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Have you gotten into an accident before?

Getting into an accident is almost the last thing we want to happen to us on the road. It takes up the most part of your day or some cases the whole day and another week or two just to get your vehicle looking and running how it did before the accident. Insurance rates also go up after the whole process depending on your involvement.

Driving tips always help, and these are some of the most important tips when on the road!

Share any driving tip you have to avoid accidents.

from ride lust
To a lawyer, there's no such thing as a minor accident. Image: David Shankbone

Let’s face it – no one ever plans on getting into an accident, and most of us are over-confident in our driving ability. If you spend enough time behind the wheel, sooner or later the odds just don’t play in your favor. It’s like the opposite of a trip to Vegas, with the jackpot replaced by a roadside call to the police that none of us ever want to make. Accidents are stressful enough, but these days it’s rarely over after the police report is written. If you’re at fault, plan on being sued, which will cost your insurance company (and, potentially, you) serious money to fight in court. If the court finds in favor of the plaintiff (the guy suing you), expect to lose a substantial part of your income, possibly for a long, long time.

If you get the feeling that accidents are best avoided entirely, you’re correct. There’s no way to guarantee that you’ll never be in the wrong place at the wrong time, but the five tips below should help raise the odds in your favor.


Don’t Drive Distracted

I know that we’ve flogged this particular horse to death, but people still aren’t getting the message. If you text, surf the web, eat, shave, read, apply makeup or even talk on a hand-held cell phone, sooner or later you will have an accident. If you’re lucky, it will be a minor one with no serious repercussions. If you’re not lucky, you’ll be looking at garnished wages or jail time, so ask yourself this: is replying to a “whassup” text worth three years of jailhouse marriage to a guy named Bubba?


Make Sure Your Car Is Mechanically Sound

Many states have done away with vehicle inspection programs, which seems to give drivers free reign to ignore car repair and upkeep. In Florida, it rains almost every single afternoon in the summer, yet 60 percent of the cars I see in parking lots are riding on worn-out tires. Their owners have money for dinner out, cruise vacations, new clothes or the latest electronic gadgets, but they can’t buy new tires or brakes because they’re too expensive. You know what can be exponentially more expensive than new tires? Causing an accident on worn-out tires.


Look Far Enough Ahead

Most drivers fixate on the car in front of them in traffic. If he has to stop short, guess what? Chances are good that you’re driving right into his rear bumper. In traffic, always try to look 2 or 3 car lengths ahead of you, which buys you more time to take evasive action if necessary. If you can’t see around the car or truck in front of you, change lanes until you have a clear view of traffic.


Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

When traffic is coming to a stop on the highway, I immediate activate my hazard lights and lightly tap my brakes a few times to flash the brake lights. Why? Because I want to let the ADD-addled driver behind me know that traffic isn’t moving at 75 miles per hour any more. I always watch my rearview mirror at a traffic light for the same reason, and I often flash my brake lights if another driver is closing on me too quickly. The more you can advise cars around you that there’s stopped traffic ahead, the less likely you are to be the guy that gets hit from behind.


Always Have An Escape Route

Few things freak me out as much as being “boxed in” in traffic, and I’ll do nearly anything I can to avoid it. Why is it so bad? Because suddenly, your safety is dependent upon the driving skill of the motorists around you, and those aren’t odds I’m willing to take. Always look for a way out of traffic situations, either on the shoulder or an adjacent lane. Never let someone drive in your blind spot for this very reason; speed up or slow down to get away from the inattentive lemming in the car alongside you, and never be the idiot who drives in someone else’s blind spot.

A lot of safe driving comes down to common sense, but that’s in short supply these days. Never trust another driver (unless you know them) and always anticipate the most bone-headed move possible from drivers around you; sooner or later, you won’t be disappointed.
 

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Look Far Enough Ahead

Most drivers fixate on the car in front of them in traffic. If he has to stop short, guess what? Chances are good that you’re driving right into his rear bumper. In traffic, always try to look 2 or 3 car lengths ahead of you, which buys you more time to take evasive action if necessary. If you can’t see around the car or truck in front of you, change lanes until you have a clear view of traffic.
NOT nearly enough. A lot more than most people, but professional safe driving course teach to look ahead 10 - 15 seconds MINIMUM.

Also, if you can't see around the vehicle in front of you, dropping back a bit (increase following space) can also help.
 

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From my 25-year motorcycling experience, never drive exponentially faster than the lanes beside you, especially when it's going really slow. Some antsy driver in that lane is bound to merge into the faster lane -- yours. Your momentum will put you into their trunk, backseat, or the city morgue.
 

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Have a child in the family and have to put him or her in the backseat?

Only 23% of multi-car accident is side-impact, yet it causes the highest child fatality.

Have her sit on the right side of the car. Side impact is likely to occur (in North America) on the left side when you enter the intersection. You are much more likely to be bum-rushed by red-light runners on your left, and are more likely to see a speeding car coming from the right, since it's coming from traffic direction farther ahead of you.

If you have a baby/toddler carseat, place it in the middle, the safest spot.
 

