In case you haven’t noticed, there are some people on the road nowadays who really shouldn’t have licenses to operate motor vehicles. Some days, driving feels more like taking your own life into your hands than merely traveling from point A to point B. The only person you have control over while driving is yourself. There are, however, five things you can do to avoid collision. These five issues are among the most common causes of motor vehicle collisions, especially those involving fatalities:
Yield right-of-way to avoid collision
Have you ever had a moment while driving when you approach a 4-way stop and there’s a vehicle at every stop sign? There’s always that moment of hesitation as you scan the area to see who appears to taking the right-of-way. Technically, in such situations, you should always yield to the vehicle to your right. However, that doesn’t mean that every other driver is going to adhere to these safety regulations. Many fatal collisions occur at intersections. It’s always best to proceed with extreme caution.
Even if you know that you have the right-of-way, it’s safest to yield if it looks like another driver is failing to yield when he or she is supposed to. And, if you’re in a situation at a crossroads where you’re not sure who has the right-of-way, always yield.
Do you get distracted at the wheel?
It’s easier that you might think to develop unsafe driving habits. Do you fiddle with radio knobs or look down at a GPS device while driving? Have you ever reached behind your seat or into the glove box to get something while keeping your other hand on the wheel? These are all forms of distracted driving. If you want to lower your risk for collision, you must avoid distractions. There are laws in most states prohibiting use of hand-held electronic devices while driving.
That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s safe to use hands-free devices, however. Let’s say you’re ‘attending’ a business meeting via Bluetooth technology via hands-free device while driving. This is multi-tasking. Your entire focus should be on driving. If you’re talking to someone in a meeting, your focus is now divided between the road/driving and business issues. That’s a recipe for disaster.
How fast is too fast?
When there’s a posted speed limit sign on a road, a driver must not exceed it. Speeding is dangerous and places yourself, your passengers, other motorists and any nearby pedestrians at risk for severe injury if a crash occurs. The posted speed limit isn’t the only issue that should determine how fast you go. You can avoid collision by adjusting your speed to match road conditions. For instance, you might be traveling on a road with a posted speed limit of 45 miles per hour. If it’s storming and visibility is poor or there are icy road conditions, you’re obligated to slow down and travel at a speed that is safe. It is definitely not safe to travel 45 miles per hour on an icy roadway.
Always use your turn signals properly to avoid collision
Have you ever been behind a vehicle that comes to a junction in the road where the driver must turn left or right but is not signaling to let you know which way he or she is about to go? Failing to use a turn signal is a common cause of collision. Not only is failure to use a turn signal dangerous but using one improperly is equally problematic. It’s always best to pause to be certain that a driver who is signaling an upcoming turn is, in fact, going to execute the maneuver! Collisions often occur when drivers engage their turn signals but continue traveling straight ahead instead.
Avoid impaired driving — this is a no-brainer
Drunk drivers are menaces on the road. When a person dies in a motor vehicle collision, it is always tragic. When the collision was easily preventable and caused by a driver’s irresponsible choice to get behind the wheel under the influence of drugs or alcohol, it intensifies the grief associated with the tragedy. There’s no excuse for drinking and driving, especially nowadays when there are numerous ride-share options available. You can’t control what another driver does, but you can avoid collision by making sure you don’t drink and drive.
Avoiding these 5 things increases the chances of safely arriving to your destination
There’s no way to guarantee that you will never be involved in a collision. If you avoid the five issues mentioned in this post, that are recapped in the following list, you’ll improve travel safety:
- Failing to yield a right-of-way
- Distractions while driving
- Failing to use a turn signal or using one improperly
- Intoxicated driving
There are a lot more cars on the road today than there were 20 years ago. Posted speed limits on roads that used to be 55 miles per hour are now often 65 or 75 miles per hour. The more vehicles on the road and the higher the speed, the greater the chance that a collision might occur, especially if a driver is reckless or acts with negligence. Don’t be that driver!