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Avoiding Car Accidents

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Avoiding Car Accidents

Car accidents aren't funny, but the excuses often are

Avoiding car accidents is really a matter of remembering to perform the basics. After driving for any length of time without an accident most drivers begin to rely on instinct and the assurance that they are a good driver and know it all. Unfortunately that may not be the case at all, they may have just been lucky.

I recently read an article about avoiding car accidents and appreciated the reminder that there are some definite steps I can take to ensure that I don’t get involved in a car accident. While I was reassured that I pretty much do everything that was mentioned, I must also acknowledge that I don’t really think about it either.

Tips for Avoiding Car Accidents

  1. The Double-Double Stop Sign Check – The street that runs in front of my place T’s at a stop sign. The road it T’s into is a winding, narrow road, with a “dangerous curve” just before the turn to my street. So I have learned to do quick glance left-right-left-right before pulling out and turning left. Too often it is that second glance to the right that will reveal a vehicle that was either in the blind spot between the windshield and the passenger-side window or has just come around that dangerous curve. That second glance saved me from an accident.

  2. Clear the Rear – When backing out of a parking spot it is very important to not just check to the left and right to see if a car is approaching, but to also check straight behind you and make sure the car behind you doesn’t choose that time to back out of his parking spot. You also have to be aware of shoppers walking behind your vehicle, especially kids that have raced ahead of their parents and might not be easily seen over the rear of your vehicle.

  3. Don’t be the First Out of the Gate – If you are waiting for the red light to turn green learn to wait a second after the light turns before moving into the intersection. Invariably there will be someone coming from the left or right who tries to race thru on the tail-end of the yellow light or even worse thinks that if the car in front has time to make it thru the yellow that it means they can. Usually the light turns just as they are entering the intersection and if you are chomping at the bit to get going as soon as you get the green, you could easily find yourself in a bad accident.

  4. Always Look Both Directions – When you are at an intersection waiting to turn right, the instinct is to watch for traffic coming from the left and then to just begin your right turn without a final check in that direction. Unfortunately, many accidents occur because something has changed to the right; like pedestrian moving into the crosswalk or a vehicle from the right making a U-turn into your lane or even a vehicle pulling out of a parking lot just around the corner. If you turn without looking first there could be a sudden accident and if would be your fault.

  5. Low Tow – Don’t be in such a hurry to pull out into traffic that you rush out as soon as an oncoming vehicle passes without a knowing for sure that it is not towing a low trailer behind it. The low tow can be dangerous if you are in a hurry.

  6. Check Your Blind Spot – When you are changing lanes in traffic you need to make sure you actually turn your head and glance back over your shoulder for a vehicle that may be perched in the blind spot of your rearview mirror. That has happened too many times to count; that after a quick look in the rearview mirror I would only do a physical head turn as I was actually starting to switch lanes. Not good! Thankfully, there’s never been an accident, but it has been close a couple of times, and I’m sure the other driver pretty much cursed me the rest of the day.

  7. Trucks Really Cannot See You – Years ago I was driving thru a downtown area of a small town, one of those where parking is parallel between the sidewalks and the street where there are two lanes in either direction. I was driving in the right “outside” lane between the parked cars and a huge dump trunk in the inside lane. Suddenly the truck began to switch lanes and “scrunch!” Of course, as soon as he heard the tell tail sound of metal on metal he moved back into his lane. We pulled off to exchange information and the first thing he said was, “I didn’t see you.”

  8. Neighborhood Watch – When you drive thru residential neighborhoods where cars are parked on the streets…SLOW DOWN! Kids and pets are not thinking about you when they chase their toy or each other into the street. With no warning at all they can burst from between parked cars into the street in front of you, if you are going too fast you are NOT going to be able to stop in time. Unfortunately even going slow doesn’t guarantee that there won’t be a tragedy. So slow down and watch when driving thru neighborhoods.

Hopefully, these tips to avoiding car accidents will come just in time to save you from a costly accident. Remember to look and be aware of everything around you so you can keep avoiding car accidents.

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