Sometimes, the simple things that we do each day are the things that end up being the most dangerous. Simple bad habits in a car – such as multitasking, for example – can easily result in a car accident that results in personal injury, broken bones, fatalities, spinal cord injuries, and other serious consequences. Here are some good driving habits to cultivate if you want to avoid car accidents:
1) Look directly behind you when backing up. It seems so obvious, but many drivers don’t do this every time, especially when zipping out of a parking spot. Check for oncoming traffic as well as the space directly behind you.
2) When stopping at a stop sign and getting ready to pull into an intersection, look twice for cars. Looking once is simply not enough because a car can be hiding in your blind spot (usually behind the windshield pillar). When you push yourself to look again, you notice the car that has just zipped out of your blind spot and this can help you avoid an accident.
3) When making a right-hand turn, look both right and left. When drivers are turning left, many focus exclusively on the traffic coming towards them from the left. They look for a break in the traffic so that they can zip out. Often, drivers neglect the right side and don’t bother checking because they know that no cars are coming from the right. However, a pedestrian may be crossing the street and other traffic problems may be occurring to your right that you need to be aware. Drivers not checking the right when making a right-hand turn is a key cause of pedestrian accidents, so always be aware of what is going on all around you and do look left and right before turning.
4) Watch for cars that are late through a red light. If you are sitting at a red light, always look both ways when the light turns green. Some drivers do try to push their luck with yellow lights and will speed through a red light.
5) On a highway, crane your neck to check what’s behind you before switching lanes. Many drivers just rely on their rear-view mirrors, but these mirrors leave pretty large blind spots. When you combine that with highway speed limits, that’s a high risk of car accidents. Check to make sure that the lane is clear by turning around and looking.
6) Look out for trucks with loose cargo and cars with trailers. Unsecured cargo can roll out of the back of a truck, so use extra caution when behind a truck. Cars pulling trailers can also be a problem if they turn or swerve suddenly.