By Madeline Klein
Between wildlife, lousy weather, and terrible drivers, there’s always something you need to be avoiding on the road. And with there being 6 million accidents in the U.S. every year, you can never be too careful while you’re behind the wheel. We’ve got some ideas here to help you avoid some common risks when you’re driving.
1. Watch for wildlife
Unless you’re deep in the heart of a city, you probably have to worry about avoiding wildlife when you’re on the road. Let’s bullet point this:
- Pay attention to those yellow wildlife signs, so you know when to be on the lookout
- Scan the road ahead of you for critters (and watch for reflective eyes)
- Use your high beams if you’re driving at dawn or dusk
And if all else fails and a collision can’t be avoided, hit the brakes but try to stay in your lane. It’s typically more dangerous to veer into someone else’s lane than it is to brace yourself and hit a deer.
2. Use weather alerts
It’s all too easy to overlook the weather. I mean, half the time the weather turns out different than everyone expected, right?
But before you hit the road, be sure to check out that weather forecast, and pay close attention to any specific weather alerts. It’s better to be safe than sorry, so if it looks like weather could be bad, try traveling on a different day or adjusting your travel times.
And in the winter months, it's especially important to pay attention to icy conditions. If you’re traveling early in the morning or late at night, look out for black ice. If you do run into some black ice, most say to try and keep your steering wheel straight but don’t apply your brakes. That’ll give you your best shot to go over the ice and hopefully avoid an accident.
3. Take a driving class
We all know there’s a lot of bad drivers out there. People who either don’t know all the rules of the road or simply don’t care about following them. While staying focused and alert is always important, a good way to help avoid those bad drivers is a driving class. A class can teach you driving techniques that will help you handle tough situations when you’re on the road.
And if you’re lucky, your insurance provider may even offer a discount for taking one of these courses. If you’re over 55, you can get a defensive driving course discount here at Say. (Woot woot for saving money!)
4. Keep up on car maintenance
Prevention is key. It may seem cheesy, but when it comes to your car (and let’s be real, most everything in life), that’s the truth. Keeping up on regular car maintenance will help you avoid any on-the-road issues that could lead to unnecessary risks or even accidents. We’re thinking things like a flat tire on the highway, or maybe a fender bender because your brake lights were out.
Make sure your tires have the right amount of air pressure, check that you’re topped off on windshield washer fluid, and always keep a car emergency kit handy for those unavoidable breakdowns.
5. Don’t drive during rush hour
Rush hour is stressful for everyone involved. Tensions are high, and focus is low because you’re probably on your way to or from work. If you can avoid driving during rush hour, do it. Not only will you save yourself the stress of sitting in traffic that doesn’t move, but you’ll also avoid those rush hour fender benders and accidents.
If you can’t avoid it, learn how to relax during rush hour and enjoy the ride. The less tense you are, the better your drive will be.
Steer clear of accidents
No one wants to get into a car accident. And is it just us, or do they tend to happen at the worst possible times? But if you take some extra precautions and pay close attention to the road, you can hopefully avoid some risks and steer clear of car accidents. You’ll be happy, we’ll be happy, and what’s better than that?
Looking for more driving tips? Check out our blog!
Posted January 4, 2019 in Street Smarts.