Driving is an act of bravery, confidence, and necessity. Each fleet driver needs to be aware that any encounter on the road is an opportunity to avoid an accident.
Attentive drivers avoid car accidents all the time, while careless drivers become the cause. The best way to avoid being in an accident is to drive carefully and avoid known hazards like sun glare or device distractions.
Especially if you drive in a busy city are, the trick is to avoid the many opportunities to get involved in a pile-up, spinout, or angry stoplight fender-bender. Fortunately, attentive driving and responsible decision-making can help anyone reduce their chances of being in an accident.
These six simple driving tips can help you avoid accidents to protect yourself and others in the future.
1) Drive with a Clear Head
Stay aware of your state of mind before you get behind the wheel. Never drive angry, sad, or exhausted if you can help it and - of course - never drive intoxicated. Of course, drivers can't always help your emotional state when driving is a must. If drivers find themselves in a seriously emotional state while operating a vehicle, it is better to pull over and clear your head or hand the wheel to a passenger on your team.
This will help reduce the risk of irrational or emotional reactions to road conditions that may lead to an accident or failure to avoid accident-causing conditions.
2) Fine-Tune Your Driver's Seat Settings
More often than people realize, their driving capabilities are lowered by poor driver settings. The seat might be too low or tilted just a little too far forward. The mirrors might be pointed just a little too high or out to the side. This is especially likely with vehicles operated by more than one driver during the week.
Flip out your manual and explore all the different ways to customize your driver's seat. Then hone those settings until you feel perfectly relaxed, alert, and in control when the vehicle is moving. It may be worth memorizing the changes from one driver to the next to quickly adapt the seat to each driver's needs.
3) Reduce the Glare with Polarized Shades
Don't let bright morning or afternoon sun blind you at a critical moment. Keep shades on your person and a backup set in the vehicle to increase your ability to see on the road, no matter which way the sun or vehicle is facing. Make sure the sunglasses are polarized to block glare reflecting off the road and other vehicles as well.
4) Keep an Eye on the Tires
Don't drive on bald or flat tires. Keep an eye on your tires and check them at least once a week for the tread depth and inflation. Kick your tires in the morning or afternoon to ensure they're still nice and firm.
Use the penny trick on the treads to determine if Lincoln's upside-down head still disappears into the deepest groove. This ensures you'll have good traction at the moment where you might need it most - braking or swerving to avoid an accident.
5) Secure or Stow Loose Objects in the Vehicle
If you have loose objects or equipment in the car, stow them in the trunk or in a secured car caddy. Don't let things roll around on the floor. Car-floor items are dangerous for two reasons.
First, reaching for them counts as a serious distraction, and second, having one get under a pedal or the driver's foot can absolutely cause an accident. So stow those water bottles and back-seat gear before they get underfoot.
6) Watch Out for Others Driving Dangerously
Last but not least, drive defensively. This doesn't mean driving like a shy deer, but more like a stolid turtle. Maintain your lane position and speed if tailgated, flashed at, or zoomed. Most road bullies won't actually hit your vehicle just to push you around. But do watch out for unaware people trying to merge into you or light-jumpers trying to zoom across intersections after the last minute.
Most of all, watch out for other people driving distracted, aggressive, or just plain dangerous. Watch for swaying drunk drivers and speeding maniacs. Watch out for awkward teens behind the wheel and inattentive texters. If you are aware, you are that much more likely to avoid an accident about to happen.
These tips and your own practical defensive driving will help you avoid and even prevent hundreds of accidents in your long driving future. For more vehicle safety insights and solutions to avoid fleet accidents, contact us today.