Anyone can drive a car with a certain amount of success. Avoiding the obvious pedestrians, bicyclists and vehicles on the road takes skill that not everyone possesses. The drivers who spend 20 or 30-years driving without an accident, though, deserve accolades.
Avoiding road hazards and the distracted driving of others takes dedication, concentration and cat-like reflexes. The habits of a safe driver start with the driving instructor and continues every time they get in a car.
Defensive driving saves lives
In the United States, more than 50,000 people lose their lives to automobile accidents yearly. An estimated 22-million people suffer injuries and medical costs come close to $80-billion annually. If everyone drove defensively, these numbers would begin to drop. Driving defensively starts with five self-improvement exercises:
· Pay attention at all times
· Avoid distractions
· Do not trust other drivers
· Always use the turn signals
· Never speed
Driver error causes accidents
It takes less than one second for the events leading to an accident to happen. 40-percent of all accidents in 2011 were due to driver error. Failure to pay attention to the road tops the list of driver mistakes that cause accidents. Drivers become distracted by:
· Eating or drinking
Distraction by food or beverage rates as the number one distraction for drivers. Wrappers, large drinks and wiping ketchup off a shirt cause the driver to lose track of the road.
· Texting or talking on a cell phone
Using a cell phone while driving causes a loss off concentration the driver tries dialing a phone number or stops looking at the road to text.
· Conversing with passengers
Engaging in a conversation with passengers can make drivers look away from the road and lose concentration.
· Lighting a cigarette
· Finding a cigarette and lighter distract drivers causing accidents.
· Adjusting the stereo
· Changing the station or searching for a favorite song while behind the wheel takes the driver's focus from the road
· Fantasies while driving definitely breaks the driver's concentration
Slow decision-making accounted for over 34-percent of 2011's car accident total. Drivers not prepared for sudden stops, sharp turns and other road hazards often cause accidents. Other decision-making mistakes that cause accidents are:
· Driving too fast for road conditions
· Wrongly assuming the actions of another driver
· Following another car too closely
· Driving aggressively
The fault of most automobile accidents falls on drivers who fail to take the correct actions to avoid the collision or who do not follow the rules of the road.
Some accidents happen by no fault of the driver or any other person. Avoiding an animal in the road or hitting a deer, for example, happen even when following all the rules.
Always follow the rules
Breaking the law will only bring tickets and accidents. Though some seem inconvenient, they protect your safety and that of pedestrians. The following save lives:
· Wear your seat belt
· Secure child seats correctly and use them
· Always yield
· When railroad barriers lower, do not cross
If an accident happens
When involved in a car accident, remember to stay calm and exchange insurance information with other drivers. Do not admit fault or cast blame on the other driver. Only speak to law enforcement officers when relaying what happened.
Go to the hospital immediately if injured and keep all the paperwork other insurance agents give you. Call an attorney who with a low contingency fee so you don’t get hurt twice.