Tips on Avoiding Auto Accidents

While credit history and other criteria help insurers determine your level of risk as a driver, your history as a motorist is still the gold standard. Insurers use actuarial tables and statistical analysis to break down risk in every demographic imaginable. You may think that those speeding tickets and minor fender benders won't influence your auto insurance in the future. The problem with this line of thought is that the auto insurance industry is highly competitive and insurers are looking for any reason to raise premiums. You need to heed the following tips in order to show insurance companies that you are a responsible, defensive driver that knows how to interact with all manner of motorists.

  1. Check out the rapidly growing niche market of race car schools throughout the United States to learn control as a driver. The high speeds of professional racing are only matched by the ability of drivers to keep these cars from flipping over on every turn. Most of these schools are in Southern states because of year-round warm weather but you should look for traditional stock car schools as well as the relatively new drift car schools.
  2. Venture into the darkness of night cautiously within your automobile. The threat of a deer running into the road, a drunk driver swerving from lane to lane and a night time deluge of rain may seem unlikely to most drivers but you should not take the chance. Drivers should inspect their front and rear lights before driving in the dark to keep your line of sight clear.
  3. Follow manufacturer recommendations for maintenance on your vehicle to prevent breakdowns and other mechanical issues.
  4. Keep your vehicle's capabilities and functions in mind as you drive on the highway and on city streets. You should not expect a minivan to make the sharp turns of a sports car and you should not overload a sports car with a minivan's cargo load.
  5. Stay in the slower lane of highways to avoid the attention of patrol cars and other officers of the law. The center lane in a three-lane highway allows you to move left or right based on the actions of other drivers which decreases the probability of a collision. The right lane on a two-lane highway allows you to pull to the shoulder if you encounter mechanical problems.
  6. Use your mirrors and keep your head on a swivel even if you are driving to a local store. You should use your rear view mirrors, do head checks before changing lanes and use other defensive tools to avoid accidents with other motorists.
  7. Keep your hands at the top of the wheel without grasping the wheel with white knuckles. You can play around with the seat's position so that you have your hands resting on top of the wheel and your arms extended outward. This helps you stay in the classic "10 and 2" position without wearing your arms out and losing focus on the road.
  8. Look at the condition of vehicles next to you on the road to anticipate potential traffic problems. A vehicle owner with a freshly cleaned car and properly inflated tires will likely take great care in avoiding collisions and other problems with motorists.
  9. Practice looking for blind spots from your driver's seat before you hit the road. Rear view and side mirrors have natural blind spots that need to be observed by the naked eye. You can have a friend park their vehicle or drive slowly on a back road to help you expose blind spots before taking a long trip.
  10. Use your hands to keep your focus on the road for the entirety of a trip. Many drivers feel that the classic "10 and 2" or "9 and 3" driving position does not make them look cool but it draws the eyes toward the road instead of at the radio or elsewhere in the vehicle.