Just a couple of weeks ago in Brockton, MA, a father of three was killed while pulling into his driveway. The driver who caused the crash was a 22 year old man who after being administered a blood alcohol test, was nearly two times the acceptable level and had traces of cocaine, opioids and marijuana in his system. The departed was arriving home after getting dinner for his family.
Unfortunately these types of accidents are becoming more common, but can be avoided. Sometimes your safety as a driver may depend on your ability to recognize the behavior of other drivers around you. Avoiding careless, distracted and intoxicated drivers when possible is critical for your own safety, and the safety of others who may be traveling with you. Here are some signs to look out for and helpful tips to avoid becoming the victim of a careless driver:
- While behind the wheel, be aware of your surroundings and keep an eye out for erratic or dangerous behavior from other vehicles. Drivers who are swerving, travelling the wrong way down a one way street or in the wrong lane might be the most obvious and potentially the most dangerous. Also be aware of drivers that are traveling over the posted speed limit, especially if they appear to be aggressively trying to get around you or racing other vehicles. Driving in the dark without headlights on, following you too closely (tailgating), ignoring road signs, making hazardous lane changes or failing to signal are also all clear indicators. Any of these can show a potential hazard, and simply noticing them can drastically improve your own safety.
- Take whatever steps are possible to distance yourself from these drivers. If a driver behind you is tailgating, try pulling over and letting them pass. When the dangerous behavior is extreme, it may even be beneficial to get off the road entirely and report the vehicle to the police.
- Third, take care to avoid becoming an unsafe driver yourself. Modern life is fast-paced and can be frantic at times, it’s easy to fall into dangerous patterns. Try to take stock of your own behaviors. Are you prone to driving well above the speed limit because you are in a hurry? Are you tempted to take a call/respond to a text while on the road, or to drive yourself home after a few drinks? Are you driving while you are exhausted? Avoid all of these and you won’t become part of the problem.
July 4th weekend is here and it is statistically one of the most dangerous holidays to be on the road. Keep this in mind, careless drivers aren’t just endangering themselves but everyone else on the roadway as well. Hopefully these tips can help you and your loved ones have a safe and happy Independence Day.