5 Tips to Avoid the Most Common Type of Collision

Dri­vers think dif­fer­ent­ly about the high­est risk cause of col­li­sions than does the auto insur­ance indus­try. Dri­ving fast on a dark road and run­ning a red light are risky, but the most com­mon source of col­li­sions in auto claims hap­pens while dri­vers are back­ing up, accord­ing to the Nation­al Non-Prof­it Risk Man­age­ment Cen­ter.

Many dri­vers have had the typ­i­cal expe­ri­ence… back­ing out of a dri­ve­way into a parked car… back­ing out in a park­ing lot and strik­ing a bound­ary pole… swip­ing the car beside them as them turn while back­ing from a park­ing space.

So how can you reduce risks when back­ing up?

1. Sur­vey Your Sit­u­a­tion. Before you get into your vehi­cle, look all around it to assess how much space you have to maneu­ver, where pedes­tri­an or auto­mo­tive traf­fic may come from, and for any obsta­cles you might fail to see once you’re in the car.
2. Keep Your Win­dows Clear. Beware of clothes on cour­tesy hang­ers lim­it­ing your side view or items on your rear deck, either block­ing your line of sight or reflect­ing blind­ing light on your rear win­dow.
3. Back Up Slow­ly. Con­trol­ling a car in reverse is inher­ent­ly more dif­fi­cult than going for­ward. Keep your speed under 3 mph.
4. Always Turn Around and Look Direct­ly Back. Don’t just rely on your mir­rors – even when they’re aimed prop­er­ly so as to avoid blind spots, they offer a less than the 180-degree rear view you need when back­ing up.
5. Turn Only After Clear­ing Obsta­cles. Don’t start turn­ing your wheel until you’re sure you will clear any sur­round­ing objects, like oth­er vehi­cles, signs or light poles.

 

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