Human error is a leading cause of car accidents in Nevada and across the country. While most drivers are confident in their abilities on the road, a few common errors lead to disaster every day. The most common driving mistakes include:
1) Driving distracted.
One of the most common mistakes while driving is not dedicating adequate attention to the task of driving. Many motorists on the road are so used to being in their cars that they start to see driving as a task that can be completed while doing something else.
Many drivers mistakenly assume distracted driving just means using a cell phone or texting while driving — which is illegal in Nevada. However, any activity that distracts you from driving can cause a car accident. This means changing a radio station, eating, drinking, smoking and even daydreaming are all dangerous.
A good habit to get into while driving is to keep your eyes moving so you are aware of everything around you and to always think two or three moves ahead. This type of defensive driving can help prevent accidents and keep you focused on the road.
2) Following too closely.
Another of the top driving mistakes is tailgating, and this behavior can be especially dangerous in bad weather or behind trucks. In most cases, you need to leave at least three seconds of space in front of you. That means when the car in front of you passes an object, it should take at least three seconds for you to pass the same object. In heavy traffic, leave six seconds of space. In bad weather, leave nine or more seconds so you have plenty of time to stop. If you’re following a large truck, make sure you can see the truck driver in their side mirrors, even if it means following more than three seconds behind.
3) Incorrect lane changes and passing.
If you are making a lane change or passing another vehicle, use your signals to indicate you will be entering another lane. Check the blind spot and your mirrors before moving from your lane to make sure there’s no motorcycles or other cars in the lane you’re entering. If you are passing, make sure you go far enough ahead of the car you’re passing so you don’t cut them off. Only pass or change lanes in areas where it is legal to do so.
4) Not adjusting your driving for the conditions.
Your driving should change significantly depending on the situation. If you’re driving on a clear, sunny day, you might drive the speed limit. If you’re in stop-and-go traffic, however, you need to slow down and drive more defensively. If you’re driving in bad weather or in the dark, you also need to slow down and be more alert. If the weather or other conditions get unsafe, you need to find a safe place to pull over.
5) You aren’t taking care of your car.
You should be keeping your tires properly inflated and getting your car properly maintained. If you wait until your dashboard lights come on, your car may already be handling differently and may be harder to maneuver in an emergency if you need to make a sudden turn or stop.
Check your car periodically to ensure everything is in working order, and make sure your seats are adjusted correctly. The steering wheel should be between 8 and 10 inches from your chest. You should be able to see over the dashboard clearly without having to duck for the roof of your car, and your feet should reach the pedals comfortably.
Some drivers make more mistakes than others and some are simply reckless on the roads. If you have been injured by a negligent driver, contact Dallas Horton & Associates. We are a law firm with offices in Las Vegas. Since 1998, we have been helping injured people across Nevada. We are always standing by if you have suffered an injury.