No matter how skilled of a driver you think you are, chances are you too are guilty of making a mistake while behind the wheel. The following are ten common driving mistakes which often lead to car accidents. You may be surprised how many of these common errors you could be making without even realizing it.
1. Sitting Too Far Back Behind the Wheel
Though it may feel more comfortable to have that extra leg room, sitting too far back behind the wheel can easily become a danger when it delays your reaction time. Sitting too far back can also hinder your lack of control over the vehicle. It is best to sit close enough that you have complete control of the wheel and also be able to move your feet between pedals quickly.
2. Changing Lanes While Turning
When making a turn, a vehicle should always turn into the lane closest. Other drivers may not know what you’re doing in that split second if you choose to turn into the far lane. Instead, it is better for everyone to turn into the correct lane and then make a lane change.
3. Ignoring a School Zone
A school zone speed limit is reduced in order to keep children safe. While most school zones only enforce the rule during school sessions, some areas maintain a speed camera 24/7 that can ticket a driver no matter what time of day or time of year it is. It is important to always pay attention to road signs no matter what.
4. Speeding Through a Yellow Light
A yellow light is intended to alert drivers that the light will soon turn red. Instead, many drivers see it as an opportunity to speed up in order to make it through the light before it changes red. This is the cause of many car accidents and could easily be avoided. Most major intersection collisions or T-bone accidents are caused by drivers running through a light.
5. Using Headlights Only at Night
While many think headlights are only for night time, headlights should also be used during inclement weather such as heavy rain or snow. In addition, keeping your headlights on all the time can help reduce the chances of a car accident by 10 percent.
6. Driving in the Passing Lane
The farthest left lane is intended only for passing vehicles. If you are not traveling at the maximum speed limit or attempting to pass, this is NOT the lane you should be traveling in. Doing so only slows traffic and causes congestion. Whether the driver is simply unaware of the rule or they are trying to keep others from speeding, they are really only making other commuters upset and could end up being pulled over and paying a fine in some states.
7. Accelerating Too Much
High-speed driving is a reckless habit that puts you and everyone else on the road in danger of a car accident. In addition, putting the pedal to the metal too often can also cost you more in fuel by decreasing your car’s gas mileage.
8. Driving on Low Tire Pressure
To help avoid a tire blowout or losing control of the vehicle, it is a good idea to consistently check your vehicle’s tire pressure. Maintaining proper pressure can also save you money on gas by increasing your vehicle’s gas mileage.
9. Using the Wrong Fuel
Most would assume that using premium fuel in their vehicle would help to improve the vehicle’s performance. That is not true. In fact, using a higher-octane fuel when your vehicle is not built for it can actually cause it to run incorrectly. It is best to use only the octane your manufacturer recommends and keep your car well maintained at all time.
10. Misadjusting Side or Rear-View Mirrors
A full view of the back window should be visible through the inside mirror when moving just your eyes, not your head. If the driver is over six feet tall, the American Automobile Association recommends flipping the mirror upside down to get a couple of extra inches of reflection to alleviate blind spots.
Side mirrors should also be pointed wide enough to view any potential blind spots. Only a small section of the side of your car should be visible.
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