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How to Prevent Accidents on the Road

Being able to drive is an essential life skill. When you are first allowed to drive, however, it can be overwhelming to learn. To become a responsible and trustworthy driver, you need to do your part to prevent road accidents. Being an alert and defensive driver can help keep you and others around you safe.

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Pay Attention

The main thing you can do to prevent accidents is pay attention. If you are paying attention to the road, other drivers, and your own driving, you will be able to react quicker to things that could cause an accident. Studies have shown that as little as two seconds of inattention can lead to fatal road crashes. In two seconds, you can veer into the wrong lane, fail to see a car approaching at high speeds, or hit an unexpected icy or uneven patch of road. To avoid inattention, limit all distractions by not looking at your phone, playing music too loudly, reaching for things in the backseat, and eating full-on meals while driving.

Follow Traffic Signs

Traffic signs are meant to more smoothly direct the flow of traffic. By guiding traffic, collisions between multiple vehicles, automobiles and bicyclists, or automobiles and pedestrians are reduced. However, traffic signs are only effective if all drivers follow them. Traffic signs, even the ones that don’t explicitly tell you to stop, are not just suggestions. You should obey all traffic signs to be a law-abiding driver. For example, yield signs mean you need to wait for traffic to pass before proceeding. If you are not familiar with all traffic signs, research them before driving or ask a knowledgeable driver.

Avoid Reckless Behavior

Sometimes driving can feel like a game or a race. However, you need to remember that the main point of driving is not entertainment purposes but to get from one place to another safely and efficiently. Avoiding reckless behavior—especially speeding, racing other cars, and unsafe tricks—can prevent many accidents. Always remember that when you are being reckless, you are endangering others for selfish reasons.

Even though driving seems like an independent activity, it actually involves the many people in cars next to you. You are licensed to operate a powerful and dangerous machine that can cause serious injury and damage. Do your part to prevent accidents and help everyone reach their destinations safely.

Read this next: Immigrant Teens: Things to Know Before Applying for Citizenship

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