We know you can picture it: the car behind you getting so close to your bumper that you can’t see their headlights while driving down the road. This is commonly referred to as tailgating. Tailgating is one of the leading causes of most vehicle collisions. Other common causes are speeding and road rage, and there are numerous other traffic situations that we face every day that can be just as dangerous. Here are five of the most dangerous traffic situations:
Many motor vehicle collisions occur at intersections that have stop signs or traffic lights. This is mostly due to drivers not paying enough attention to the signs or lights, or are in a hurry to get somewhere.
The Highway Loss Data Institute (HDLI) collected data which indicated that nearly half of all urban-area crashes occur at intersections. It is estimated that 1.7 million crashes occur at intersections every year.
To avoid an intersection collision, the simplest solution is to pay attention; not just to yourself but also to others on the roadway. Another solution is to drive defensively, and yield the right-of-way when appropriate. As we all know, though it may be your turn to go at a four-way stop, someone else may not realize that it is not their turn.
Exiting the Vehicle
Whether it’s exiting your vehicle after it has broken down, helping out at an accident scene, it is important to be aware that doing so in a driving lane can be extremely dangerous. Many accidents are caused by distracted drivers hitting people who have stepped out of their vehicle.
Stay in your vehicle if you’ve been in an accident, unless you can maneuver it to a safe spot. If you want to assist another motorist, it is best to call the police or a tow truck company.
The best thing you can do when making a left turn is to be patient. Take your left turn when you are absolutely sure it is safe to do so. You may think you can beat the oncoming vehicle but, statistically speaking, trying to beat that car is a bad idea.
Also, always use your turn signal to alert other motorists and pedestrians on the roadway of your intention to turn left.
Driving up a hill can be scary for numerous reasons, including because you may not be able to see what is at the top of the hill. There may be an accident, or a deer in the road, or a stopped school bus letting children out.
Make sure you’re paying attention to any and all signs on hills to avoid accidents. Most importantly, slow down when you're nearing the top of the hill to make it easier to stop if there is an unforeseen hazard.
A Trucker's Blind Spot
A helpful tip: if you cannot see a tractor-trailer’s side view mirror, chances are the driver cannot see you. Give big trucks lots of room to maneuver, and try not to place yourself directly beside them.