Having a bump when parking
Most common when parking or manoeuvring the car, but normally don’t result in more than a few scratches or bumper damage. Our best advice is to take your time, move slowly and use all of your mirrors. Ask your passenger, or even a passer-by, for help guiding you into the space if you’re not sure.
Driving too close to the vehicle in front can result in a rear end collision if the car in front brakes suddenly or you aren’t paying attention. This can be avoided by applying the ‘two second rule’ – leaving a gap of at least two seconds between you and the car in front. And remember “only a fool breaks the two second rule”.
Stopping too close to the car in front
Sitting too close at lights or at junctions can result in being pushed into the vehicle in front in the event of you being hit from behind, or being unable to drive around the vehicle if it breaks down. This can be avoided by stopping so that you can see where the rear wheels of the vehicle in front touch the tarmac. Leave more space if the vehicle in front of you is an HGV.
Speeding is the second most common cause of road accidents, after distracted drivers. It may be obvious but to avoid causing any accidents, stay within posted speed limits, and pay attention to the road ahead and your surroundings to identify anything that may cause you to slow down well in advance.
Using your mobile phone
Distractions whilst driving is the biggest cause of road accidents, especially when a driver is using their mobile phone. Drivers have been caught not only texting whilst driving, but also using social media and checking directions. All of these activities involve taking your eyes off the road and diverting your attention away from your surroundings, making you more likely to cause an accident. This endangers not only you, but your passengers, fellow drivers and pedestrians. Our advice is to keep off your mobile phone until you are parked in a safe place.
Driving whilst tired and potentially falling asleep at the wheel can have fatal consequences. The answer is to take regular breaks – a break of 15 minutes for every two hours of driving is about right. Do not attempt to drive long distances if you are already tired.
Not checking your blind spot
Blind spots vary from vehicle to vehicle, so make sure if you’re driving a new or unfamiliar car, that you get know these areas before you start your journey. Remember, your mirrors can’t show you everything so take the time to check your blind spot before changing lines.
Braking too late
Always try and alert the car behind by applying the brake lights early, which should encourage them to increase their following distance. This, combined with travelling at the legal speed and paying attention to your surroundings, are the best ways to avoid a collision.
Poor road positioning
This can cause vision problems for other drivers and their reaction time may be reduced. If another driver cannot see you until the last minute it may cause late braking or collisions, especially on faster roads. Stay within your lane and be cautious of other drivers around you.
Avoiding these common driving faults can ensure that not only you, but your passengers and other drivers, are kept safe on the road.