Driving Habits of Good Drivers
We have 11 more days left in 2016 and Florida is only a few thousand accidents shy of 2015’s record-breaking 374,000+ car accidents, and it is likely that this year’s numbers will exceed that. If that does happen, that will mean that 2016 was another year in which the number of traffic accidents in Florida increased. In a span of five years (2011-2015), the number of car accidents in Florida has increased by 63 percent.
In 2015, Florida tied West Virginia and Tennessee for having the eleventh highest rate of traffic fatalities per 100,000 people. And what is really crazy is that Florida is never plagued by extremely dangerous road conditions like ice, snow or blizzards.
So what can you do to avoid being another statistic? Always try to be the best driver possible and practice driving habits that are courteous and respectful to other drivers and that keep you safe. Here are a variety of things that you can and should do to be a good driver.
Look Over Your Shoulder Before Changing Lanes, at Any Speed
No matter how fast you are going, you should always, always look over your shoulder before changing lanes. Almost every car has blind spots, and mirrors give a false sense of security. You never know when there is a car or a motorcycle coming up behind you at a very fast speed or just in that right spot to not be seen.
Know Your Surroundings
Whether you are parked or in motion, you should always know what is going on around you. Use your mirrors to keep an eye on traffic on the sides of your vehicle and behind you. Also, you should always be looking ahead so you can know what to anticipate.
Good drivers straighten out their car when crooked and also know how to parallel park. That doesn’t mean they perfectly park every time, but it means when they don’t park great, they fix it.
Use Your Turn Signal to Change Lanes
A lot of drivers do not use their turn signal before changing lanes and this can cause a lot of problems. When you use your signal before changing lanes, you are letting other drivers know that you are getting ready to make a change, so that gives them a warning to give you space.
Check the Driveway Before Reversing
You never know when there is a pedestrian or biker in your path.
Use Caution When Moving Through an Intersection
A lot of cars run red lights, so if you are first through an intersection, be sure to look at the lanes that just had the green light to make sure no other cars are trying to squeeze through.
Do Not Block Other Drivers to Change Lanes
Driving in a new area can be frustrating because you don’t always know when or where a street is, but good drivers know that it is okay to pass the street they were supposed to turn on and simply make a U-turn or go around the block. It is never okay to prevent other drivers from moving forward during a green light because you are taking up two lanes trying to make a turn that you did not anticipate. Same thing applies when trying to get over to make an exit, do not unsafely change lanes just so you can make the exit. If you miss it, you miss it and you can take the next exit. It is not a big deal.
Good Drivers Know + Accept That All Drivers Are Not Good Drivers
The best drivers are good drivers because they do not get angry or frustrated when other drivers are not perfect drivers. Knowing this, good drivers are not always in a bad mood and they anticipate that there are bad drivers on the road and they are ready to avoid the mistakes that bad drivers make.
Stay safe out there! Happy holidays.