Driving requires a lot of focus and one of the best ways to handle an unsafe driver is to be watchful, alert and aware that you could encounter one at any time. Keeping space between you and other people, only using the left lane to pass instead of linger, and avoiding traffic at certain times of day are all ways to manage others who might be driving recklessly. Getting car insurance quotes that fully meet your needs will help keep you covered regardless of what happens on the road.
It can be frightening to be on the road and encounter an unsafe driver. The unpredictability of the situation leaves you feeling anxious and unsure how to progress. Reckless driving includes:
- Drivers who are distracted – using their cell phone, texting, arguing, etc.
- Drivers who are weaving between lanes
- Those who are speeding and those who are driving much too slow for the flow of traffic
- Drivers who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs
Don’t ever engage with a reckless driver. That is, don’t try and get their attention and don’t speed up to provoke them. The best thing to do is alert the police by calling 911 (do so safely by getting off the road or asking a passenger to call). Always slow down and let the reckless driver pass and keep a safe driving distance from them.
It might not be the norm but road debris does happen. Furniture that has fallen off of a moving truck, the remnants from blown out tires, and even bags of garbage can crop up in the middle of the road when you least expect them. One of the first rules of driving is to leave a safe distance between you and the car in front of you. One car length for every ten miles per hour – so six car lengths on the highway when you’re going 60mph should be enough time to spot debris, slow down, and move to another lane.
People walking along the road don’t always have the best judgment. And, these days, they might also be walking while texting which means they are being especially careless. However, as the driver it is your responsibility to watch for pedestrians and to take every precaution. When driving through a residential area be on the lookout for people walking and crossing the street and for those who wander into it. Keep speed and distraction to a minimum with your eyes scanning the roadway.
If you’re in a residential area or school zone you can bet there are children playing. You have to be ready to stop on a dime if a ball or child runs out into the street. The same rules apply as with pedestrians, though children often don’t have the sound judgment yet to watch for moving vehicles so you must be extra cautious.
Bicyclists must adhere to the same traffic laws as motor vehicles. When passing alongside of them, allow at least three feet of distance to provide a safety bubble gap. When turning right or left be on the lookout for bicyclists and be courteous in yielding to them.
Congestion is a hazard because the flow of traffic is unpredictable as are the actions of the drivers. While some can be patient others are not and end up jumping between lanes trying to find the fastest one. Always keep a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front of you (and realize that some drivers will utilize this space to pull in ahead) and be aware that drivers can come out of nowhere. Motorcyclists may also tend to weave between cars so also be cognizant of them.
There’s almost nothing more dreadful when driving than getting behind a vehicle with an unsecured load. If you’re able to, maneuver to another lane and if you can, alert the police as to the dangerous condition, including the vehicle’s location and description.
The importance of safety surrounding construction zones is at an all-time high and with good reason; thousands of workers are injured annually while performing their jobs. Work zone awareness is now taken very seriously. Drivers may be subject to fines and penalties if they don’t comply with work zone laws such as moving over safely for vehicles working alongside the road that display green, amber, blue, red or white lights.
The road is a dangerous and hazardous place but that doesn’t mean you can’t be prepared! When you are aware of what can happen and what to do in that situation you will feel more confident on the road.