Avoiding Vehicle Collisions

Vehicle Collision Avoidance. One of the most efficient ways to take care of yourself and your family is watching how you drive. Here are 11 tips to help you on your next trip:

  • Slow down

Slowing down, to a degree, can never be a poor choice. It gives you and others more time to maintain vision, and exit safely from a highway without skidding, for example. It is also imperative in school zones and neighborhoods, where radar is sometimes enforced.

  • Come to a complete stop before stop signs

Coming to a complete stop at stop signs (some say for 3 seconds) may be necessary for other drivers to see you, and for you to see and gauge oncoming traffic. Looking both ways after stopping is also necessary.

  • Stop for pedestrians at crosswalks

Pedestrians are the highest priority while driving. Look out for pedestrians wanting to cross the street or even just jaywalking.

  • Practice defensive driving

Aggressive driving, or road rage, can often be an outlet for individuals. When two aggressive drivers meet each other, the outcome can be dangerous. Practicing defensive driving puts you in control of you and your vehicle.[1]

  • Do not tailgate others

Tailgating other vehicles gives you less reaction time if the vehicle in front of you happens to abruptly brake. Often this happens in the right lane on busy highways due to incoming vehicles from the side.

  • Free yourself from distractions

Actions like texting or talking on the phone with one hand preoccupied, or even grooming, takes away valuable time that you would need to avoid an accident. Eyes should be on the road and on one’s mirrors.

  • Use all mirrors

Using all the mirrors your car has grants you access to vision that you otherwise would not have had. Using them frequently provides more access to your surroundings, giving you knowledge of whether and when you should brake, change lanes, or speed up.

  • Do not react if another driver is provoking you

Some drivers like to get testy with others on the road. If a driver honks at you, think twice before honking back or giving an obscene hand gesture. I once witnessed a man get out of his vehicle at a red light and go up to the window of the driver behind him just to profusely yell. Reacting in this situation would have been dangerous. It is important in some situations to keep your windows up and to always lock your car doors.[2]

Offering right of way for aggressive drivers is something people in some vehicle collisions should have considered in hindsight. For a tailgating driver, changing lanes ensures they are no longer directly behind your vehicle. For a driver wanting to cut you off, slow down, and let them. Speeding up is in some ways not a safe option and leaving less space for them to go in front does not stop some drivers.[3]

  • Stop at the white line at red lights

Vehicle collisions happen at red lights, too. Stopping at the white line ensures those making a turn around your vehicle have more space to turn into the parallel/opposite lane. Many people have seen their car almost get scraped or bumped by a truck or bus with wide turns.

  • Invest in a camera

Investing in a camera is worthwhile. Recording video of your driving ensures that there is evidence in case an accident does occur involving your vehicle, and the opposing driver wants to file a claim against you. If you are not at fault, video evidence can prevent raising insurance premiums, and can make the difference in a court of law.[4]

[1] Road Rage. “ROAD RAGE IN AMERICA 2020 EPISODE 79 | NEWS, STORIES AND COMMENTS | ROAD RAGE IN HAVELOCK.” YouTube, YouTube, 6 Sept. 2020, www.youtube.com/watch?v=epLvB-rSk30.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid.

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