A frequent cause of collisions is stopping too close to the car in front of you. When stopped, make sure that you can see the entire rear wheels of the car in front of you. This will prevent the typical fender bender/chain reaction type of collision. Also it will leave enough room for maneuverability or escape if someone appraoches your vehicle on foot.
A frequent cause of collisions is following too closely behind the car in front of you. It's the three second rule. So as the vehicle ahead of you passes a landmark, you show be able to count to 3 and just be passing it yourself. If you count to 1 or 2 then you are following too close.
Yellow lights at intersection signals is a caution that tells you to prepare to stop --NOT to speed up through the intersection. Traffic approaching from other directions is expecting you to stop and they may "jump the green" light. Safety is the most important point here--don't risk trying to "beat the red light".
Use your seat belt. The impact from a collision at 30 miles per hour without being restrained by a seat belt is the same as falling from a three story building.
Inattention and distracted driving has become a frequent cause of collisions. Both hands belong on the steering wheel, not a cup of coffee or a cell phone.
Do You Know What to Do If You're Stopped By A Police Officer?
When you see the red lights come on...
- Slam on your brakes, stop in the traffic lane or yield to the left.
Abrupt braking can lead to unnecessary quick stops leading to potential collisions behind the officer. If the officer stops behind you, park your vehicle and wait for the officer to approach.
- Exit your vehicle.
- Reach into concealed areas during the traffic stop.
- Argue about the citation.
- Immediately make a safe right turning movement and stop your vehicle on the right side of the road, if you see a vehicle with its emergency lights on.
The vehicle code requires the driver to immediately drive to the right-hand edge of the curb. Do not be concerned about no parking signs or red curbs, the officer will re-direct you to an appropriate location if he or she deems necessary.
- Remain in your vehicle.
This is the most dangerous time for an officer. Numerous officers are killed during traffic stops each year. Also you can get hit by approaching traffic if you exit your vehicle.
- Keep your hands in plain sight.
Unnecessary movement within the vehicle can distract the officer's attention.
The officer will explain the reason for the stop and ask you for the information that he or she will need. The information will probably include your driver license, registration and proof of insurance.
During the traffic stop be patient. The officer may be checking for driver license status, wants and warrant information.
- Ask questions of the officer if you need clarification.
If you disagree with the citation you can contest it with the court.
When leaving from a traffic stop. Enter the lane of traffic when it is safe. On higher speed roadways you may need to accelerate to the speed of traffic before merging to the left.