Posted : 09/17/2004
It’s no accident that numerous motorists avoid collisions by applying basic safety principles on America’s roadways. First of all, insurance industry spokeswoman Heather Ryndak urges drivers to buckle up, drive defensively, obey the rules of the road, and be courteous behind the wheel.
Auto accident prevention is a deadly serious matter to Ryndak, who cited disquieting statistics proffered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The NHTSA reports that driving distractions are to blame for about 4,300 crashes every day on U.S. roads.
Ryndak advises motorists to take various “steps to prevent distractions from affecting their driving performance,” and her PCI colleague, Dan Kummer offered specifics. “Topping our list is don’t drink and drive,” points out Kummer, PCI director of auto insurance. “One-third of all auto accidents are related to drunken driving.” There are a number of driver distractions to avoid when driving, says Kummer.
Motorists can minimize distractions by pulling over to a safe place to …
Kummer calls on motorists to avoid aggressive driving. “Don’t escalate a potentially dangerous situation by angrily gesturing at a motorist who cuts you off on the freeway. If such a situation is escalating, don’t take matters into your own hands, call the police.”
Motorists should exercise courtesy when driving to avoid problems on the roadways. Adds Kummer: “It seems as if courtesy is something of a lost art. If someone sees you use your turn signal before changing lanes, they often speed up to cut you off. Let them pass; don’t try to force your way in. Many accidents occur because of aggressive driving.”
If you’re in an accident, Kummer suggests that you “pull over to the side of the road, exit your vehicle and exchange insurance information behind roadway safety railings.”
Kummer urges motorists to keep a safe distance between their car and the vehicle directly ahead of them. “As a general rule of thumb, there should be a separation of at least one car length for every 10 miles an hour you are driving.” This distance should increase in bad weather or poor driving conditions.
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