William E. Van Tassel: Everyday drivers make mistakes, small and large. But you don't have to make errors while driving. Here are the top 5 mistakes you should avoid on your next drive.
Failure to look far enough ahead. Drivers who just look at the car ahead or look away from the road have slower response times when confronted with something unexpected. Look further ahead to detect anything that might cause you to change your speed or to steer around.
Failure to maintain a space cushion around your vehicle. More space means more room to avoid any conflict with another roadway user or collide with another object. If another driver moves into your cushion, lift off the accelerator for a moment to regain open space.
Failure to adjust to conditions. At least three factors affect your choice of speed; traffic, visibility and traction on the road. On wet roads tire traction drops by about 30%, therefore drivers should reduce their speed by a similar amount just to maintain normal traction or steer around any unexpected object on the road ahead.
Failure to remain focused on driving. Dividing attention or becoming distracted can be a fatal mistake. An estimated 25% of all vehicle crashes involve inattentive driving. It's simple, avoid all distractions. No grooving, no eating and absolutely no texting.
Failure to anticipate maneuvers other drivers might make. Always assume other drivers will take the action that puts you at the most risk. Predict what they might do then come up with potential responses and be prepared to take those actions.
Get your brain in the game. Look well ahead, maintain plenty of space, adjust your speed and focus on the task at hand, driving safely.