In order to get a driver’s license or permit, everyone needs to show
their state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) that they know
how to drive safely. But with time, the safest driving habits can be forgotten
or left behind, and even veteran drivers can endanger others when they’re
behind the wheel. If you want to do your part in preventing and avoiding
car accidents, review these basic defensive driving tips, hints, and pointers.
Put away the cellphone: A rising concern for safety organizations – from the National Highway
Traffic Safety Administration to the National Safety Council – is
smartphone use behind the wheel. Each year, thousands of people are seriously
injured or lose their lives because someone was reading a text or talking
to someone with a hands-free device while they were driving. Simply keeping
the cellphone out of sight and out of reach while driving will dramatically
increase your safe driving abilities.
Never speed: Another significant cause of car accidents is speeding. Reckless drivers
trying to save a few seconds end up costing themselves and others months
or years of their lives if they cause a high-speed collision. Follow the
posted speed limits when safe to do so. In some situations, you may need
to drive at a rate lesser, or slightly greater, than what is posted to
keep the traffic flowing smoothly.
Flashing red: When a streetlight is doing nothing but flashing red, this means that the
light has gone out due to one circumstance or another. Drivers must then
treat the intersection as a four-way stop; come to a complete stop at
your limit line, count three seconds, and proceed if it is safe. If there
are others at the intersection who arrive at the same time as you, the
person to your right as right-of-way. Misunderstanding this rule of the
road leads to numerous intersection collisions every year.
Three-second rule: When following another car, leave three seconds of drive or more between
you. To measure your distance, find a landmark on the side of the road
and start counting “one locomotive, two locomotive, three locomotive”
as soon as their bumper passes it. If you do not finish counting by the
time you pass the landmark, you are following too closely. You should
also try to keep the bottom of their back wheels within your view, regardless
of how fast you are traveling.
Check your surroundings: Frequently check your mirrors, blind spots, and adjacent lanes when driving.
You need to know where you can safely maneuver your car in an emergency.
As a general rule, you should check one location, such as left mirror
then rearview mirror and so on, briefly every three seconds. You may have
noticed a “three-second” trend in driving rules, which is
used to keep things simple.
With the best efforts and excellent driving skills, you may still be struck
by another motorist without warning. If you find yourself in such an unfortunate
situation, you should call
417.313.1130 to connect with
Johnson, Vorhees & Martucci. Our Joplin & Springfield car accident attorneys can
review you case for free and let you know if you have grounds for a lawsuit. Be sure to ask about
our “no win, no fee” policy!