1. Stay Focused and Avoid Distractions.
With advances in technology and changes in society, becoming distracted while driving is easier than ever before. From setting the radio and watching the GPS for direction to eating and texting while driving, there are a variety of activities that can easily take your focus away from the road. Distracted driving is one of the greatest dangers when it comes to driver safety. Taking 5 seconds to read a text while going 55 mph is the equivalent of driving the entire length of a football field without your eyes on the road. Driving requires your full attention.
2. Maintain a Safe Driving Distance.
In today's world, everyone is always in a hurry. This sense of urgency to get somewhere, whether you're on time or not, causes people to follow other cars too closely. Maintaining a safe following distance is one of the most effective rules in defensive driving, and it's easy to do. Keeping a safe distance from other vehicles allows you longer reaction time in the event something goes wrong. A good rule of thumb for maintaining a safe distance is by using the three second rule for spacing.
3. Be Aware of Your Surroundings.
While driving, your eyes should always be alert. You want to scan your mirrors frequently to check for anything new around you. Watch for aggressive drivers and keep your distance from them. It's also important for you to be aware of pedestrians and bicyclists. Keep your eyes moving. People turn and change direction often, especially if they are lost, and vehicles can appear suddenly next to you. By continuously checking your surroundings and knowing what's there, you can better prepare for what could happen on the road.
4. Slow Down and Drive the Speed Limit.
The faster you are traveling, the longer it will take to bring your vehicle to a stop in an emergency situation. Speed limits are set for a reason, to keep you and other drivers on the road safe, and it's important that you follow them. Driving 10 mph faster is only going to decrease your drive time by a couple of minutes, so why would you increase the risk of a crash by nearly 50% for that?
5. Look as Far Ahead as You Can.
While driving down the road, it's easy to just look at the car directly in front of you. However, it's important that you looks as far ahead as possible. By this we mean miles ahead, not just a few feet. By knowing what's in front of you, you can prepare for the worst and effectively respond to it. Many accidents can be avoided with better situational awareness.
6. Have an Escape Plan.
One of the most effective ways to avoid a traffic accident is positioning your vehicle so those around you can see you; therefore, don't drive in their blind spot. In addition, it's important to know where you'll go in an emergency situation. Where will you go if the person in front of you slams on their breaks? What will you do if another vehicle starts to drift into your lane? Having an alternate path to travel is essential. Always leave yourself an out, a place to move over if necessary.
Insure the Lake wants to make sure you're safe on the roads. In addition to defensive driving, you want to make sure you're fully covered by your auto insurance. Do you know what your coverage includes? Do you know what your deductible is? These are all important things for drivers to know. For a free quote on auto insurance at the Lake of the Ozarks, give us a call at 573-348-2794 today!
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About the Author: Steve is a double back-flip insurance ninja. He was named Young Insurance Agent of the Year by the Missouri Association of Insurance Agents in 2010 and is a Certified Insurance Counselor. When he is not helping customers, he enjoys community service, Latin dancing with his beautiful wife and going on adventures with his two awesome sons.
Steve Naught, CIC
3736 Osage Beach Parkway
Osage Beach, MO 65065
Next to Golden Coral
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