Avoid the Fast Lane
On a multi-lane road, stick to the centre or right lane. Should an unexpected problem arise, you have a wider choice of escape routes; you can quickly change lanes. Research shows that most highway accidents occur in the left lane. Also, the highway traffic police can notice you more easily if you are in the fast lane.
Extend Your Area of Vision
Following the movement of the car right in front of your car is just not enough. Let your eyes scan the area ahead, following traffic movement ahead of the car in front of you. By doing so, should any problem arise in front of you, you still have enough time to react to it. It also reduces the likelihood of banging on to the rear of the vehicle in front of you if it stops suddenly.
Beware of Blind Spots
We have already carried a post on adjusting your car's mirrors.
However, do not rely solely on these mirrors. Turn to look directly into the adjacent lanes to avoid missing on something left not detected by your mirrors. Give importance to the blind spots of other drivers around you, especially truckers, and try to minimize the amount of time you spend in them. Kudos to Volvo which was the first to introduce the Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) in its S80 sedan in India followed by the Volvo XC90 SUV. BLIS is a perfect solution to check the blind spots behind the car in order to avoid an impending accident.
Hold the Steering the Right Way
Drivers in India usually hold the steering with just one hand at 12 o'clock or both hands resting at the bottom of the steering wheel. Drive with your hands in the 9 and 3 o'clock position to have maximum control of your car in case you're required to make a quick move in order to avoid a potential accident.
Don't Desert the Steering Wheel
Here's a trick to have full control of your darling car with ease. Move your seat close enough to the steering wheel
so that your arms are outstretched, your back is against the seat and your wrists rest on the top of the wheel. The position will not tire you and can be the optimum posture for last-minute cagey maneuvers.
Judge Other Vehicles and Their Drivers
Judge a man by the company he keeps and judge a driver by the car he keeps. A car with body damage and dirty windows could suggest an inattentive driver. Also, drifting in the lane often speaks of a tired or drunk driver or a driver preoccupied with the cell phone. Keep away from such vehicles.
Know Your Car's Limits
You need to know how your car reacts in certain situations. If your vehicle leans a lot when you're rounding corners, wrenching the wheel at high speeds to avoid an accident can be scary. Also, know the limits of your car's brakes and tyres.
Do you know how long your car takes to stop when you apply maximum pressure? How much grip do your tires have? Replacing your car's tyres with a cheaper set can result in reduced braking and handling capability.
Is Your Car in Good Shape?
Stick to the manufacturer's recommended maintenance schedule and keep your car in good shape. In return, your car's going to accelerate, stop and steer just the way you want it to. Your car will have a longer life.
Just think again if you really need to get another 1,000 miles out of the same old tyres. Unexpectedly, if you happen to drive on an unusually slick road, you may end up rubbing up against the guard rail.
The Dangerous Time Zone
Night time is certainly not the right time. Many like to travel at night to avoid traffic. But, you may be tired of a whole day's work and there's decreased field of vision too. To top that, there will be other drivers as tired as you, a few others drunk and joyriding teens as well. Drive extra defensively around the witching hour, after midnight when some people are leaving bars, parties or sports arenas. Also, never ever drive down a dark road with burned-out headlights.
Learn to Drive a Race Car
Learn how to drive a race car? It may sound weird, but going to a high-performance driving school is one of the best ways to improve your driver skills.
You'll learn what it feels like to drive a car at the limits. You'll also get practice of accident avoidance maneuvers and skid recovery in a safe, controlled environment. Understanding how to make your car do what you want it to do in emergency situations could save your life.