With increasing numbers of drivers hitting the nation’s highways every year, our behavior behind the wheel has to be taken more seriously. There are plenty of motorists who take driving for granted, leaving it up to the rest of us to watch out for them in order to keep our auto insurance rates down, while other drivers feel they own the road and you better get out of their way…or else. The question is – which one are you?
Typically, drivers fall into three categories – defensive, aggressive and unaware. The third category, which may be the largest of the three, is full of people who drive as though they’re unaware other drivers are on the road with them. Because quite often it’s the people in the third category that set into motion our defensive or aggressive behavior, we’ll concentrate on all three. The lack of one and too much of another can send your low cost insurance premiums through the roof if you have an accident.
It’s been proven that driving defensively and using it regularly can reduce accidents and make the road a much safer place. On the other side of the coin, statistics also show that unaware and aggressive driving can put everyone at risk. It’s all in your approach when you get behind the wheel, so you may want follow these simple tips:
Don’t lose your cool – While it may not always be easy, you’ll find that staying calm in traffic is a valuable defensive tool. Not only will it keep you aware of situations around you, but also prevent potential hazards from sneaking up unexpectedly.
Try to plan ahead – Increase your scope when you drive. By that, we mean – plan ahead by looking up the road five seconds or so. It’ll help you gauge the situation, giving you a better view of the road and what could be coming up on you.
Keep your speed under control – It’s simple. Stay within the posted speed limit and with the flow of traffic. Rule of thumb – the faster you go beyond what is safe, the less time you’ll have to react to possible danger. In addition, you might avoid that speeding ticket that’ll jack up your cheap auto insurance rates.
Yield right-of-way, if necessary – A four-way stop is often a good place to show a little courtesy. Demanding it – is an aggressive maneuver that should be avoided. The extra second or two you lose by yielding to another driver won’t make you late. In case you’re not sure who got there first, wave the other driver on and let him by.
Use your turn signal – When making a lane change, don’t just cut other drivers off or simply hit the brakes at the last instant to make a right turn. Behaving like this on a regular basis will eventually invite trouble…not only by risking an accident, but by initiating a possible incident of road rage. It’s a matter of being thoughtful, letting other drivers know your intentions ahead of time by using your turn signals.
Be cautious at intersections – Many drivers ignore this constantly, taking for granted it’s always safe for them to do so. The sad fact is – intersections are extremely dangerous even when you’ve got the green light. An unaware driver can easily turn in front of you, leaving you no way out, except to hit them. Furthermore, an ambulance or fire vehicle could enter at the same time you do, believing they’ve got a clear path, when they don’t. Give yourself a chance to spot a potentially dangerous situation by slowing down a little.
Blind spots – Dangerous blind spots are common on almost every car. Compounding the problem is that many drivers only use their rearview mirror or badly adjusted side mirrors to change lanes. The consequences can irritate some drivers into road range, not to mention causing an accident. It’s always a good idea to turn your head, if possible, for a quick glance to be sure a small car isn’t hiding below the rear door of your large SUV or pickup truck.
Slow down in bad weather – You shouldn’t have to think twice about this one, but plenty of drivers ignore it. Slow down and give extra room between you and the cars ahead of you. Remember – reaction time and braking are increased substantially when the weather is bad.
Use your seatbelts – Wear your seatbelts at all times. It’s not just the law; they’re your best defense against serious injury or death. Airbags, alone, aren’t designed to keep you in your seat if your car rolls over.
Unaware drivers can be aggravating, but they don’t have to make you aggressive.
And, while defensive driving can’t completely stop an accident from occurring, it can definitely make you a safer driver…not to mention keep your car insurance rates low.
The choice of what type of driver you are is up to you as is making sure you’re getting the best rate on your auto insurance. Why not get a free auto insurance quote today?
Which type of driver do you think you are – defensive, aggressive, or unaware? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.