Car accidents happen all the time. To avoid getting into one, you need to account for yourself as a driver and for those around you, too. Not only will this lead to safer driving, but it can also help you avoid the time, expense, and inconvenience of an accident.
1. SLOW DOWN
Speeding reduces the time you have to react and increases the likelihood of you having an accident. The faster you’re going, the harder it is to slow down. When you can't slow down, you risk causing or being in an accident.
2. STAY IN YOUR LANE
In general, avoid the left lane. It’s where most accidents happen. You also have more "escape routes" in the right lane should a problem suddenly arise that requires you to quickly change lanes or pull onto the shoulder.
3. DRIVE WITH BOTH HANDS ON THE WHEEL
Two hands on the wheel allows you more control over the car if an emergency situation were to arise. Imagine having one hand leisurely resting on it when you have to swerve out of the way – you lose that precious split second in adjusting your position that could mean the difference between safety and an accident. (The 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock hand position is recommended for a reason: it provides the most flexibility should you suddenly need to adjust your course).
4. DON'T TAILGATE THE CAR IN FRONT OF YOU
No matter how slowly traffic is moving, keep at least two seconds of following distance between you and the car ahead of you. Any less and you won't be able to stop in time if the driver in front of you slams on their brakes.
5. USE YOUR SIGNAL PROPERLY
Always use your signal, even if you think no one is there. When changing lanes on the freeway, don't signal as an afterthought or during the lane change. Signal at least a couple of seconds in advance so others know what you're going to do before you do it and can account for your actions should there be an issue. (Ever notice how most of the skid marks along the highway are just before an exit ramp? This is where you have to be the most careful).
6. KEEP YOUR EYES MOVING
Don't get in the habit of staring at the back of the car ahead of you. Periodically shift your eyes to the side-view mirrors, the rear-view mirror, and ahead to where you'll be in 10-15 seconds. Doing this, you can spot a potentially dangerous situation before it happens.