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Driving a car might seem like second nature to you, but don’t let yourself become so comfortable that you get careless. Brushing up on safe driving tips can help you avoid getting into accidents. Knowing how to handle hazardous conditions is essential to driving well.
1. Go on the Defensive
Even the safest driver in the world can’t control or predict what other drivers will do. You can learn how to react to others who might put you in unsafe situations, though. If you see someone driving erratically or if you’re dealing with an aggressive driver, put as much space between your car and theirs. If someone is following too close behind you, drive slowly until they decide to pass you or change lanes.
2. Use Extra Caution at Night
Driving at night is more dangerous than driving during the day. The darkness reduces your visibility, which means you have less time to react to dangerous situations. Make sure you have your headlights on at all times while driving at night, and adjust them so that you have a good view of the road. Don’t aim them too high or you could end up blinding other drivers. It is also important to drive at a slower speed and keep more space between your car and the one in front of you. This gives you more time to react if something goes wrong.
3. Reduce Distractions
Driving safe means you have to be ready to make split-second decisions on how to handle your vehicle at all times. You never know when another car will swerve in your path or when an animal will dart into the road. It’s essential to not let yourself get distracted. Don’t talk on your cell phone or send text messages while driving. If you really need to talk on the phone, only use a hands-free device or pull off the road. You also should not eat or let your dog sit on your lap while you’re on the road.
4. Stay Safe in Wet Weather
If you’re driving in the rain, reduce your speed to avoid skidding. This is especially important when you are heading around curves. Avoid pressing down hard on your brakes when stopping. Put light pressure on the brakes and stop slowly. If you end up hydroplaning, take your foot off the gas pedal slowly until your tires are on the road again.
5. Watch for Wildlife
Watch for the reflections of deer eyes on the sides of the road, especially when driving at dawn or dusk. Drive at a slower speed when passing through areas with deer-crossing signs. Keep in mind that a deer you see off to the side of the road could suddenly leap toward you. Also watch for smaller animals, such as rabbits and raccoons, that might run into the road. Be ready to hit the brakes if an animal crosses your path.
6. Find Your Way Through Fog
When driving through fog, keep your lights on the low beam setting. Using your high beams can make it more difficult to see. Drive slowly, and avoid passing cars until you’ve made it through the foggy area. Keep an eye on the road markings so that you know where you are on the road. Try using your wipers to help you see better. Since your visibility is severely reduced, listen for other vehicles with your window slightly open.
Most of the time, you won’t find yourself dealing with unsafe drivers or dangerous road conditions. It’s always a good idea, though, to know how to keep yourself as safe as possible while you’re on the road.
If you are looking at 2nd hand cars then it is vital to do safety checks when buying the car. You can find some fantastic cars at such low prices but always make sure the cars are capable of driving.
Author Bio: Janis Walker blogs about safe driving habits for www.carinsurance.org.uk, a website that offers affordable car insurance. Drive safe, but make sure you are insured, just in case.