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. Here are some driving safety tips to keep in mind to help you stay safe from car accidents and car insurance claims. We hope you have a great spring and summer, and we hope you travel safely!
Drive a Safe Vehicle
Most tips below focus 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) and keeping it in excellent condition. Some everyday items on a car maintenance checklist include engine oil, brake fluid, transmission fluids, battery condition, and tires.
Develop the Right Mindset
Before you load your family into your vehicle and start driving, you should never forget 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 your actions and the activities 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 breathe…
Keep Your Distance
Tailgating or following other drivers too closely is 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 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 defensive driving techniques is watching out for other drivers on the road, communicating with other drivers properly is a necessity. One of the best ways drivers can adequately 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 routes, 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 heavier and it’s raining or snowing.
Changing lanes cautiously is also suggested. Many accidents occur when one vehicle changes lanes 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
For several reasons, driving at night can be more dangerous than driving during the day. 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 that 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 under the influence of alcohol and drugs.
Wear a Seatbelt
Wearing a seatbelt won’t save damage to your vehicle if you’re in an accident, but it can protect you from harm. Always ensure that you and others in the car wear a seatbelt. It is also the law and 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 adequate car insurance coverage. Second, having sufficient coverage can save you financially if you find yourself in an accident and have to pay to fix the damage and replace a vehicle entirely. Give our team at Harbord a call today if you have any questions about car insurance coverage. We can provide free insurance quotes to help you compare and save!