The key to safe driving is defensive driving. Anticipating potential hazards, rather than being surprised by them, prepares your mind and reflexes so that you can react safely and quickly if you need to avoid an accident.  Here are some practical tips to keep you safe on the road.

Be aware of your surroundings

In addition to paying attention to speed limit signs, railroad crossings, and school signs, be alert to other changes. Orange barrels lining the road should alert you to potential slowdowns, and to look out for people working along the side of the roads. Bridges can be slippery when temperatures drop, and rain can prevent you from clearly seeing what’s in front of you. Keep your ears open, and the car radio music down to a decibel that lets you hear what’s going on around you — including sirens and horns.

Watch Out for Other Drivers

Don’t’ assume the drivers around you know what they’re doing. Watch out for drivers who are swerving, those that are distracted by their phones, and those that seem to be in too big of a hurry. Use your turn signals early so that everyone around you knows your intentions, checking both the side and rear view mirrors, and your blind spot before you change lanes.

Stay three seconds behind

Tailgating puts you, and the people around you, in a dangerous situation. Give yourself and the cars around you plenty of space to react to sudden stops and lane changes.

Green Lights Don’t Always Mean “Clear”

A green light may mean go, but the driver coming from the other direction may be speeding their way through that yellow traffic light too late. You may have the right of way if the light is green, but be defensive, and check to make sure the intersection is clear before you pass through.

Put Your Phone Away

Distracted driving is not defensive driving. Texting, and even phone calls, take your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel and your mind somewhere else.  Paying attention to what is happening around you, and save the texting for later.

If you are involved in any type of an auto accident, contact your Cole Harrison agent right away.  We’re here to help!

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