Tag: Traffic Tips

How to Avoid The Five Most Common Avoidable Driving Mistakes

How to Avoid The Five Most Common Avoidable Driving Mistakes

Fatal driving accidents happen every day. In fact, statistics show that nearly 6.3 million car accidents occur yearly. Although not every accident is necessarily avoidable, there are many car accidents that could have been prevented if drivers learned how to avoid the following common driving mistakes.

1 – Driving Arrogance  

The fact that you have not been in a major car accident in the past does not give you the right to do things that you wouldn’t recommend for “poor drivers”. Every driver is vulnerable, including you. Most of the people out on the road most likely consider themselves “good drivers”, yet accidents continue to happen. If every driver learned how to avoid driving arrogance, the rest of this list would cease to exist. Almost all car accidents happen because of the root concern that a driver is over confident and is doing something they shouldn’t.

To avoid overconfidence and dangerous driving arrogance, heed all driving codes and safe driving tips, even if you feel like you don’t need to. Even if you beat all odds and are a perfect driver, you cannot change the driving habits of others on the road that may cause potential threats. If you aren’t giving your driving 100% of your attention, you may find yourself in a major accident. Avoid overconfidence and follow every safety measure while driving.

2 – Multitasking

Overconfident drivers often fall into a trap of multitasking. Although you might be asked to multitask in the workplace, multitasking on the road can prove fatal. The simple task of drinking out of a water bottle, or reaching for your phone, could create a huge distraction. Multitasking can be especially dangerous when traveling at high speeds when large distances are covered in a matter of seconds. Consider what could happen during that moment of distraction.

To avoid multitasking, prepare before you start the car. If you need to make a phone call, do it while you are parked. Though it shouldn’t need to be stated, never text while driving. Give the task of driving all of your attention to avoid careless and preventable accidents.

3 – Loose Items

The National Safety Council attributes 13,000 car accident related injuries each year to loose or fallen items in the car. At high speeds, loose items can quickly become threatening projectiles. When accidents occur, these items may prove very dangerous.

Preventing these types of problems is easy. Simply keep your car free from unnecessary “junk”. If you do need to bring supplies or other items with you, place them safely in the trunk.

4 – Driving Under The Influence Of Alcohol Or Fatigue

It hopefully goes without saying that driving under the influence of alcohol is a definite no. Many drivers, however, don’t understand the important of driving alertness. If you are drowsy, you should not be driving. Fatigue causes you to be impaired just as much as anything else.

5 – Neglecting To Look Both Ways

When you learn to drive, you are constantly reminded to “look both ways”. This rule often becomes forgotten when drivers have been in the car too long. It doesn’t matter if you are the only person at an intersection: look both ways every time.  Your life may depend on it. When you consider how many drivers “accidentally” drive through a red light, it is important to look even when the light is green. You can never be too careful.

Conclusion

As you learn how to drive carefully and with 100% of your attention, you can avoid many common driving mistakes.

7 Don’ts When Pulled over for a Traffic Stop

7 Don’ts When Pulled over for a Traffic Stop

Almost all drivers have been pulled over for a routine traffic stop.  Often, drivers might view the cause of the stop and impending traffic ticket nonsensical.  As a fellow motorist, I have experienced being pulled over for a routine traffic stop after going 5 mph over the speed limit on a highway with a speed limit of 65 mph.  There are no guarantees that you can talk your way out of a ticket for a traffic violation.  But, there are a few things you could choose to do that would almost always guarantee to make your situation much worse.

  1. Do NOT run from the police in a high speed chase

Do not run.  Do not try to run.  Do not think about running.  Do not put create a scenario in which a police officer might think that you might run.  If there is not a safe place to pull over, such as you are asked to pull over by the side of a ditch, signal immediately and drive another 100 feet to where you can safely pull over.  Running from police can be much worse than most initial infractions.  In addition to the initial infraction, failing to yield to law enforcement can easily turn a traffic ticket into being charged with multiple felonies involved in a high speed chase such as felonious hit-and-runs.

  1. Do NOT confess to anything

When asked the routine question, “Why did I pull you over?” by a law enforcement official, do not confess to anything.  Primarily, you do not know what you were pulled over for.  You might have been speeding and ran a red light, but an officer might have pulled you over due to a broken taillight.  Instead of confessing to any wrongdoing, give a polite answer such as a shrug and say something vague.  You will find out why you were pulled over soon enough.

  1. Do NOT become belligerent

“Clever” comments are rarely appreciated.  Similarly, arguing about the nature of the traffic stop will not get you far.  In the event you feel that the traffic stop was unfair, it is best to apologize for your wrongdoing.  For example, be cooperative when asked to show your license and registration and then apologize for not paying more attention when being clocked at going 70 mph in a 65 mph zone.  It can be helpful to be almost too polite.  Say “Yes ma’am,” or “Yes sir,” even if you do not typically use that verbiage.   Instead of arguing, say that you will learn from your mistake and pay more attention to the speedometer in the future.

  1. Do NOT fail to disclose any concealed weapons

Even if you have a concealed weapons permit, the first contact you must make with an officer after being pulled over is to IMMEDIATELY disclose that you have a weapon in the vehicle or on your person.  Never chance that the weapon might be accidentally seen.  Disclosing that you have a concealed weapon in the vehicle will be must less likely to cause problems than if you fail to do so.

  1. Do NOT attempt to bribe an officer

Bribing an enforcement official is a bad idea.  Bribery is especially concerning for police officers.  If the officer were to accept the bribe, he or she could be in a large amount of trouble.  After attempted bribery, officers are required to report the incident.  An attempted bribe could have the opposite of a beneficial effect.  It will likely land you in more trouble.

  1. Do NOT act suspicious or goofy

Cooperate with all instructions while remaining calm.  Bursting into tears or inappropriately exposing body parts is rarely helpful.  Remember, it is only a routine traffic stop.  Have your current registration and license handy and simply follow the instructions given to you.  Even if it is hot, do not open the door for fresh air or turn on the engine to run the air conditioning unit and possibly alarm the officer writing the warning or ticket.  Remember, it is only a traffic stop.

  1. Do NOT ignore the ticket

Either pay the ticket or show up to traffic court or hire a Lawyer.  Driving with an unpaid ticket and missed court date is a major risk.  If you feel that the ticket was issued unfairly and could negatively impact your license, contact an attorney for advice.

At the end of the day, life goes on after receiving a traffic ticket.  However, doing the wrong thing at a routine traffic stop could have serious and lasting consequences.

More Info:

How to Behave if Pulled Over For Speeding
Frequently Asked Questions About Reckless Driving

Do I need a traffic ticket attorney