Become a better driver

American drivers are pointing fingers again. A recent survey bears some grim news: the other guy or gal behind the wheel is ruder, more aggressive, and is causing more accidents. A recent survey sponsored by several motorist and insurance organizations discovered that:

  • Most drivers have recently operated their car, truck, or SUV in a risky manner
  • Many drivers think that other classes of drivers should have their driving skills regularly tested
  • The majority of drivers think that their driving habits are fine—everyone else is the problem

It is time to stop pointing fingers. Let's put our hands back on our steering wheels. Regardless who is at fault, the number and severity of accidents and road tragedies are increasing. The only thing that is under your control is your own driving behavior. While you can't predict what another driver is going to do, you can make a stronger effort to make the roads and streets safer.

Obey traffic lights, signs, and road markings. All of these are important methods to control traffic and minimize accidents. Just try to figure out how much time you “save” by tailgating, lane changing, and running traffic lights. If you save anything, it's seconds, not minutes. Also, if you are involved in an accident, you've just lost any time ever gained by risky driving. Insurance paperwork and accident reports can claim hours and days of your life. If time is important to you, then take the time to pay attention to the rules of the road.

You will also find it healthier and safer to avoid paranoia. The other drivers in the other cars and trucks are not out to get you. Don't take things personally since the silly things that happen in cars are usually mistaken or mindless, not malicious. Just relax and concentrate on your own driving. Yield right of way to others, stop for school buses, and watch for pedestrians and bicyclists. The more patient, respectful, and attentive drivers there are on the road, the better it will for all of us (and our insurance rates).

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