Average time between two car accidents that result in injury.
Just think about it. In time it took you to read this – someone is on the way to the hospital.
No matter how experienced you are, there are some mistakes that you are doing while driving.
Often those errors are done without too much thinking about them, but every single time they can lead you into some horrible accident! How can you cheat death on the road, you may ask?
Read the following article as we’ll mention some of the most common errors on the road!
What are the most obvious driving mistakes?
We’ll start from the more obvious ones, the ones that everyone know they should follow, but in reality every day less and less people really do obey them. You know those: don’t text and drive, stop at the red light, keep your speed appropriate, etc.
In fact it is really simple, you break the rules you endanger yourself, your passengers and everyone else on the road, but somewhere along the way it becomes essential to arrive at our destination a few minutes faster. It becomes more important to send that one “lol” message or use cell phone while driving in unforgiving conditions.
But, long before we take that photo for our driving license we start making those stupid mistakes. According to Jan Mendoza from the California Department of Motor Vehicles these are the most common:
1. Unsafe Lane Change
2. Failure to yield to other traffic or pedestrians
3. Failure to make a complete stop
4. Illegal Left turn (when in a left turn lane, you must complete the turn in the same lane you started)
5. Improper Speed (10 miles under or 10 miles over the speed limit will cause you to fail the drive test) – or too fast for conditions
6. Lack of Experience
7. Unfamiliar with the vehicle (as part of the drive test you must demonstrate where certain elements of the car are located i.e. defroster, wipers, etc)
8. Poor Scanning of your surroundings
9. Too Cautious (if overly cautious, you may impede the flow of traffic)
10. Unfamiliar with traffic and roadways i.e. traffic circles, business, residential or school areas
Jan Mendoza, dmv.ca.gov
So, please, be careful and remember that there are a lot of other people on the road, also depending on your driving.
Now that we covered that, you may wonder: what are the less known mistakes?
Follow the traffic, not the road signs!
Related to what we just mention, some people might say “Hey, I am doing my best to follow rules, but someone coming from other direction will not!”. That might be true, but that’s why this advice is important.
We are all taught to follow road signs at all costs, but while they are important it is crucial that you pay attention to what other drivers are doing. Now, we are not saying you shouldn’t follow them, you just have to assume that everyone else don’t know how to read them!
It’s simple, if you are going to intersection, just assume that you don’t have a green light and continue with more caution. If a sign says that you should drive at high speed when it’s wet, icy and slippery don’t try to just do it.
In short, use common sense whenever it is possible to and be more observant to what is happening on the road.
See everything but your car in your mirrors!
Many people don’t do this properly albeit it looks like one of the most important tips in this article.
Basically, what you need to do is when you are in driver’s seat set your inside mirror so you can see most of your rear window. As far as the side-mirrors go, you should push them out to the each side of your vehicle until the side of your vehicle is no longer visible and not even slight turn to the left or right more!
Because of difference in height there isn’t only one correct position for the mirrors and that’s why automakers gave us the option to set them manually.
This technique, however can be, according to Car and Driver magazine, confusing:
This can be disorienting for drivers used to seeing the flanks of their own car in the side mirrors. But when correctly positioned, the mirrors negate a car’s blind spots. This obviates the need to glance over your shoulder to safely change lanes as well as the need for an expensive blind-spot warning system.
Car and Driver magazine
Blind spots can be very dangerous, as drivers can not really see cars behind them which can cause some nasty mishaps. That’s why auto industry is pouring lots of money each year in the development of automatized systems that could warn the drivers and prevent dangerous collisions, but this seams as something that you could do today and free of extra charge.
It is true though, many people are complaining that it is too weird for them to drive their vehicles with rear view mirrors positioned in this manner, so expect some time for getting used to it.
Music you listen to actually makes the difference!
It’s true we suggested what kind of music you should listen while driving and we did those articles more than once. In truth maybe you would be best without any music, since it was determined it makes a high impact on your driving behavior.
Numerous studies, one of which can be found here, showed this to be true. You might not be surprised that upbeat, loud and aggressive music is on top of the “music to avoid while driving” list.
It was noted that that kind of music motivates us to increase our speed, brake more aggressively and overall behave inconsistently on the road. And these facts can be improved further if the sound on our audio players is louder.
The second danger from listening to this kind of songs comes from the fact that we pay more attention to the song than to what is happening on the road slowing our reaction time, which of course is not good.
On the other side, according to telegraph.co.uk, if you are listening to these songs, you can breathe more easily on your next road trip:
The top 10 safest songs to drive to are:
1. Come Away With Me – Norah Jones
2. Billionaire Feat. Bruno Mars – Travie McCoy
3. I’m Yours – Jason Mraz
4. The Scientist – Coldplay
5. Tiny Dancer – Elton John
6. Cry Me a River – Justin Timberlake
7. I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing – Aerosmith
8. Karma Police – Radiohead
9. Never Had a Dream Come True – S Club 7
10. Skinny Love – Bon Iver
Well, those might not be your favorite songs or your kind of music, but you get the point.
Turn on your headlights!
So many people are torn on this one.
When should you turn on your headlights? When it starts getting really dark or is there a specific time?
Our answer is very simple: you should leave them turned on at all times! Not only you don’t have to worry about when is the right time to do it, but in some situations other drivers can see you coming much clearly even in the bright light.
Headlights really make much of a difference an that’s what Michigan State Police is also advising everyone on the road:
By driving with your headlights on at all times, even on bright sunny days, recent statistics show that you reduce the likelihood of being involved in a collision by as much as 32%. Turning on your headlights lets the other driver see you first; because the human eye is light-seeking, drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists will see an oncoming car sooner and be less likely to pull into its path.
Michigan State Police
There is real truth to this, since some other countries have “headlights must be always on” with hefty ticket fines for anyone trying to save that precious battery power. What’s even more some automakers are producing cars that have this feature automatized.
While we are at it, also, please be careful what type of the headlights are you turning on: fog lights and high beam lights are hardly the same and they can’t be used in every situation.
It doesn’t take much of your time and not even a little of your money to improve your safety on the road greatly! What other useful tips would you advise to our other readers? Do you already follow some of the tips we mentioned in this article and which ones? Please let us know!