With the warmer spring and summer weather rolling in, you’re probably starting to creep outside a little more, and that usually means a lot more driving. Perhaps you are planning some road trips or summer vacations as well. To help you stay safe from car accidents and car insurance claims, here are some driving safety tips to keep in mind. We hope you have a great spring and summer, and we hope you stay safe!
Drive a Safe Vehicle
Most of the tips below are focused on safe driving habits, but that won’t mean much if what you’re driving isn’t safe. Having a safe vehicle is the first step. That means ensuring that the vehicle has been well maintained before you purchase it (unless it’s brand new), as well as maintaining the vehicle yourself to ensure it’s always in great condition. Things like the engine oil, brake fluid, transmission fluids, battery condition, and tires are some of the common items on a car maintenance checklist.
Develop the Right Mindset
Before you load your family into your vehicle and start driving, you should always remember to get into the right mindset. Driving is a privilege and should be treated as so. That means respecting the road, following the rules, being considerate, watching out for other drivers, and driving defensively.
Driving defensively means being cautious about both your own actions on the road and also about the actions of other drivers on the road. Some techniques of defensive driving include planning for the unexpected, being prepared to react, not assuming the actions of other drivers are hostile and much more. One of the best remedies to a stressful situation is to just breathe…
Keep Your Distance
Tailgating or following other drivers too closely is also a common reason for car accidents. Give yourself and others enough space to adjust to any sudden changes in traffic. Doing so could be the difference between you rear-ending another vehicle or going unscathed.
Follow Speed Limits
Following speed limits will not only save you from getting speeding tickets but can also save your life. Speeding is one of the most common causes of car crashes, so keep that in mind next time you’re in a rush or feeling the need for speed.
Use Your Turn Signals!
Just like one of the techniques of defensive driving is watching out for other drivers on the road, communicating with other drivers properly is a necessity. One of the best ways that drivers can properly communicate with one another is by using their vehicle’s turn signals. Using your indicators can tell others when you’re changing lanes or slowing down to make a turn. If you don’t signal your intentions on the road, you put yourself and every other car or motorbike at risk and the downside is that you’ll kill someone, or yourself. Signal—BEFORE you start to move—every time you change lanes, merge with other lanes, and turn corners. Signal well in advance to give everyone around you time to slow down or plan for you to slow down and turn.
Adapt to Traffic and Weather Conditions
Another skill defensive drivers have is the ability to adapt their driving habits to different conditions. Not only do you always want to follow speed limits, but you also want to go even slower and keep an even safer distance if traffic is busier, and if it’s raining or snowing.
Changing lanes cautiously is also suggested. Many accidents occur when one vehicle changes lanes right while in another’s blind spot. Don’t rely only on your vehicle’s side windows; always do a quick shoulder check.
Avoid Driving At Night
Driving at night can be more dangerous than driving during the day for a number of reasons. Not only is it harder to see in the dark, but you’re more likely to be tired and also more likely to run into a drunk driver. If you can avoid driving at night, do so.
Another common cause of car accidents is distracted driving. This is predominant in younger drivers who don’t realize that death is forever and getting Instagram likes isn’t worth killing someone. In today’s technology age, much of that means being distracted by our cellphones when texting and driving or even talking and driving. Eating food, having a drink, smoking, and listening to loud music can all also be distractions to drivers. Avoid distractions as much as possible.
Don’t Drive Under the Influence
This one is a no-brainer, but it needs to be said. Driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol not only puts your life at risk, but it also puts the lives of others at risk. Remember that, and always ensure that you or others avoid driving while under the influence of alcohol and drugs.
Wear a Seatbelt
Wearing a seatbelt won’t really save damage to your vehicle if you’re in an accident, but it can save you from damage. Always ensure that you and others in the vehicle wear a seatbelt. It’s also the law and just basic common sense.
Ensure Proper Car Insurance Coverage
Our last tip is to ensure you have proper car insurance coverage for your vehicle. First, it’s against the law to drive without proper car insurance coverage. Second, having proper coverage can really save you financially if you find yourself in an accident and having to pay to fix the damage and/or replace a vehicle entirely. Give our team at Harbord a call today if you have any questions about car insurance coverage. We can provide you with free insurance quotes to help you compare and save!