Reducing Your Chances of Getting into an Accident

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Reducing your chances of getting into an accident SDPIADriving is challenging even under ideal conditions, but advanced mobile technology compounds the problem of distracted driving. While everyone believes they are a careful driver, it’s clear that taking your eyes off the road for a split second can have disastrous consequences. Here are ten ways to stay safe while driving and reduce your chances of getting involved in an accident.

* Focus Only on Driving: Driving conditions can change in an instant, and interacting with your smartphone draws your eyes away from the road for seconds at a time. Studies indicate that people who drive while texting are up to 23 times more likely to get into an accident than those who avoid distractions.

* Don’t Drive at Night: Driving at night is dangerous because it’s more difficult to see clearly. People grow tired at night, so reaction times are much slower. You’re also more likely to encounter an impaired driver at night.

* Avoid Driving in Blind Spots: While rear and side view mirrors are helpful in seeing what is happening behind you, always look over your shoulder into the adjacent lanes before making a lane change.

* Aim High in Steering: Try and keep your eyes focused well beyond the hood of your car. Identifying potential threats early will give you enough time to maneuver away from danger.

* Keep Both Hands on the Wheel: When both hands are on the wheel in a 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock position, you can respond more quickly in an emergency. Although it may not be the most comfortable driving position, two hands on the wheel provides the greatest flexibility if you unexpectedly swerve to avoid a collision.

* Avoid Tailgating: To react to a sudden stop, you need at least one car length per 10 mph of speed between you and the car in front of you. Otherwise, you will not be able to react in time in the event of a sudden stop. Tailgating also adds additional wear and tear on your brakes and suspension.

* Wear Your Seat Belt: Airbags add protection, but seat belts are still critical for driver safety. In fact, wearing a seat belt reduces the chance of a serious accident-related injury by almost 50 percent. And it’s the law so buckle up and stay safe.

* Drive in the Center or Right Lane: The far left lane moves quickly and often doesn’t have a shoulder. This limits your escape routes in the event of an unanticipated problem. Aggressive and unsafe drivers typically travel in the fast lane.

* Watch for Unsafe Vehicles: A car’s condition is often a reflection of the driving skills of the owner. Be aware of cars that have significant body damage, dirty windows or wobbling tires. If you see a driver drifting into another lane, move away quickly.

* Maintain Your Car Properly: When you follow the manufacturer’s recommended service schedule, you can rest easy knowing your car will accelerate, stop and steer responsively, especially in an emergency.

Practice Accident Avoidance

While some car accidents are unavoidable, you can take measures to give yourself every advantage. Take responsibility when you drive and always focus on driving only. The key to staying safe on the road is actively practicing defensive driving techniques.

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