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Avoiding Car Accidents

Dec 20, 2007
The truth is that almost all traffic accidents are avoidable. There are a number of things that individual drivers can do and a number of things that individual drivers can avoid doing that can make driving easier, safer, and more fun. Paying attention is obviously of paramount important when driving, so eliminating a lot of the distractions is key to driving safer.

Intersection Mistakes

A large number of accidents occur because people make critical intersection errors. In fact, it is reported that intersection accidents make up about one quarter of all automobile accidents because people are too distracted by too many things. The best way to avoid crashes at intersections is to pay attention to the lights, the other cars, and the direction you are driving. Watch crosswalks for pedestrians and ensure that you are crossing the intersection on a green light, not a red or yellow light.

Pay Attention!

Accidents mostly occur because the drivers involved aren't paying attention to the road or, more importantly, to one another. The biggest problems in traffic take place because of a breakdown in communication between drivers. Make eye contact whenever possible with pedestrians and other drivers to establish points of contact. This will help determine where the driver or pedestrian is going and help to avoid collision.

Pay attention to the road, too. Ensure that you are familiar with the direction you are going, with the turns you'll have to make, and with any of the other possibilities for confusion so that you can be aware of your vehicle and its position at all times. Not paying attention to where you are going can lead to accidents, getting lost, or fatalities.

Stay Back

Many people follow too closely. Lots of accidents are rear-end accidents caused by tailgating, so keep a safe distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you at all times. If somebody is tailgating you, do not panic by slamming on the brakes and do not get angry. Simply keep your pace the same and drive in the same fashion as you would, tailgater or not.

When driving, it is best to leave a three second following distance between you and the driver in front of you. This will help guard your vehicle against instant braking or sudden changes in the road. In poor weather conditions, you should, at the very least, double the three second following distance. Depending on the severity of the conditions, you may wish to leave at least ten seconds following distance.

Keep Your Car Happy

Vehicle malfunctions, such as sudden stalling or braking problems, lead to some accidents. For this reason, keep your vehicle's maintenance as a primary concern. Before leaving on any big trips, make sure to have your car checked thoroughly and have your oil changed at regular intervals. Proper car maintenance can avoid a lot of problems down the road.

Watch Your Speed

Finally, pay attention to speed limits and follow them correctly. Driving too fast reduces reaction time and increases the likelihood of accidents by increasing the impact potential, especially in busy areas. Keep your speed down and be aware of your surroundings.
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