Driving is a highly cognitive task that requires the constant processing of ever-changing information. Circumstances can change rapidly and drivers must respond instantly. Regardless of how long you have been driving, it is important to keep your driving skills sharp and be prepared for any challenge you might face on the roadway.
Drivers who make an honest assessment of roadway behaviors can reduce their chances of being involved in an accident. This, in turn, can spare injuries to themselves and others (as well as the time and hassle of litigation, or increased insurance premiums as the result of claims paid for the accident).
Adjust Your Vehicle Appropriately
In the rush to leave a rental company’s parking lot, many drivers fail to take the time to properly adjust their seat and mirrors. This can seriously impede a driver’s ability to safely respond to traffic conditions – especially while driving an unfamiliar vehicle in an unfamiliar city. The few minutes spent familiarizing yourself with a rental vehicle are well worth the investment.
Of course, it is not just rental vehicles which must be properly adjusted. Drivers must take time to acquaint themselves with a newly purchased vehicle as well. Borrowing a friend’s or family member’s car can have serious insurance coverage implications in the event of an accident. Drivers should therefore be especially cautious in a borrowed vehicle.
A common trap is that of the family vehicle. When several different family members drive the same vehicle, it can be easy to forego mirror and seat adjustments before each and every drive. Drivers can also be lulled into a false sense of security (since this is, after all, a vehicle they commonly drive). None of this changes the fact that poorly positioned mirrors can widen blind spots and unnecessarily increase the risk of causing an accident.
Take Advantage of Safe-Driving Courses
According to Consumer Reports, the AARP enrolled nearly half a million online and classroom participants in its 2017 continuing driver’s education courses. Many of these drivers enjoyed discounts on their insurance premiums in exchange for the $15 or $25 course fee. Those who did not still decreased their risk of having an accident and the time and costs associated with such an event. AARP is not the only organization that offers such driving courses. Check with your insurance agent to find local programs, which may offer a premium discount or other incentive.
The Roundabout Conundrum
Roundabouts have long been a common traffic control feature in other parts of the world. American drivers, however, are largely inexperienced. The process of navigating continuously moving traffic without a stop light can be daunting to a driver who is unfamiliar with the process. But as roundabouts appear in more and more locations across the United States, it is important to understand their operation. Online tutorials are a good starting point. They are, of course, not a substitute for practical experience. Use extreme caution when entering any roundabout for the first time.
It is easy to become careless with driving habits after years behind the wheel. But our Chicago auto accident attorneys have seen the devastating effects of careless driving. We help victims hold negligent drivers accountable for their dangerous habits in order to make the roads of Chicagoland safer for everyone.