Driving safely means driving defensively! A big part of that is knowing what is going on around you, both in front, on your sides, and behind you. Keeping an eye on all those areas takes time and attention to the road – it should go without saying, but ANY distractions inside your car (changing radio stations, eating/drinking, cell phones, unruly children and/or pets, etc.) can take your eyes away from the road during a crucial moment. Things can happen in a blink of a eye that can change you or another’s life forever.
You may already know some of these tips, but don’t we all need a reminder? Some things to keep in mind:
- Increase your defensible space. Give yourself plenty of room between you and the car in front of you. If they slam on the brakes, will you be able to stop?? A general rule-of-thumb is the 2-second rule – you can measure the distance if you watch when the car in front of you passes a road marker, then count 2 seconds. If your car passes the same marker in less than 2 seconds, you are too close. If you are at least 2 seconds, you have adequate distance. Double that time for adverse weather/road conditions so that you have plenty of stopping distance.
- Look ahead down the road, not just in front of your car. You may notice an accident in the distance on the side of the road that allows you to change lanes safely, or you may see brake lights way ahead of you that alert you to an upcoming problem. You may even notice a crazy driver weaving between lanes that may cause a possible problem!
- Move away from that tailgater! That is an unsafe driver and the further you can get, the safer you will be. Just move over (if possible) and let him/her pass. Driving on our roads is not a race!
- Leave a few minutes early so that you are not in a rush to get to your destination. Don’t be that crazy driver or tailgater!
- Minimize your blind spots by adjusting your side and rearview mirrors. Your inside rearview mirror should give you a full picture of your rear window. Adjusting your side mirrors takes a little finesse. Both side mirrors should show a sliver of your car’s side panel. A good test of where your blind spot is to watch a car that is going to pass you on a two-lane highway. Follow the car until you can’t see it in your inside rearview mirror and check when it is visible in your side mirror. If there is a gap, adjust your side mirror out so that there is little to no gap when you can see the car passing. Being aware of where all the cars are around you can help prevent accidentally running into them!
- Walk around your car before you get in to back up. There are many stories of disaster when small children or pets that are not visible in your rearview mirrors are behind the car, especially in a parking lot or backing out of a driveway.
We appreciate all of our valued customers and we wish you safe driving!