3 Habits that will help prevent car crashes

Everyone who holds an Oregon driver’s license has implicitly agreed to do all in their power to prevent crashes. Three habits will help you succeed!

Situational Awareness

Most drivers only look three to four seconds ahead of their vehicle—perhaps two cars ahead. But research shows that more than 80% of crashes could be prevented if drivers had as little as ONE SECOND longer to deal with the problem. So, the first way to prevent crashes is to monitor traffic at least fifteen seconds ahead of your vehicle. You will gain awareness of traffic signals, slowing traffic, erratic drivers, pedestrians, cyclists and other hazards before they become an immediate problem.

Proper Following Distance

A very high proportion of car crashes happen because drivers follow each other too closely. Yet research shows that maintaining four seconds of following distance will not delay your arrival. What it will do is give you the time and space you need to stop if an emergency situation develops just ahead of you. Remember, it takes more than two seconds to stop a car on a flat, dry road—even longer in the rain.

Stay Engaged with Driving

Too many of us never focus on the driving task. Instead, we allow our minds to drift ahead to the next thing on our busy calendar, forgetting that driving is likely the most dangerous activity of our day. It’s far better to remain focused on the task at hand—driving safely. Remember it all begins with keeping a watchful eye for changes ahead and around your car that require your response.