Every time you pull out into traffic, you’re facing a host of dangers due to the potentially drunk, unlawful, distracted, reckless and generally negligent motorists around you. Although you can’t do anything about these motorists, there are a few things you can do to significantly reduce the likelihood that you and your passengers will get seriously hurt in a crash.
Although you may have seen many of the following safety tips before, return to this list, again and again, to keep your memory fresh. Indeed, daily driving can become boring, so it’s easy to become complacent and forget to follow this life-saving advice:
Stop, look and listen: The key to avoiding accidents while driving is to see a potential accident beforehand and avoid it. When you pull into traffic and change lanes slowly — after you have thoroughly looked around — there’s less of a chance you’ll be caught off guard.
Red light runners are always a possibility: Have you ever driven into an intersection immediately after a light turns green? Of course, we all have. What’s important to remember in this situation is to look both ways. Just because the light is red for the perpendicular lanes of traffic, doesn’t mean they have actually stopped.
Drive with your hands, not your knees: It seems like a no-brainer, but many drivers are guilty of not keeping one hand on the wheel at all times. This is the worst situation you could be in if an emergency situation arises that requires evasive action. The split-second it takes for you to put your hands on the wheel could be the difference between life and death.
Keep your vehicle well-maintained: A well-maintained vehicle will stop better, maneuver better, accelerate better and basically do everything better — including avoiding accidents.
Look ahead: The 12-second rule says you should scan ahead while driving to the point where you’ll be 12 seconds in the future. This is said to give you the optimum amount of time to stop, slow down or take evasive action when facing a potential crash scenario.
Stop tailgating: Shouldn’t it go without saying that tailgating is dangerous? Nevertheless, we’ve all seen drivers do it again and again. Even worse, we’ve been frightened passengers in the vehicle of a driver who is tailgating. Don’t do this, and if you’re riding in someone’s car who’s doing it, tell the person to stop or demand to get out of the vehicle.
Following these tips could prevent a catastrophic auto collision. However, if you still get hurt in spite of your best efforts to be safe, you might want to explore the possibility of pursuing a personal injury claim. By learning more about New Jersey personal injury law, you can determine your legal rights and options.