From 2011 to 2016, there were 30,482 traffic accidents on Maine's roads. That averages out to a crash happening once every 17 minutes, though actually the majority of crashes happen during the bustling rush hour.
However, drivers must always be alert, as over a fifth of all crashes happen between 9 PM and 2 AM. This is quite a large chunk at a time when most people are fast asleep. Safe driving and avoiding accidents requires great awareness from all drivers.
It's when lapses of awareness occur, often in combination with poor driving habits, that crashes happen. Consistent safe driving habits can reduce the chances of causing or being involved in an accident.
Here are ten driving tips from various road safety experts:
- Use the S-Turn at Intersections: When turning left at an intersection, it is tempting to turn directly toward your destination. However, this may cause a collision with oncoming traffic. The safest method is to take an S-Turn when there is oncoming traffic to be aware of.
- Fix Poor Driving Habits: Sloppy habits like crossing into the opposite lane while taking a left turn increase your chances of being in an accident. They give you less time to avoid dangerous drivers and other unexpected hazards. Correcting your bad habits makes the road safer for everyone.
- Check and Adjust your Mirrors: You may have done this at some point but chances are they may need to be readjusted. Check your mirrors and find the best angles to minimize blind spots.
- Avoid High-Beams: Oncoming traffic may not realize they have their high-beams on or not realize the effect they have on other drivers. To avoid being blinded, look down and follow the lane lines until you pass. With this method, you won't be looking directly at the headlights of an oncoming motorist.
- Keep Your Eyes Moving: Don't fixate on the traffic directly ahead of you. Pedestrians and cars coming from other directions may become hazards that require a quick reaction. Not being aware of these hazards until the last second can result in a crash.
- Give Yourself More Space: Being too close to the vehicle in front of you gives you less time to stop. If the other driver stops suddenly, it may result in a rear-end collision. Remember, you are responsible for controlling your own vehicle.
- Take a Refresher or Advanced Driving Course: Some bad habits are hard to break without guidance from another experienced driver. Taking a refresher course every ten years can keep drivers updated on changes in road safety practices and develop better driving habits.
- Study Your Car's Safety Features: Each new generation of vehicles is equipped with more advanced safety features, many of which come standard. Read the owner's manual or research features online to learn how to use them effectively.
- Learn Proper Traffic Circle Navigation: Also referred to as roundabouts or rotaries, learning how to properly navigate these circular roads will make the experience safer for everyone.
- Get an Eye Exam: Drivers with glasses should get an eye exam once every three years and annually after the age of 60. Even those who don't need glasses should occasionally have an eye exam to find correctable problems before they become more severe. Poor vision can impede safe driving.
An auto or truck accident can turn your life upside-down in a split second. But your rights are firmly rooted in Maine law. We can help you get back on your feet. Our experienced attorneys and legal professionals can help with insurance claims, police reports, gathering witness statements, and other processes to support your personal injury case.
Contact the Law Offices of Joe Bornstein today. The initial consultation is always free and there's never a fee unless you win and get the justice you deserve.