Most people don’t consider themselves bad drivers. However, many of us slip into bad driving habits. This is particularly true when we’re on our daily commute to and from work, running errands around town or driving other familiar routes. We feel safe because we drive these roads all the time. Often, our minds are on other things besides what’s going on around us. This complacency can be a recipe for tragedy.
Let’s look at some all-too-common things drivers do that can lead to a serious crash:
Not signaling: It’s crucial to use turn signals so that other drivers and pedestrians know what our intentions are. This is true whether we’re turning or changing lanes. Activating your turn signal at the last second isn’t enough. The rule is to signal at least 100 feet before you make a turn.
Not stopping completely at stop signs: Many people have a habit of rolling through stop signs at intersections if they don’t see anyone approaching. That’s grounds for a traffic citation, but more importantly, it’s dangerous. You need to stop and look for approaching traffic. If trees or something else is blocking your view, after you stop at the stop sign, pull forward until you can see clearly before moving into or through the intersection.
Running yellow lights: Yellow lights can be tricky. However, if a light turns yellow before you’re in the intersection, it’s best to stop. It’s a good idea, though, to make sure that there isn’t a vehicle on your tail that’s expecting you to go through the light. That could cause a rear-end collision. The key is to be particularly observant of traffic all around you when you encounter a solid yellow light.
Disregarding speed limits: Montana’s interstate highways have some of the highest speed limits in the country. However, the faster your vehicle is moving, the worse any crash is likely to be. That’s just one reason why you shouldn’t exceed the posted speed limit. Regardless of that posted limit, never drive faster than is safe for conditions, whether those conditions involve stalled traffic, a snowstorm or debris in the road.
By driving defensively, you lower the risk of being caught off-guard by a reckless, impaired or negligent driver. However, if you are injured in a crash caused by another motorist, it’s essential to seek the compensation you need for medical treatment and other expenses and damages.