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Driving down the road, you notice a car in the oncoming traffic is in his left turning lane, preparing to turn; but you're not sure if he sees you coming, thus he potentially may be turning in front of you while talking on the cellphone with his proctologist. Ease off on your gas and make small swerves within your lane. The aberrant motion will catch his attention and tells him that if he turns into you, he'll never have another love affair with his proctology exam.
 

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Even with just a radio, when I was 18 and dumb that's all it took to distract me into a telephone pole. Look up the Smith System of Defensive Driving sometime. The above topics Look Far Enough Ahead, Communicate..., and Always Have an Escape Route are three of the five principles of Smith restated in different language. (the other two are: Keep Your Eyes Moving and Aim High in Steering [so you'll be centered in your lane instead of being closest to the lane marking you're watching].)
 

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Interesting question,
So what happen if you got rear-ended by a flashing police vehicle without the siren on while you are going ta normal city speed limit?:confused:
Distracted, you should be checking your mirrors more often.
 

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No, they still should not have run into you. But why take the chance? Better to get out of the way.
 

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Always scan your mirrors - I can't tell you how many times I have avoided being slammed into from behind by drivers not paying attention. By leaving enough room between you and the car in front of you ( i.e. escape route ) you're able to move out of the way generally.

My ex-wife used to laugh at me for scanning the mirrors while sitting at red lights or other times stopped in traffic. She's the "focus directly ahead and nowhere else" type of driver.
 

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2 objects going different speeds

You only have to understand one thing: In order to have an "accident", there must be a difference in speed.

The most common mistake I see 90% of drivers doing is not looking past the end of their hood. Actually not even that far, they only look at their speedometer. Take a look at the dummy swerving out from behind you, into another lane, then changing back into your lane. All with a big fat red light ahead. You can learn by observing the other drivers mistakes, which are occurring constantly.

Take a second and look realistically to see whether it's worth zig-zagging around. Usually it's not. Imagine if you were in a helicopter looking down at your car in traffic. It would be obvious that even if you got through the knot of cars around you, there's another big group head. And another after that. You might be able to shave a minute or two off your ETA, but by risking a dramatic crash. That's what most drivers eventually figure out, but you occasionally see an older driver who obviously doesn't understand. They are the lucky ones that have beaten the odds - so far.
 

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Lots of these are good points. However I think one crucial point has been missed.

Always drive like nobody see's you.

This I learned as a wee lad.. my first car was a 1985 rx7. It was considerably lower and small compared to most cars on the road. Also is was a dark grey which blended in with the road too well. I learned to drive on the offensive. Not fast.. but aware and like what was already mentioned. Always have an escape route.

I've been driving for some time now.. and racing for a good portion of it as well. So far no accidents on the road or in a race setting. Which includes 24 hours of lemons which is seriously fun but also amateur hour (which is also fun don't get me wrong).

But always always always think nobody know's you're there. In a small car such as these it is absolutely positively crucial.

And if you like to be extra safe. Take a Skip Barber, Bondurant, or other racing school class. On average they are about 2-4k. However worth every penny since you'll learn car control and defensive driving techniques, IE accident avoidance.
 

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I think distracted driving was around before cell phones became common. Kids fighting in the car, people use to carry their music library on cassette tapes sometimes 100s in a case meant to carry in cars and change them while drving in heavy traffic then scroll through the tape looking for just the right music, eating pizza, lighting cigarettes, dropping that lit cigarette while driving..........

Gerhard
 

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I think distracted driving was around before cell phones became common. Kids fighting in the car, people use to carry their music library on cassette tapes sometimes 100s in a case meant to carry in cars and change them while drving in heavy traffic then scroll through the tape looking for just the right music, eating pizza, lighting cigarettes, dropping that lit cigarette while driving..........

Gerhard
A burning cigarette in a moving car is an accident waiting to happen.

I was with a lady, she was smoking with the window cracked. A lot of smokers crack a window while the smoke. Well, a piece of red hot ember fell off. Maybe it blew off?

It fell in the seam of the seat, between her legs. Immediately the car filled with a thick, horrible smoke from the foam cushion.

She steered us off the highway at 70mph. Luckily there was no curb, it was fairly flat grass.
It burnt a Large hole, straight thru to where I could see the floor.

Moral of this story: Don't smoke in your car. EVER.
 

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Lots of these are good points. However I think one crucial point has been missed.

Always drive like nobody see's you.
This is true - because they don't see you! TX is huge on Yield signs which to everyone just means they don't have to stop. On my route home there is this intersection: 3 lanes heading west + a right turn only lane with a yield sign at the light which has 3 lanes heading north plus a right turn only lane just after the intersection. The right turn only lane from west-bound goes into the right turn only lane heading northbound. Driver's in the right lane ( lane 3 ) heading west can also turn right at the intersection to head north.

The problem is the driver's in the right turn only lane with the yield blow through the yield and immediately cut diagonally across all 3 north-bound lanes to get in the left turn lane up at the next intersection. Not only is that reckless, but they don't even bother looking to see if there are any cars in any of the 3 north bound lanes. There are near misses and/or accidents there every day.

You've got to have your head on a swivel period, because nobody else does.
 
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