Learn to Identify Hazards

When your view is blocked by something such as bushes, snow bank, parked truck, building, proceed with caution, assuming there is a hazard approaching behind it, and be prepared to stop. Consider it could be kids chasing a ball, kids riding a bike, a vehicle coming out from behind the obstacle.

Develop high sensitivity to the yellow-colored traffic control signs and devices.

Beware of intersections.

Parking lots.

Parking lots is the most accident-prone place. Although accidents are mostly non-life-threatening, they can easily burn a hole in your pocket. Move slowly and cautiously. There can be cars coming out of parked positions, people moving between cars, cars moving too fast in the parking lot.

Do not take chances.

I once was not on the right-turn lane, but I found that I must turn right to get to where I needed to go. To my right is the right-exit lane. I thought that if I turned right wider, no car would be going straight and collide with me. I did the turn, and no accident ensued. But I was waved aside by the police, and handed a ticket for improper turn. From then on, I decided that I would not take any chances, and if I would be in the same situation again, I would go straight, miss the turn and find some spot ahead and make a turn there legally.

Do not stare at any particular thing or spot. When your eyes are fixated on a particular spot, your peripheral vision will be impaired, and could easily miss any hazard in the peripheral vision.

Do not take your eyes away from where you are going. Anything can happen in a split second in front of you, especially in crowed traffic.

Learn to predict other drivers behavior. Be prepared for other drivers’ mistakes, or irresponsible reckless actions. Prepare for how other drivers behaviour can impact you.

When passing by parked cars on the street, if possible, try to see if there is anyone inside the car, especially in the driver’s seat, and if anyone inside the car is trying to get out. Beware of sudden-popping doors.

When driving, if possible, try to see beyond the vehicle immediately in front of you, and possibly a few vehicles ahead. Most passengers cars have transparent windows, and you can see through their windows. You could also see ahead past their side.  If you do, even if the driver in front of you had to make a sudden stop because he/she was not paying attention and did not brake sooner, you would already know you had to slow down and had plenty of time to stop, avoiding hitting the car ahead and being hit from behind.

Use RainX or its equivalent.

Minimize the changes of being distracted while driving.

Check if any object could possibly roll under the brake padel: bottles, shoes, etc.

When starting from a stopped position, always step on the gas gradually and gently. You would have more time to react if you discovered that your car is not moving in the right direction because your gear is not in the right position, or because your front wheels are not in the straight position causing your car to pull to the side. And starting gently saves gasoline.

My preferred way of accelerating is to have my heel on the floor and use the back of foot as a pivotal point, press the front part of my foot down onto the gas pedal.

When I need to brake, I don’t use the ball of my heel as a pivotal point, I simply pull up my feet and step down on the brake. That way, I can apply more force on the pedal if I have to in some situations.

Watch for obstacles ahead and surface conditions.  If you can safely do so, slow down and/or change lanes to avoid pot holes, depressions, bumps, pool of water, debris, large objects, pile of leaves.

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