When you get behind the wheel of a car, the only actions you can control are your own. Defensive driving with the goal of accident prevention is key.  What types of things can you do to help prevent an accident?

  1. Keep Your Eyes on the Road

The road in front of you is far reaching past your steering wheel. Keeping your eyes on the road will help allow you more reaction time to things in front of you and your vehicle.  Things like vehicles stopping short in front of you, other motor vehicle accidents, animals or debris in the road, or other unexpected obstacles that could cause an accident if your eyes are not on the road.

  1. Be Aware of Blind Spots

You can and should adjust your side mirrors and review mirrors to provide a panoramic view of the road beside your car and behind where you have just traveled.  However, there is always a chance another vehicle can enter your vehicle’s blind spot. A blind spot is typically the space where your side mirror and rear view mirror don’t reach, leaving you unable to see the vehicle or obstacles that could be right next to you.

Be aware that other drivers will also have these blind spots, especially when you’re driving right next to them or are trying pass them.

Looking over your shoulder before switching lanes will help you to avoid blind spot accidents.

  1. Don’t Linger in the Passing Lane

The left lane is meant for passing and is the fast lane but also – there is nowhere to escape. Defensive drivers stick to the middle or right lane. While driving in these lanes, you’ll have more options to turn into other lanes and escape potential accidents.

  1. Hands on the Wheel

Experienced drivers often use one hand at the wheel.  This is not advisable because you may not be as prepared in an emergency.  While you may have some control when driving in this way, you won’t have as much control as you would if you were driving with your hands at the 9 and 3 o’clock positions. And for drivers over a certain age, yes, it is 9 and 3 now not 10 and 2!

  1. Be Aware of Other Vehicles Around You

We have all seen the person dodging in and out of traffic in an effort to get to the front, or to presumably get where they are going faster.  Likewise we have seen the person swerving in and out of the lane while looking at their cell phone, their back seat, applying makeup or doing anything but paying attention to the road. Being cautious of other drivers’ actions and how they drive can help you to avoid potential accidents. This may mean staying far behind these drivers, or it may mean passing them and getting out of harm’s way.  In the worst scenarios, it may mean pulling over and making a call to alert authorities of a potential danger on the road.

  1. Avoid Distracted Driving and Don’t Text and Drive

Don’t text and drive.  Put your phone in the dash box or in your bag away from your person to avoid temptation.  Texting and driving is illegal in Minnesota and no notification is worth your life or that of another person on the roads.  Practice attentive driving, be aware of your surroundings.  Your car can travel a great distance in the time it takes to tune the radio or hand something to the back seat.

  1. Plan Ahead

Too often accidents happen because drivers are in a hurry.  When we hurry we may tend to be  less careful in our driving maneuvers and speed.  Plan ahead and give yourself ample time to reach your destination safely.

 

These are just a few of the ways you can help prevent a car accident.  And remember, although you may be an excellent driver, accidents do happen.  If you or someone you love has been involved in a car accident and you need legal help, please contact the experienced legal team at BGS.