How to Keep You and Your Family Safe While Driving on the busy California Freeways
Each year Allstate Insurance Company releases a report of the safest cities to drive in. The report gathers accident data from the 200 largest cities in the United States and ranks them. It is interesting to see where the cities rank and the different factors, like population size or the amount of time between accidents, which are included in the data of this report. Fort Collins, Colorado has ranked the safest city to drive in for three years in a row. The only city in California to place in the top ten safest cities to drive in was Visalia, ranked at number eight. San Diego ranked 127 and Los Angeles ranked 181 out of 200!
It seems as though we Californians could use a little brushing up on our safe driving practices. Let’s go over a few here:
- Give Yourself Space – One of the reasons Californians get in more auto accidents is because there are so many of us on the road. Drivers need to pay attention to the amount of space they leave between them and the other cars around them in order to have time to react if another driver nearby makes a mistake. When a car is traveling at 55 mph it will take around 400 feet to stop, the faster you’re driving the more time it will take to stop.
- Scan The Road – Drivers need to be paying attention to what is going on all around them, not just what is happening directly in front of the car. It is best to scan in front of your car about 1-15 seconds and to check your rearview and side view mirrors every two to five seconds.
- Always Check Your Blind Spot – This seems obvious but I am always amazed at how many people I observe making lane changes on the freeway each day without checking their blind spot first.
- Take Weather Conditions Into Account – remember that wet roads increase the likelihood of an auto accident.
- Cleanliness and Visibility – Make sure you can see out your windows well. Having dirty windows can make visibility more difficult when it is bright or when using headlights at night. Also, make sure to correctly position your seat and adjust your mirrors before you begin your drive.
It is always best to remain calm, which can be the difference between a Defensive driver (which is a safer driver) and an Aggressive driver.