Driving Tips From A Legal Perspective
Let’s face it, car accident lawyers can be your best friend when you need compensation for a car accident. But increased awareness of road realities can enhance your options even if an accident occurs. Do you have a good perception of your role on the road?
Being a driver involves diverse functions. Review the following eight points with the objective of enhancing beneficial physical, emotional, and mental skills.
Study your local laws carefully, and keep up with any changes when the legislature is session. If you have recently moved to a different area of the country, or if you are driving to a different part of the country on a trip, then the traffic laws will be a bit different, and confidence in proceeding is essential, especially when you are not exactly certain how to get where you are going.
Do you need to be in the right lane except when passing on the freeway? Is it illegal (in addition to being a bad idea) to have a cell phone in your hand? Can you make a right on a red? Be aware of school zones and speed limits. (Remember that they aren’t always the same in the opposite direction.)
Think ahead. This involves a number of concepts, but perhaps the best way to think about it is to practice the opposite of tunnel vision. Keep your eyes far ahead of you on the road instead of just concentrating on staying in traffic lanes, or reading the bumper stickers of the cars ahead of you. (There is enough time for that when you are stopped at a red light.)
Let your eyes move so that you can get information from all sides, and retain a comprehensive picture of the total environment of your car on a road with other cars. Your eyes should constantly be moving, pausing only long enough to focus, and then moving on to another area.
If there is a car behind you, you should know it, so that you are aware of the possibility of someone in your blind spot. If there is a bridge coming up, then you will be aware of possible ice in cold weather.
If there is an intersection with a major road, then you will be aware not only by reading signs, but by taking in the side vistas peripherally as well as occasionally turning your head to make sure of something. This takes some practice, so if you aren’t used to doing this you will have to concentrate until it becomes second nature.
By the time your next road trip comes around, with some diligence in the meantime, you should be able to relax while keeping up with a visual surveillance of the road and its environs.
Accept responsibility for keeping adequate space around your vehicle. This means that you don’t tail-gate other cars, and that you have a strategy for avoiding tailgaters. (If someone is too close behind you, for instance, consider slowing down slowly so that they will pass.)
When pulling out from the curb, don’t think of “getting ahead” of another car, but rather think of moving into empty space so that you will be safe. Avoid convoys of cars, and try to be a loner on the open road. This gives you precious seconds in case of an accident ahead of you.
Move away from large vehicles that block your view, whether in street traffic or on the freeway or turnpike. Avoid situations where you have to rely on limited visibility. Anticipate trouble and detour if possible.
Use your horn strategically. The horn is either grossly misused, or ignored when it should be used. It is a valid signal for possible danger, but it can increase danger if it irritates other drivers.
When you are passing another vehicle on a two-lane road, use the horn with a brief toot long before you are beside the other driver. This will alert him that you are there. Also, if there are children playing on a residential street, toot when you are still at a distance so that they know you are there. This will be in addition to driving slowly and watching their movements, and will greatly increase their safety.
Honking loudly when you are near other cars or people scares people and makes them angry.The horn should be a polite reminder that you are there.
Display leadership as a driver with passengers. Your passengers need to know that your priority is driving, and that you expect them to wear their seat belts and not to distract you beyond your capabilities.
Decide on appropriate games for children in advance, and have a non-driving supervisor for the little ones if possible. Enlist a capable passenger to fulfill the task of map-reader or GPS navigator when required. Before you get in a car to drive, you should be well-rested, and absolutely not under the influence of conscious-altering substances. You should leave with enough time to get there within the speed limits. Although it is normal to be hungry if you are driving to dinner, do not be so hungry that you pay attention to french fries instead of turn signals.
Don’t put on your make-up or shave or floss your teeth. Don’t talk on a cell or text or read the funnies, or balance your checkbook. Such is the stuff of “accidents” that are waiting to happen. It is only a matter of time.
Make sure that your car is functional. The windshield and windows and mirrors must be clean. Your tires must have traction. The signals and brake lights and headlights must be operational. If you suspect an operational problem, deal with it before you become a road hazard.
Drive in the knowledge that you are participating in a group effort. As important as it is that you maintain distance on the road, our highway system would not work if we were not cooperating with each other. Make sure that other drivers know your intentions.
There are those who drive as if it were not necessary to be considerate of others, and it is necessary to deal with those persons with a cool head and a decided avoidance strategy. Forgive them, and make sure that you don’t adopt their attitude. (If you are on the road after getting fired, or having a brutal argument, that person could be you.)
If You Need Help Contact Frekhtman & Associates
New York City roads and highways are dangerous places. If you find yourself involved in an accident, contact our NYC car accident lawyers for swift assistance and professional representation.