The summer vacation season kicks off on Memorial Day weekend. Plenty of people will flood the streets in North Carolina going to and from the beaches and mountains. With the influx of traffic in this state, you want to be careful and use defensive driving. People don’t always follow the road rules, so you need to be extra cautious to protect your family.
Defensive Driving Tips
In football, you have defensive and offensive players. The best offense is a strong defense, and this works on the roadways too. Some folks don’t go the speed limit, don’t use turn signals, do improper lane changes, and run red lights.
Since these drivers are so irresponsible, you must be on guard. Defensive driving means that you’re ready for any dangerous situations that might come up. You’re always watching for the mistakes of others that could cause you to have an accident. Here are a few defensive driving tips you need to utilize.
Driving Tip 1. Keep Your Distance
Keep two car lengths distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. Some say to keep 2-3 seconds between you two, but you can measure it out to at least two car lengths. Should the vehicle in front of you put on its brakes and you rear end them, you will likely be cited for unassured clear distance. Ensure there’s enough space keeps you out of harm’s way.
Driving Tip 2. Slow Down During Rain
Rain can be just as dangerous to drive in as snow and ice. People think they can still go at the same speed when the roads are wet, but it’s not wise. You should reduce about five mph during the rain, ensure your wipers are going, and headlights are on.
Driving Tip 3. Avoid Other’s Blind Spots
Each vehicle has a blind spot. If you get into these sections on the roadways, you increase your chances of getting hit. Become familiar with these blind spots on common vehicles, and make sure you stay out of these areas for your safety.
Driving Tip 4. Be Careful in Intersections
One fallacy people have is that a yellow light means to speed up. A yellow light is a warning to clear the intersection as the light is about to change. Many accidents happen when people try to hurry through the light to keep from waiting, so you must watch out for other drivers.
Another traffic light issue comes when the light turns green. Just because you have a green light doesn’t mean you can go. You must ensure the intersection is clear and no one is still trying to pass through. This often happens when people try to make a left-hand turn across traffic, and they would rather take it on a yellow or red. You can get into a major accident if you don’t look before you leap.
Driving Tip 5. Stay Focused and Alert
While it’s tempting to push yourself to go the extra mile, or you want to drive even though you’ve had little rest, it’s not a good idea. It would help if you were focused and alert while on the highways, so don’t drive when you’re sleepy.
Additionally, it’s not safe to eat, text, talk on the phone, or do other activities that can distract you from what’s going on around you. North Carolina has laws regarding cell phones. First, it’s illegal for anyone to text and drive. Drivers under the age of 18 are not allowed to use their cell phones while operating a motor vehicle. A hands-free device is always best to keep your attention on the road.
Driving Tip 6. Properly Maintain Your Automobile
Did you know that many roadway accidents here in Winston Salem happen because of mechanical issues? If a car breaks down in the middle of the road, it causes other drivers to slam on their breaks to prevent hitting it. It’s not always possible to move a car to the berm for safety, which creates a big problem.
Part of driving defensively means having your automobile in top shape. Here at Cloverdale Auto Service, we ensure our customers get the highest quality of service to be safe on the roadways.
Driving Tip 7. Avoid Excessive Lane Changes
You need to make lane changes, especially when passing a tractor-trailer. However, excessive lane changes can cause an accident. You must never pass on the right, even if the left lane is blocked and moving slowly.
Driving Tip 8. Avoid Road Rage
You’re frustrated because you’re running late, your passengers are restless, and you just want to get to your destination. However, you should never take it out on the person who just cut you off on the freeway. Road rage is a dangerous game, and it can cost you heavily.
Just three months ago in the Lumberton area, a man shot a woman traveling from Pennsylvania because they engaged in road rage. People don’t always play nice on the roadways, so you must be careful and avoid such interactions.
Driving Tip 9. Always Assume the Worst About Other Drivers
One of the biggest problems on the roadways is assuming. You assume that the intersection will be cleared, the car beside you will stay in their lane, and everyone will drive safe. However, the worst thing you can do is expect everyone to do what they should, as this sets you up for trouble. When you assume anything, you let your guards down, which can cause an accident.
Final Thoughts on Defensive Driving
Keep your eyes on the road and put your phone in your pocket. Make sure your car is ready for the roads this summer by having an inspection and tune-up. Our highly skilled technicians give consistent automotive services to our valued customers so that you can be safe on the roadways.