Driving in America is safer than ever. Despite increased distractions and more drivers on the road than in years past, car accident statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recorded 2011 as having the lowest number of U.S. traffic deaths since 1949.
In part, this is due to safer cars, safer roads and years of improved driver safety education. However, human error remains one of the foremost reasons for auto accidents.
To be a better driver, it never hurts to consider some basic rules of the road. These basic rules help to improve awareness of one’s driving patterns and habits, as well as those of other drivers.
- Keep Focused – While driving, frequently survey traffic around you to better anticipate what drivers are doing or may do.
- Pass It On – Let other drivers pass. Increasing speed or cutting other drivers off who attempt to pass accomplishes very little, and puts all drivers on the road at risk.
- Signal Others – New Jersey law requires drivers to activate “a continuous turn signal not less than the last 100 feet traveled by the vehicle before turning.”
- Stay Put – Don’t change lanes while in an intersection. Other drivers cannot anticipate this lane change safely.
- Keep Your Distance – It is recommended drivers allow themselves enough distance from the car ahead of them to allow their vehicle to stop safely within three to four seconds in an emergency. This distance varies based on vehicle speed and road conditions.
- Remember the Children – Residential areas are more likely to have children playing in the streets or darting out between cars or other objects. Follow the speed limit, stay alert, and drive cautiously in these areas.
- Bigger Isn’t Better – Large vehicles often become obstacles, even for their drivers. Keep in mind larger vehicles might have trouble stopping, and the driver’s range of vision is often more limited than in a car. Be careful passing larger vehicles, and assume their drivers cannot always see you or anticipate your actions appropriately on the road.
Keep these rules of the road in mind to avoid car accidents and help maintain affordable car insurance. You too can help create safer roadways and driving conditions in New Jersey.