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How to Become a Safer Driver in 2023

Safe driving always starts with proper vehicle maintenance. It’s never too late (or early) to brush up on strategies like eliminating distractions, keeping a safe distance from others, and being civil and non-aggressive in traffic.  But it is not only you on the open road and that is why having cheap car insurance is so necessary. It ensures you are lawfully able to operate on the road, but also helps you feel confident as life’s unexpected accidents can and do happen.  With that said, we are here to arm you with ideas that will let 2023 be a great year on the road!

Drive Slower than You Do

There is a good reason the speed limit is in place. Residential areas have a lower limit than highways and we have all become accustomed to that. But, did you know that driving even 5 mph over the speed limit can lead to disastrous results? For every mile over the limit, the driver is more prone to losing control of the car – exponentially. And, even though it might not seem like 30 mph in a 25 mph zone is a big deal, pedestrians and bicyclists who are struck by vehicles going 30 (as opposed to 25) are twice as likely to die after being struck.

Remember to Avoid the Blind Spot

When you adjust your mirrors properly, you won’t have to worry about ‘the blind spot.’ With the rear view mirror and the two side mirrors in sync, the blind spot disappears. If you’re ever unsure, it’s still appropriate to take a micro second to make sure you are in the clear to change lanes. Be aware that you might be in other drivers’ blind spots, so make yourself obvious to them by not hovering in a spot where they can’t see. This is especially true of truck drivers. If you can’t see their mirrors while driving behind them, they can’t see you!

Stay Engaged with the Road

Cell phones are conveniences we’ve all become used to, but while driving they are seriously hazardous to your health – and the safety of others. Your phone notifications can easily beckon while you’re driving, making it difficult to resist the temptation of checking them. But, did you know that even when you stop at a light and return a text or check an email, it takes nearly 30 seconds for you to regain situational awareness? This means that for those 30 seconds your brain is occupied with the contents of your text and not the pedestrian cutting through parked cars or a driver who just ran their red light. The best thing to do is to turn your phone on silent and put it in the backseat or vow not to check it unless you are at your destination or have pulled safely off the road to do so.

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Don’t Tailgate

Regardless of the weather and road conditions, it’s important to keep a healthy distance between you and the car ahead of you. When the weather gets bad and road conditions worsen, leaving one car length per 10 mph has long been the rule, however, the facts are the faster you are moving, the further back you should be. So if you are driving 50 mph instead of being 5 car lengths behind you should be more like 7 because the braking time necessary runs exponentially, not linear.

Scan the Road Ahead

When you’re driving there is so much to consider that it can seem a bit overwhelming. But the truth is to be a safer driver in 2023 you can make easy changes and adjustments to improve your skills. Scanning the road around and ahead of you is always necessary to get an idea as to what your potential hazards are. There might be construction, a driver weaving dangerously, an accident, a stopped bus – the possibilities are endless. Knowing whether or not to slow down, change lanes or take an exit will help you get to where you’re going safely.

Don’t Cause Grid Lock

Everyone is in a hurry these days and you’ll often see drivers catch the tail end of a green light, if not run it after it’s already turned red. Those who are turning left may find themselves at a disadvantage getting stuck in the turning lane with a short light. Regardless of this type of situation, don’t put yourself in a position where you are blocking cross traffic. If you aren’t sure you can make it through the light, hold back behind the line instead of bullying your way through.

Every driver should commit themselves to becoming safer in the New Year. While you might have considerable experience behind you, there is always room for improvement, and when you drive safer you’ll find your insurance rates go down, gas mileage improves, and you can feel confident that you and your loved ones will be safe and secure.

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