and drive! Your focus needs to be completely on the road.
- Always wear your seatbelt! Make sure all passengers are buckled in before starting your vehicle.
- Secure loose items in your car so they do not roll underfoot or distract you while driving.
- Drive defensively. In other words, expect other drivers to make mistakes and try to compensate for those errors. One way you can do this is by not following too closely.
By following these safety tips, you will avoid most accidents. If there is an accident, stay on the scene, call your insurance company, and alert police or request medical assistance, as necessary.