After driving for so long, it’s very easy for drivers to become complacent and stop taking the necessary measures to safeguard themselves. Some drivers will get into the habit of driving off before they put their seat belts on. Others will stop keeping both hands on the wheel. These seemingly minor habits can easily result in fatal accidents.
Below is a list of some of the most important things that every driver, regardless of driving experience, must always look out for when on the road.
Distance Between You And Other Motorists
Tailgating is one of the most annoying behaviors on the road. It can give the driver in front lots of anxiety, forcing them into making fatal mistakes.
The two-second rule is designed to prevent these issues. It asks drivers to stay at least 2 seconds behind the car in front. Always follow this rule when on the road.
The rule can also help you get away from tricky situations with ease. For instance, if the car in front gets into an accident, you will have enough room and time to avoid ramming into their car. It allows you to avoid getting held up by the accident.
With that in mind, it’s good practice to help victims of a car accident you’ve witnessed if you are in a position to. You can support them by calling the medics and helping with securing the scene. Your statement also goes a long way to assist the victims in filing for claims.
As much as we hate them, speed limits play a significant role in keeping motorists safe.
Just because there are no cars nearby doesn’t mean that you’re free to over-speed. You may not crash into another motorist, but you can definitely lose control and end up in a ditch.
Follow the speed limits of the roads you are driving in. It’s also good to adjust your speed based on factors like weather conditions. The motorway speed limit could be 80mph, but if the road is soaked in the rain, driving at anything more than 40mph is asking for trouble.
Road signs are designed to keep drivers and pedestrians safe. You put yourself in unnecessary danger every time you ignore road signs.
Take note of all road signs and make sure to obey them even when they appear pointless. This is a safety measure, and it also helps protect your rights. Many auto accident lawyers will tell you that it’s easier to deal with a claim where they can show that you were following the traffic rules. That means you’ll get compensation with ease to pay for your damages and medical bills.
As a driver, you must know the blind spots of your car and those of other motorists. The latter is particularly crucial when you’re on the road with trucks and other big vehicles.
When should you check your blind spots? Every time you are driving off, merging, or changing lanes.
How do you compensate for blind spots? Alert other drivers on the road with indicators whenever you are switching lanes. You must also use your mirrors as much as possible and complement them with shoulder checks.
In a report shared by Insurance Information Institute, 697 of the traffic fatalities recorded in 2019 were traced back to drowsy driving.
All drivers must watch out for any signs of tiredness when driving. If you know you have a long trip ahead, get enough rest the night before. You must also plan your drive and pick resting points on the way. Experts recommend taking at least 15-minute breaks after every 2 hours of driving.
The CDC reports that eight people die every day due to distracted driving. This effectively makes distracted driving one of the biggest causes of traffic deaths.
Drivers, and especially teens and young adults, must watch out for distractions when on the road. Avoid talking to your passengers when it’s making you lose concentration. Don’t withdraw your eyes from the road to read a text message or watch a TikTok. Never let your brain wander off and forget that you are inside a piece of metal cruising at 60mph. These mistakes can be fatal.
The last thing you want is your fuel running out, leaving you stranded in the middle of nowhere. Always check your fuel gauge before leaving your destination and when on the road.
Dashboard Warning Lights
Warning lights provide key diagnostics about your car. Although some of them may not be urgent, several indicators must be addressed as soon as they pop up.
Some of the most critical car warning lights to look out for are:
- Battery charging light
- Oil pressure light
- Engine temperature light
- Brake warning light
- Airbag SRS light
As a driver, you must do your due diligence and ensure you are not endangering yourself and other motorists. Moreover, you need to watch out for external factors like other motorists and road hazards.